Prepper: 10 Shopping Mistakes When Buying Stockpile Items
You want to build your stockpile in case SHTF, whether it’s for a small emergency such as a storm or for an event that changes the world as we know it.
There really isn’t one correct way to do this, but there are some common mistakes that many people make when shopping to stockpile supplies.
These mistakes can be costly, both in terms of money and in terms of food loss or inefficient storage space utilization.
Don’t worry though, today we’ll address some of those common mistakes people make when stockpiling so that you can avoid them.
1.Paying Full Price
This actually isn’t a mistake if you really want to spend a ton of money that you don’t have to. For most of us, though, saving money is just part of the way we live. It’s a form of reducing waste and making the most of what we have. Rarely is there a valid reason for paying full price for anything that goes in your stockpile.
The easiest way to save money is to take advantage of buy-one-get-one-free deals. If you only need one jar of spaghetti sauce, put one in your stockpile. If you need two jars, then pay for two and put the two free jars back. If you watch your local sales flyers, you’ll know what’s on sale.
Chain drug stores are great places to pick up BOGO first aid supplies, cleaning supplies, and personal hygiene items, so this doesn’t just apply to food.
Using coupons is another way to build your stockpile in a hurry, especially when combined with sales and BOGO offers.
Yard sales, Craigslist, Letgo, Freecycle, and other places to buy second-hand items are great resources for such things as generators, tools, blankets, ATV’s, building supplies, and just about everything else you may need.
2. Buying Just Because Something is Cheap
Many people make the mistake of scooping up things that are cheap just because they’re cheap. For instance, I saw what must have been an extreme couponer buying at least 20 tubes of hemorrhoid cream because it was on clearance and she had coupons.
Seriously, if you need that much hemorrhoid cream, you have a bigger issue than a coupon addiction. Because I enjoy couponing, I know many people like this, and even if you only pay 20 cents per tube, it’s a waste of money if you’re not going to use it.
I’ve seen the same thing with unpopular food items such as lima beans, hominy, and cranberry sauce. It’s all well and good to stock those items if you enjoy them, but the point of stockpiling food and personal items is so that you’ll have extra when you need it.
Why buy lima beans and hominy just because they’re cheap if they’re not something that you’re going to eat between now and the zombie apocalypse?
This is also a buyer-beware issue when it comes to first-aid supplies. Often, these items are on clearance for a reason: they’ve been on the shelf for too long and the store needs to get rid of them. Buying old items is a waste of money because the shelf life is already reduced.
3. Buying Stockpile-Only Items
This goes hand-in-hand with the lima bean issue above. Every item in your stockpile should be something that you use or something that has high trade value. Exceptions here may be first aid supplies, but even many of those items have a shelf life; bandage tape dry-rots or turns into a roll of goop after a few years.
Your stockpile should be fluid; though you’re certainly working to build volume, you should also be rotating it using the first-in-first-out method. This means that you use the oldest item (the first in) before you use newer, identical items.
The easiest way to keep track of this is to place new items behind old items, then use the ones in the front. This keeps your supplies fresh. Are you really going to eat 10 cans of hominy? If so, then buy them, but if you’re not a fan, then it will be more money-wise to buy items that you’ll use.
4. Buying the Wrong Types of Food
Many foods come in several different forms. For some foods, one item is just as good as the next.
For others, there’s a huge difference in shelf lives. A good example of this is instant rice and instant oats. Both of these items have much shorter shelf lives than their standard-cook counterparts. Do your homework.
Also, are you stocking a freezer full of vegetables, fruits, and meats? Remember that if you lose power, those foods will need to be eaten within a couple of days. Anything left after that will be waste unless you plan to can them quickly over an open fire or some other heat source.
It’s better when buying items for your stockpile to buy foods that don’t require refrigeration.
5. Not Buying in Bulk
While it’s true that I’m a big proponent of buying items with coupons, it’s often cheaper in the long run (unless you’re getting the item for next to nothing) to buy in bulk.
