How To Prepare For A Depression

Everyone is talking about preparing for a recession like we are not already in the heart of one. Instead, we should be talking about preparing for a depression. A depression typically happens after a long recession.

That means in general we have time to prepare for things to get worse but how long is truly questionable. That said preparing for a depression in the middle of a recession is not an easy task but it is well worth the effort.

Keep in mind that even if we do not go into a depression preparing now will only make your life easier later as the recession rolls on and gets deeper. In the end, these tips are useful no matter what lies ahead of us and this is my PERSONAL plan I am using to help provide for our family of 10 when things get worse.

Prepare for food shortages

While we are already seeing food shortages the situation is only going to get worse. This means we need to be ready to provide for much of our family’s food ourselves whether that be from food we preserved now when we are able to find some deals or food we are growing ourselves in the garden.

As the prices of food goes up stocking will get harder and harder so making the effort now to help prepare will only save us more in the long run over trying to stock food when the prices and stock only get worse by the day.

To help us provide the best possible deals for our family we take the time to shop sales, use coupons, and find deals using my sister’s employee discount at Kroger. We visit multiple stores including Walmart, SamsClub, and Aldi to get the best deals possible.

Stockpiling pantry goods

Stocking your pantry is great because most of the time pantry items are good for months after the best-by date on the package. T

his means you can build a stockpile now of coupon and clearance deals to help you save money later on. The other night my sister and I went to Kroger and noticed that new seasonal closeouts were up. S

o we went on a scavenger hunt to see what deals we could find around the store to add to our family stockpile.

Take the time to look for sales and deals to build up your pantry stockpile to help your family thrive. If you run out of pantry space you can store pantry goods in large storage totes in a cool place such as your basement to help make it easier to store the things you need.

Buying food in bulk is a great way to build your stockpile on a budget and make it easier to save money every day. These is where we like to hit Sam’s Club when they have good instant savings deals.

Grow your own food

Now that we have settled into the family home where there is much more room or both a gardening and a large pantry that can be stocked with thousands of jars of home canned and dehydrated food we are getting the large yard ready for a rather large garden.

It is amazing how much food we can fit into a large garden plant while still leaving enough room between beds to get around and work.

When planning our garden we spent time as a family discussing what we should grow and how we can preserve the harvest for use well into the winter.

Fruits and vegetables are not the only things we are growing ourselves. We have confirmed that new ordinances do allow us to raise chickens here in the city so we are super excited to bring chickens back so we can help to lower the massive costs as the price of eggs are skyrocketing.

Learning to cook more frugally

If you haven’t taken the time to really look for cheaper ways to cook then now is a great time to get started before it becomes vital for survival. Learn ways to make cuts to your favorite recipes like reducing the amount of meat you are using or bulking it up with extra vegetables.

Try adding more frugal foods to your family’s diet like adding in more pasta dishes to your menu in place of more expensive meat and potato dishes.

Preserve food for your family

Preserving and storing food for your family makes it easier to keep a large stock of food on hand and to prevent food waste. If you are growing your own food you can preserve that food to make it last for years until you need it.

Fill the freezer

The cost of meat is expected to keep going up so shopping for sales and buying clearance meat at the grocery store is one of the best things you can do to fight this. We have a deep freezer and a large freezer on the bottom refrigerator and a small refrigerator with a freezer that we use to stockpile as many meats on sale as we can get.

We freeze things like:

Be sure to follow these tips to prevent freezer burn to help ensure that your food doesn’t go to waste.

Canning food

Canning and preserving food at home is a great way to help prepare your family for a depression. Not only does this allow you to preserve food now before the cost of food goes up it allows you to reduce food waste in your home by preserving the food before it can go bad.

To help feed my family on a budget I have been caning for years. As the apples drop in price next month when the harvest starts I plan on making enough applesauce to last us for months.

Dehydrating food

If you want to store more food for a longer period of time a great option is to dehydrate the food. Dehydrating is how I store a lot of extras that tend to get a weird texture when canned or frozen and things that take up a lot of space when we get it in bulk. My husband loves when I store dehydrated mushrooms.

Prepare your finances

Before the recession even has a chance to become a depression you need to start to prepare your finances. I know for many this is hard right now even more so knowing that you need to build your stockpile to feed your family but you should make this a priority for preparing.

Pay down debt

Paying down your debt is a great way to help reduce the payments you need to make when the economy is in a worse place later on.

I suggest paying down revolving debt like revolving personal loans and credit cards before putting extra money into other debts because these will be available should you fall into hard times. The key to this is to put them up and refuse to use them unless it is an emergency.

Boost your credit

Your credit is vital to getting help should you need it in the future. Despite the rising interest rates having good credit that lets you take advantage of these things is worth the time and money you are investing into repairing and building your credit.

Spend this time before a depression building so that you may likely have some fallback options when things turn really bad.

Build a savings

Building a savings is a great way to make it easier to weather challenges like a job loss that are so common in a depression. While it may seem nearly impossible you ideally want at least 6 months of your living expenses in your savings.

At this point just getting as much as you can build up is the priority. Check out these tips to build a savings account when you don’t have a lot of money.

Find ways to increase your income

Finding ways to make more money now can help build your stocks and savings while helping to diversify your income to better weather the storms read of us.

Having more streams of income means that if one or more is highly affected such as losing a job or a service you offer becoming obsolete you will still have other forms of income to help provide for your family.

Different streams of income can include things like:

  • Delivery services
  • A 2nd part-time job
  • Content creation (write a book, start a youtube, build a blog)
  • Sell a service using your skills (landscaping, photography, cooking kills)

Consider if what you are offering would be considered an essential service. We all see in 2020 which jobs kept going and who would be out on their rear ends when things get bad.

Even if you have an amazing job if you are in danger of losing that job in an economic downturn you should consider starting a side hustle that will withstand issues. 


Investing in these times can be scary. I am not suggesting that you put your money into the stock market that could crash at any time.

Instead, invest in things that will hold their value like land or precious metals. Invest in starting your own business or to a business with someone you trust.

Set your home up for success

During a depression the economy doesn’t make it easy to go out and do things. The cost of food is higher than many can afford and find food can even be a challenge.

Set up your home life to help make it easier to service anything that comes your way. Take a look at your home and look for ways you can make it more comfortable and more self-sustainable.

This can include things like:

  • Making home repairs now
  • Adding a garden
  • Setting up for home entertainment
  • Setting up for home education of children
  • Setting up a home office to work
  • Winterize to reduce utility costs

Build your skillset

If things do go bad having a skill set that allows you to have skills that you need to make life easier when you can no longer simply have things done for you. Knowing how to do everyday things like changing your own oil can be a great way to save money.

At the same time learning skills that can be used for bartering like sewing and gardening can be a great asset in a depression. Being able to trade some of your skills for the skills of others can be a great way to help make surviving a depression easier. Remember our ancestors had to get creative and work together to survive the great depression and this will not be any different.

Everything you do now to prepare before things get worse will put you are your family in a better place. Not only will we be better off in a depression like we have never seen before but if we get lucky and we do not see a depression then we can enjoy a much easier life for a while later. 

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