Mini Prepper Series!
How prepared will you be when the “you know what” hits the fan? I think this past year many of us have felt the need to be prepared more than ever. I know I have. 2020 has been a little wake up call!
Preparedness has always been something our family has invested in. We prepped during times when life was grand and there was no sign of any impending doom. In fact, we had so much stocked away I thought we’d never get a chance to use it!! And now that 2020 has thrown us for a loop, I’d like to go back to thinking that same way and pretend it never happened. But the truth is, We can’t undo the past. We can only learn from it. So let’s take simple steps together to ready our home!
Join us for a mini prepper series intended to get you thinking and provide easy ways to be prepared “just in case". I can’t wait to share with you some easy things that anyone can do!
THE PREPPER'S PANTRY:
Ok, so one of the first things I think about when the possibility of any kind of shutdown arises ISN’T toilet paper lol. It’s actually, “Ohmagoodness, I hope we have enough food stored up!!!” What about you?
I’ve always wanted one of those big walk in pantries so I could gaze at my fully stocked food cupboard that I’d dream up to look pinterest worthy organized. But I’ve never been blessed with any kind of large pantry...so I’m here to tell you that food prep CAN be done in any kind of circumstance and any kind of storage space. You simply need to get creative!
Let’s Dive In:
Creating food storage for emergencies can be expensive and overwhelming if you do it all at once. It can also feel quite frantic when you’re last minute rushing to the stores to beat everyone at grabbing the necessities. Don’t put off til later what can be done incrementally over time. Just start small, and focus on a few main things to start.
Here are the first 10 things I would get.
We all know water is a necessity. If you have nothing, I’d start here. Try and purchase containers that are BPA free and realize that the water within them shouldn’t be stored for more than a year or two. We like to keep at least 15 gallons of water stored up for our family of 4. We also have a plan to fill up the bathtub right away with water so we can pull from that to flush toilets, etc. Here’s a great tub bag to have on hand if you’d like a more sanitary option too:
2. Whole Grains-
Whole grains are full of vitamins (especially B vitamins), minerals, protein, and fiber. Buy grains you and your family will eat… rice, oats, quinoa, wheat, etc. We love Costco to bulk shop for some of these items!
3. Legumes/Meat/Eggs -
Beans and lentils are a great source of protein that are easy to store and easy to cook. Soak them for at least 12 hours before using them in recipes. They are a rich source of fiber and vitamin Bs. Ever since I started stalking IG I realized there are SO many people who don't have a ton of land but have the cutest, simplest set ups for raising chickens. Chickens can be raised for meat OR eggs and are a great addition to your "prepper pantry" list. Not only do they eat the scraps of food you would have otherwise thrown away, but they eat the grubs and ticks from your yard and their poo can also be used to fertilize your garden. It's a win-win!!
4. Coconut Oil -
This staple stores years longer than liquid oil, can be used as the oil in baking (think cookies and pancakes), but also when cooking items like eggs, veggies, or dinner. It can be used as body lotion, shaving cream, used in soap, for sunburns, or for topical ointment. It has anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties. Literally SUCH a staple item to have on hand.
5. Raw Honey -
This pantry must have can be stored 30+ years!!! It can be the sweetener in anything you bake, but it also has antibacterial and antiviral properties. It's great for boosting the immune system, fighting off allergies, helps with coughs, sore throat, oral health, dressing a wound, and more. *Protip: Make sure to get yours local to you so it's good for helping with your local allergens!
6. Fruits and Vegetables -
Freeze dried is a great option for long term storage or canning for storage up to a year.
7. Seasonings, Salt, Seeds-
Keep these staples stored so you have something to spice up those beans with! Seeds to sprout can give you some fresh food and amazing nutrients too! And growing them is super easy and fun to do!
8. Canned Goods -
I don’t typically purchase canned foods for my everyday meals, but grabbing a can of green beans, corn, salsa, soups, broths, stewed tomatoes, etc each grocery trip is always a great idea! It's a small investment you can make over time and stash away just in case.
9. Cash- (not a pantry staple per say but you could hide it in there!! haha)
We are all SO used to swiping our cards or paying with our phones that many of us don't carry cash at all anymore. But what happens when the power goes out?? You'll want to start setting aside that extra change and those small bills, just in case. Stash this away somewhere you won't be tempted to grab from and vow not to touch it unless there's a real emergency.
10. Supplements -
We can't neglect our health just b/c the world goes into a state of chaos. With stress high from being in unusual circumstances, we need to make sure we're taking care of our immune systems, have strong cognitive function for decision making, and enough sleep so our body can be strong to take on whatever lies in the days ahead. I’ve got some incredible key supplement recommendations and my absolute faves to share with you later in this series!! Stay Tuned!!
So how do we store all this goodness so it’s definitely there when we need it?
Designate a specific area of the house where you want to store your pantry staples. You can keep them on shelves, store them above doorways, tuck them away in stackable bins, store in bins under your bed, or you can buy one of those pantry closets and keep it in a cool dark place. The ideal storage conditions are in a cool, dry basement or storage room on sturdy shelves designed to facilitate effective rotation. Quite frankly, many of us do not have an ideal place to store our food. You may have to use a little creativity to get the job done but it CAN be done!
