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


PrepWise Wednesday: Stocking the Medicine Cabine

When you think about stocking up, you should also consider adding over the counter medicines to your preps. Think about what type of illnesses you and your family has over the course of year and then plan accordingly.

In my family alone we have had the following in the past year: headaches, muscle soreness, sprains, stains, menstrual cramps, tummy issues, allergies, yeast infections, jock itch, athlete’s foot, colds and flu. Most of these can be treated relatively inexpensively with over the counter medications.

Here is what I have in my over the counter medication preps. You should look them over and considering adding them to your preps too.

Ibuprofen — I pick up the 750 caplet bottle at the local warehouse club for about $10.00. That is 7.5 cents a capsule. And you can take prescription strength dosing by using 3 or 4 caplets. You can also watch for sales and coupons and get these inexpensively.

Acetaminophen — Again I pick up the 500 extra strength tablet bottle at the warehouse club for about $7.00. Again right around 7 cents a pill.

Aspirin — 81 mg dose. Daily dose for those with heart issues or a family history of the them. Once again a warehouse club pick up. Large bottles for little cost.

Aspirin — 325 mg pills. Good to have on hand for those aches and pains that the Motrin and Tylenol aren’t kicking alone. Also wonder to have on hand if you think someone is having a heart attack. Have them chew an aspirin to help block the clotting factors as you get them to the hospital.

Diphenhydramine (Benadryl) — A wonderful antihistamine. Good for block allergic reactions and nasal allergies. It can be uses in a pinch as a sleep aid, if it makes you sleepy.

Pseudoephedrine (Sudafed) — Get the good stuff behind the counter. It helps to relieve the congestion in both the head and chest. I have everyone over the age of 18 grab the largest box possible about every 2 months.

Plain Robutussin — Good to help with check congestion and coughs.

Loperamide (Imodium) — Best over the counter medicine for diarrhea. I get liquid and tablets.

Meclizine (Dramamine) — Anti-nausea medicine. Helps relieve nausea, vomiting, motion sickness, and vertigo-like dizziness.

Calcium Carbonate (Tums) — Anti-acid and calcium supplement. Helps relieve temporary heartburn.

Mylanta — Liquid anti-acid/anti-gas to help with tummy issues.

Rantidine (Zantac) – another anti-acid, relatively inexpensive and can help with hives and migraines too. Liz’s over the counter migraine “cocktail” is a zantac, a benedryll and 600 mg of Advil.

Hydrocortisone Cream – the 1% version is the strongest OTC available. Good for adults and children with rashes, eczema, poison ivy, and diaper rash.

Bacitracin Ointment — good topical antibiotic ointment for skin broken by bumps, scratches, bug bites.

Clotrimazole (Gyne-Lotrimin) — Same anti-fungal medication as in lotrimin. This medicine can be used to treat female yeast infections, jock itch, athlete’s foot, ring worm and yeasty diaper rashes.

Zinc Oxide (Desitin) — excellent protection for skin irritations, a heavy duty sunscreen if necessary.

Having a good supply of these medications will allow you to mix and match to treat a wide variety of ailments in an emergency.

Like mentioned above, you can have an effective migraine cocktail. You can mix sudafed, Robitussin, a pain killer and benedryll and have a cold medication. You can mix the mylanta, hydro-cortisone, gyne-lotrimin and the zinc oxide and have an effective diaper cream for bad diaper rashes.

In addition to these OTC medications, having a good basic knowledge in herbal medications would be a help also.

So think about your family and what you would need to survive during a time of emergency if some one became ill with a minor illness. Then make a plan to build up your stores of those medications throughout the year. You do not want to purchase them all at once, you want to spread the acquisition of them throughout the year so they do not all expire at the same time.

Pax Christi!

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

PrepWise Wednesday Challenge

It you all have been following my blog for a while, you know I like to keep a large pantry and storage of daily use products. Since we have a large family, I prefer to shop out of my pantry for the week and restock when items go on that once every two month sale.

Over the past 20 months or so, the pantry took a major hit. I praise God that I had the provisions in the house to help us get through the leaner and more turbulent times. Now that things have settled down, it is time to rebuild the pantry and other provisions.

The first thing I am going to do is take a physical inventory of the items I have in the house right now. Then I am going compare what I have on hand with what I need to get the stores back up to at least a three month level. Then I will make my plan for restocking.

After I complete my plan, I need to have my husband build better storage shelves for the food items. The ones I have now are plastic shelves and they are showing signs of age. One even collapsed a month or so ago. Thankfully there were no glass jars on it so nothing was lost. I want to avoid having that happen in the future.

For the next week I am going to work on my inventory, research plans for shelves and start a plan for restocking.

For this week I encourage you to start your prepping plan. Post here with your prepping plans.

