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To Stockpile Or Not To Stockpile…

Are you prepared??

Before you think I’m crazy like some of those people on the TV shows about “prepping”, hear me out.

 

Or look around you.

 

Things are different, are they not? PEOPLE are different. There is so much less compassion. There is no consideration of others. Government is different (no, I’m not a Conspiracy Theory type of girl, but seriously…). The weather patterns are crazy.

 

So, think about emergencies. Are you prepared?

 

I enjoyed those shows about the “crazies” that talked about end times or weather disasters or economic collapses. And I laughed at how serious they were. And then I read some things about how maybe those people aren’t so crazy (have you seen the FEMA website??). Then I see there are whole communities that get together to prepare. Even the Latter Day Saints community prepares….as a part of their faith! (No, I’m not converting….just thinking outside the box. Not with my faith, but with food.) And we started to consider how prepared we would be if the grocery stores weren’t readily available, if water or electric is not available, if we had to leave our home.

So, I started digging online to see how we could get started in being a little more prepared for the unexpected. I mean, we do have 5 other mouths to feed, 5 little bodies to protect. And we have started working on keeping a 3 month supply of foods on hand for the just-in-case times.

Here is the WHY for being prepared with an emergency supply of food:

1. Times (and people) are crazy/cray-cray/nutso! Every time we turn on the TV or radio, we are hearing of another lunatic shooting up a public place or of some predator taking another child. PEOPLE are crazy! Or the banks have screwed more people out of money. Or the housing market tanked. It just keeps happening.

2. The weather is out of control! Ok, so the weather was never in our control :), but you know what I mean. This winter we saw negative 50 degree wind chills! Thundersnow, Chiberia, States of Emergency, etc. If there was a weather occurrence, we saw it! And what were most of us doing?….hanging out at home. Unable to start our cars or get to the store or shovel without freezing.

3. Jobs are no longer guaranteed….for anyone. Sure, they put out the reports about unemployment percentages being down and jobs being created. But, how many people do we know that have been looking for a job…..for over six months? My husband is in the funeral industry (some refer to it as the death industry, but that kind of creeps me out), and even funeral directors have no guarantee of a job! Yes, everyone is DYING to see them(I put the joke there before someone decided to say it.), but funerals cost much more now. People are going the less-expensive way of cremation or fewer services or goods, which means the funeral home is making less money, which means they have less to pay their employees, which means they are letting go of people. More than once we have been concerned that my husband’s job (that employs only 2 directors besides the owner) may need to lay him off. Thankfully, he is still there and things look good…but for how long? So we prepare.

We aren’t guaranteed a grocery trip whenever we want, a job whenever we have the need, a community that looks out for our good. These things are all obvious, yet most people think preparing by “stockpiling” food is crazy. But, how crazy would we think they are if we had no income for one month, two months, six months?? How crazy would it be if we had a tornado devastate our town and we were without the grocery store for a week or two. How long would we last without panicking? How long until neighbors panicked and everyone was out to protect themselves? We’ve seen it on the news. Tornadoes, flooding, no power….turns to looting, selfishness, and trouble. (Please don’t think I’m saying your neighbors aren’t willing to help. We have a really great neighborhood, but we can’t rely on them to help all seven of us if they, too, are hurting!)

Am I making sense?? I hope so. So, now if you’re on the same page as me, you might be thinking “How am I supposed to do this? This is going to cost a fortune!” Not true!

Here is the HOW for being prepared:

1. Use a price book or “rock bottom” pricing to stock up on foods. Clearly, we cannot stockpile fresh bananas, as they would go bad. But, we can keep an eye on canned goods or even frozen foods and stock up on them when they are at their lowest price. If you aren’t sure what exactly a price book is or how to make one, check out Money Saving Mom’s post and printables!

