I was over visiting Riverwalker and he had a good post on beverages, which coincided nicely with a post I stuck up the other day on coffee.
But it got me to thinking about the strategy of food storage (which IMHO is the single most important part of your prepping plans). You will need to nursemaid stuff along, trying to take out of your supplies in a rational manner and replace them whenever possible. Sounds easy.
But you also have to think about the difference between the three terms in the title as we may well be seeing any or all of them in the near future.
The Good Old Days
Lots of stuff about, prices are low, obesity is a problem. Life is just dandy thank you very much.
This is when the core of your preps should be set up. Seven fat cows are a fine time.
This is the most normal of the three. In a way, we are seeing it now, the companies out there are cutting down on size of packages, raising prices, pulling all the little "marketing" (read here: Lying) tricks that they have gotten so skilled at in the past. The stuff is all there, but there is less of it or it costs more.
All this point really takes is the ability to accept a thinner wallet at the end of the pay period. It sucks, but overall you can live with it. Keep preppin' hard. Don't concern yourselves with dross like more guns and ammo, you will never have enough, and you sure as hell can't eat a gun safe full of guns. Your money should be going to food and stuff that will get you through the dark.
This is moving further down the slope. The portions are still smaller, but they probably cost more. They also aren't always around. Stores will be out of the stuff and you may well have to go looking for stuff. This is where you will start dipping into preps to get you through until the stuff comes back. If this starts to occur, prepping will become quite a popular sport among the lumpen.
At this point you had better start polishing up your adaptability skills. Your wallet is going to be really thin at this point and should this occur, you might want to start using up savings to increase your supplies. Start watching burn rates here. Also start watching portion size and waste in a serious way. Learn to live cheap and squeeze everything you can out of what you have and make sure everyone starts getting to fighting trim
Stuff ain't there. There might be stuff around, but it ain't the stuff you wanted. At this point you had better lower your standards and get whatever is available. You will be having a very varied diet at this point and you had better seriously hope your garden is doing well this year. Your preps will be disappearing at a way-too-rapid clip and you will become concerned if there will be enough to get you through.
At this point you will start losing weight in a serious way. Make sure it doesn't leave too quickly, that will weaken you. At this point you will have to make sure that you are healthy but losing weight along with everyone else. Make sure you use your preps in a manner that keeps you healthy but skinny. the last thing you want to be is looking sleek and well fed in a world of absence.