Though that 10 pound bag of rice looks huge, it’s probably only seven dollars or so. If you look at the cost of smaller bags, even when they’re on sale, it’s usually more cost-effective to buy in bulk.
Another advantage to buying in bulk is that you can store the item in a 5-gallon bucket or air-tight bin. Of course, you can pack the smaller bags in there, too, but you still have the cost to consider. Shop around.
6. Not Buying a Variety
You need to have a well-rounded food supply. This means stockpiling fruits and vegetables in all colors, because different colors have different nutrients. Make sure that you have plenty of every color stockpiled.
Another issue that will be a concern is that you can get so sick of eating one food that your brain will actually make you physically ill when you try to eat it. There are accounts of people in famine situations dying of starvation when they had a plentiful supply of rice, but only rice.
You can avoid all of this by simply stocking a wide variety of food.
7. Not Considering Nutritional Value
There’s no doubt that there are many delicious foods out there that can be purchased for very little money, but beware of the nutritional value.
Some foods, such as spaghetti rings, are full of fat, cholesterol, sodium, and artificial chemicals but have practically no nutritional value. Avoid these.
Before you buy a can or jar of food, look at the label and decide if that food is worth the space that it’s going to consume in your stockpile. If not, then skip it; you need to use that space judiciously for foods that will nourish your body.
8. Sacrificing Quality for Low Price
There’s most certainly something to be said for the expression, “you get what you pay for”. Some items, such as gasoline and canned foods, are what they are no matter what you pay for them. In these cases, you should definitely go for the lower price.
However, there are certain cases where it’s better to pay for quality, or to buy used. Tools and hardware (nails, etc.) are definitely in this category, as well as equipment such as chainsaws. Other items in this category are water barrels, weapons, and rope.
9. Not Having a Well-Rounded Plan
Everybody has the vague image of a stockpile that will get them through an emergency, but many people make the mistake of gathering stuff willy-nilly. If you do it this way, you’re going to end up with 42 cans of green beans with no can opener, a box of nails but no hammer, and some bandages without any tape.
Sit down and develop a list based upon what you’re prepping for. Figure out how much food and supplies you’ll need for each day, then think of other items that go along with those.
Items such as can openers, cooking utensils, and fuel for cooking, and then think of what you may need for first-aid and medicine, and for cleanup or survival.
Imagine yourself completing a task. If you’re going to cook rice, you’re going to need rice and water of course, but you’ll also need salt, a pan, heat, and maybe some vegetables. If you’re adding vegetables, you’ll need a can opener and you may want some other seasonings.
If you’re going to board up a window, you’ll certainly need wood and nails, but you’ll also need a hammer.
It’s these little details that you need to think of, but once your brain starts working that way, it will come more naturally to you.
It will take you days or even weeks to come up with your initial list but once you start it, you’ll be able to start stockpiling while you continue to work on it.
10. Don’t Put Stockpiling Off!!
This is absolutely the biggest mistake people make! Even if you can only set aside a few cans of food per week, do so. A box of bandages is only a couple of dollars.
Add something to your stockpile every time you go to the grocery store or drug store. There’s always something that you can get for $1, and every item makes you a bit better prepared than you were when you left the house that morning.
These are some of the most common mistakes that people make when stockpiling for an emergency; now that you know them, avoid them! This was just a starter list to get the conversation going, so feel free to add other mistakes or suggestions for stockpiling in the comments section below.
And if you want to discover the long-forgotten secret that helped our ancestors survive harsh times and will help you improve your life and survival skills, click the banner bellow!
This article has been written by Theresa Crouse for Survivopedia.
8 Reasons Why Prepping Is Good for YouMany people are scared that all of their efforts towards prepping would be futile if TEOTWAWKI never actually comes. The problem with this parochial view is that they never take into account the high possibilities of disasters such as floods, snow storms or even power-grid failures. The other thing holding them back is the “Is this worth the cash?” argument they have with themselves.
