Buying extra supplies as a hedge against inflation and be better prepared
Over the past couple months I have been going through previous articles on The Prepared and updating prices for our product recommendations. It’s probably no surprise to anyone but many products have been discontinued as supply chains have adjusted, some companies (like with freeze dried food storage) cut down their offerings from say 10 products to just their top 3 to keep up with demand and cut down the amount of downtime rotating the machines and such, and the mostly universal thing I am seeing is that the prices for everything are going up and up because of inflation.
For example, in 2020 we reviewed and recommended a #10 can of scrambled egg mix that cost $20 at the time. Now, it is MSRPd at $105. The same goes true for many of the items I am updating such as axes, multi tools, and more. Sometimes it’s just a dollar, other times there is a 20%, 50%, or I’ve even seen things double in price.
I remember reading all these articles when they first came out and had fun day dreaming about using all of the gear recommended. Sometimes I would buy the recommended item, but there was just too much great stuff to buy so I had to put keep adding to my prepping wish list using The Prepared’s kit builder.
For further reading: How to shop for preps without going over-budget or buying fantasy gear
When that food dehydrator I was wanting used to be $250 but now is $325 I can’t help but wish that I had bought it back then. I tell myself though that I am proud that I didn’t overspend at the time or put things on credit, but still… it’s harder to get that same dehydrator now.
It got me thinking though about how I want to adjust my future spending and savings. If a can of scrambled egg mix can increase more than 5X in two years, it might be a good investment to buy more physical items if I have some extra cash at the end of the month, can rotate through things smartly, and have the space to store them. This really is a balance that I need to keep a calm and level head about, I can’t be turning into the hoarder house or having items spoil because I am not using them fast enough, but for some products it might be good to store extra of them.
The first items I am going to work on increasing my stores of are those items we use on a regular basis that are very shelf stable and can sit there for 5, 10, or even 20 years and still be good to use. For example if I spend $10 on a box of 500 garbage bags today and after 10 years of inflation and shrinkflation that company offers a $30 box of 275 bags, I have quite the valuable box there that I use and can tap into. Probably a bad example, but look at the things you usually use such as dish soap, aluminum foil, plastic wrap, toilet paper, air filters, water filters, toiletries, and more and see what would be good to store up. Not only will you have a small hedge against inflation, but if there is panic buying or shortages you will still have some, and if a product becomes discontinued you still have some to hold you by until you can find an alternative.
These are just things I’ve been thinking about over the past few months and I haven’t done all the math or worked out the kinks but wanted to share something I was observing. What are your thoughts, and what items do you store to be better prepared?