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Posted: 11/3/2009 6:19:18 PM EST
It is quite possible that I will be laid off next spring. The company I work for is replacing the computer system that I work on with a "lease back" arrangement on a computer system that will be located in....Australia. I figure that my job will be toast shortly after that.

I have already made the best financial arrangements that I can for this situation. I'm working a second, part-time job and banking that money. I have already paid off my credit cards and my pickup truck loan. I'm working on my pantry now. Lots of canned goods, of course. Dried legumes and rice, and I'm experimenting with my crock pot and my wok.

Any ideas that you can contribute would be most welcome.


Steve
Link Posted: 11/3/2009 6:59:41 PM EST
a big deep freeze
Link Posted: 11/3/2009 8:01:34 PM EST
Make a log of what you eat at home (and eat there more often if you go out a lot) for a month or so. Then start stocking up. You have three ways to do this.
1) Wholesale club such as Sams or costco and throw lots of money all at once. Pro's you got it you're done. Cons: Possible shelf life/rotation issues.
2)When you go to the store buy a ton of what you use that is on sale, and the minimum of what is not on sale. Pro's a less of a hit on the pocket book. Con, if the job goes early you're in trouble.
3)The arfcom classic and my preferred method. Both.

Also, dry rice and beans are great, but if you do not eat them regularly either start or look at something else.

Consider whole wheat and making your own bread.

Also, look at ways to use leftovers to expand your meals. Hamburgers tonight spaghetti tomorrow soup the day after.

Also, do not limit it to the pantry. One of the things I use to sway people to prepping (or at least to keep them from thinking I am a loon with thousands of rounds of ammo and enough food to feed a family of 12 for a month or two), is unemployment. So I explain I keep 6 - 9 months of not just food but laundry soap, hygine (soap razors tooth paste tp etc), as insurance against unemployment. If you do not need to go to the store for anything but milk and bread your 6 months unemployment is gonna go a lot farther.
Link Posted: 11/4/2009 4:24:28 AM EST
Check out the coupon clipping forums. Hang out w/ the moms there and learn how to REALLY stretch your budget.

K
Link Posted: 11/4/2009 4:40:42 AM EST
I faced (and may still face) a similar situation.

Buy a chest freezer and a vacuum sealer if you don't have one already. Watch for sales and hit up the warehouse clubs for meats. Pre-cut (and marinade) your meats and seal in meal sized portions. If you cook large meals and have a bunch of leftovers, freeze the leftovers in meal sized portions. Recycle leftover meats and vegetables into soups/stews; freeze extra portions. I would recommend watching what you store to maximize future utilization; I only store meats, olive oil, and about a dozen prepared meals in mine; if I have limited cash flow I rather have steaks on hand and have to buy a cheap bag of frozen veggies from the store than be in the opposite situation.

Stock up on all aspects of your pantry, not just the main consumables: spices, napkins, aluminum foil, oils, sugar, etc.; If you will use it before it goes bad, put it in your pantry. I would also suggest a good selection of condiments and sauces; this will allow for a variety of tastes if you don't have a variety of ingredients.

Store your open foods in airtight containers to extend their life and allow for easier stacking. Can rotators for often used canned goods make it more convenient to maintain FIFO. Freezer tape on your container make for easy labeling.

Make sure that you don't put one item infront of a different one in a way that hides what is behind it. I used to throw out quite a few things every year that I bought then forgot I had when it became hidden.

In addition to the pantry I would also stock up on other daily used consumables: TP, paper towels, laundry detergent, dish washing soap, hand soap, tooth paste, etc.

After you accomplish all of that (if you still have time); start working on your long term preps: bulk foods in Mylar; #10 cans of freeze dried foods, etc and food storage & prep tools: pressure canner, dehydrator, mill, etc.

As you are looking at a spring layoff, now is a good time to start planning for a garden also.
Link Posted: 11/4/2009 4:46:15 AM EST
Originally Posted By Number21:
I faced (and may still face) a similar situation.

