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3,479 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
and other storage. I think not only do I need to do more like Grainlady does and stock more grains, beans, and basic items (less canned goods) but that I need to do a real re-assessment of what I spend my $ on.

Along this line, I am thinking...what are the items I can buy that have NO shelf life? Not just food, but other household products too: bedding, building supplies, etc. I haven't got a plan yet, but it seems stupid to only focus on food.

Food is like 10% of our expenses. Yes, of course it's valuable, but that means there's 90% of what we spend $ on that I do NOT consider in this way.

What if I considered my car and its expenses the same way I considered food? Go shopping for the best prices on oil, transmission fluid, a spare battery? What about home repair items? Tools? I do this, but not regularly. I'm always looking for bargains on food. I look for bargains on other stuff WHEN I NEED THE STUFF, not all the time.

I DO consider many of these things related to my vegetable garden, but that's food again. I have bought mostly perrenials and biennials that reseed themselves, etc.

How can I apply these principles to the OTHER stuff I buy? It seems to me that although I consider myself and DH fairly frugal, that this is something we haven't really done.



5,605 Posts
I like to have the medicine cabinet stocked at all times.

I do it like Amy D in Tight wad gazzete suggested.

Buy one ingredient items these are often cheaper then the combo mediations. and you can mix and match them to what you really need so your not taking any medications you really aren't needing.

Our doc told us the categories medicines fall into and what the drug name ( not brand name was ) into so we keep those around

Please forgive miss spelling of drug names
1)decongestant (suddefedrine and there is a new one) we keep one kid one and one adult one
2)expectant (gustifin) use to keep the yucky tasting syrup but like the new pill form better ( powder for the kids)
3)antihistamine Many different kinds ( we keep everyones in the houses favorite)
4) pain/fever reliever (forgot the official drug name we go for generic tyleonl and advil) children and adult
5)cortisone ( we keep the cream handy at all times)
6) cough suppressant ( name brand Dylsem) we don't use often but it is great to have in the cabinet on those nights that you really need it

Hubby also likes night time cold medicine (Nyquil) so that is basically the only mix medicine we keep on hand.

Only tricky part is not to stock up to much that you end up wasting the meds because they expire. I have found that lots of medications have a least a year some time two until experation. I check dates on the meditations when I shopping and buy the longest until expiration date ( just like I do for milk)

Also adults can take children's overcounter medication you just comapare how many mg are in each does of the childrens and figure how many doses are needed to reach the adult equivalent .

557 Posts
I can't keep a stockpile. I can never find a sale or if I do get a ecent price it's always used up by the end of the month, ?Any suggestions? I can all the veggies I have in the garden or freeze them but we still run out even if I can more the next year.

5,605 Posts
I can't keep a stockpile. I can never find a sale or if I do get a ecent price it's always used up by the end of the month, ?Any suggestions? I can all the veggies I have in the garden or freeze them but we still run out even if I can more the next year.
Keeping track and limiting -- Cause it is so good to eat the yummy stuff.

You count up how many cans of each your were able to can.
Then divide that by 12 since it will be approx. 12 months until you can again.

That tells you how many cans you can use each month.

Example 24 can of green beans divided by 12 means 2 cans each month. If you need to use say 3 cans in one month you have i can for next month.

One friend I know actually keeps a chart so she know how many she has for each month then checks them of after she uses them like this

Jan /// Feb ///

It looks like this after she use them. she makes the / and X
Jan XX/ Feb ///
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1,532 Posts
I can't keep a stockpile. I can never find a sale or if I do get a ecent price it's always used up by the end of the month, ?Any suggestions? I can all the veggies I have in the garden or freeze them but we still run out even if I can more the next year.

I started my stockpile by buying 2 of things as I ran out, catching sales if possible and when I could. Slowly but surely the stockpile grew. I stockpile to always have what I need when I run out. My stockpile isn't huge, but it gives such peace of mind.

1,430 Posts
I started stockpiling food like vickilynn. Today, I purchase what's necessary and bargains I find, and those are things I normally need to replace in storage. I've also moved away from convenience foods.

I rarely spend all my grocery money, and as it accumulates, I purchase large quantities of some things. Last month I purchased 100# wheat. This month I was able to purchase a years worth of the whey-based milk substitute we use. I purchase other grains/seeds/beans in bulk amounts as I accumulate the funds to cover them. Everything (all food purchases) comes out of my $50/week food budget.

Another method to stockpiling is to use the "target" outlined in The New PASSPORT TO SURVIVAL - 12 Steps to Self-Sufficient Living.

Once again, it's ingredients, not convenience foods, as Judi pointed out in message #1.

The Seven Survival Foods. Numbers 1-3 are the center of the target (most important). Numbers 4-7 are the next ring in the target (second most important).

