Got a Spouse that Doesn’t Want to Prepare?

Written by The Ready Store

Woman in kitchenAt The Ready Store we field a wide variety of questions and one that has seemed to pop up more and more lately as preparedness enters into the minds or more and more people is: How do I prepare when my spouse thinks it isn’t worthwhile?

While everyone’s situation is unique and there is no one answer for this question here is what we have seen work to get everyone on board with emergency preparedness.

1. Count up all of the insurance fees you currently pay as a family (auto, home, renters, health, property, life, pet, recreational vehicle, and so on) for a year’s duration. Show the spouse the number and ask them if any of these forms of insurance will give your family life-sustaining nourishment, warmth, and shelter if a job loss or disaster were to occur.

2. Talk about inflation and the shelf life of these long term food products. Most long term food products last 10-30 years, even if you don’t use them in the next 3 decades, when you finally open them up to consume the product you will almost surely be saving money at that time of use.

For example a McDonald’s Hamburger has increased almost 60% in the last 30 years, a gallon of milk was about $1.50 30 years ago and now it runs as much as $4.00 a gallon in certain parts of the country. Kellog’s Corn Flakes were 99 cents for 19 ounces of cereal in 1980 but now it is well north of $3.00 for only 12 ounces. If you need some ammo check out this site to look up different product costs increasing over time and this tool can be useful when the Bureau of Labor Statistics‘ site is working (wasn’t at the time of writing this).

3. Explain how a lot of these items can be used for multiple purposes. For example, the Volcano Stove I bought the other day was made possible by my various angles I used on my wife like: “Honey we can use it for roasting marshmallows with the kids in the backyard… we can take it camping and I can use it tailgating when football season comes this Fall… and of course if we ever need it for a disaster it will be there for us too.” If they scoff at the idea of preparing for disasters don’t mention that it can solve that need or just bring it up last in a trailing off volume after you have already energetically highlighted the reasons that they would like :)

There are other avenues we have heard over the years that we wouldn’t endorse publicly (we don’t want to responsible for breaking up a relationship!) but we have heard others do some somewhat questionable means like threatening a spouse that they will buy something exorbitant or purposely avoid paying the gas, electricity, and water bills and see how they liked roughing it when they are cut. One customer told us how she went around her husband and just bought a food supply because “it’s easier to ask for forgiveness than it is to get permission.”

Again, everyone’s situation is going to be different so there is no one way to go about helping someone understand the importance of emergency preparedness. If you find yourself in a situation where your spouse does not want to prepare for the unknown think long and hard about the best way to help your spouse see the great blessing it is to be prepared for whatever the future throws at you.

Of course this is a blog and we want you to hear what your thoughts are, maybe what you have done with this situation personally. So like always leave a comment below!

Updated May 13, 2011


  1. James Epperly wrote:

    This is such a common issue, I’m surprised people don’t bring it up more often. So often there is the stigma of being “Survivalists” and I think people avoid even bringing it up to their spouses because of that. Like you say, there is no one solution, but using facts and keeping things easy to understand and making a tangible connection to the benefits will surely help.

    May 14th, 2011 at 6:36 am
  2. David Binkowski wrote:

    Also, when bringing up the issue of preparedness to a spouse or significant other be sure to omit any mention of zombies or the New World Order…

    Don’t ask me how I know.

    May 15th, 2011 at 9:24 pm
  3. Angela Hamon wrote:

    Hi, I was just asking your chat for help on this and my daughter Margaret finally saw the light. Her suggestion: show spouse a pallet of whatever they are personally interested in, electronics, shoes, etc. . . and then say “Well honey you’re right, we shouldn’t buy all those shoesyou don’t need, it’s not like we could sell the extra. ” Then when you get the green light, start stocking and rotating regularly. You just need one gateway purchase!

    May 15th, 2011 at 11:19 pm
  4. Mike Merrill wrote:

    Great article- and a common issue when spending discussions come up. I pointed out to my wife that we’ve paid for homeowners insurance and flood insurance for years. Even though we’ve never filed a claim, the 1% of the time you need it and don’t have it, you’re in big trouble.

    For those doubters who disparage the ‘survivalist’ mentality, I point out that I had an earthquake kit for years when I lived in California. I was the for the ‘big one’ in 1989. I was also in NYC on business during the blackout. Now I live in Florida, and I’m amazed at the number of people who don’t prepare even when hurricanes are heading their way. When Hurricane Charley hit, half of Orlando had no power for more than a month. Jacksonville was on the back end of the storm, and thousands of homeowners had no power or water for weeks. History has shown that we can’t rely on the government to take care of us. Being prepared is very cheap insurance.

    May 15th, 2011 at 11:43 pm
  5. Matt wrote:

    I used two strategies:

    1. Just make several smaller purchases.

    2. Lay a foundation. Each month I would just discuss the news with my wife showing how the world is at risk of major problems. I did not try to convince my wife of anything.

    It was the monthly news updates that eventually turned my wife completely around. We recently moved out of the US to Switzerland.

    May 16th, 2011 at 12:03 am
  6. glenn wrote:

    One of the key factors that cannot be ignored is normalcy bias. Many people just cannot face the fact that the “unthinkable” can happen.

    Look at what people did during Katrina – they knew the levees were not going to hold – yet they stayed.

    Look at the videos from Japan recently they see the wall of water coming and yet they continue walking.

    People will rush to prepare when it is too late and important things just won’t be available.