Buy a chest freezer and a vacuum sealer if you don't have one already. Watch for sales and hit up the warehouse clubs for meats. Pre-cut (and marinade) your meats and seal in meal sized portions. If you cook large meals and have a bunch of leftovers, freeze the leftovers in meal sized portions. Recycle leftover meats and vegetables into soups/stews; freeze extra portions. I would recommend watching what you store to maximize future utilization; I only store meats, olive oil, and about a dozen prepared meals in mine; if I have limited cash flow I rather have steaks on hand and have to buy a cheap bag of frozen veggies from the store than be in the opposite situation.

Stock up on all aspects of your pantry, not just the main consumables: spices, napkins, aluminum foil, oils, sugar, etc.; If you will use it before it goes bad, put it in your pantry. I would also suggest a good selection of condiments and sauces; this will allow for a variety of tastes if you don't have a variety of ingredients.

Store your open foods in airtight containers to extend their life and allow for easier stacking. Can rotators for often used canned goods make it more convenient to maintain FIFO. Freezer tape on your container make for easy labeling.

Make sure that you don't put one item infront of a different one in a way that hides what is behind it. I used to throw out quite a few things every year that I bought then forgot I had when it became hidden.

In addition to the pantry I would also stock up on other daily used consumables: TP, paper towels, laundry detergent, dish washing soap, hand soap, tooth paste, etc.

After you accomplish all of that (if you still have time); start working on your long term preps: bulk foods in Mylar; #10 cans of freeze dried foods, etc and food storage & prep tools: pressure canner, dehydrator, mill, etc.

As you are looking at a spring layoff, now is a good time to start looking for the next job to start planning for a garden also.


Link Posted: 11/4/2009 4:51:25 AM EST
[Last Edit: 11/4/2009 4:53:30 AM EST by rusteerooster]
having gone thru that for the past 10 months I can shed some light on this subject.
1st off only stock what you normally eat, canned veggies, canned fruit, pasta, pasta sauces, corn meal, flour, sugar, coffee, creamer, tea bags, crackers (saltines and ritz), grits (if you eat them), canned meats (tuna, salmon, ham, roast beef and any other canned meats you like), condiments you normally use (mayo, ketchup, mustard, bbq sauce etc.).
Rice and dried beans,
Sit down make a list of your daily consumption for a week or two then hit the stores, looks for sales or go to Sams and Costco (they carry different things).
Unless you have a grain mill you can figure on having to buy milk, bread, eggs and some meat ( we only buy hamburger and what ever is on sale for cheap or we just don't have meat)
If you have space and can get the plants, plant some green veggies (collards, cabbage, onions etc.) it has really help supplement our food.
corn bread is cheap and filling (corn meal, egg, milk and oil).

If I can help you plan just IM me, I am more than happy to.

Good luck and I hope you are able to keep your job or atleast find another.

RR

ETA: don't forget TP and other hygiene items.
Link Posted: 11/4/2009 4:58:11 AM EST
If something is on sale at a good price that you use often, buy all you can afford. In the last two weeks a local grocery store had ground beef on sale for 1.49 a lb, and boneless skinless chicken breast on sale for 1.79 a lb. Both of those prices beat the hell out of anything sams club has ever had. All I bought on that grocery trip was 20lbs of hamburger and about the same of chicken. You will get strange looks when you check out but who cares. I take it home and divide the hamburger into 1/2lb blocks (that's all the fiancée and I eat at a time), and two pieces of chicken in a vac sealed bag. It all goes into the freezer and I get 40 2 person meals with hamburger, and about 26 2 person meals with chicken for less than $70
Link Posted: 11/4/2009 2:29:54 PM EST
[Last Edit: 11/4/2009 2:47:46 PM EST by FordGuy]
every post above that starts with "Buy ___" put on hold....

don't buy nothin. Stop all the outflow of money immediately. You need to take a hard look at your budget and make deep cuts in things you don't need. All these "buy, buy, buy" comments are a recipe for disaster. each purchase should be agonized over. Find a day old bread store, there's got to be one in the area. People can crack all the ramen noodles jokes they want, but the truth is there are many flavors and varieties, and they are all dirt cheap. Generic mac and cheese is great for inexpensive calories. That's just a start...

just wondering, are you able to start a garden? this time of year you'd be plowing and letting frost cycle work on the dirt.