Having canned food on hand means you have safe, healthy options that can last you up to a year when stored. It’s always fun to shop the farmers markets or grow some food yourself that you can enjoy well after harvest season. One of the top benefits of canning is you know EXACTLY what’s in the food you’ll eat and you can store SO many different options.
If you’ve never canned anything before-don’t worry. It sounds intimidating but it’s really not hard at all. Just a little time consuming. BUT when you involve the whole family, many hands make for light work and you can all take part in it and make it FUN!!
Due to the nature of the times we are currently in, you may have to do a little searching for items you could normally find for sale at garage sales and thrift stores super cheap. I’ve even seen these items at church sales, given for free in local FB groups or sold on Craigslist or FB Marketplace. BUT, don’t be surprised if you have to buy these all brand new. The nice thing is, you only need a few key supplies!
Click below for links to all these goodies!!
And of course the fresh fruits or veggies you want to preserve,along with spices you’d need to season them with!
Ideas for What to Can:
+ Shop your local farmers markets & buy in bulk.
+ Go apple picking, blueberry picking, strawberry picking. Bring your kids and make it fun!
+ Have a canning party & invite your friends. Each can your items and then swap some with each other!
+ Can foods by season so you guarantee peak freshness and availability!!
+ Make too much jam and need to use it up? Serve it as a ice cream topper or use it as a filler for cookies. Add a pretty bow and use them as housewarming or hostess gifts or add them to Christmas gift baskets! Everyone loves homemade, home made goodness!
GRAB & GO BAG:
As much as we had stocked away, some things that still weren’t organized were our go-bags for our family. I've purchased items here and there that I swore I'd organize one day. And then I realized that had I just had bags for each person here already, I could have made this SO much easier. So life tip: get your bags first!
Just a couple days ago, I ordered our bags (color coded and one for each member of the family) and got them made! Want to know what's in them? Well first, let's tackle what this even is!
What is a go-bag you ask? It’s a bag of supplies you’d set aside, somewhere easily accessible, in case you need to leave your home in a hurry. One for every member of the family.
These cost me about $150 (rough estimate) a bag to put together but I’m sure you could do it for less if needed. I saved everything I could to my “go-bags” list on Amazon.
All of this is just one tiny step on the journey towards preparedness and is meant to be a starting point. Below is a list of items I’m including in our go-bags. I’ll share more in depth in my stories and of course this will be saved to my “prepper” highlight over on IG. You can also check out my “Prepper”List on amazon for some additional items you might love too.
We filled each bag with one of each of the following:
Fire starter + Fire Starter Material
Bottled Water (1 gallon per day per person *we did 15 gallons to give us just over 3 days including our pup* and a travel filter -but keep in mind you might not have access to water.)
72 hour food supply (GF + DF)
Survival Gear Kit
First Aid Kit
Extra Set of Clothes (underwear, socks, shirts, pants x2 per person)
Bar Soap in Ziplock Bag
Hat & gloves
Menstrual Cup + Pads + Tampons
Dog food (we always have got a 20+ lb bag on hand)
Papers: Access to ID's, Cash etc (this doesn't go in our go-bag, we would grab on the way out)
Separate Large Duffle Bag for Surplus Includes:
- canned goods
- can opener
- extra batteries (pack the sizes needed by what's in your bag and put batteries in all items in advance!)
- flash lights
- flameless tea candles
- radios (we got a weather radio and standard am/fm)
- garbage bags
- tool kit
- duct tape
- clothes (underwear, socks, shirts, pants x2 per person)
- first aid kit (no it's not all "holistic")
- toothpaste/toothbrushes (we packed YL’s toothpaste since we all can use it)
- extra menstrual cup
- N95 dust masks
- terry cleaning towels
- backup generator (keep that charged)
Keep in mind, this is really designed for emergencies and we wanted to have various necessities on hand if we had to be away from home for 3-4 days.
Anything else you added in your bag I missed?! This doesn’t include items we need that won’t be packed like phones, chargers etc!
Disclaimer: I am NO expert so I’m sure I missed many things. This is the list I used and supplies I focused on gathering for my family, as well as some other items I thought would be useful. Here's the link to my Amazon "Go Bag"List in case you missed it! Hope you find this helpful!
OILS & SUPPLEMENTS:
Being out of our element (literally) can increase stress, induce illness and cause our decision making to be kind of shotty. If our body goes into fight or flight mode, we will truly find ourselves lacking without specific items and supplements needed to keep us balanced (and sane!!) Knowing this, and being intentional in packing our “go-bag” and setting aside staples for our prepper pantry, I got intentional with what I knew we’d TRULY need.
Now we could get our vitamins and supplements ANYwhere, but here's why I invest in quality, even if only for a few days supply: It matters what we put in and on our body.
Toxins stress our systems and cause us to function at lower capacity. While there is NO judgement toward anyone who just needs to get their supplements list packed and grabs any other brand or quality (I believe SOMEthing is better than nothing in times like these!!) I do believe that when we CAN prepare ahead and do better, we should.