    May 16th, 2011 at 12:18 am
  7. Sgt Charlie & Mrs Kelley Pruett wrote:

    I am such a lucky man! My wife allows me to be the head-of-the-house and so when I pointed out to her that we should start stocking up, she took the evidence that I gave her, and agreed that it would be a good idea. No she’s taken Prepping and run with it! Being in Afghanistan, all I can do it purchase stuff online and have it shipped home, but I also purchased a pressure cooker and treadle sewing machine (foot powered, non-electric) and she has been sewing and canning up a storm. Her latest “favorite toy” is our new Solar Oven! She makes dinner in it, any day that the sun is shining! It’s saving up money on electricity and she’s having a great time! We’re getting rain barrels next, even though we don’t pay for water on post, and she’s anticipating the next power outage, so she can try out our 7Kw diesel generator!
    I guess not everyone can be as luck as me!
    Thanks to the Ready Store, we recently received out 3 month supply of MRE’s (which is only about 2 because there are 6 in our family, not 4), but the price has already gone up 30% from when we bought them, so there’s a huge savings in and of itself!
    Happy Prepping and God Bless!
    The Pruett’s!

    May 16th, 2011 at 12:26 am
  8. nan g wrote:

    @ Sgt Charlie, that is great but what if your husband is the head and you have always believed he should be But he does not think we need to put food back?
    I like the suggestions that Ready Store gave! God showed me several yrs ago to Prepare and my husband would not agree but he finally came around after I had made sure my son’s family was well stocked …he had lost a great job and out of work for almost 2 yrs..The one thing that convinced my husband was I let him go to the Grocery Store and see how prices were rising from month to month..
    I do believe if one person wants to prepare and the other does not….then for the sake of your family, buy a little each week…and purchase some LONG TERM freeze dried, you can store under can even make beds higher for storage..
    God Bless and protect us all!

    May 16th, 2011 at 2:25 am
  9. Rebecca wrote:

    I know I am recently married, so I don’t have all the experience you folks do, (about 6 weeks married now). But I thought that many issues in a marriage are a compromise. If he wants to do something that I am not interested in, and it is important to him, we find a way to do it, because marriage is about give and take, you find a way so that they can do it. You don’t tell them no… (they have their agency after all!) I think that those couples where one spouse is totally against it, well, they should go to counseling first!! See where their marriage is wrong, and learn to support each other in their endeavors. My two cents spoken from a newlywed.

    May 16th, 2011 at 3:57 am
  10. kelli wrote:

    I guess after talking with some other people, I have it pretty good. My husband doesn’t agree, but he doesn’t fight me on it either. I have my own money, not alot, but some, and he doesn’t care what I do with it. I don’t have to pay household bills, so I use it to get ready. He is listening but not participating, yet. Maybe one day he will. I just keep doing what I can do and talking. One day he will see and be glad I did.

    May 16th, 2011 at 4:15 am
  11. joanne wrote:

    my kids think i am crazy but not quite. i stock foods, fuel,and supplies for emergency. I am doing enough for them and their families too. worse comes to worse we will all be together .(my house is BIG) this way they don’t have to spend money they don’t have or argue with spouses. And i am making good use of my funds. rather than let the bank have it at low interest rate that is less than cost of living rise.It is already paying off, meat has gone up so much since i filled my freezers we are eating cheap! I am still working on building supplies of different types,tires oil ammo generator and am having so much FUN .

    May 16th, 2011 at 5:25 am
  12. razr wrote:

    I have a sort of adopted son….he see’s no harm in my stocking up…..His wife however,,,,,just told me ” I don’t buy into that” However here in Montana we always stock up for the winter…..I broke my leg in 3 places this year….my friends wife, on here visit….did my stock up shopping…..It took her all day….and I an quite sure her head was spinning…..I never buy 1 of anything… least a dozen at a time……LuAnn did such a great job, yes I spent a lot of money…how ever I saved of money, considering how food prices are rising……hopefully she will see the value of doing this…..I sure hope so……my super shopper friend likes my Berky Filter….(me too, made really good well water GREAT)….I can hardly wait to show her how a Sun Oven works…..sometimes talking/preaching does not work….Showing will!!!

    May 19th, 2011 at 10:59 am
  13. Lezlie wrote:

    I really don’t worry that my husband thinks I’m nuts! All I care about is the fact that in an emergency, my family will NOT worry about hunger. I just go through life happy, with the knowledge that they will be sooooo glad I was prepared with the help of The Ready Store!!!!!!

    May 19th, 2011 at 8:51 pm
  14. Laura wrote:

    I used to be afraid to discuss food storage with my husband. Before the swine flu epidemic, my husband came home one day and told me that the police dept he works had a meeting and informed his dept that they needed to prepare for a possible epidemic and suggested that everyone needed to plan for at least a 2 wk supply of food and necessities incase of an outbreak possibly shut down businesses for a period of time while this epidemic ran its course. Kind of a scary thought because these are things that really aren’t discussed to the public It is amazing to me how many things have happend over the past several years and now my husband encourages me prepare for what every may come our way.
    To me, being prepared is better than an insurance policy. Having peace of mind knowing that we will be able to sustain ourselves is comforting.

    June 3rd, 2011 at 4:17 am
  15. Ludivina Toby wrote:

    We’ve a spot in our two bedroom home for a rain collection system and to our amazing satisfaction we have had the capacity to recharge the water under by roughly four tankfuls in our 6 by 4 by 4 foot storage tank. My family and I try our best to use as much of the water we get. :)

    December 26th, 2011 at 3:23 pm
  16. V in Tennessee wrote:

    TartOrThis a great article, and for along time family and friends laugh or change subject quickly. Recently I stop talking and let them listen to just a little utube!!!!! Then let them know I’m providing for me and mine unless u are contributing. That normally

    June 8th, 2014 at 2:04 pm
  17. RKM wrote:

    explain to your spouse that it is a “living pantry” that you will be maintaining a larger selection of foods and that you can stop always having to run to the store for things. by the time they get used to the idea the next step is to start them on prepping, just call it something else.

    June 25th, 2014 at 11:23 am

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