edit: just read rusteerooster's post - lot of wisdom there, and first hand experience. Prayers with you both.
Link Posted: 11/4/2009 2:50:01 PM EST
Originally Posted By Wipeout:
If something is on sale at a good price that you use often, buy all you can afford. In the last two weeks a local grocery store had ground beef on sale for 1.49 a lb, and boneless skinless chicken breast on sale for 1.79 a lb. Both of those prices beat the hell out of anything sams club has ever had. All I bought on that grocery trip was 20lbs of hamburger and about the same of chicken. You will get strange looks when you check out but who cares. I take it home and divide the hamburger into 1/2lb blocks (that's all the fiancée and I eat at a time), and two pieces of chicken in a vac sealed bag. It all goes into the freezer and I get 40 2 person meals with hamburger, and about 26 2 person meals with chicken for less than $70



here's why you just gave horrible advice: a man who's lost his job no longer eats beef and chicken "often." It is a mistake to lose your last pocketful of liquidity to support your OLD lifestyle. Hold on to the money for now...you have to develop a new (cheap) way of living, then when things like ramen noodles go on sale, by all means load up...but chicken/beef is now a delicacy.
Link Posted: 11/4/2009 2:57:10 PM EST
[Last Edit: 11/4/2009 4:02:37 PM EST by FordGuy]
Originally Posted By paddymurphy:
Make a log of what you eat at home (and eat there more often if you go out a lot) for a month or so. Then start stocking up. You have three ways to do this.
1) Wholesale club such as Sams or costco and throw lots of money all at once. Pro's you got it you're done. Cons: Possible shelf life/rotation issues.

good advice if you expect the shelves to run dry - bad advice if you expect your wallet to go flat. What if he has surprise medical bills? You had him "throw lots of money" and now it's gone.
2)When you go to the store buy a ton of what you use that is on sale, and the minimum of what is not on sale. Pro's a less of a hit on the pocket book. Con, if the job goes early you're in trouble.
3)The arfcom classic and my preferred method. Both.

Also, dry rice and beans are great, but if you do not eat them regularly either start or look at something else.

Consider whole wheat and making your own bread.

are you also implying he should drop a few benjamins on a grain mill? Buy a bread machine? discount/day old bread store is a much better and cheaper option.

Also, look at ways to use leftovers to expand your meals. Hamburgers tonight spaghetti tomorrow soup the day after.
Also, do not limit it to the pantry. One of the things I use to sway people to prepping (or at least to keep them from thinking I am a loon with thousands of rounds of ammo and enough food to feed a family of 12 for a month or two), is unemployment. So I explain I keep 6 - 9 months of not just food but laundry soap, hygine (soap razors tooth paste tp etc), as insurance against unemployment. If you do not need to go to the store for anything but milk and bread your 6 months unemployment is gonna go a lot farther.



"spend money now" is a form of self medication that makes us feel good, like you "did something" but all you did was make your situation more precarious. You have to accept things are not in your control for a while, so control what you can. You can till the garden. You can cut your budget. Focus on measures you can take OTHER than "spend money."

I'd say you should be on a mission to collect information on living the old fashioned way. We have to get out of this mindset of buying cheap injection molded plastic crap witha faulty blinking light from china that breaks the first day you use it so you throw it away.
Link Posted: 11/4/2009 3:11:46 PM EST
Originally Posted By stevem1a:
I'm experimenting with my crock pot and my wok.


Question based on this comment - do you normally cook food from scratch, or are you more used to purchasing prepared / processed foods, and heating them up? I ask because one thing you can do now is practice preparing foods from scratch, especially baking and roasting during the winter months, if you don't know how to already. You'll eat better quality, less expensive food, and you'll save money as well.
Link Posted: 11/4/2009 5:42:37 PM EST
Originally Posted By FordGuy:
every post above that starts with "Buy ___" put on hold....

don't buy nothin. Stop all the outflow of money immediately. You need to take a hard look at your budget and make deep cuts in things you don't need. All these "buy, buy, buy" comments are a recipe for disaster. each purchase should be agonized over. Find a day old bread store, there's got to be one in the area. People can crack all the ramen noodles jokes they want, but the truth is there are many flavors and varieties, and they are all dirt cheap. Generic mac and cheese is great for inexpensive calories. That's just a start...

just wondering, are you able to start a garden? this time of year you'd be plowing and letting frost cycle work on the dirt.

edit: just read rusteerooster's post - lot of wisdom there, and first hand experience. Prayers with you both.


