Other Information
Tips for Hard Times

(Last updated: January 14, 2018)

I know it can be very difficult to plan for hard times. Many people would prefer just to hope that things would get better. After all, anything is possible.

However, there is a common saying, "Hope for the best, but plan for the worst." Those people who want to plan for the future can use this page for help.

Here are the topics:
Food, drinks, and related items
Supplies and trading goods

Before using this information to live better in hard times be sure to read the following notice: Disclaimer

Besides the information below, you might like reviewing the pages linked from My Other Articles index page. You also can read the Bartering Tips page.


Here are a few of my tips for living in hard times:

1. Get to know your neighbors. You can help each other in a crisis.

2. Buy gold and silver coins and read the above Bartering Tips page. Paper money may become worthless or difficult to obtain in hard times.

3. You probably want to maintain a bug-out bag with food and water, a fully stocked first aid kit, flashlight and batteries, spare eyeglasses, and other essential supplies. Extra clothing, sleeping bags or inflatable sleeping pads with sheets and blankets, rain gear, thermal underwear, and a tent might come in handy. Always keep your car in good repair and at least two-thirds full of gas.

4. Stock up on essential supplies with a long shelf life. There might come a time when stores are closed or out of merchandise. Load up on toilet paper and personal hygiene supplies, for example.

5. Following are two useful lists (on food and supplies) you can use to prepare for emergencies. Having these items can be a lifesaver if you run out of money or the local stores run out of merchandise. These items can be used in place of money during hard times. (Note: Keep these items out of sight in your home and don't tell anyone about having them.)

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Food, drinks, and related items

Since you will probably be storing these items for months or possibly years, you want to purchase items that have a long storage life. Thus instead of buying cartons of milk you would buy either canned milk or powdered milk. From time to time, you can use items with a shorter storage life in daily living and replace them in storage with a fresh supply:

  • Alka Seltzer and other stomach reliefs
  • baby food
  • baking powder and soda
  • can opener (hand operated)
  • canned meat and other canned food
  • cereal
  • coffee, cocoa, and tea
  • cooking and eating utensils
  • cooking oil
  • dish washing solution
  • dried fruit and other preserved food
  • dry beans and rice
  • edible nuts and seeds
  • energy bars and trail mix
  • flour
  • garden seeds for various vegetables (non-hybrid)
  • gardening tools (including hoe, rake, and shovel)
  • herbs and spices
  • honey
  • kitchen knives (the ones that stay sharp)
  • liquor (the cheap stuff)
  • measuring jars and scoops
  • pancake mix
  • pet food
  • pasta and preserved flavorings
  • plastic containers and lids
  • plates and cups
  • pots and pans
  • powdered milk and juice mix
  • rolls of aluminum foil and plastic wrap
  • snacks (the healthy kind)
  • sugar, salt, and pepper
  • water filters and purification methods
  • water and assorted containers for same

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Supplies and trading goods

Having these items can be a lifesaver if you run out of money or the local stores run out of merchandise. The trading goods can be used in place of money regardless of the economic conditions:

  • amusement items (such as board games, dice, playing cards, and reading material)
  • baby clothes, diapers, medications, and other supplies
  • camping stove and fuel
  • candles and waterproof matches
  • charging cables for car batteries
  • cigarettes, cigarette lighters, and lighter fluid
  • cleaning solutions and rags
  • cloth towels and wash cloths
  • clothes lines and pins (for drying clothes)
  • duct tape and electrical tape
  • energy drinks and vitamin tablets
  • electric tools with rechargeable batteries
  • eyeglass repair kits
  • fasteners (nails, nuts and bolts, and screws, in assorted sizes)
  • fire extinguisher
  • first aid kit with all the basic first aid supplies
  • fishing gear and supplies
  • flashlight and long-life batteries
  • gun cleaning kit and gun oil
  • guns and ammo
  • hand tools (including axe or hatchet, hammer, push drill, saws, screw drivers, tape measure, and wrenches)
  • insect spray and pest destroyers
  • pepper spray (for self defense)
  • personal grooming items (combs and hair brushes, hair clippers, hand mirror, nail clippers, nail files, and women's makeup and perfume)
  • pet medications and other supplies
  • plastic garbage bags (assorted sizes)
  • portable toilet
  • pruning saw or bow saw (for cutting branches)
  • radio (broadcast and shortwave, crank operated)
  • reading material
  • rolls of paper towels and boxes of Kleenex
  • rope and twine
  • sewing tools and supplies
  • sharp knives (for cutting things and for self defense)
  • sharpening file or stone
  • soap (for washing clothes and people)
  • solar oven
  • survival handbook
  • Swiss Army knife
  • tire inflation canisters
  • toilet paper and personal hygiene supplies (lots of these items)
  • wash boards
  • work boots, work clothes, and work gloves
  • writing supplies

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