I am a prepper, although I hate this term immensely and I really feel there should be a cooler name for it. What is a prepper you ask? A prepper is a person that believes in personal preparedness. Most preppers are prepping for "something", maybe a TEOTWAWKI (the end of the world as we know it) disaster, or something closer to a seasonal calamity. While I am not convinced that a SHTF scenario will happen I prep as a way of life for different reasons.

stocked pantryI am lazy. Yep you heard it here first folks! I absolutely hate to add one more thing to my to do list. I prep because it allows me to go to the grocery store only once a month. I have six children and the thought of having to get all eight of us ready and out of the house more than once a month for shopping literally gives me nightmares. It's not that my children misbehave, a trip like that can really wear a person out. We go to the store and literally look like we are buying the place out. It isn't uncommon for us to buy several carts worth of food at one time. We bring it home, rotate the old stuff to the front put the new items in the back and resume business as usual.

fluI can't think of anything worse than needing to go to the store in the middle of a small crisis. Whether we are talking about food items or medication in a family this large it just makes sense to have general things on hand. I always have over the counter pain, anti-nausea, and anti diarrhea medication. I also stock on products like Neosporin, Bandaids, hydro cortisone cream, Benadryl and various medicines for flu, and colds. Some of these things just make common sense because quite frankly once you are in a position to need them you aren't going to feel like getting dressed to go out.

Sometimes in my part of the country freak storms will keep you from going anywhere. Depending on the season it isn't uncommon for us to experience severe flooding, or ice and snow so thick you cant get the car out. The last thing I want to do in the middle of a snow storm is try to dig the car out and drive in dangerous conditions for something that I can have at home tucked away in the freezer or medicine cabinet.

snowstormI have a clear idea of the cycles our family goes through. Like many other families there are certain times of the year we spend more money. I know that in August we will spend money on school supplies, and in November and December we will be spending more for the holidays. During the spring months we don't spend near as much money and so I stock on things I know we will need in the latter months. Quite often I will buy school supplies as early as May in the previous school year, and Christmas presents are normally bought before October. Buying in these patterns I stay within our budget and alleviate some of the extra holiday stress.

I stock up because I can't think of a better form of insurance. I have experienced many times in my life situations that would have been better financially had I only had the foresight to know that a job was going to be lost, or a major repair on the car was coming up. It is life's unexpected things that can sometimes cost the most money. I can not change what will happen, but I can make sure that through whatever it may be I will not have to worry about food being on the table, or running out of toilet paper, or much of the other things we need.

medecinecabinetI prepare for the freedom that comes with it. If my husband want's to have a football party, I already have most of what he will need in the house. I don't have to rush to get it all from the store and then come home and throw things together. If the kids have a project that they need done, again I have the supplies. There is a freedom in being prepared for the small things and I estimate in a family this large I save a lot of time every month that would have been spent on going to the store for "only one thing." You know the trips I am talking about. You rush out of your home, maybe you forgot your list, or had so much on your mind you forgot the one item you came out for. An hour is spent wandering aimlessly up and down the aisles with hope that if you see "it" you will remember. Finally you leave the store with at-least six items and quite possibly not the item you originally came for.

In the last year my stocks have served us well. My hard work, and all the crazy looks I received were well worth the effort. The economic collapse was the end of the world as many people knew it. Companies closed, people lost their savings, 401k, their cars and in some cases their homes. Prepping kept my family as well as extended family safe from many of these effects. I took comfort in knowing that I could help others without putting my immediate family in a financial bind.

The best advice that I can give anyone who is new to prepping is: 'Buy what you use and use what you buy.' You can never go wrong if you follow this principal. I may never experience a disaster, if I don't it doesn't matter much as I only have stocked things that we will use. If we do have a personal catastrophe such as a job loss, or natural disaster I can take comfort in knowing there are a few less things to worry about.