“Found Money” Can Help You Prepare NOW so You Can Cope LATER!

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about our world and the times in which we’re living. Have you noticed how disasters and catastrophes are becoming more and more our “new normal?”

So with that question as my theme, let’s talk about what we can do on our home front to prepare and cope well if a disaster (Heaven forbid) should strike our community.

And I’ll get straight to it. I’ve found a list of preparedness items on a site devoted to helping people prepare for life’s unexpected events (www.foodstoragemoms.com). While these are things every home should have on hand in the event of disaster, they can also be a blessing in the event of a job layoff, a costly illness, expensive car repairs or replacement, and so on (aka unexpected events). In other words, consider how in control you could feel if any of these things came about and you could use your grocery budget to deal with them. With a well-planned food storage, you essentially have “found money!”

You’ll see that the list deals starts with food and meal preparation. After all, a nourishing and hearty meal is often the first line of defense; it can help mitigate the trauma and provide the strength and encouragement we need to carry on. And your family’s favorite foods are where you begin. But the list also includes things useful should you lose power for an extended period of time, and so on.

As you read through, just highlight what you don’t have and then make a plan for acquiring those things as your budget will allow. Preparedness storage can add up quickly, one item at a time.


Flour/Wheat (or if gluten sensitive, then non-wheat alternatives)

Oil (olive, coconut, etc.)




Instant milk


Sweeteners (brown and white sugar, molasses, raw honey, etc.)

Chia and flax seeds


Just-add-water mixes

Dehydrated eggs

Raisins, dates, prunes

Nuts (kept in freezer to protect from rancidity)

Nut butters

Chocolate chips

Cocoa (baking and instant for drinks)

Canned soups, stews, chili

Frozen, dehydrate, freeze dried, canned meats

Frozen, dehydrate, freeze dried, canned fruits

Frozen, dehydrate, freeze dried, canned vegetables

Frozen, dehydrate, freeze dried, canned tomatoes


Condiments (ketchup, mustard, mayonnaise)

Sprouting seeds

Pet food (even if you don’t have a pet, others do and your donation could be a HUGE help to them)

Garden seeds: preferably organic, non-GMO

Kitchen Supplies

Paper goods (cups/glasses/plastic tableware)

Liquid dish soap

Paper towels

Cloth hand towels

Wash rags


Pot holders

Hand mixer/beater

Hand can opener

Hand wheat grinder

Bottle opener

Candles/Oil lamps with oil

Preserving our Bounty

Quart mason jars

Pint mason jars

1/2 pint mason jars

Mason jar lids and rings

Water bath canner

Pressure canner

Bottle lifter

Lid lifter


4 gallons of water per person per day

Water purifiers

Water Bricks (stackable water or food containers: 3.5 gallons or up to 27 Pounds (264 adult servings) of dry foods; high density polyethylene (HDPE) with comfort handle find on amazon.com)

50-gallon water barrels with a pump

High capacity water tank

Water preserver

Big Berkey portable water filter systems

Fuel/Emergency Stoves/Matches

Butane stove

Butane fuel

Dutch ovens

Sun oven

Camp Chef Stove/Oven Combination

Propane tanks (full)

Briquettes (without starter fluid)

Buckets with Gamma Lids to store briquettes

Cut clean wood

Matches/fire starter/butane starters

First Aid-medical book/home remedies

First Aid kit list

Essential oils

Medicines for all family members (must keep current)


Laundry soap/detergent

Laundry bucket with plunger



Sanitation Supplies

Emergency toilet

Toilet paper

Hand towels

Hand sanitizer

Bleach or sanitizing cleaner

Plastic shower curtain

Garbage can




Hand Soap

Shaving cream

Shaving tools

Menstrual pads/tampons

Diapers (cloth or disposables)


Plastic bags

Emergency Vehicle Supplies (if you must evacuate)

Emergency Vehicle Kit

Stash of cash (at least $100 in small bills in case ATMs no longer work)

Gas in tank (be in the habit of keeping your tank topped off)

Spare tire in good condition

Work gloves

Kitty litter (to sprinkle under tires when roads are icy, etc)

Sewing Supplies

Treadle sewing machine (planning for LONG TERM power outage)





Seam ripper


Garden Supplies

Shovels (square, spade, etc.)

Hand clippers




Smaller garden tools


Snow shovel

Tools/Building Materials





Scrap wood





Spackling tools


Paint trays

Paint drop cloths

Work gloves

Flashlights, headlamps, batteries, solar flashlights, and lanterns

Comfort and Distraction Items

Books and magazines (covering all ages in family)

Favorite treats/candies


Generators, solar phone chargers, long extension cords for the generator

Emergency band radio (hand-cranked, solar powered)

Manila envelope with copies of all current credit card info, insurance information, current photos of all family members and their health information, etc.

I hope this information is helpful. At our house we’ve been through job layoffs, a car breakdown, a medical emergency, and an urgent call for financial help from a family member. We were able to handle these things because I could devote my grocery budget to them, thanks to plenty of well-thought-out food storage. My “found money” has saved the day more than once.

While we have yet to experience a disaster, catastrophe, or evacuation (thank Heaven), I do wonder if our turn isn’t coming. At any rate, I can look to the future with calm knowing that we’re prepared. The bottom line? If we prepare NOW, we can cope well LATER!

  •   www.notimerica.com
  •   www.ydequehablamosahora.wordpress.com
  •   www.cnn.com
  •   www.isabellasupermarket.com
  •   www.mountainhouse.com
  •   www.pxhere.com
  •   www.walmart.com
  •   www.dhgate.com
  •   www.handiytutorials.com
  •   www.momwithaprep.com
  •   www.pinterest.com
  •   www.readywisconsin.wi.gov
  •   www.preparednessadvice.com
  •   www.birdsandblooms.com
  •   www.secrets-of-self-sufficiency.com
  •   www.januarymagazine.com
  •   www.geeks.com
  •   www.securityintelligence.com

    Alice Osborne
    Weekly Newsletter Contributor since 2006
    Email the author! alice@dvo.com

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