Last night, I thought I’d drop by the grocery store for a minute, just to grab some olives and a few artichokes.
Little did I know what lay ahead.
As I walked into the store, I saw a man pumping his hand in the air, in a signal of victory, as he cradled a small object in his palm. “Avocado!!” he yelled.
That should’ve been my first clue.
This wouldn’t be an ordinary visit.
Have you ever seen one of those aliens-attack-and-blow-the-planet-to-smithereens movies? Do you know the grey, gloomy scene in which the survivors wander, stunned, through the charred remnants of their once-bustling metropolis?
This was roughly the scene two blocks from my house, at Trader Joes’ grocery store, on Monday night.
Earlier that day, weather forecasters predicted that one inch of snowfall might reach Atlanta within the next 48 hours.
In Atlanta, this is the equivalent of NASA confirming the Zombie Apocalypse.
The governor declared a State of Emergency in 88 counties. The ABC-affiliated news station’s Chief Meteorologist warned Atlantans to prepare for “massive power outages.” And the governor mobilized the National Guard.
Meanwhile, at the grocery store –
Shoppers were in a panic. Nearly every item had vaporized from the shelves.
But don’t just read my description. A picture is worth a thousand words. And so, for your viewing pleasure, here are 12,000 words.
And since this is a finance website, I’ve added some commentary below about the key skill you need to survive Snowpocalypse 2014 (or any other calamity).
(Hint: It’s not orange soda.)
(Click “Display Images” in your email system if you can’t see these photos)
Here, we see empty bread shelves. That’s a reasonable purchase. Bread is the most basic element of survival.
Next, people raided every type of tomato — heirloom, cherry, grape. I understand. You’ll need Vitamin C to carry you through the brutal winter.
I feel sorry for the lone tomato that nobody wanted. If life was a musical, I can imagine it bursting into a ballad of lament and heartache, as the violins swoon …
Both fresh and frozen vegetables ran their course. Goodbye, French green beans. My casserole dreams have been dashed.
They yanked the spinach tortellini from the shelves. Nobody wants to relive the Blizzard of 1878, when they lost access to spinach tortellini for 48 hours.
Okay, now we’re getting a little loopy. Garlic hummus? People raided the garlic hummus?
Don’t forget the dried cranberries.
Of course, they need something to drink. Obviously, they took the beer.
Like, ALL the beer. (Except the Guinness.)
Who can survive without strategic orange soda reserves?
And the latecomers got left with plain bottled water. (Heaven forbid they’re forced to drink that liquid that comes from the tap.)
You can’t forget Fido. Time to stockpile the dog food reserves.
By the way —
Here’s our 5-day weather forecast.
Dude, our overnight lows are going to dip below freezing. Yeah, you’d be stockpiling, too. (#sarcasm)
The Finance Lesson Buried Under an Inch of Madness
Longtime Afford Anything readers know that I’m not a “frugality person.”
Time is your most valuable possession. And your power to earn money – lots of it — exceeds the usefulness of pinching pennies.
The Abundance Mindset trumps the Scarcity Mentality.
And yet –
Frugality and Abundance share one trait in common: Resourcefulness.
- Shaving $15 per month from your electric bill
- Earning an extra $20,000 in your spare time
- Self-learning through books and blogs, so you can develop wealth-building skills
- Investing half your income in stocks and real estate
And when the skies open up, and Snowmageddon rains down, Resourcefulness is:
- “Shopping your pantry,” creating meals out of those long-lost bottles of enchilada sauce that have been living in the shadows of your kitchen.
- “Shopping your closet” when the snowstorm hits, creating “mittens” by wearing socks on your hands.
- “Shopping your garage,” using a clean trashbag as an impromptu rain jacket. Or using an ironing board as a makeshift sled.
In short: It’s maximizing what you have. The frugal people apply this skill towards saving money; the hustlers apply it towards creating investments. But the underlying principle remains the same.
Resourcefulness is NOT panic-purchasing everything you see at the store.
“Coconut water! How will I survive the Snowpocalypse without coconut water?!”
“And orange soda! When terror strikes, there’s always orange soda!”
The Resourceful Rebel:
- Plays it cool (no pun intended). When the storm hits, your natural creativity can carry you through.
- Never faces the problem that there’s “nothing to wear.” You might have to layer six sweaters under the only light jacket you own, but you’ll find a way to keep your vital organs pumping.
- Never faces the problem that there’s “nothing to eat.”** There might be a hodgepodge of strange ingredients in the back of your freezer, but you’re creative. You’ll concoct something clever.
**(Assuming you live in the First World and you’re privileged enough to have the Internet access that allows you to read this website).
The majority of people are broke, stuck, and uncreative. Resourcefulness is a piece of the rebellion.
Update 2/12/14: They’re now predicting 3 inches. Follow my images of Snowpocalypse 2014 on Instagram.
Second Update: Nope — only one inch. Confirmed, one inch of snow. Yep.