What’s Your Threat: A Personal Job Loss Situation

Today’s post is something we’ve never done before. It’s a group blog hop where a bunch of Preparedness Bloggers each post about the same theme and you ca hop around and check them all out. Our topic is “What’s Your Threat?”We posted that question on our Facebook page recently and it was amazing to see all the different reasons why everyone prepares. (Click here to check out some of the responses or add your own). This post is dedicated to one of the main reasons why WE choose to prepare, and is a personal story from Jodi.

What's Your Threat:  A Personal Job Loss Situation (via Food Storage Made Easy)

I’m going to get a little personal in today’s blog post so please bare with me as I share how I came to a believer in the idea that if you think you can’t afford to get your food storage, it’s even more critical that you do it!


As summer approaches I can remember this time period very specifically 6 years ago. My husband just got out of flight school ($70,000 in student loans) and he was working as a first year first officer at a small regional airline (i.e. a salary of $20,000 a year). Needless to say, with two little kids at home we were pinching our pennies, trying to survive, and attempting to pay off our insurmountable debts. We were following the Dave Ramsey plan and budgeting every penny. We had about $5,000 saved from a tax refund that I wanted to keep just in case since I knew with our heavy debts we would not be ready to start actually saving for a rainy day for several years. I delivered pizza with my babies in the back seat of my car, and my husband donated plasma on his days off for extra cash. Things were tight but we were surviving!


Right about this time my sister-in-law Julie started to talk to me about food storage. She was getting very panicky and urgent about it. She kept saying “I feel like I need to do something RIGHT NOW!” We were both living in tiny houses and I tried to tell her we could wait to figure it out until we had bigger houses, more money, etc. After all, Grandma Shirley had enough food for the whole family and then some 😉

After a few weeks of back and forth, Julie bought a book on food storage and started reading it. She would talk to me about it and I finally got a little urgent feeling, not because I felt an impending disaster coming, but because SHE was so desperate about it. So I decided to trust her instincts and we started to talk about it. The book was supposed to be a beginner’s guide but somehow we just felt so confused and overwhelmed that even the simple steps were too hard for us. I told Julie we just need to do it like Dave Ramsey’s Babysteps and just focus on one little thing at a time and not think ahead to the hard stuff (i.e. wheat grinders and generators). We would get so overwhelmed by it all that we would do nothing and that got us … nowhere!


As we decided to do these babysteps, Julie’s sisters told us to write down everything we were learning so they could “copy us”. I am a web designer and had been wanting to learn more about blogs so I suggested to Julie that we track our progress on a blog. She said yes even though neither of us really knew what blogs even were at the time. Since we are both business majors we knew how to set up a website, organize information, and deliver it. We mapped out our babysteps and gradually posted about each step. We were brand new beginners but quickly found that there was a big group of other beginners that could learn from what we were doing.


One of the things we did early on was get our three month supply going. Julie gathered most of hers all at once, but I wasn’t in a position where I could do that. I talked to my husband and we decided to sacrifice our personal “fun money” from the budget to go towards food storage for a while. I now had $50 a month to work with and wanted to make every penny count. I dived into the world of couponing and fell in love with the website Deals to Meals. I was soon able to cut my regular grocery bill down and use even more money towards food storage, all while stocking up at the lowest sale prices. It was AWESOME! After just a few months I had my full three month supply and was able to start using some of that free money to buy long term staples like wheat and beans (once I learned how to use them, hehe).

Grand total of this shop was just $37.04!


At this point I was feeling pretty great and we even started to think about how we might be able to prepare for natural disasters and power loss situations because everyone knows that’s the whole reason you do food storage, right? Well life has a way of changing your plans and just as my husband started to earn his second year pay (a whopping $35,000 a year which felt amazing) … the industry tanked and he was furloughed. This basically means you can get your job back when they start hiring again but for now you are basically laid off. AAAAAH!

