Before I moved, I was a serious emergency preparedness person, complete with water buckets, gamma seal buckets, home canned goods—you name it, I was into it. I was even the Emergency Preparedness representative for my church. But when we moved here, not only did we donate/sell half of our belongings, but we also donated all of that supply because we have little room here. When I got here, I assumed I could just put Emergency Preparedness on the backburner for a while, but then (gulp) I got asked to be the Emergency Preparedness representative for my church. I guess the Big Guy is telling me that a back burner isn’t an option. So now I am starting over and I want to encourage you to join with me in my journey to get my family prepared. Fortunately, I am more experienced this time around, since this is my “Take Two,” so I have a few tricks for all of us that I am GIDDY to share with you.
In my opinion, Emergency Preparedness for most of us is not solar ovens, handheld radios, and backpacks for hiking through the wilderness. I think what everyone needs is simple, everyday preparedness. The kind that will get you by when you have a financial setback, such as unemployment, disability, etc.
I think everyone needs a 3 month supply of food on hand. It sounds overwhelming, especially if you are in a small place like I am, but trust me, it is doable and I will help you. That doesn’t mean you need to rush off to Costco and buy thousands of dollars worth of stuff. I work in Baby Steps!
Write down 5 meals that your family eats regularly. Try to see that it is made of items that you can store in the freezer or pantry, but that do not need a refrigerator.
This need not be fancy–here is my list I am making:
Savory Lemon Chicken (I would freeze the bell peppers).
Lemon Pepper Pasta (this is just angel hair pasta with lemon pepper, California Blend vegetables, lemon pepper, and a little butter)
Now make a list of all the ingredients you use.
2 Cups Rice
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 bell pepper
3 pieces of frozen chicken breast
1 box spaghetti noodles
1 box penne
2 links spicy sausage
1 jar canned tomatoes
1T lemon juice
1 onion (I could use frozen onions or dehydrated)
3 pork chops
Can bread crumbs
1 box angel hair pasta
1 bag frozen California Blend Vegetables
The goal? Try and buy the items you wrote down. When you use one of these, immediately put it on your grocery list so that you replace it right away (If you are worried you won’t remember, put a sticker or draw a star on the box or bag so you know). If it will bust your budget to buy these things, obviously don’t do that, but just take a little longer on this baby step. I know I will probably take a bit to do this because of my limited budget. But I may also make a few nights a cheap can of soup night so that I have the funds to afford stocking up a bit. I am not worrying about side dishes just yet, only the main entree.
How will this help you:
1) Forget about the emergency! If you are having one of those times where you REALLY need to get to the store, but just can’t get there, you know you have 5 meals on hand.
2) Let’s say you are having a rough month or week financially, the cool thing is that there are 5 less meals you need to worry about needing money for. It’s already on hand.
3) Since you have this master list of items you need, whenever you see a killer sale on something, you can stock up a little bit on these. Every week I scan The Krazy Coupon Lady and just look for her little “stock up” logo and if that is part of my regular rotation, I go and stock up. I also use a local couponing website for the grocery stores in my area (My Frugal Adventures).
Leave a comment here and let me know how you are doing on this Baby Step. I’ll keep you posted on my progress as well. If you are a blogger, leave a link if you chat about this on your site!
For more information on Emergency Preparedness, you can check out this website.