Preppers actually learn to save money and prevent spending on things unnecessarily. We buy prepping supplies that are often used to sustain our life while it can still be kept long-term. Preppers also cultivate survival skills such as gardening and home repair which can save them a pretty penny in the long-run. Since increasing your survival odds is highly correlated to the amount of survival knowledge you have, most preppers will definitely invest their time in learning new skills.
There are many disasters happening and most of us are not aware of it. Hence, these are 8 reasons why prepping is good for you.
Reason #1: Cash conservationThe skills that you acquire – preferably practical skills to survive will help you to save the money needed to call that repairman to your house. Planting a garden is an excellent way to prep and it is extremely cost-effective. Instead of buying commercial food or constantly eating out, learn how to cook your favorite meal and plant your favorite fruits, you will not regret it!
Do you remember that Greece had to undergo a collapse in their economy which caused many lives to be at stake where those people who could not accept it commit suicide? There were many stakeholders pointing fingers to each other but the debt crisis was actually due to flawed accounting practices and not being transparent enough.
In my opinion, having a job which is more within your control such as being self-employed or starting a blog is one of the best defenses for an economic downturn. You can even start thinking of how used items can be made into something beneficial that we need to survive. Furthermore, you can start prepping with basically no cost at all by learning the skills needed and getting free gear from survival blog giveaways. The art of preparedness is basically how to live by yourself without depending on external sources such as lending money which is the main cause of bankruptcy.
Reason #2: Security better than insuranceWhen a SHTF situation occurs, your life would be threatened and most people will suffer the consequences of not sufficiently preparing. The suicide rate would spike even when an economic collapse happens where people who are indebted kill themselves just to get out of the loop of debt they got themselves into.
In preparedness, we never support the idea of lending money and we would fully advocate low-cost prepping. Keep a journal with you regarding the best prep skills, fix that leaking roof in your house and stop spending money unnecessarily! Feeling safe and peaceful would be much more frequent when you are much more prepared.
Even recently, retrenchment is rampant in our current economy where most people lost their active source of income. Preparing for a SHTF situation by having a side income, running your own business, stocking up on food and water or even having a surplus of cash would definitely help you to get back on your feet. Is this not better than conventional insurance? What if a snowstorm hit your place? Will your insurance be able to take the pain or would being prepared more likely to mitigate the amount of pain and loss?
Reason #3: Cultivation of critical thinkingWhen you are preparing for a crisis, you have to pan out what items you should bring and what are the steps you should do for survival. With the constant thought of how to prepare in your mind, you will naturally put in unremitting effort to cultivate the skills needed. What do I need to do to find a safe shelter? How can I ensure that my family would be able to survive at least for a week without external aid? All of these questions are at the very core of the preparedness journey. To increase your survival rate, you have no choice but to cultivate critical thinking, practice it in everyday life and survive!
Since we do not know how a TEOTWAWKI situation will look like, we have to be well-rounded and prepare for the worst to come. But of course, it is wiser to get ready for a more frequent disaster that may occur in your area. Use your intelligence to solve the problem.
Reason #4: Keeping your body healthyThe first rule of thumb to preparedness is keeping your body healthy so that you can think on your feet when a life threatening situation happen. This all involves knowing what food to eat and how much of it you can consume.
Basically, there are situations where we are met with water shortage. Storing water is very essential and learning how to purify water is a must. Keeping a body healthy means, you have to know what is the amount of water and food your body needs.
Learning the art of bush craft or how to scout will also be beneficial to your physical health while increasing your chance of survival. The very essence of preparedness is to have great physical capabilities. Can you walk for a few days non-stop in search for safety? If the answer is no, time to get on that treadmill.
Reason #5: Acceptance of the current conditionKnowing that an economic downturn and political tensions are inevitable, ultimately preppers do not complaint but we do what we can now. The prepper community always keep their heads up for the recent news and practice practical skills that can help them survive. If you are reading this post now, most likely you are one of the few people preparing rather than complaining. Preparing for the worst is something much better than complaining about it when the SHTF.
It would be great for you to bond with family and friends. Since you do not complain and you are capable of giving aid to your friends when a disaster strikes, they will trust you more. Since trust is a difficult thing to build and turning people off with your complaint is bad, it would be wise that you start prepping now.
