As the economic situation worsens, many people are beginning to panic. It’s important to remember that fear cannot improve any situation, and in fact, will make it far more difficult to manage the difficult times.

Even if you haven’t prepared in the past, it’s not too late to begin to make small preparations for the future. Even a , and ease the harder times.

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Mormon GardeningStart small. Don’t go out and put a year’s supply of food on your credit card. That defeats the point of preparedness. Instead, purchase a little at a time, taking advantage of small amounts of found money. It’s unlikely your budget will notice a few extra cans of food each week. If you buy something on sale, drop the savings into a jar and periodically use the fund to buy storage items. Try altering your lifestyle in small ways, such as skipping lunch out, or giving up a convenience food. Use the savings for your storage. Can you cut a dollar a day out of your budget? A single dollar saved each day can buy a surprising amount of storage if you shop carefully at discount outlets and watch for sales.

LDS.org suggests building a three month supply of foods you normally eat, buying a few items at a time as you can afford them. Rotate them regularly, shopping from your pantry for everyday use, and placing what you purchase into the food storage. Label foods so you know their age.

Build a longer term supply of wheat, white rice, beans, and other foods that would sustain life in a serious, long-term emergency where it might not be possible to shop. Many of these foods will keep for more than thirty years if they are stored properly.

You also need water storage for emergencies. Particularly in weather emergencies, there may be a lack of clean water.

Be sure to have enough non-food supplies as well—medicines, cleaning supplies, and personal hygiene items. Pay attention to the types of things you use in your daily lives and keep them in stock.

Savings is another aspect of preparedness. Even if you can only save a few dollars a week, do so. Over time, this money does add up and can be the difference between survival and failure in a temporary period of hardship.

Simple preparations will help you feel confident in the event you lose your income for a brief time, and allow you to minimize your expenses.

To learn more, visit Provident Living.

About Terrie Lynn Bittner
The late Terrie Lynn Bittner—beloved wife, mother, grandmother, and friend—was the author of two homeschooling books and numerous articles, including several that appeared in Latter-day Saint magazines. She became a member of the Church at the age of 17 and began sharing her faith online in 1992.

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