Umm....Prepared Woman (PW), paper isnt edible, you say....
You can save EVERYTHING you could possibly need or use, but unless you know HOW to use it, fix it, repair it, make it, grow it, cook it, preserve it, you are doomed. You need to add paper to your storage lists....more importantly, you need to add INFORMATION.
I know that Google is amazing and you can just about find anything out down to how many nose hairs you have, but if the grid goes down, if the Internet goes down, you are stuck. You need to have a hard copy of information you think you might need.
I LOVE BOOKS. Again, with Jefferson, but I so agree with him in this:
I cannot live without books.
Books were so important to him that he wanted to pass on this love to his grandkids. When he got a new book, he would have the kids draw straws. The longest straw got to read the book first, the shortest straw read the book last, but got to keep it. Thomas Jefferson's personal library was donated to our United States as the 1st Library of Congress.
You need to have manuals on your cars, on basic home repairs, on gardening, on preserving food, saving seeds, basic medical and home remedies, cookbooks, building, carpentry, animal husbandry, HISTORY (U.S. History), anything you think you could possibly need.
You also need fiction books, books to let you escape; books to entertain and educate your children; books that are just beautiful to look at (sorry for ending this in a preposition).
But PW, books are expensive.
They are....or more accurately, they can be... Even the big box bookstores have a cheap section where you could pick up at least 3 NEW books for less than $20. Books A Million has a library section where the books are $3.00 a piece. Speaking of the library, they regularly have sales of old books to raise monies and lets not forget our local used book dealer, Goodwill or thrift shop. I would even be willing to bet that you could find books in the dumpsters at the end of semesters at local universities.
To save money, check the book out of the local library that you are considering purchasing. If it stinks, no harm/no foul. If its great, you know that its a wise investment.
A really, really cheap option is to just print the information you want to keep and keep an organized binder. A ream of paper is $2.89 around here and you can go to town printing everything you want... I would suggest recipes using this method, but its your binder!
One more option is to buy CD's from magazines. Mother Earth News as well as Backwoods Home magazines offer entire collections of all issues on CD at a substantial reduction in cost. Not to mention you dont have to save all those magazines!
A list of books I LOVE to follow....but many preparedness blogs have lists as well as reviews...
As always, Pray, Praise, Prepare - JWE