The OP is anticipating a possible job loss in the spring (approximately 5 months from now), has eliminated CC debt, got rid of one car payment and is saving cash with a second job. If they don't have a decent cash reserve on top of that you may have a point, but they already mentioned banking money from a second job so that does not sound like the case.

If they do have a reserve, how long should the OP live a Spartan lifestyle in fear that something *may* be coming? When will it be safe to stock up and buy preps? After SHTF? The economy is going to be shaky for years. Going in full lock down mode for a long period of time as a "just in case" measure while spending that time agonizing over every purchase is a little extreme. There is too much out of everyone's control to go to that level under the current conditions. Moderation is the key.
Link Posted: 11/4/2009 6:28:31 PM EST
Originally Posted By Bubbles:
Originally Posted By stevem1a:
I'm experimenting with my crock pot and my wok.


Question based on this comment - do you normally cook food from scratch, or are you more used to purchasing prepared / processed foods, and heating them up? I ask because one thing you can do now is practice preparing foods from scratch, especially baking and roasting during the winter months, if you don't know how to already. You'll eat better quality, less expensive food, and you'll save money as well.



I both cook and eat out. I'm not a bad cook, but I sometimes need variety beyond my usual menu choices. I will probably not be able to afford to eat out when layoff occurs. Also, I try to low carb, and it is expensive to eat meat every day. This will have to change, and it will probably mean that I will gain weight. Not looking forward to going back to eating carbs, but they are the cheapest food by far. Being broke means losing some choices.

I already bulk buy, when possible, from both Costco and WinCo. I have no experience with baking, but I will have plenty of time to learn, and I will probably start with "Baking for Dummies" or some other starter book. I have a freezer, and I am filling it whenever I see a good sale. I am concentrating on canned foods, since they will last longer in storage than frozen foods and are immune to a power failure.

Can't have a garden, sorry. I rent, and the landlord has already said no. My rent deal is good enough that moving will end up costing me money, unless he hits me with a rent increase.

Since I am in the Democratic Peoples Republic of Kalifornia, my unemployment benefits will last for (currently) 79 weeks. In addition, since my second job is part-time, I can keep it and recieve unemployment payments (I checked on this, it is true), provided I tell the Unemployment Office how much I am paid and they deduct it from my check. This will stretch my time limit on unemployment, making my benefits last longer. I may also qualify for a severance package from my primary job on layoff, so my situation is not desperate. I am just trying to get ahead of the curve.

I would like to thank everyone that has posted in this thread, please keep the ideas coming!


Steve

Link Posted: 11/4/2009 7:35:19 PM EST
Originally Posted By FordGuy:
every post above that starts with "Buy ___" put on hold....

don't buy nothin. Stop all the outflow of money immediately. You need to take a hard look at your budget and make deep cuts in things you don't need. All these "buy, buy, buy" comments are a recipe for disaster. each purchase should be agonized over. Find a day old bread store, there's got to be one in the area. People can crack all the ramen noodles jokes they want, but the truth is there are many flavors and varieties, and they are all dirt cheap. Generic mac and cheese is great for inexpensive calories. That's just a start...

just wondering, are you able to start a garden? this time of year you'd be plowing and letting frost cycle work on the dirt.

edit: just read rusteerooster's post - lot of wisdom there, and first hand experience. Prayers with you both.


Sorry, no garden. The landlord said no. I live in a fourplex rental, basically in his (very, very big) back yard.

I am already in the process of scaling back expenses. I just went throught the Total Money Makeover, all credit cards paid off, pickup truck loan paid off (finally) last month, savings piling up in two different savings accounts. I had to work three different part time jobs in the last 2 and a half years to be this far ahead, and I still have the last part time job piling up savings.

Cable TV––back to basic for now, I will turn it off the day I am laid off.

