Tip: Most important- Store the food that you eat and eat the food that you store.
When it comes to prepping or food storage I know I consider myself to be small fry. Most people wonder with all that is needed in order to be prepared…. Where in the world should they begin? And that’s so true because when you think about all that is needed, you will easily feel discouraged and overwhelmed. But I believe that as long as your eyes are opened to the fact that some kind of food storage or prepping would be to your own benefit then that’s a start.
The next thing needed is to start somewhere. Take it one day at a time. Just know that any amount of being prepared is considered a whole lot when compared to someone who does nothing at all and compared to before when you did nothing as well. So just know that it’s possible to do this and stay within your own budget.
Anyone can begin prepping no matter where you live (metropolis/city or farm/country) and no matter your income (low income or middle class). It’s basically learning how to squirrel away the things you’ll need in case of an emergency or for a difficult time be it financial or disaster preparations. So it’s possible that you can continue to live your daily life and do food storage/prep at the same time. Here’s how I started from the ground up and running now. So I’d like to share how I started my food storage and prepping.
Everyone knows that we need to have safe clean water to drink and clean nutritious food in cases of emergency. So I started my storage with what is most important…. water. The fact is that you can go for a longer amount of time without food than you can go without water to drink. If you don’t have water with a few days you are a dead duck and if you drink contaminated water you’ll be a sick then a dead duck.
So I started my storage with getting my water supply built up first until I had at least one month supply of water for two people and one water pitcher with filter (by Seychelles) and two water bottles with filters (by Brita.) And so everyone can do this, anyone can start here first.
I started storing the one (1) gallon water bottles until I had at least twelve (12) gallons, then later as I became more knowledgeable about water storage, I changed to purchasing the five (5) gallon bottles instead.
Next, I started with simple food items like dried beans, dried potatoes, and rice. Then I began to incorporate other kinds of foods and then some luxury items. After I had at least one month supply in one area say dried beans and rice then I’d move to the next area of having dried potatoes and dried milk. Then I would go back and forth between the two areas to expand on each as I kept moving along until I had one month’s supply of dried beans, dried potatoes, and rice. Then I added some luxury items.
So I’d say if you have a month’s supply of things that you buy on a regular basis of your normal grocery list you are good to go. You are then at a much better place than most.
A. REASONS TO START PREPPING OR STORAGE
I must confess that I may have always been prepping without knowing it. The reason being is because I didn’t like having to shop so often for the same items I used often and knew I needed. Also, I was always upset when I was ready to cook a meal only to find I was missing an important ingredient, so then if I had to go to the store or send someone to get it then I’d change my mind and not want to cook that particular recipe. So for that reason, I think I was a prepper at heart.
Also, there are a lot of people who like to stockpile so when funds are low they like the security of always having the items and foods they need without fussing over the fact they didn’t have the funds to get it at that moment. Especially after the times when once you pay all the household bills and your practically broke after that and refuse to touch your savings.
I also like the idea of shopping in my own store basically. Just knowing that if I wanted pizza, I have all of the ingredients to make one or that I have a couple of extra pizza pies in the freezer. Also nowadays with the economy the way it is, it would serve a good purpose if you had stocked away a huge supply of food and necessary items so that if money became short for a while you can pay all of your main bills and survive off your food storage items for a while or until things are back to normal. So you really could be creative about your food storage items.
B. GETTING STARTED:
1. Ready Cash and Coins
The word out is that you should have at least a minimum of two hundred ($200.00) to five hundred dollars ($500.00) in available cash in small bills like five’s, ten’s and twenties and lots of coins in a jar because you may not have access to a cash machine or can use your credit card or could have access to an open bank but need money for emergency purposes. Well, you can absolutely start on that goal right away. If you have it or you can put aside as little as five dollars ($5.00) a week to work on achieving this goal. Also, have a jar for all that loose change once you break a dollar. My husband and I always save our loose change once we break a dollar in a huge 5-gallon water bottle.
Also if you don’t have a savings account it’s ok, you can open one and start today with building a savings account. My mom always taught me to always work toward saving at a minimum of six months to one year worth of living expense money. It could take you months to any amount of years to amass that amount of money based on how much your living expenses are. But I must tell you that it is well worth the security of having it on the side in case you need it. You just never ever know. The key is not to spend it no matter what. You basically have to pretend like you don’t have this money. But if you wind up spending it for whatever the reason just start all over again to save it up again. It’s that easy, you know it’s like getting off and on a wagon. I say always keep your self a stash somewhere LOL! So if money is really tight and you find you just cannot save at all (living from paycheck to paycheck) then you may have to get a second part-time job or do a little hustling of some sort on the side because it’s your life you’re talking about. Be a little creative.
Here’s a true story: I have two friends who were always crying broke to me and so I sat down with each one of them and told them to try harder and get a sidekick. Be creative and let that extra income be the source of your saving plan goals. As of today they both followed my advice and are sticking with it. So a few years later, one of them was forced to go from having a full-time job to a part-time one because her office was making cutbacks, but thank God she had her sidekick going full force for her for a few years because it’s bringing her through what could have been a rougher period right now had she only had the one 8 hours full-time job alone.
Also, I have another friend of mine who could not stay focused long enough to keep a side job but then she reconsidered and saw the possibilities and now makes the time to do her side job because she realizes it’s going to benefit her in the long run. She eventually paid off most of her debt and now has extra money saved up for an emergency.
These are just two stories of smart women I know of.
The main goal should be to start working toward becoming debt-free. It’s possible to join a debt-free program but the most important thing is starting right away because you will come closer and closer to your goals.