2. Buy two – USE one, SAVE one. Think of your weekly/monthly list of canned, boxed or frozen goods. The items you are putting on your list to have for your near-future recipes are the items you can buy two of – one to use in that upcoming recipe, and the other to throw in your stockpile! I do this a lot, especially when it comes to specialty things that I don’t regularly find at an affordable rock-bottom price on (like some organic canned or boxed goods or even good oils). I buy what I need for my menu’s recipes, and I get an extra to set aside for my supply. We are working on a three month supply, so sometimes I grab an extra two or three (depending on how much I have on hand in my grocery budget) if I know it’s something we consume more than one can or box of in a three month period, like peanut butter or salad dressing.

3. Follow a PRO’s schedule or list. I tried making my own stockpile “schedule” for when I would buy certain things. It was exhausting! So I started looking around for someone else who had created one already and was willing to share! Here are three sites I’ve visited and used for different foods or ideas:

  • RealSimple.com – Love this easy site! This is the place you’d go if you are new(er) or looking to just do a few things without it consuming to much of your time. Maybe to keep two weeks’ worth of food on hand.
  • Prepared LDS Family – THIS is my favorite blog! This family is how I know LDS communities incorporate stockpiling into their faith. She and I don’t share the same faith, but she has an awesome monthly schedule of items to buy (and awesome sales in Utah for when you can buy cheap BY THE CASE! I’m jealous.). She even goes over a plan for storing other items – first aid, tools, sleeping gear, clothing – as well as a plan for if you had to leave the house in an emergency or quickly. I have used MANY of her ideas for food stockpiling, as well as creating the backpacks she suggests for each person in case we ever had to leave in under 10 minutes. (Think about it. Would you have enough to last 72 hours if you had to leave your house in under 10 minutes?? Seems like it wouldn’t happen, but you might change your mind if you spoke with the folks in downtown NYC that had flooding they’ve never had. Or the families in Illinois that were devastated by the tornadoes. There are things other than governmental breakdowns or terrorists that could force you to need to leave your home suddenly. I would rather look a little silly with 7 backpacks in my closet than worry that I don’t have diapers and wipes or snacks or water for my little ones – ESPECIALLY if my husband was stuck an hour away at work without the ability to get home. Just sayin’…) Prepared LDS Family is what I’d call a medium-level prepping site. For those that want to have an organized stockpile and 3 months of food.
  • The Organic Prepper – So, this is the hard-core kind of site. If you decide you are extremely serious about prepping, preserving, and hiding out…this site is for you. They have fabulous ideas for food storage as well as a lot of other things with regard to prepping.
Like I mentioned, we are working on a three month supply of food. That’s A LOT of food for seven people. Then you think of paper products (toilet paper!!), diapers and wipes, batteries, etc….and it really is a huge stock of items. So, we are working on it inexpensively by utilizing the 3 “HOW’s” I posted. And I print out the monthly stockpile list from Prepared LDS Family to tell me what I should look for on sale or in addition to my regular shopping list.
 
It really isn’t that hard to start doing. Start with your next grocery trip and grab one extra of each canned or frozen item (as long as they’re not $30 bottles of some fancy oil…..unless you have the budget for that!) and start putting them somewhere. Mine are on extra pantry shelves behind our pantry door (don’t come stealing from me!). We are quickly running out of room there, so I would like shelves in the basement at some point.
 
Two things to keep in mind with storing your stockpile:
 
1. Rotate your stock. Write the date in black marker on the front of the item and keep the ones closest to expiration at the front of your pile. That way, you can use it before it expires and just replace that one. You would hate to forget you had 20 cans of tomatoes that expired because you didn’t rotate your stock!
 
2. You can store food ALMOST anywhere! I wouldn’t store it in your bathroom closets or cabinets because of the moisture and heat, but bedroom closets, coat closets, under beds, in basements, cabinets, laundry rooms, almost anywhere. Just keep a list of what you have and where and watch those expiration dates!
 
Happy Stockpiling!! Does anyone already do this? Please share your tips or advice! I love getting new ideas. 🙂
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