Most people have this idea that a prepper lives way off grid, surrounded by rugged terrain and booby traps. They come armed and dangerous. I’m here to tell you that isn’t true. The person living next door to you may very well be a prepper. I mean look at me! I’m as prissy as they come and I consider staying at a Holiday Express with no continental breakfast an act of roughing it. But I’m well read on the subject and am making sure that if the time comes, I’ll be prepared for my family. As my kids can tell you, I can turn into Rambo on a dime.
Today my guest prepper is also my mentor. He’s asked me not to share his name or location so I will honor that. He has given me so much information that I can hardly process it all. Although he lives in a metropolitan area, he has managed to prepare his home and family for almost any emergency. Today we’ll be talking about stocking up on various food items. Let’s get started.
Thanks for joining us today. I guess my first question is, why do we need to stock up? There are grocery stores, markets and superstores everywhere?
Things, events can happen quickly. Do you really want to be trying to get food for your family when everyone is panic buying and shelves are bare? No, you don’t. You have home, auto health and life insurance yet you can live without any of those things. You can’t without food. Think of it as food insurance. Most food stores have a just in time inventory system. There’s really nothing in the back of the store. It goes from the truck to the shelf almost immediately. If anything disrupts that delivery system shelves will be empty shockingly fast.
What will other people think about this?
“People will think I’m a crazy survivalist” Maybe…if you’re telling everyone you’re doing it. Don’t. They won’t think that when they don’t have it and you do. The fewer people who know you have it, the better. The nicest person on earth won’t be when food is scarce and they have kids to feed. It’s your job to feed your family, not theirs.
What do you tell people who say, “It’s too expensive. I can’t afford it.”
It is expensive but it doesn’t have to be done all at once. Just a little bit at a time will get you on the way. It’s not a once and done thing. It is continuous. Food prices always go up…not down. Buying extra now actually saves you money. Buy the things on sale, shop at discount stores. You could even use a local food pantry if you need to.
Where should I store all this?
The basement if you have one. Any cool dark place with no drastic temp swing. Closets, under the bed, sofa, behind a bookcase, etc. Make it easy to rotate the stock; first in first out.
What to store and for how long?
Six months to a year but that’s difficult to do. Make a monthly menu then a shopping list based on that. Multiply by the number of months you want to be stocked up for and get to it. A little at a time. Only buy and store the food you like and are actually going to eat otherwise you’ll spend money on things that will be thrown away. Don’t forget pet food.
Those are great tips! Thank you. Now I’ll admit I don’t have six months of supplies in my pantry. I find rotating and keeping a fresh inventory is difficult for me. I’ve learned to keep a small tablet and pen in the pantry so I can add things as they disappear. Remember, you need to be using your items as the days go along. When you’re down to a couple of cans of green beans, add them on your list.
Each time I go to the grocery store I pick up a few extra things so I won’t break the bank if it comes down to an emergency.
DON’T RUN OUT LIST
- Toilet paper (EVERYTIME!) Trashbags, Paper Products, Ziploc bags
- Water – a gallon is just 68 cents!
- Dry soup mix (That stuff will season anything to taste better.)
- Couple pounds of hamburger, bacon or whatever your inner carnivore likes.
- Boxes of those squeezie packs for the kiddos
- Dried fruit
- Raisins and other finger foods. These are good in salads, cereal and again THE KIDS.
- Spices – Don’t forget the minced onions.
- Bottled or canned juice
- Noodles, Dried Beans, Nuts
- Over the counter meds. (Everyone needs different things.)
MY PANTRY LIST – You don’t need to go out and buy everything right now. But do take an inventory of what you need, what your family prefers, and how much you’ll need if you get stuck for a few weeks or months. Then start clipping coupons and watching sales to begin your “just in case” lifestyle. There is something comforting knowing you are prepared. Besides the above list I also keep these items on hand.
- Sauces & soups of all kinds that we love
- Can fruit and veggies (even potatoes)
- Packages of food I can just add water. Mash potatoes, favored noodles, etc.
- Hot Chocolate Mix
- Dried Beans, Rice, Sugar and Flour (I put my bags in the freezer for a few weeks to make sure it doesn’t go bad or get bugs in it if I keep it a long time. Then I put it in containers in the pantry.)
- Tea & Coffee (I tell my hubby when my case of specialty coffee arrives in the mail and he starts frowning, “Do you really want to be with me in a national emergency if I don’t have my coffee? Think about that.” He nods an acceptance. Mrs. Rambo needs her coffee!)
- Soaps (including bars), shampoo, lotions, toothpaste, mouthwash, extra toothbrushes
- Cleaning products
- Crackers, snacks, nuts
- Potatoes & onions although these disappear fast around my house. That’s why I say keep some minced onions and canned potatoes on hand.
- Baking needs or whatever that means to you. I have some prepackaged items. I don’t keep a lot of that because of the nutritional element.
- Protein drinks & bars. The drinks I buy have 30g of protein and come in a variety of flavors.
- Peanut Butter (duh) If you have family members with nut allergies, remember there are alternatives such as Cashew Butter and Sunflower Butter. Both are yummy. And yes. I have those too. I don’t even like peanut butter all that much but my family sure does.
Are you overwhelmed yet? Don’t be. Rome wasn’t built in a day. This is manageable. Take it slow. Evaluate your situation, location and needs. But to do nothing might not be a good strategy in today’s world. My hubby asked me the other day if I felt anxious about the future. I was happy to say “no”. I realized I was doing things that could make life a little more comfortable in case of an emergency. This also made him more relaxed as well. He laughs at me sometimes at the things I drag home, like my water filtration system or announcing I think we need rain barrels. But it is all good.
Next time I’ll cover something else you might not have considered. Your medical needs. Stay tuned! Life is an adventure.