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
Anti Chafing Ointments/Creams
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.