Electric bill––I don't have one, it is bundled into my monthly rent, along with gas, water, sewage, and garbage pickup. This makes my rental one of the better deals in the area.

Telephone––I only have a cell phone, on a cheap monthly plan. I can't cancel it, as the number has been given out the the people I deal with on my part time job, and is on my business cards.

Internet access––I also need this for my part time job, and my home is not wired with a land telephone line, so no 56K modem. Any money saving ideas about this would be very helpful.

My truck has just 70,000 miles on it, if I keep up the maintenence it should last for a long time. I am planning to scale back the full coverage insurance policy my credit union demanded to something more reasonable.

Any money saving ideas in general would also be greatly appreciated.


Steve
Link Posted: 11/4/2009 10:32:55 PM EST
Yes, legumes are the most cost effective way to go, but we'd go crazy if we didn't get some meat once in a while.

You can get chicken thighs for less than $1 a pound when they're on sale, whole chickens on sale for 79 cents/pound. They freeze well and a $3.50 chicken goes a long way. Save the bones for making stock. Homemade stock beats the store bought stuff when properly done and makes rice and ramen noodles much tastier.
Link Posted: 11/4/2009 10:41:57 PM EST

Originally Posted By Number21:
I faced (and may still face) a similar situation.

Buy a chest freezer and a vacuum sealer if you don't have one already. Watch for sales and hit up the warehouse clubs for meats. Pre-cut (and marinade) your meats and seal in meal sized portions. If you cook large meals and have a bunch of leftovers, freeze the leftovers in meal sized portions. Recycle leftover meats and vegetables into soups/stews; freeze extra portions. I would recommend watching what you store to maximize future utilization; I only store meats, olive oil, and about a dozen prepared meals in mine; if I have limited cash flow I rather have steaks on hand and have to buy a cheap bag of frozen veggies from the store than be in the opposite situation.

<snip>


I do this. Matter of fact, I just bought a whole pork loin from Sam's Club for $15. Cut the end roasts off and used the center cut to slice chops from. Ended up with 2 good size roasts, and 4 packages of 4 chops. I took one of the roasts and smoked it. Ate it straight up as a meal. Next day, turned those left overs into pulled pork for lunch. So that is four meals from the roasts, and 4 meals with the chops, all on $15. Throw in a couple cans of beans and what not as sides, and I think it averaged out to something like $2-3 a meal for two people.
Link Posted: 11/4/2009 10:45:03 PM EST
Learning to cook from scratch in general, if you are not so great at it, will save tons of money. Add in the ability to use left overs for another meal and you really can get the cost of a meal way down. So you get a cheap meal that is magnitudes better than any of the frozen garbage you can buy at the grocery store.
Link Posted: 11/5/2009 4:09:25 AM EST
Originally Posted By stevem1a:
Sorry, no garden. The landlord said no. I live in a fourplex rental, basically in his (very, very big) back yard.


Many vegetable plants do nicely when grown in five-gallon buckets. If you need to keep the plants fairly small, look into "dwarf" varieties.
Link Posted: 11/5/2009 8:41:54 AM EST
Went thru this about 3 years ago.
Knew it was coming, was in good shape but wanted to cut my expenses when I had no job to nothing.

it's not food that kills you, it's the other BS.

so, get your year's supply of and then you don't have to buy anything for a year, cutting you cash expenditure when you have no job to basically zero (less all the BS that breaks when you can least afford it) but then you get a new job and start up.

TP
Kleenex
trash bags
paper towels
vitamins (any regular drug you need, stock up now)
get anything done that requires health insurance. eyes, teeth, physical, etc, etc, etc. abuse the hell out of it.
toothpaste
toothbrushes
stamps (laugh, but bills keep coming and have to be paid, knocking back $44 when you don't have a job sucks)
deodorant
asprin/motrin/etc (generic of course)
lightbulbs

etc

You get the idea.
We spent darn little money for the next year while our business got off the ground, only those continuing payments that you can't do much about. Better to buy it now, it all stores for years, then you don't have to burn cash when you don't have it.
also, clearly, buy in bulk and buy on sale.

HTH
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