To start, I suggest purchasing a basic 3 month supply of your everyday foods! Then add a little each time you shop. I have a mix of freeze dried, dehydrated, LDS, Thrive Life, 5 gallon buckets with Gamma Seal lids. It really depends on the item. I actually eat what I store. Be realistic. I buy boxes of red beans and rice, Zatarians, use a freeze dried beans, It cooks super fast and is nutritious. Same with scalloped potatoes. These are easy to cook comfort meals that are good for emergencies. Add a can of Costco chicken and you have a great meal.
Then focus on building up ammunition supplies. After a major collapse ammo will be more valuable than gold, and it’s generally not something you want to run short of. For the shotgun get a range of shells, from bird shot to rifled slug. In rifle and handgun calibers quantity is the most important factor; cheap military surplus beats premium ammo simply because you can buy more of it. The target effect difference between cheap and fancy ammo is incremental, but an extra round is an extra round.
The irony of this didn’t escape me: While I’d been drawn to freeze-dried food as a convenient way of preparing for a cataclysm that may never come, there I was, toiling away for hours in the kitchen to prepare a dish I’d be eating that night and the next day. It was the most fortifying meal I’d eaten all week, and a minor achievement: Thanks to the premeasured portions and easy-to-follow instructions, I’d learned how to make a chicken pot pie from scratch.
Peanut oil AND peanuts go rancid fairly quickly. I found out the hard way one year trying to store it in bulk. I had to throw all I stored (in white buckets with oxygen absorbers) out. The only way I found it keeps is if I buy peanut butter in jars – and then the shelf life is still limited. Even among freeze dried companies they recommend using up the PB powder within five years while everything else is rated at 20. If you want an oil with a proven shelf life get either coconut oil or olive oil. All the rest will go bad and ultimately make you sick.

Additionally, some people may want to prioritize skills over supplies, the idea being if you have the skills you can make or find everything else. I will not derail the discussion by delving too far into that, but the fact is having what you need on hand will always save you labor and time. A truly skilled individual can sustain themselves with rudimentary or even no tools in very austere conditions, and there is no substitute for that kind of mastery, but no “lone survivor” who is honest would choose to go without provision or tools when the chips are down and they had a choice.

I started to store a tin a week – sweetcorn, beans, tinned tomatoes – and, over time, added cases of pasta, bags of rice, boxes of long-life meat and bottles of water. Most people keep a few tins in their cupboard – soup and beans, things like that. That’s what I’ve got in mine. It’s just that I’ve got 70 of each, stored in a brick outhouse that my husband converted.
For ideas, take a look at 12 Months of Prepping: One Month at a Time. Here you will find links to articles that take you though the process of gathering what you need in terms of supplies, gear, tasks, and skills to set you on a positive path of preparedness.  It may not seem like a lot, but at the end of the year you will will be better prepared than 95% of your neighbors.
Sanitation Supplies- You definitely don’t want to overlook this! You don’t need to have everything you take for granted on a daily basis, but you need to take care of the basics. Most obviously get plenty of toilet paper, wet wipes and feminine products for cleanliness. Get more TP than you think you’ll need; trust me, the first time you have to use improvised material or technique to clean your rear, you’ll remember me, and women need more than men do at any rate. You may yet have to switch to pinecones, but let’s forestall that as much as we can, eh?
Some lights are crank powered like our emergency radio above and having at least one of those is not a bad idea. Alternate light sources are candles, which are cheap but present a fire hazard, or chemlights, which are completely safe and heatless, but also have utility for marking, safety and signaling. Redundancy is a good idea, but emphasize flashlights and headlamps. Both require…
Perhaps the most unusual thing about the female prepper lifestyle is that it suggests a counterintuitive movement through time: a return to a slower, more elemental way of life, one that eschews the conveniences of modern consumer society in favor of the empowerment that comes from doing things yourself. Some of the women I spoke to said being a prepper helped them carry on the same old-fashioned life skills — like gardening, canning, and smart budgeting — that helped their mothers and grandmothers during the Great Depression. Others harkened back to the homesteaders of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, whose pioneering settlement and cultivation of the Great Plains form the backbone of the American myth of self-reliance.
Time and time again I’ve seen families buy all of their wheat, then buy all of another item, and so on. Don’t do that. It’s important to keep well-balanced as you build your storage. Buy several items, rather than a large quantity of one item. If something happens and you have to live on your present storage, you’ll fare much better having a one-month supply of a variety of items than a year’s supply of two to three items.
Also, I’m not a big fan of eating canned food if I don’t have to. I feel it comes with chemicals and has less nutrients. However, in certain situations, it’s better to do that than starve. It definitely stores well. I like to keep beans and seeds around to sprout when I need them. Sprouts are highly nutritious and it fits better with my taste buds as I eat mostly fresh foods; although I am also keen on the beans and rice idea and I always stockpile 3 months of organic oatmeal if I can. Another thing I do is buy carrots and cabbage in bulk and leave them in the refrigerator as both veggies last a long time and you can eat them for at least a month if not longer. Onions are also a decent vegetable for lasting for a duration and when they start to sprout you have yourself some green onions instead. Potatoes also last fairly well. If you buy spaghetti squash and pumpkin in September, it will usually last until February.

Let’s face it, practical and usable space quickly becomes a valuable commodity when you are going to spend a significant amount of time in the shelter before venturing topside, and that environment should be comfortable, healthy and space efficient. You are going to be stressed enough if you are in there, and the last thing you need is the additional stress of a cramped, unfriendly environment.


In practice, the process can be a bit tricky. Freeze-dried meals require that you have potable water lying around, which might not be the case in the event of a serious calamity (some Wise Company kits include water purifiers). The cooking instructions for the Wise products I tested call for using the entire four-serving bag at once, which means that you have to have a container on hand to store what you don’t eat, and a fridge to keep it from spoiling. Even at my office kitchen, the only way I could make it work was by pouring about a fourth of the packet in a mug, filling it with water, and putting another mug on top of it.
×