Financial Preparedness Mindset

Do you have a financial preparedness mindset? This article will talk about it.

Grocery retailers are reporting a rise in prices. As a result, they are stockpiling food and supplies to protect their future profits. It’s all happening while the mainstream media (MSM) gaslights us about what is truly going on. And, in the end, it’s We the Consumer who will be left holding an expensive, empty bag of supplies. So, what are the facts, and what can we do to prepare now for a future that may leave us holding the bag?

The Stockpiling

Business Insider reports that grocery stores are stockpiling food, cleaning supplies, paper products, and other items in anticipation of increasing demand and prices. 

One chain of northeastern stores, Stew Leonard’s, is increasing its inventory by 50% and buying “ahead whenever possible” to protect profit margins. More specifically, Yahoo News! writes that “grocers are reportedly grabbing more goods now to help lock in their margins.” 

The Doublespeak of Margins

To be clear, in the business world, margins are the difference between the cost of a good or service to the retailer and how much they sell that good or service for to the consumer. In other words, margins are synonymous with profit, meaning they are the same. 

So, when grocery stores and others state they are “grabbing more goods now to help lock in their margins,” they are telling us the truth. 

The truth is, grocery stores are buying goods now at lower, pre-inflated costs. Then, later, as prices increase, they will sell those same goods at future inflated prices. In other words, the truth is, retailers are stockpiling now so that they can turn a greater profit margin later. 

This is a cartoon image representing corporate greed and the need for financial preparedness

Supply Shortages and Rising Prices

The question is, what’s providing this opportunity for retailers to stockpile goods to increase their profits? The answer is supply shortages and inflation. 

We’ve all heard about the law of supply and demand, which states that as resources become more scarce, they will increase in price. With that, as demand for goods increases, or the supply of those goods decreases, or both, the cost of those goods will increase. 

Well, that’s exactly what we’re experiencing now. Case in point, a recent Wall Street Journal article states that SpartanNash, a large grocery distributor and retailer, is reporting price increases from 100 of its suppliers. 

In the end, it’s a straining supply chain and inflation that’s providing the opportunity for retailers to increase their profit margins. 

Gaslighting, Hoarding, and Stockpiling

And to state the obvious, which the MSM seems to avoid, the margins retailers are fortifying are done so at the expense of the consumer. 

Remember, profit margins are the difference between what an item costs a retailer and what they sell it for to the consumer. In other words, we are the average Joe, and Jane Blows are the profit margin. 

However, despite all the evidence that points to retailers buying increased quantities of goods now to price gouge us later, the Baghdad Bob media chooses to gaslight us. 

For example, a recent Yahoo! News headline is, “Grocery Stores Are Stockpiling Products In an Attempt to Keep Prices Down.” Yet, in the same article, Yahoo quotes senior retail leadership as stockpiling to protect their margins. 

Which is it, keeping prices down or protecting margins? 

Adding to the gaslighting from the MSM is this blurb from the same YahooNews article:

“In 2020, toilet paper hoarding was a hot topic as worried consumers rushed to grocery stores at the start of the pandemic. But now, the grocery stores themselves are the ones reportedly doing the stockpiling as many retailers prepare themselves for price increases in the future.”

So, when consumers stockpile items they need, it’s considered hoarding, and anyone doing so is branded with a scarlet letter. However, when retailers hoard to protect profits, it’s considered “stockpiling.” 

Which is it, hoarding or stockpiling? 

How to Prepare

So, now that we know that we are experiencing supply issues and a rise in prices, what can we do to protect ourselves, our families, and loved ones? 

First, we can look to the grocery stores themselves and see what they are doing. After all, while the food industry is working to increase its margins, they are doing so because their corporate analysts understand their situational environment

That same methodology can also work for us. It can work for us by asking ourselves and honestly answering a few simple questions.

To experience financial preparedness, we need to ask ourselves "what-if?"

The Financial Preparedness “What-if” Question

In my case, with supply shortages and rising costs in mind, I start by asking myself two “what-if” questions. 

Question #1: What if the supply shortages, as the actions of large retail companies seem to indicate, worsen over time? 

Question #2: What if prices continue to escalate over time?

I use the “what-if” question to prime my mind for considering the likelihood of supply shortages and rising prices impacting my life. 

The answer to the “what-if” questions is either yes, or no. 

If I answer the possibility of the what-if happening as no, then I’m good and don’t need to worry about the situation right now.

However, if, as I am in the case of supply shortages and rising prices, answering the what-if question with a yes, I’ll move on with my “what-if” thought process. 

The Financial Preparedness “What Does it Mean” Question

Once I’ve answered yes to my initial “what-if” question, I’ll move on to the next “what does it mean” question.

Asking “what does it mean” takes a bit more thought than the simple yes or no of the “what-if” question. My “what does it mean questions” for our current iteration of financial preparedness are:

Question #1: What do supply shortages mean for me, my family, others? 