1. grains
2. legumes
3. sprouting seeds
4. honey (or sweetener/s or choice)
5. salt
6. oil
7. powdered milk (optional)

When you have these covered, everything else is extra and the third - outside - ring:

-canned, dried, fresh & frozen vegetables and fruits
-meats, eggs, nuts and nut butters
-baking supplies

1. Garden readiness. I purchase end-of-the-season seed packets when they are on sale and store them for the next season (or more). If you grow non-hybrid plants, you can save your seeds.

Emergency Esentials has a #10 can of NON-hybrid seeds: S200_A_name_E_Garden Seeds

2. How about alternative or emergency cooking methods? We learned the value of this during an ice storm when we were without electricity for a prolonged period of time. I keep a variety of methods for emergency cooking. Whenever I use a can of tuna, I make a Buddy Burner out of it. When I get a large supply of these, there is an organization I can give them to who hand them out to the homeless people to use for heat/cooking.

How to:

Other alternative cooking methods: Dutch Oven, Charcoal, Solar Oven, Sterno, Thermos Bottle "cooking"....

3. The ice storm knocked out one waste water sending station, so everyone was restricted to waste discharged into the system (NO baths or showers, and restricted toilet flushing - solids only). Had the public NOT complied, they would have shut off water to help prevent sewage use. I have a 5-gallon bucket that can be used for a toilet, the waste bags for lining it, as well as chemicals to treat the waste. Luckily, we didn't have to use it, but we DID have a toilet alternative. We also have large quantities of water in storage.

4. Laundry alternative... I have a Wonder Clean Washer (looks like this... - I got mine years ago from Lehman's), which is a 15-quart container designed to wash laundry by tumbling action - spinning the "washer". Alternatives are a 5-gallon bucket and a toilet plunger for washing clothes. We also have a mop-wringer which makes it easier to remove the excess water. MUCH easier than wringing water by hand. We have an outdoor AND indoor clothes line, but it might not be a bad idea for people to have a drying rack or some method to hang clothes to dry. Don't forget the clothes pins!

5. Laundry detergent. I purchase Charlie's Soap in a 5-gallon bucket (1280-loads). A bucket will last us at least 3.5 years. I found out the free shipping was about to expire, so I ordered another bucket, so I'm fixed for laundry detergent for 5-6 years.

6. REAL kefir grains - which last forever. You add these to milk and they ferment it to form a curd similar to yogurt. You use these "grains" over and over forever. Kefir is much better for you than yogurt. I use kefir as a substitute for plain yogurt, cream cheese, sour cream, and buttermilk.

More information: Dom's Kefir In-Site

3,479 Posts
Discussion Starter #7
I jotted down a quick list...

Things that do not expire/age when cared for:
linens, solid color, cotton and/or linen
blankets, solid color, wool
blankets, solid color, acrylic
glasses, dishes, and other eating utensils
automotive oil, transmission fluid, etc (?)
fat wood for kindling?
bagged mulches
most furniture
things made from rocks
most soaps: bar soap, laundry soap, shampoo bar, etc.

Things that Expire/are perishable
eye wash and other eye solutions
drugs: asprin, etc.
foodstuffs (some more than others)

Things that age but do not expire
wood for home repairs, garden edging, etc.

This is going to take a LOT more thought! :dust:


299 Posts
I have been stockpiling alot of powdered foods (I.E. Butter powder, shortening powder, sour cream powder etc)

I also have been stockpiling:

Emergency Candles
Band aids
Wheat Berries -250lbs
Oatmeal -75lbs
Water 175 lbs

My grains are in superpails with milar bags so I don't have worry about them spoiling.

1,607 Posts
I keep a huge stock or first aid supplies. I have gotten a lot of them at Estate and garage sales. When my DH was injured 4 years ago he needed constan bandage changes/alcohol preps/swab sticks etc. I was floored at the cost. Conversely,this stuff is dumped by families at estate sales. I have gotten whole big boxes for $2.00.
My List
-guaze (sp.),4x4's,cotton balls,steri-strips,elastic wraps (all sizes),
anything for emergencies,a good first aid book. Think about what you would need for an emergency if EMT's couldn't come.
-I also keep alcohol,witchhazel,hydrogen peroxide,calamine,burn cremes,cortizone cremes,tweezers,a small knife,etc.
The hydrogen peroxide is a good emetic (sp.) for my choc. eating beagle. The emerg. vet hosp. will tell how much to give for weight.

I also always keep a years supply of all hygiene supplies
-deoderant,shampoo,conditioner,mouthwash,toothpaste,dental floss,razors,sanitary napkins, soaps,etc.
-xtra combs,hairdryer,brushes,etc.

I play a little mental game. If I couldn't get to a store for 1 year what would I need. We keep a supply of light bulbs,vaccumn cleaner parts,tools,extra kitchen appliances. Etc. We have honed this system over years of trial and error. Garage sales and Estate sales are a great source of everything. I buy most of it new.
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