By having enough supplies in your house and knowledge in your mental storehouse, you would have peace of mind appreciating every moment when no problems occur. Even if things do happen, you would accept it totally and put your supplies into good use.
Reason #6: Consistent supply of alternative energyPreppers will also prep for power grid failures which will potentially happen in a TEOTWAWKI situation such as an EMP strike. Do you know how to make a cost-effective electric generator? How about getting that windmill to generate electricity? All these ideas are great to provide constant supply of electricity which will potentially help you to save cost in the long-run.
The knowledge on how to get alternative energy source in the most efficient way possible would definitely be great. Besides saving on certain amount of cash, you get energy to keep yourself and your family comfortable when power outage occurs.
Reason #7: Keep yourself safeIn preparedness, you have to learn how to shoot a gun and how to conceal it. There might be times when your life is at the line with robbers or terrorist threatening your very existence.
What happens when your car breaks down in a deserted highway with a winter storm? You would have prayed that you placed your EDC (Every Day Carry pack) or even a bug out bag in the trunk. Having some extra blankets and food to keep you warm would be great.
How about when your house catches fire? Where have you kept the important documents? This would be the time where you wished you packed your bug out bag with the important documents. When your life is at stake, you would not have time to think twice of what documents to keep. All you can do now is to prepare for the most frequent crisis and keep your faith that nothing bad would happen to a good person.
Reason #8: Save people around you (especially your loved one)The practice of food storage can actually save you and your family’s life because food shortages can potentially happen. Do not always assume that you can purchase food in the local grocery shop, there might come a time even when an earthquake or flood happens where you will be thankful you had that supply of food.
Moreover, medicine would be scarce when the SHTF. When distribution channels are disturbed by a natural disaster for that matter, your local pharmacy or doctor may have their supplies wiped out. Hence, it is imperative that we keep a First Aid Kit and have the knowledge to use it. Who knows? You may come across with a wound and get hurt when disaster strike, and knowing how to tend to your wound would be a matter of life and death!
23 Reasons Why You Should Store Zip Ties For Survival
Before you know it, I am now looking for longer ones at the store. Stronger ones, yep I found some. I bought them and then here comes a guy who is a retired Marine. I swear, those handsome Marines never give up their Marine haircut. He proceeded to show me how to put the Zip-ties on someone. THEN he shows me how you get out of them. Yep, I now know how to get out of them if my hands are Zip-tied in front of me or behind me. What a great night at the store. I just love it when people share their knowledge with me. These Zip-ties come in so many colors, lengths, widths, and weights. I felt like I was in a candy store, I wanted every size they sold!!
Store Zip Ties1. Use one for shoes with broken shoelaces in a pinch until you can purchase regular shoelaces-slip through the eyelet holes-pull through, but not too tight
2. Flower arranging, keeps the flowers upright, tighten the branches ever so lightly
3. Use small ones to hold a button in place until you can sew it on in an emergency
4. Replace a missing zipper pull, look at all the colors you can choose from, WooHoo
5. Jewelry clasp is broken, keep some tiny Zip-ties in your purse to repair your favorite necklace in a pinch
6. Use larger ones to secure milk cartons together to keep them from shifting
7. Secure wire fencing to posts to keep the critters out of your back yard
8. Secure Christmas lights to bushes, easy peasy
9. Secure cables attached to your desktop and carefully tighten them with a Zip-tie to secure them together
10. Tents can be secured with Zip-ties to keep the flaps from flapping
11. The small ones are wonderful to use as a tag holder on gifts
12. Awesome for temporary ponytails for swimming
13. Use them to hang decorations from a small nail
14. Weave some together to make a small basket-great craft for kids who are old enough to make items with them
15. Use a certain color on your keys to hang them on your key holder board to distinguish one key from another
16. Great to secure a Zip-tie with tools to a peg board
17. Use one that will secure your pant leg when riding your bike or to keep bugs or mosquitoes off your legs and pants out of the chain
18. Handcuffs or ankle cuffs (only for use in dangerous situations)
19. Wind up and drain your garden hoses and Zip-tie them to securely store them for the winter
20. These are great to secure rain downspouts as a temporary fix until the heat makes them too brittle, then you have to replace them
21. Use to keep a tent or small sleeping bag rolled up while transporting
22. They can help secure vines and other plants to a trestle
23. In a pinch can substitute for a worn out watch band
Please keep in mind the different Zip-ties that are reusable (I didn’t buy those), and these that come in so many sizes for so many different uses. Let’s be prepared for the unexpected.