Question #2: What do rising prices mean for me over time?

Asking oneself the “what does it mean” questions usually leads to other questions. In the case of financial preparedness and our current events, some of those questions are…

  • What things do I and those around me NEED (not want) day-to-day? 
  • How will it look if I am unable to get the necessary things? 
  • What does it mean if prices continue rising while outpacing the money I have to purchase goods and services?

The Financial Preparedness “What Can I Do About It” Question

Finally, once I finish working my way through the “what does it mean” questions, I ask myself what can I do about it now and in the future with questions such as…

  • What can I do now to set myself up for future success? 
  • Without going into debt, are there things I can stockpile now to avoid the impact of higher prices and supply shortages later? 
  • Are there things that are wants as opposed to needs, which I can do without? 
  • How can I plan and prepare to stretch and supplement what I have down the road? 
  • Do I have debt that I can eliminate?

The Bottom Line of Financial Preparedness Now

We’ve all spent the last 18 months dealing with very stressful conditions and, in many ways, want to avoid worrying and preparing for future problems. 

However, now is not the time to back off. Instead, now is the time to make a concerted effort to examine the facts and prepare accordingly for the future. 

So, what are the facts? The facts are, the retail food industry is experiencing supply shortages and rising prices. As a result, grocers are hoarding food and supplies to guarantee their future profit margins. 

Next, based on the past actions of corporate America, the profit margins that the grocery industry seeks to solidify will come at the expense of the consumer. In other words, if the cost of supplies goes up 20%, those increases will come out of the wallets and savings of you and me, not the grocery stores. 

Then, with the facts in hand, prudent and preparedness-minded people should ask themselves the sometimes uncomfortable questions of “what-if,” “what does it mean,” and “what can I do about it.” 

Finally, it’s good to know that once these questions are asked and honestly answered with a minimum of bias, everyone doing the asking will be better prepared to ride out any rough times ahead. 

So with that, try not to stress about rising prices and supply shortages. Instead, know that because you’ve read this far, you’re already ahead of the game! 

You’re taking the actions to be informed. You’re also asking yourself the right questions and providing the true answers. Together that will help you to be prepared for whatever comes your way!


Lastly, are you seeing rising prices and supply shortages in your area? If so, please tell us about your experience in the comments below. Knowledge is power!


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Brian Duff

Brian's preparedness career began at sixteen and included professional roles as a lifeguard, firefighter, paramedic, Special Operations team leader with the 3rd Ranger Battalion, Diplomatic Protection Specialist, and international security director. He's managed medical clinics in Afghanistan and Uzbekistan, provided high-threat diplomatic protection in Iraq and Pakistan, advised a rebel army in Africa, oversaw U.S. embassy security in Baghdad, and directed a premiere tactical medicine training facility. Brian is an expert in Security, Crisis Management, and Preparedness Mindset and hosts the Mind4Survival podcast. He holds a bachelor's degree in Security Management and an MBA in Information Technology Management.

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  1. Dan Silverado on July 21, 2021 at 8:04 pm

    What will you do if friends, who refused to prepare seriously come to you with their children for help? I have one who keeps an extra case of bottle water a 1/2 case of store bought corn and 1/2 case of green beans, along with daily groceries.

    • Brian Duff on July 25, 2021 at 11:32 am

      Hi Dan,

      I’ll do the best I’m able at the time. I try to prepare with extra whenever possible and not be a packrat at the same time. I like your idea of having people keep extra stuff on hand with you. It’s a start and a step closer than most people to relieving future problems.

      Stay safe,

  2. Kay on July 23, 2021 at 10:03 am

    Put together a care package, say you will give some of what you have but it isn’t much – then go off as if you are putting the basket together, maybe a ziplock quart bag of beans a can of soup, some crackers in a ziplock, small bag of sugar, coffee can of tuna. Then tell them if they find anything at a fair price or any give aways or whatever, alert you and you will do the same for them.

    • Brian Duff on July 25, 2021 at 11:33 am


      That sounds like a great idea! Thanks for sharing.

      Stay safe,

  3. Daniel on August 4, 2021 at 8:41 am

    Be prepared for people calling you a hoarder, it happened to me. I answered : If I were hoarding I would take all the products on the shelves. There is plenty of peanut butter left on the shelf for you. The woman replied I don’t want P B, then stop harassing me . I had 2 1/2 grocery carts full, she yelled so loud the police and manager were called to the scene. The manager informed the woman that I shop like this every 2 weeks, I take the groceries to a food pantry, I am a retired police officer. The woman was escorted out of the store and told by my fellow officer to learn to mind her own business from now on. My fellow officers came back in and help bag and deliver the supplies for the food pantry. Preparing for the future is a show of respect and common sense for you and your family. Be safe and keep thinking ahead.

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