In our modern lives of convenience foods and disposable everything, we give little thought to the long term. We get the cheap plastic gizmo and when it wears out, we get another. That kind of thinking is foolhardy because it assumes an endless supply of gizmos whenever we need them. We should not make that assumption.
Already the fallacy of that thinking is beginning to show as parts made in Japan are running out after the earthquake and tsunami. Last week, I heard on the news that car parts and some other things shipped from Japan are in short supply. If that happened on a large scale, there would be serious consequences.
How do you protect yourself?
Make An Inventory
One of the best ways to insure that you won’t find yourself in need of a critical item at an inconvenient time is to start making notes. Choose an area that is integral to your family or way of life.
For instance, as the garden season approaches, make an inventory of how many rakes, shovels, and hoes you have and assess of what kind of quality they are. The cheapest way to make sure you have enough fresh healthy food is to grow it yourself. But you will need some good quality tools to do that.
We found out early in our first season of gardening that the bargain hoes we bought were no bargain. Weeding is bad enough work with a good hoe, but the ones we bought were too short requiring even more back strain. The next year, we got a much better one with a longer fiberglass handle and the short ones are for the kids now.
But notice I said the “one” we got- when the garden really needs to count for food production, it will be all hands on deck. We need several more good ones.
Always assume some items will break or wear out. With some things (gardening implements, knives, guns and ammo, food for example), you could really never have “too many” because there are going to be an awful lot of people who also need those very things and you will have spares to barter with (but that’s a topic for another time).
Once you have an inventory, start acquiring what you need. But price should not be the deciding factor here. Quality should be a high priority. Not only will good things be hard to come by in difficult times, but you will save yourself the aggravation of constantly trying to fix poor quality tools at just the moment when you can’t find the time to fool with it.
If you continue on in this way, assessing what you have, what may need replacing, and how high a priority it is, you can accumulate what you will need in a systematic way. It should be possible to plan out your purchases so you don’t have to go into debt to acquire what you need.
One last consideration- you will be safest not assuming you can always use a state-of-the-art appliance. While a new zero turn radius mower would be fun to drive and reduce your mowing time now, is it worth the thousands of dollars you may spend on it if gas becomes prohibitively expensive too?
Maybe you’d be better off getting a cow to eat that grass and produce meat and milk as a benefit.