Whether you’re preparing a bunker or simply stocking your basement for the next hurricane, getting ahead of the game with supplies is never a bad investment. One critique of preppers is that they “waste” money on the supplies, but almost everything you’d purchase for a time of crisis is something you also use in daily life. Organized prepping lets you stock basement, bunker, or pantry and use those items every day, replenishing them as you go.
You also don’t need a lot of disposable income to get prepared. Here’s a look at four things you can start stocking now without spending a great deal of money.
Clean water is one of the pillars of life, and it can become scarce in time of drought, power outages, and any natural or manmade disaster that impacts the infrastructure. You can buy a 24 pack of 32-ounce bottles for $2 to $5, depending on sale prices, and gallons of distilled water usually sell for less than a buck. For the price of one Starbucks coffee each week, you can put a couple of gallons of clean water in your basement.
Most companies do publish an expiration date on water. In a time of serious crisis, it’s probably safer to drink expired water than something that comes out of a local waterway, but you can also boil the water to be safe.
Watch the extreme coupon shows, and you’ll see families cart out dozens of canned goods without pulling a single bill from their wallets. You can stock your basement with food in a few months without going to extremes, though.
Just pay attention to store deals and clip a few coupons—you can get soups, beans, and even canned meats for less than a dollar, and often as low as 49 cents each.
Since canned goods also expire, organize them on shelves with the oldest items in front. Incorporate the food into your diet on a regular basis and rotate them out to avoid being stuck with all expired product should a crisis hit.
Rice and Whole Grains
Rice can be a tremendous staple during a long-term crisis. Not only does it provide a good source of carb-related energy, but it also lets you stretch other commodities such as meat or beans.
The best way to prolong storage of rice—and any other non-ground grain—is to buy it in vacuum-sealed 5-gallon buckets. Store the buckets away from moisture or heat and up off the floor.
A less expensive option is to buy grains in bulk in paper sacks. You do need to treat the grains by freezing them for around 3 days to kill any larvae left on the grain. You can then put smaller sacks of grain into sealable buckets, placing dry ice on top and bottom of each bucket.
First Aid Supplies
During a crisis, you might not have immediate access to medical care. Treating minor injuries appropriately becomes essential to reduce the chance of major issues such as infection.
Stock up on first aid supplies by shopping at drug stores that offer reward card perks. CVS, for example, offers regular coupons for $5 off an order; combine that with a deal for cash back on first aid supplies, and you can score bandages and other items for free.
For more on protecting yourself and your family no matter what the future holds, check out the information atExpert Prepper.