PrepWise Wednesday — Personal Care Stocking

When you want to start stocking things and start to think about everything, you may get overwhelmed. You start to think: I need to stock up on food, water, soaps, medicines, cleaning supplies, and so many other things. So may start to think why bother, I just can’t do it. I am telling you NEED to have a basic stock of at least a month, preferably three to six, maybe even a year. In the case of a natural disaster supply lines of food, water, and energy can be disrupted or even stopped for weeks or months while the infrastructure is repaired.

The most important rule when stocking is to stock what you use and use what you stock. If you know you can’t stand beans, then don’t stock them because you won’t use them. They will go bad and you waste money. Then you will think having these emergency preparations is a waste of time and money.

A second rule is not buying everything at once. If you spread the purchases out over a few months, they will not expire at the same time.

An easy place to start is with personal care items like soaps, shampoos, and lotions. Make a list of what you use. Then determine how much you use in a month. Next you decide how many months supply you want to have on your shelf. Stocking can be done very cheaply or even for free if you coupon, use sales and store bonus cards. If you are not brand loyal or have special requirements, then it is very easy to do cheaply.

In most things I am not brand loyal, however, I have a family that has extremely sensitive skin. The children are all very prone to eczema. Any type of scent or harsh chemical causes flare ups that can take weeks to get back under control. To help with this, we can only use Dove Sensitive Skin Soap. Knowing this I am always looking for Dove coupons and sales. I purchase at the lowest price I can to keep my supply up to my goal amount of 36 bars on the shelf. (Eleven people using about 3 bars of soap a month for a 12 month supply).

For things like shampoos, figure out how many ounces of shampoo you use a month. In my family, Richard uses dandruff shampoo. His bottle lasts about 2 months. So we need to have 6 bottles on the shelf for a year. The bigger girls use a bottle a month between them. So we need 12 bottles for the year. We use much less conditioner with the girls so we only need 6 bottles for the year. The boys use a larger bottle every two months, so again we need 6 bottles. The little girls use a tear free conditioning shampoo, which only comes is smaller bottles. So we need to have about 20 of them for a year. (Once they turn 10 they will switch to the older girls shampoo so the numbers will change).

Then I make plan to spread out the purchases over the year so everything will have different experiration dates.  You need to remember to “rotate” the stock so the older products are used first.

I use the same principles to figure out how much I need for the other personal care items we use. My personal care items include:

Lotions for dry skin
Lip balms like Chapstick or Carmex
Facial Cleansing Products
Shaving Cream
Anti Chafing Ointments/Creams
Baby Powder
Sunburn treatments
Feminine Products
Diapers (when they were needed)

Take this week and put together your personal care list. Then use my examples and figure out how many you need to have on hand to survive for three months.

Pax Christi!

A married woman must often leave God at the altar in order to find Him in her housework ~~St. Francis of Rome

I’m a Prepper, She’s a Prepper, Wouldn’t You Like to be a Prepper Too??

What is Prepping?

I am sure you are hearing a lot about it right now. Prepping can involve as little or as much as your want. Basically prepping involves laying in “stores” to get you through “things.” What type of things you ask? Well it can be what ever you decide. Some prep for The End of The World As We Know It (TEOTWAWKI) or for when the Sh** Hits the Fan (SHTF). Depending on where you live you can prep for weather or natural events like hurricanes, tornados, wild fires, or earthquakes.

How do I Start Prepping?

You make the conscience decision to take the steps necessary to have your family be prepared. Next you decide how much time you ultimately want to have supplies for: one week, one month, three months, six months, one year, five years. It is your family and home so you make the decisions. Having a pantry is a form of prepping. Deciding to take the pantry from a one month supply of food to a three month supply of food is prepping. Small steps over time is the best way.

You also will need to think about alternative forms of cooking and storage of food. When Hurricane Isabelle went through our area 7 years ago we had neighborhoods without power for a weeks. That means no freezer and no electric stoves. So you need to think about that also.

I made those decisions, what is next?

Think about food, clothing, water, medical supplies, unique needs like allergies, will you have guns and ammunition in the house? Next you will need make a plan to reach your goal. Then you will need to make your budget. A budget is a must. You can buy a large amounts of storage food for large amounts of money, but why do that? Take your time and build the pantry your family will use.

Starting your plan

The most important thing to have is food and water so I would start there. The most important thing is to store what you eat and eat what you store! Make a list of all the meals your family eats. Write out the ingredients. Take inventory of what you have to make those meals. Now if you wanted to be able to have enough food in your house for a month, how much would you have to purchase to reach that goal. Plan to shop grocery sales for the next three months. Only purchase and plan meals that are on deep sales so you have the money to build the pantry over the course of a few months.

I would also suggest reading some books on how to become self sufficient. I am currently reading The Backyard Homestead by Carleen Madigan. It tell how to produce all the food you need on a quarter acre of land. Very interesting reading. There are other books out there. Square Foot Gardening, Encyclopedia of Country Living, and The Self Sufficient Life. That should give you some place to start your research.

Join an online group of like minded people. They will help you and encourage you along the way. One new group I belong to and can recommend is PrepWise. This board is relatively new, but there is some great knowledge there. Some sites are very hard core, conspiracy theories, but they have some great prepping info so take what you can and leave the rest.

Also start a notebook. If you find information online, PRINT IT OUT! If the power goes out and you don’t have the paper then you do not have the information.

My notebook currently has these sections:

First Aid Information (how to)
Medical Information for each family member
Bank account information
Emergency contact information for out of area family
A pouch with some cash in lower denominations (if the power is down, no banks, no ATMs)

Prepping has been near and dear to my heart, I want to have others start thinking about how having supplies and knowledge in the house can be a blessing to the family. I invite you join my world and have hedge against the world.