9 Things Newbie Homesteaders Just Don’t Think AboutThe “back-to-the-land” movement continues to grow in America, and if you’re one of those who’ve made the big leap from city to country, or are planning to do so soon, here are a few things you’ll want to remember.
The more knowledgeable and prepared you are, the easier the adjustment will be.
1. Get ready for some big culture shock. Country folks are easygoing people who may come across as peculiar to many city folks. You may not see them hustling, bustling and stressing over things city people normally do. Rural residents view things and do things differently. They may talk to you as if you were a life-long friend.
They’ll be curious why you moved into their area, what your business is, what you and your family are all about. They’re just being friendly and welcoming. They might even go out of their way to say hello and share some fresh produce or canned preserve.
2. Don’t expect to save money from homesteading at first. The initial outlay can come as a big shock. Animals, a barn, fencing, farm equipment … the list goes on and one. You’ll find that no matter how much budgeting and belt-tightening you do, something will always come up that needs building, fixing, adding or improving. Be patient. Developing a homestead is a long, complex process, and it’ll take years before you see some regularity in your spending.
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If you break even in your fourth or fifth year, you could consider that an accomplishment. But remember, the returns on your investment won’t all come in the form of money but in intangibles: fresh produce, savings from grocery purchases, bartered stuff (or service) from neighbors. Further rewards can be expected in the long run — better health and hopefully fewer medical bills.
3. Start small and slow. Try to do only one project at a time, at a pace you can handle. Whether it be gardening, poultry raising, carpentry or canning, remember that each skill will take time for you to learn and perfect, and some effort to overcome challenges that come along. It’s easy to get carried away acquiring a couple of more hens, or getting another pair of cute pygmy goats. But be careful not to bite off more than you can chew. (Tip: It’s better to fail in a garden that on livestock. Dying animals can cause a lot of grief, especially if there are kids around.) Then, when you feel comfortable with that first project, feel free to launch into something else.
4. Start low-tech. Don’t buy modern equipment just because you saw an advertisement for it, read some good reviews, or observed your neighbor using it frequently. Start with basic hand tools that are practical and versatile, and work your way from there. You’ll find out soon enough what pieces of motorized equipment you’ll need in your particular set-up, and you’ll be more knowledgeable as to what features to get if you put off that big purchase at a later time. Plus, you won’t have a shed full of expensive machinery that you only used once.
5. Learn to DIY. If you live dozens of miles from the nearest town, or if roads can become impassable due to bad weather, you’ll have to have a well-stocked pantry and medicine chest. Always have essentials on hand, or learn how to make them. Try bottling your own healing oils, tinctures and natural remedies. Learn first-aid treatment and emergency care. Your and your family’s survival could one day depend on it.
Discover More Than 1,100 Homesteading Tips And Tricks!
Likewise, brush up on some handyman skills. Get familiar with the basics of plumbing, electrical, automotive, computer and refrigeration repair. There are lots of practical skills you can learn, and as you acquire them, you’ll be surprised at how fast you’ve become more self-reliant.
6. Expect long, 12-hour workdays. The garden needs to be tended, the goats milked, the muck raked, the produce canned … and so on with many other chores. Of course, there will be slow seasons like fall and winter, but if you have livestock, there will always be animals to feed and milk. Year-round.
7. Learn to deal not only with garden pests but also with wildlife. Snakes, coyotes, foxes, deer, mites and all kinds of critters and predators will be your life-long enemies.
