Doomsday prep purchases could save money at Coles and Woolworths: Trevor Andrei Ky Furneaux
As Australia braces for another wave of Covid and continues to battle a cost of living crisis, survivalists have shared their tips for shopping sparingly and getting in touch with nature.
Doomsday preparer Trevor Andrei told Daily Mail Australia he had been inundated with calls asking for advice on how to save money.
He has spent most of his life preparing for “every case scenario” – fearing everything from nuclear war, cyberattacks and natural disasters, to a new pandemic and even alien invasions.
Mr Andrei, in his 40s, runs The Survival Shop and lives on a property in rural Victoria where he practices foraging and stores years of tinned food and other non-perishable items.
“I teach people to prepare for all case scenarios – but I’m not here to be a crazy captain. It’s just about self-sufficiency,’ said Mr Andrei, who was featured in the ABC documentary series Prepping Australia last year.
“Does it really take a pandemic to realize that when things are special and in abundance at half price, you should stock up?”
Doomsday prep Trevor Andrei stores years of canned food and other non-perishable items (pictured)
Doomsday preppers stock up for “every case scenario” fearing everything from World War III, cyberattacks, natural disasters, another pandemic, or even an alien invasion. Pictured: Some of the events the preppers are preparing for
He claims to have warned of the risk of a pandemic long before Covid hit Australia in March 2020, and says his bizarre lifestyle is “nothing new”.
“The preparation has been around for thousands of years. So putting grain in silos, making aqueducts, salting fish, preserving food – that’s nothing new,” Andrei said.
Evidence that the cost of living is getting worse
TRANSPORT COSTS: Up 13.7%
FRUITS AND VEGETABLES: Increase of 6.7%
WHOLESALE PRICES OF ELECTRICITY: Up 141%
WHOLESALE GAS PRICES: Up to 50 times
Sources: Australian Bureau of Statistics, Australian Energy Regulator, Australian Energy Market Operator
“Most people don’t even have a week’s worth of food in their house and they are professionals making a lot of money.”
The cost of food in Australia has skyrocketed in 2022, with inflation now at 5.1% and expected to climb further.
Massive government subsidy programs during the pandemic triggered the increase, with the problem exacerbated by soaring oil prices after Russia invaded Ukraine in February.
Fuel prices are now above $2 per liter on average nationally.
Record flooding on Australia’s east coast has also deepened the cost of living crisis, choking off the supply of many fresh vegetables, including iceberg lettuce which now sells for $11 a head in some areas.
Mr Andrei says those worried about rising prices should live “like our grandparents did”.
“Go to farmers’ markets or supermarkets five minutes before they close and buy boxes full of vegetables at discounted prices, then go home and store them in jars,” Mr Andrei said.
“I go to Coles like everyone else. But do you know when I go to Coles? When all promotions are aired.
While the life of a prepper might be a step too far for some, wilderness survival expert Ky Furneaux told Daily Mail Australia that Covid “cemented this idea that the world is unpredictable” and now people are looking to shake things up by getting back to nature.
Ky Furneaux (pictured) is not a doomsday prepper, but said developing skills to live off the land is something everyone should be excited about
The 48-year-old (pictured) once survived 21 days in the American Bayou with nothing but a machete, as part of the Discovery Channel series Naked and Afraid
The Australian TV host and award-winning stuntwoman who has doubled for Hollywood stars Sharon Stone, Anne Hathaway, Jennifer Garner and Camilla Belle, is no doomsday prep but says becoming more empowered is something everyone should be excited.
“People are now more aware that they could be thrown into a really unpredictable situation at some point in the future,” she said.
“And of course during that time a lot of us were just indoors, so people were just looking for a way to shake things up and have an adventure.
“The pandemic has caused people to reevaluate what’s actually important and I think fitness, family and just getting out were top of the list for most people.”
The 48-year-old once survived 21 days in the American Bayou with nothing but a machete, as part of the Discovery Channel’s Naked and Afraid series and also trekked 100 miles through the scorching mountains of the Sierra Nevada with only a pocket knife.
The Australian TV host and award-winning stuntwoman (pictured) who has doubled for Hollywood stars Sharon Stone, Anne Hathaway, Jennifer Garner and Camilla Belle
Furneaux said a horrific car accident aged 19 prompted her to push her limits after doctors told her she would never be physically capable after breaking a bone in her back .
“Anyone can do that,” she said. “But my advice would be to take it easy.”
“You don’t want to just go into the bush with nothing for two weeks because you’re going to have a miserable experience.
“But if you come out well prepared, it can be a life-changing experience.”
She said a two-hour hike for someone living in a big city is a good place to start.
“Oxygen, trees and views can energize you and improve your mood and state of mind”
“But bring a snack, a basic first aid kit and a few liters of water.”
Furneaux said a horrific car accident at the age of 19 prompted her to push her limits
The pandemic has caused an exodus of more than 70,000 people leaving major cities for more affordable regional areas – but some are choosing to live completely off-grid.
This comes as Australian scientists report that the Omicron BA.4 and BA.5 subvariants will dominate in the coming weeks and be the cause of an increase in infections.
Recently, the BA.2 subvariant of the Omicron strain has dominated genomic testing, but BA.4 and BA.5 appear to be taking over.
Survival expert Dr Bradley Garrett, from University College Dublin, said Covid in Australia had sparked a “catastrophic boom” and massive interest in living in an off-grid bunker.
“The bunker mentality is about resilience,” Dr Garrett told news.com.au in 2020.
“So anyone who spends a lot of time thinking about disconnecting from the grid, digging their own well, going to a septic tank and disconnecting from the infrastructure in order to become more self-sufficient – it’s completely a mentality of bunker.
“Social scientists actually have a term for it, it’s called Covid theft.”