It pays to be prepared. Whether that’s having extra food put back in case you can’t get to the store, or when the store is OUT, or having extra medical supplies on hand when going to the doc is out of reach (out of time, out of money, out of insurance…). Being prepared for what life throws at you is key.
Some folks (aka preppers) like to be prepared for short term emergencies, such as a power outage due to a storm. Others like to be a bit more prepared with items put back to get them through a longer time.
However, most folks find that buying extra, preps or otherwise, just doesn’t fit into their budget. It’s hard to spend hard-earned money on something you might not ever need!
Because of this many folks put off buying the extra items that could see them through many a situation. While big expenses, such as a home at the lake, a freeze dryer, or a year’s supply of anything can seem overwhelming you can begin to become more prepared, just one thing at a time.
Make a plan.
For example, many people try to keep a couple weeks worth of food on hand. Having more than a couple weeks worth can get you through many a disturbance. What if you’re out of work? What if you get hurt and can’t bring in the normal income? So many variables to think of that one can become overwhelmed quite easily. BUT, with a plan, and focus you can build up your pantry and stores without a ton of outlay.
Sure, it’d be nice to run down to the local sports store and just load up but most people don’t have the means to do so.
Part of planning is knowing what you need and how much of it you need.
Start with the basics.
Do you have a source of water if there were no electricity or city utilities? It’s time to add a rain barrel to your list of items to be on the lookout for. Sure, you can find a ready made rain barrel for ‘around’ $100 BUT you can make one out of a ‘food-grade’ plastic barrel and some supplies from the home store.
Next is food. Sure there are some cans of soup in the pantry but think realistically. How long would what you have last… if it was all you had to depend on?
Next time you’re out grocery shopping, with your list of course, think. Do you make spaghetti once a week? Then you’d need ‘everything’ that you use to make spaghetti times 52 in order to have a year’s worth. Now, I don’t suggest you purchase 52 cans of spaghetti sauce at once, but if you buy an extra jar/can or two along with your regular grocery shopping you’ll eventually bulk up your pantry without spending a ton of money.
I know, a year’s worth sounds overwhelming. If you’re an absolute beginner, start preparing by purchasing/accumulating three days worth. Once you have three days worth, work on having a week’s worth put back. Then two weeks, then a month… you get the drift.
Don’t be afraid to splurge if you find a bargain. Just make certain that it’s something that you/your family will actually eat. For instance, don’t stock up on canned peas, even if they’re a quarter, if your family won’t eat peas!
If your family eats rice, consider buying that huge bag. It’s almost always cheaper by the pound when you purchase the bigger bag (25 or 50 lbs). You can vacuum seal rice in mason jars. You can seal rice in mylar bags inside a 5 gallon food-grade bucket, just add oxygen absorbers. Some folks even dry can rice.
Same with beans, and sugar, and flour…
Once you have food put back work on your household items. This includes your paper supplies, toiletries, medical supplies.
Do this a little bit at a time and over time you’ll develop a nice prepper pantry. No amount is too small. Don’t wait until there’s extra money. Add to your preps, one can at at time if you have to.