2. De-Clutter or Make Space
When making space for your food storage you will see that you don’t need a whole room to do this. You can tuck things into closets, underneath beds, behind dressers or in a spare bedroom if you have the extra space in there. But you will see that you need to do some kind of de-cluttering to make room in your house or apartment to expand on your food and water storage. So if you have garage space or a shed that’s a great place to store some of your things too. But remember not put all your stash in one place just in case it is discovered one day or someone steals from your stash in that one place and cleans you out completely, but hopefully, that won’t happen.
3. Educate Yourself and Amass Skills
Tip: Knowing how to use everything you are storing and saving is vital!
The third thing to do in order to introduce yourself to prepping is to educate yourself all about prepping, by picking up a good few books on the subject. There are so many books out there to choose from and so I guess you would wonder which one you should pick. I say read the table of contents to see if there is anything that might pique your interest first and then pick any good book on the topic and just start reading. Also, Pinterest has a whole slew of ideas on the topic and it’s free.
Then if you like you can continue to educate yourself by picking from a variety of subjects or areas you feel would be helpful in providing you with the necessary skills. You basically can learn about almost anything you want on a subject that piques your interest. I also found a lot of interesting information on prepping by watching a few of the YouTube videos available. They have a lot of interesting stuff.
So you can learn how to obtain one or two self-sustainable living skills like:
organic gardening, candle making, soap making, beekeeping, permaculture, solar energy, cooperative living, learning to exercise daily at home instead of driving across town to a gym, learn how to make things, rain catchments, composting, frugality, food as medicine, medicinal herbs, hobbit houses, water storage, learning how to live off the grid, keeping chickens and hens, building a smokehouse, cooking, baking, building a solar oven, aromatherapy, knitting, crocheting, quilting, woodworking, spinning wool and cotton, dyeing and weaving, basket weaving, pottery, farming, animal keeping, sewing, canning, food storage, winemaking, cheese making, camping, water purification, wood stove, jerky making, etcetera etcetera.
This list can go on but you can learn something about practically anything that interests you. So you may already have one or more of the skills mentioned and so you can still branch off into another area of a certain skill you may already have. Having some kind of skill in any of these areas mentioned or that you deem helpful can help you especially if you become a part of a community of people who are trying to survive off each other’s skills and are learning to live off the grid. Also, you may barter and trade with others now and when the time comes you can put it all to use. So it’s of your best interest to learn all you can about one topic or area and then branch out or move on to the next if you so choose.
The very first book I picked up and read about prepping/food storage was “The Preppers Pocket Guide: 101 easy things you can do to ready your home for disaster” and “Patriots: Surviving the Coming Collapse” also “Emergency Food Storage and Survival Handbook: Everything you need to know to keep your family safe in a crisis.” Also, I recently picked up this huge book which covers a lot of areas in reference to sustainable living titled “John Seymour: The Self-Sufficient Life and how to live it, complete back to basics guide”. The next book I see myself purchasing after this one is titled “City Chicks.” This book teaches about raising chickens in the city or anywhere. Also, I have a few magazines like “Mother Earth” and the “Herb Quarterly” that I have had for years. So the idea is that every little bit helps in the gathering of information on survival and being prepared.
During world war two the women grew victory gardens so doing it today will save lots of money on groceries and is good for health. And help you get better at learning how to garden. Making mistakes now and learning from them.
4. Spiritual Connection
I find it to be so important to seek a connection with God so that you develop the ability to remain calm in your mind and spirit while the whole world around you may be falling to pieces.
5. Make Friends with a Prepper or a Farmer
Also if you know someone who is into prepping or food storage you may want to try to spend a little time with that person and ask lots of questions. Also, you can watch a lot of the “Doomsday Prepping” shows on cable television to get ideas and tips. If possible make friends with a farmer or someone who has good gardening skills. Also, view online lots of free videos on the topic.
6. Make a List
Next, you’d want to start making a list of all of the things you and you’re family use on a daily basis and would need to use for an entire month. That includes all medicines.
Also ask yourself what your needs would be in case of an emergency and in case of crisis or any disaster. Also you can set up a goal chart and schedule whereby you can reach your goals by a certain time. For instance:
One Month Goal Chart
Items Date Purchased Quantity amount/cost
Saving Cash May 25, 2012 1- $20 dollar bill $35 saved
********************************10- $1 dollar bills
********************************$5 worth of quarters
Water June 1, 2012 2- 4 gallon bottles $20
Food Items June 8, 2012 2-bags dried beans $10
********************************2-bags white rice
Miscellaneous June 15, 2012 12 roll package of toilet paper $20
Items 10 bars of soap
First Aid June 22, 2012 Can of 20 band aids $15
*********************************1- bottle of alcohol
*********************************1- bottle of peroxide
*********************************1- bottle of Tylenol
Canned Goods June 28, 2012 6 cans of tuna
********************************3 cans carrots
Dried Goods August 5, 2012 2-boxes of elbow macaroni $10
*******************************2-boxes of spaghetti
*******************************2-boxes of Ziti
You can always make your own goal chart or tweak it to fit a certain time frame. Also you can keep a separate list of what you have and check it off as you go along so you don’t have an overabundance in one area only and too little in another area.
- Back to PREP School: 6 Subjects Preppers Should Be Learning (prepared-housewives.com)
- Simple Solutions for Food Storage – Part 1 (survivalemergencykits.wordpress.com)
- Low Cost Food Storage Ideas for New Preppers. Here’s How To Do It Yourself and Save!. (thesurvivalistblog.net)
- Real Pantry Organizing Tips (wayfair.com)
- Food storage and OPSEC.. (southeastidahominutemen.wordpress.com)
- Food Storage Made Simple – Part 2 (survivalemergencykits.wordpress.com)
- Stay Prepared with Long Term Food Storage (everythingabouthiking.com)
- Baby Steps to Prepping and Food Storage: Pt. Two (lovelyseasonscomeandgo.wordpress.com)