by Kristy L
For a while now, I’ve been stocking up on food and drug store items. For me, it started after hurricane Ike. I got a taste of what it’s like to live without electricity and have all the grocery stores and restaurants around me shut down for several days. Eventually, it became about much more than hurricane prep.
I started watching the news and thinking someday I could lose my job, someday there may be a war on US soil, someday this country’s finances are going to collapse. So for me, stocking up on things now gives me peace of mind that should they not be available in the future, or if I cannot afford them in the future… I’ll be ready.
With the ongoing droughts, crazy weather patterns, random earthquakes, job losses, foreclosures, rising food and transportation costs, flash mobs etc. I am hearing alarm bells. After our bond rating went down they got louder. I feel like something I hoped would never happen could soon become a reality.
Point being – if you haven’t started stocking up, please start now. That means food and water for at least three months, ways to stay cool/warm, ways to cook if the power goes out, ways to purify water, medical supplies, seeds for the garden, and ways to defend yourself (or if self-defense makes you uncomfortable, align yourself with people who can help you defend yourself if it comes to that).
If you haven’t seen what happened in Venezuela… just imagine when the American people have had enough, or can’t get enough. Remember Katrina? It’s going to be ugly.
I can’t cover everything in one article, that would take a book, but here is a crash course on stocking up, primarily on food:
1) Coupons – At Walgreens and CVS you can get stuff for free practically every week… vitamins, body wash, hair clips, razors, toothpaste, toothbrushes, mouthwash. You pay out of pocket, then they give you rewards dollars to use next time, and you keep rolling them.
Walgreens also has store coupons in their circulars for cheap food pretty much all the time. If there is a BOGO sale and you have a BOGO coupon, you get both items free. Search the internet. I use SouthernSavers.com and they list all the deals and coupons for you.
If nothing else, think of these as potential barter items, but the vitamins are definitely a good item to keep on hand when you’re not getting the nutrition you should and your stress level is through the roof. To me, Wags and CVS trips are fun. I go in and get over $200 retail value, pay maybe $20, and get $15 back to spend next time… that’s pretty typical and it doesn’t include rebates that some manufacturers offer. (click here to read MD Creekmore’s article on coupons)
2) Clearance Aisles – My grocery store has a clearance section where (for example) I’ve been finding cans of pinto beans for 20-cents, and they aren’t close to their expiration date nor are they damaged, they just aren’t selling or maybe the brand shut that line down.
Even outside the clearance aisle, they have bags of beans for 99-cents every day. Throw a bag in your cart each time you shop. (and find some recipes to make them taste good or you’ll hate yourself after the first week… did you know they have pinto bean pie??? It actually sounds good.)
3) Amazon Subscribe & Save – I ran across this when I was looking for healthy, portable, food that doesn’t require refrigeration for my husband who is currently in Afghanistan, plus I also realized that I could keep some on hand for hurricane season.
You subscribe to their shipment service and get a 15% discount, shipping is free, plus they ship your order automatically in 1, 2, 3 or 6 months increments that you choose. They notify you prior to shipment and you can cancel one shipment or all shipments.
This is not a Guthy-Renker kind of cancellation, you do it on their website, it’s automatic, no one hassles you – it’s GREAT!!! I buy pouches of applesauce (baby food, but hey… it’s good), dried fruit, shelf stable sandwiches, etc. On occasion they even offer additional coupons to entice you in; if it’s something you would have bought anyway, that’s a great deal!
4) eFoods Global – They will send you three free entrees of your choice. You have to watch a video that tries very hard to get you to become a distributor… do as you wish, I ignored it. During the video they have a few poll-type questions, answer however you choose.
After that, you select your entrees and pay $10 for S+H, and they deliver it to your house. I got one followup email asking if I’d tried it yet and what I thought but after that no contact, no hassle. I didn’t give them my real phone number, so I can’t say if they tried to call or not, but I doubt it.
I was hesitant to pay the S+H, but my husband thought it was reasonable, and after the box arrived it did seem to be… the bags were larger than I expected and the weight of them probably did justify the cost. They look delicious. eFoods Global (I am not a distributor)
5) Thrive Foods – This site has pouches available so you aren’t investing in #10 cans unless you want to / need to (but they do have #10 cans). They also have interesting items like freeze-dried shortening, powdered eggs, and freeze-dried butter.
Heck, I want it just because every time I buy shortening it goes bad before I use it, and since I married a Cajun… I need to learn to cook gumbo. They also have a “Q” where you set a monthly budget, add the items you’re interested in, and they will automatically group and ship the items to you. Thrive Foods (also not a distributor)
6) Coleman Camping Meals – If you don’t want to order anything online, these are available at Target in the camping section (or were) and are probably also available at other places where they sell camping equipment. My husband said the cheesy pasta was really good.
7) The fish aisle (for if it REALLY gets bad) – I never knew this, but fish use antibiotics, and you don’t need a prescription to get them. Farm supply stores carry them as well. I hope never to need them, but if I do, I have them. Amazon.com has several suppliers of amoxicillin, tetracycline, doxycycline, erythromycin, penicillin, etc.
I saw some at PetSmart, but it was in powder form (not a capsule) so I passed on that. You shouldn’t use antibiotics if you don’t have to, and until it gets to the point that there is no doctor to prescribe them to me I have no intentions of ever using them, but it makes me feel better to know they’re there.
That said, you need to know how to use them, so you will also need some sort of PDR or nursing book, I found an AARP guide to pills at my local used bookseller for $10. Raw garlic also has antibiotic properties if you want to go that route instead. Google it and the info is out there.
8) Clove oil – Good for toothaches. Lavender oil – a topical disinfectant, also repels fleas. Cedar oil – magic against bugs and safe for humans and pets, young and old.
9) Church of Latter Day Saints – I don’t care if you’re Mormon or not, and neither do they. They offer #10 cans of several pantry staples at less than a lot of the emergency food type websites. They also have a starter kit that I ordered once. There is no followup contact, they slip a pamphlet in the box and they’re done: http://store.lds.org/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/Product3_715839595_10557_21003_-1__195787
10) Bath & Body Works – Believe it or not… They regularly have 5 for $15 or 7 for $20 antibacterial soap sales, especially around Christmas time. It’s an inexpensive way to stock up on soap, and not just soap, but soap that smells like heaven.
I’m not just saying that because I’m a woman, I think that when things get bad you need a little normalcy in your life and things that make you feel good… treats if you will. That said, I once had a nightmare that the SHTF and someone warned me that I shouldn’t go out there smelling all good when everyone around me stank or I’d stick out like a sore thumb; everyone would know I wasn’t suffering.
Sometimes dreams can be very insightful… but blending in is another topic altogether… ;p
11) Putting it all together – This is an excellent idea for a 72-hour kit that you can do with your kids. They’re light, portable, self-contained and fairly inexpensive. If you don’t know where to start, start with this:
What you stock up on and in what quantities is up to you. The trick is not to concentrate on just one aspect of prepping or to get bogged down by the enormity of the task. Start with what is most immediately possible where you live… on the west coast that’s earthquakes, on the gulf coast it’s hurricanes, in the north it is snowstorms. Branch out from there and tailor it to your needs. Little by little you’ll start to build up a stash that will give you piece of mind.