8. Know the local laws. Learn about what and up to how many animals you can keep, what kind of additional structures you can build, and all other pertinent regulations in your local area. You don’t want to run into problems after you’ve built that treehouse in your yard or dug a hole for a pond.
9. Expect setbacks and failures. Despite your best efforts, you’re bound to experience setbacks. Life happens. Crops fail, animals get sick or die, a well or creek dries up. There will be things that just won’t go as you had hoped or planned. But flops are only failures if you don’t recover and learn from them. There’s always a new alternative to try, another variety to grow, another breed to raise … and another time and season to do it all over again. Just learn from your mistakes and move on. Stay positive and don’t quit.
10 Important Items to Pack Your Nuclear Fallout Kit
“Wars and rumors of wars” is what we’ve been told there will be in the end days. Thanks to television and the government’s well-oiled propaganda machine we are constantly hearing threats from the U.S. and Russia. Whether or not these threats are legit or hype designed to keep people in fear and fresh recruits for the military is yet to be determined. Either way we should probably take these threats seriously if we live in potential nuclear attack targets with a nuclear fallout kit.
Now I’ve said on multiple occasions that if you live in the vicinity of a possible nuclear attack then you should strongly consider strategy relocating, especially if you live less than a 100 miles away from the locations. Possible targets include strategic military bases, communication hubs and economic centers. Nuclear silos and even power plants could be potential targets. You can find a map of potential nuclear targets below.
I understand that strategically relocating is not possible for a lot of us that are dependent upon jobs or even confined by handicaps or illnesses. Ideally if you live less than 100 miles from these targets you should at least have some sort of bunker or basement. This would give you a better chance of survival. The closer you are to the target the more likely that you house or residence will be completely demolished from the blast. However, you not only have to be prepared for the blast but also the fallout that can last for several days or get carried away with a jet stream.
This post is going to be specifically about what you should include in a nuclear fallout kit. In a previous post I discussed how to survive a nuclear attack that includes the blast and fallout. Now this kit isn’t meant for long term survival but just for the fallout itself. You should already have your long term preparedness items. However, this nuclear fallout kit you can include in a bag so when a nuclear attack happens you are not scrambling around trying to gather the items from multiple locations.
10 Important Items to Include in Your Nuclear Fallout Kit
- 30 day supply of food water
You’re probably looking at me pondering how you fit 30 days’ worth of food and water in a kit. Simple, you will need to make sacrifices. You won’t be able to eat lavishly from your Mountain House tin cans because they are not going to fit in your kit.
So when I say you can only survive three days without water that doesn’t mean that you should store 30 days’ worth of drinking water in your kit. Instead you should have a certain amount of water that you can drink once every 3 days. As I mentioned in How to Survive a Nuclear Attack you could be in your shelter anywhere from 3 days up to 30 days. Afterwards you are able to forage if you need to.
Depending on how close you are to the blast you may need more water because the radiation may be burning your lips. However, I am encouraging you to strategically relocate so that you don’t have to take that risk. You might have to drive an hour to get to work as a result of relocating but this will keep you safer and help you survive longer when SHTF.
The water and food supplies should also be sealed up to prevent radiation from penetrating. Canned food maybe best for this occasion but could take up more room in your kit. You might also consider packing some MREs in your kit as they take up less space. Canned foods would also be great because you won’t necessarily need a heat source to eat them. MREs only need water to heat up.
- Heat source
- First Aid Kit
- Hazmat Suit
When you are searching for Hazmat suits make sure you are buying one that provides radiation protection. There are many cheaper suits that only provide protection from fumes and chemicals. They will not be affective in protection from radiation. You can check out an example HERE.
- Extra pair of clothes
- Lights (blackout kit)
- Sanitation kit
Inside of your kit you could pack some heavy duty trash bags to place fecal matter and other types of waste. If you have a bunker or basement you could use a bucket. You should also get a nice supply of saw dust to cover up the smell of waste. You should also pack some camping wipes and disinfectants along with some soap.
- Radiation detector
- Recreational material