NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- The economy is improving and 2015 is shaping up to be an even better year than 2014 was. That means that now is the time for prudent investors to start thinking about how to recession-proof their portfolios.
While a recession may not be around the corner, we're due for one in the next several years. The average time between recessions since 1982 has been nearly 100 months. The last recession ended nearly 70 months ago, meaning another one will come sooner than we want. Now is the time to stock up on equities that can help get you through tough times -- not once the recession hits and everyone else is running to these companies for shelter. At that point, it's too late.
Here are eight recession-proof stocks to add to your portfolio to help you get through the inevitable tough times ahead.General Mills ( GIS)
Granted, times are rough for General Mills at present due to the weakness in the U.S. food industry. However, the company offers a unique proposition that has help it grow through every recession -- at least over the last three decades, as shown in the chart below.
GIS data by YCharts
In simple terms, it provides an easy means for consumers to save cost, which is usually helpful during the recession. For instance, it offers products like oats, which is one of the cheapest foods. In times of recession, consumers tend to focus on food that help them save money. Perhaps this is why the company was able to see an increase of about $2 billion in revenues during the last recession.
In addition to adding value to consumers, General Mills is also committed to rewarding shareholders through dividends.
GIS Dividend data by YCharts
As the chart above shows, the company has consistently increased dividend payout over the past decade -- even during the last recession. It currently pays an annualized dividend of $1.64 per share.