Pax Christi,

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

PrepWise Wednesday

This weekend was a major shopping weekend. I visited 5 stores and spent an obscene amount of money. (Well not really, but more than I usually spend at one time). I was restocking the pantry. With everything going on this summer I wasn’t shopping the sales and we were eating out of the family’s pantry. In a way I am glad we did this since some the items had been around a while and it cleared the shelves.

I was very thankful we had those supplies in the house. It freed me from having to worry about shopping in the midst of all the chaos. With the food was in the house, Richard or Mandy were be able to figure a meal if I wasn’t around.

Now I am restocking those pantries and freezers. My main goal is have three months worth of food in the house by November. Why November you ask? I am remembering this last winter:


Last year we started with the record breaking amount of snows in mid November. Having food in the house took away a worry. I knew we would be able to eat. We made sure we had the propane for the gas tanks full so we could have hot meals even if the power went out.

Richard and I are now talking about getting a generator. This would be used to run the pellet stove for heat. Of course that would mean having to store gas or diesel fuel so that we could run the generator, so we are looking for a safe place to store the fuel too. Not to mention finding a place to run the generator to the exhaust does not come into the house, while at the same time make sure it would not get stolen.

What are you all doing to get ready for the upcoming winter?

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

PrepWise Wednesday — November 4th


It has been a while since I have talked about preparing. Winter is coming so now is the time to start thinking about cold weather preps.

Do you have an alternative heating source if you lose power? How about enough warm clothes (think layers) and blankets for everyone in the family? Do you have have a plan for the family to survive for a couple of days if you are snow or ice bound? Now is the time to check your supplies and make sure you have them in the house. That way you don’t have to make that mad dash to the store for toilet paper and milk along with everyone else in the area when that dreaded four letter word – SNOW – enters the forecast.

If you travel a lot you need to think about your cars too. Do you have an emergency kit in there? If so, make sure you add things like extra blankets and maybe hand and foot warmers. You may want to add some additional food items, think about some self heating MREs, that way you can have something warm if you are stuck in the middle of no where. Don’t forget to add kitty litter (non-clumping) and a small shovel to help dig out if you get stuck in the snow and ice. Oh and you may want to add some de-icer in case your locks get frozen.

So start your winter preps now and beat the rush.

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

PrepWise Wednesday — Figuring out what you need


You have now decided you want to start “prepping” and building a supply of food and medicines and you not sure how to figure out what the heck you need for your family. There are several websites out there to help you.

One that I can recommend is Millennium Ark. This website is definitely for the hardcore prepper that is out to prepare for the end of the world. They have one tool that I love. It is this spreadsheet to help you figure how much of what items you need to store. It has a section that you fill out for the number of people that live in your house and for how many weeks you want to prepare for. It runs in Excel (or you can download OpenOffice which is a shareware program that lets you run Microsoft Office programs).

There is a one year supply list here. It has a one year supply for one adult. It includes costs. The rest of the site is once again a hard core prep site so you are warned. 🙂

Over at Cooking Traditional Foods there is a section on Food Storage for those with food sensitives and allergies. KerryAnn also has a spreadsheet similar to the one at Millenium Ark to help you with your food storage needs.

Another great resource for getting started is the Simply Living Smart website. They have wonderful resources.

The most important thing to remember is to store what you eat, and eat what you store. That way the food is used and rotated, and nothing is wasted.

Come on join us at PrepWise to learn more.

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

PrepWise Wednesday — Sustainable and Self Sufficient


This week I want to talk about being self sufficient. Now that you are thinking about Prepping and getting your family prepared for an emergency. The next step you have to think about is how are you going to sustain you and your family once your stores run out?

I know it is late in the season, but you need to start thinking about it for next year. How would you grow food so that you could continue to live if the world as we know it ended or if you just needed to be able to drastically cut your outgoing money because of illnesses or job loss?

I would recommend a couple of books to get you started thinking about growing food. The first is the classic Square Foot Gardening. The next one I would read would be Lasagna Gardening. Both of these books let you start to garden without a lot of effort and will provide quite a bit of produce for the family.

Once you have read those and decided that you need them on your bookshelf, then you would want to progress to growing other forms of food like chickens. Another book that recently read and then decided I needed on my shelf was the Backyard Homestead. A lot of great information on how to grow vegetables, fruits and some animals. It even gives you layouts for various size land plots. Plus it gives you recipes and some basic instructions for canning fruits and vegetables. It also gives you recipes for making cheese and suggestions for raising dairy animals like goats or small cows.

Another book is Five Acres and Independence. It gives you information for a larger farmstead, if you have the land. It was originally written in the 1930’s so it has some wonderful advise from that era.

So check out your library and see if you can get these books. Read them and start laying out your plans for next year. Some plants can be planted in the fall, plus Square Foot Gardening has some tips on extending the season for growing.

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