The whole economy was pretty slow at this time and my husband struggled to find work. As I mentioned we had about $5000 saved up and our expenses were pretty low so I knew we could survive for a little while. I started to look everywhere I could cut from our monthly expenses. I had just learned how to bake bread (yay) and was cooking a lot more things from scratch so that helped ease the grocery budget (and was fun for the kids too). Then I had a light bulb moment. I had three months of FOODS WE NORMALLY EAT in my basement. I decided to eat out of that storage and only bought a little bit of fresh produce at the store each month. We shaved about $150-$200 off of our monthly expenses and my kids didn’t even realize anything was different. It felt like a miracle to me!


My husband was able to get a job right around the three and a half month mark which was within a week or two of when our savings would have run out completely. Had I not cut that food expense out of our budget we may not have made it without going into more debt by living off of credit cards. What a blessing to my family to know that no matter what happened at least I could feed my babies!

After this experience I pondered how different a job loss would have been if I had lots of savings and no debt. Having food stored would be helpful but wouldn’t be as critical to survival. So ever since then, when we are teaching about food storage I always share my personal testimony of the fact that if you don’t feel like you can afford to buy food storage then it is even MORE critical for you to find a way to do it!


What’s Your Threat? What’s the biggest threat to you and your family? Check out some amazing blogs and how they attack their biggest threats to being more prepared and more self-reliant!

What's Your Threat? What's the biggest threat to you and your family? Check out some amazing blogs and how they attack their biggest threats to being more prepared and more self-reliant!
Push Past the Fear and Just Do It!! – Mom with a PREP
Living in Tornado Alley – The Busy B Homemaker
{Forest Fire Safety} – Mama Kautz
Why You Need Food Storage – Food Storage Moms
Break in the Supply Chain – Homestead Dreamer
Economic Downturn – Apartment Prepper
Drought! – Ever Growing Farm
Medical Emergencies at Home – Preparedness Mama
Surviving a Tornado – Survival at Home
Wildfire – Cooke’s Frontier
Rising Food Prices – Common Sense Homesteading
Economic Collapse – Timber Creek Farms
A Personal Job Loss Situation – Food Storage Made Easy
7 Tips for Keeping Your Family Together in an Emergency – Food Storage & Survival
Massive Blackout– Trailerpark Homestead
How to Overcome a Lack of Motivation to Prepare – Home Ready Home
The Unexpected – Are We Crazy, Or What?
Our Threats Are Many, But Our Worries Are None – Trayer Wilderness
Food Storage Without a Plan – My Food Storage Cookbook
Hurricanes and Nor’Easters – Backyard Pioneer
Hurricanes (What I Wish I Knew Before it Hit!) – Prepared-Housewives
A Financial Disaster – The Surival Mom
Staying Off the Radar – Geek Prepper
Everything Becomes Too Expensive – Beyond Off Grid

  • Grandma S

    We are retired and living on a fixed income. My husband is a retired professor. We lost a majority of our retirement fund in the stock market and housing crashes.) He had a part-time job teaching for several terms at a local college. We needed that income to be able to payoff some (relatively) bills. The college changed their structure and no longer needed him. Fortunately, I had been stocking up our pantry and we are eating well. Paying for the extensive snowplowing and heating bills from this last winter will be a different matter. You never know what you will need or when. He would complain when I stocked up at the store, or purchased more caning jars. When we were able avoid going to the grocery, he was much appreciative. Our garden is much larger this summer!

  • Crazy Prepping Lady

    Your story is much like my own. Thanks for sharing it.

  • Kristina

    I loved reading this! We had the same thing happen to our family just this year. My husband lost his job and we survived off of food storage and savings. It is so important to be prepared! This is something that we have always felt like we need to work on. We have five kids and I can’t fathom not being able to feed them. Thankfully my husband found a job at the four month mark just before our savings ran out. Its nice to know that others have gone through the same thing and made it out good!