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One of the things I see most often is people not knowing what to stockpile or where to even start.  The best suggestion I have is to make a list of what you use in a month, and initially base your preparations from that.

Every family is different, but every family has basic food requirements that have to be met.

There are a lot of things you can pick up when they are on sale and slowly build your pantry and storage without wrecking your budget.  As previously mentioned, be sure to shop the grocery aisles in discount stores such as Dollar General, Fred’s, and Dollar Tree.

A basic list would include some or all of the following:

  • Water – 1 gallon per person, per day – ideally 2 weeks’ worth (includes water for cooking needs)
  • Flour – white, wheat, rye, soy – whatever your family likes
  • Grains – oats, grits, cream of wheat, cracked wheat, popcorn, etc.
  • Sugars – granulated white, powdered, brown, honey (or molasses), pancake syrup
  • Salt – iodized table salt, sea salt, kosher, etc.
  • Yeast – if you plan on making bread
  • Oil – olive, vegetable, corn, peanut, etc., and/or shortening
  • Butter – counts as an oil, but you can freeze or can the butter, or use butter flavored shortening as a substitute
  • Eggs – fresh is always best, but you can buy powdered eggs to use in an emergency
  • Baking supplies – corn starch, baking soda, baking powder, spices, muffin liners, cocoa powder, etc.
  • Dried beans – lots of varieties such as pinto, black, lentils, great northern, navy, kidney, red, etc.
  • Corn meal or corn bread packets (I really like Morrison’s Corn Kits, but it may be a regional item)
  • Rice – long grain white, brown, jasmine, etc.
  • Peanut butter
  • Jelly or jam
  • Dried or canned fruits/vegetables
  • Dried or canned meats – jerky, chicken, beef, ham
  • Nuts – pecans, peanuts, walnuts, cashews, etc.
  • Treats for the kids (or the chocoholic in you   🙂   ) – chocolate chips, candy bars, hard candy, Pop Tarts (which have a shockingly long shelf life!), etc.
  • Boxed cereals
  • Condiments such as ketchup, mustard, mayo, BBQ sauce, hot sauce, pickles, olives, etc.
  • Ramen noodles (VERY cheap, and store well)
  • Dry pasta and canned sauces
  • Coffee, tea, Kool-Aid, Tang, Nestle Quik (chocolate/strawberry), hot cocoa mix, etc.
  • Powdered milk
  • Fruit juice or juice boxes
  • Canned soups – chicken noodle, tomato, vegetable, cream of chicken/mushroom, etc.
  • Crackers – saltines, Ritz, Wheat Thins, Sociables, etc.
  • Canned chili or tamales
  • Apple sauce
  • Instant mashed potatoes (not bad with some cheese and garlic powder added in)
  • Canned tuna fish, SPAM, vienna sausages, etc.  (In an emergency, it’s better than nothing!)

If you don’t know how to make bread (or cook), I highly recommend you learn.  Anyone can learn how to cook with some practice and patience.  Good cooks are not always born – they develop over time.  🙂

For other basic supplies, a beginning list could include:

  • Matches
  • Candles or oil lamps with extra lamp oil and wicks
  • Flashlights with extra batteries
  • Battery powered AM/FM radio
  • Extra blankets/pillows
  • Toilet paper
  • Paper towels
  • Napkins
  • Kleenex
  • Laundry detergent and supplies (stain remover, dryer sheets. etc.)
  • Dishwashing liquid
  • Ziploc bags (gallon, quart, sandwich bags)
  • Trash bags
  • Soap
  • Deodorant
  • Shampoo
  • Baby powder/foot powder
  • Cotton balls
  • Q-tips
  • Shaving cream
  • Razors
  • Toothpaste
  • Dental floss
  • Mouthwash
  • Pet food (dry and canned)
  • Extra canning jars/lids/rings
  • Seeds for planting a garden (use good quality seeds – not the Walmart .25 cent packages)

Consider starting a garden, or planting a few fruit trees in your yard.

These are just some ideas to get you started.  The important thing is to actually begin to prepare before an emergency strikes.  Having food and supplies onhand for your family is a peace of mind that is priceless!

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