Choosing effective, holistic options is important to our family. And what's great is that our body's will actually utilize MORE of what we ingest when it's infused with high quality essential oils. Up to 65% more! When our body and mind is taxed, we need to power up as much as possible with products that will fuel us!
Here’s our list of what we’d recommend!!
*most of the essential oils listed here come in the Young Living Premium Starter Kit!
*The supplements can be added on or ordered monthly as needed through our discounted wellness box option.
Pill Organizer http://amzn.to/3pEXBen
Oils Bag http://amzn.to/3rONC83
Digize, Copaiba, Peppermint Vitality (for upset stomach)
Lavender Essential Oil (for cuts, scrapes, burns, bug bites, crazy emotions, cramps, and sleep)
Essentialzymes 4 (gut health = immune health. Also supports digestion when eating "grab & go" food)
Super B (energy, focus, metabolism, cognitive function, hormones)
Super D Chewables (boosts immune system)
Super C Chewables (daily dose to stay healthy)
Sufficient C (for when you need to super dose Vitamin C)
Mary Ruth Organics Zinc (stay healthy)
Unwind (infused with great ingredients to help you and your kiddos sleep and your body decompress)
Mighty Pro (pre+probiotic = gut and immune health)
Ningxia Red Packets -3 day supply each for go bags (nutrition, energy, cognitive function, immune boost)
Helichrysm Essential Oil (stops bleeding-a perfect holistic first aid kit staple)
Oily First Aide Kit with bio-degradable bandaids
Rose Ointment (healthy alternative to neosporin or vaseline-also great for dry skin or in place of lip balm)
Lavender Lip Balm (it’s the best and also dubs as itch relief or a carrier oil replacement)
Calming Roller: Peace and Calming + Valor + Tangerine (cause kids and stress don’t mesh)
Thieves Roller (stay healthy, apply daily down spines and on bottoms of feet)
Inner Defense (take when you've been exposed to sickness or need to fight off something strong)
Aminowise (for electrolytes, to prevent dehydration, and for immune boosting power)
TRS Heavy Metal Detox Spray (when exposed to the elements)
Thieves Spray (clean all the surfaces)
Thieves Hand Sanitizer (sanitizes hands without drying)
Thieves Wipes (b.c. germs)
Seedlings Wipes (wipe yo butt and clean yo hands)
Thieves Toothpaste & Toothbrushes
Citronella Essential Oil + Purification Essential Oil (naturally repels insects)
When you're interested in customizing your Grab & Go Supplements package, just let me know. We can curate a "Prepper Package" to your family's exact needs!
GROW YOUR OWN FOOD:
Don’t be deceived-you DON’T need a ton of land to grow yourself a garden that will sustain you through most seasons. When we bought our current home, we wanted to live on a plot of land and be self sustainable. HOWEVER, the cards did not fall that way, so....
We made due on less than a half acre and here’s a list of all we grew:
Herbs & Spices (I love vitality oils for these b/c I’m not the best at growing anything in pots!)
Most times (unless you’re a part of an HOA) you can even have chickens (for meat AND eggs) too! Plus you can use their manure to fertilize your garden!
One of my FAVORITE things about our garden was how self-sustainable the method we chose was designed to be. You put a bulk of the work in just to get it started, but then you only need to water it right when you first plant those seeds and you only need to upgrade the soil with composted wood chips one time per year. There’s no tilling the ground, no watering systems needed and you can compost on your own and add it to your garden if you’d like too!
Here’s a link to the documentary that got me started on it all: https://www.backtoedenfilm.com/#/
*Emergency Car Kit:
Ya never know if when the “you know what” hits the fan you won’t be home and you’ll need some supplies with you on the go. We stocked a clear long rectangular plastic bin full of similar goodies so we’d alway have that on hand “just in case”. It’s also helpful for times when your car might break down or you find yourself stranded for a while. Always pack yourselves some extra blankets!
Some items we included in our car care kit:
Extra socks, gloves
first aid kit
We keep this tucked in the trunk of our vehicle so it's always there if we ever need it!
*DIY Portable Heater/Emergency Cook Stove:
We have 4 of these made up at home (one for each of us) and stored in a grab bag cause hey, ya never know! They make great mini heaters and personal stoves too and can be reused over and over again!
Here's what you need for this simple DIY:
1 New Gallon-Sized Paint Can with Lid
1 New Quart-Sized Paint Can with Lid
1 Roll of Toilet Paper (cheap toilet paper works best)
1 Small Box of Matches
1 Paint Can Opener
1 Bottle of Alcohol
1 4x4 Tile 1 Bottle Opener Label and Instructions
How To Make:
Squish the toilet paper roll so that it will fit inside of the quart-sized paint can. (It's a little tight, but I promise it fits!) Push it all the way down into the can. Pour alcohol over the top of the toilet paper to saturate it. I used 16 ounces. Remove the center of the toilet paper roll. It should come out very easily once the toilet paper has been saturated. Place the lid on the quart can. Make sure it is tightly closed! Use the can opener to make vents in the bottom of the gallon-sized paint can. Use a sharp bottle opener to keep from denting the can. Mine was a little dull! Punch vents in the top as well. If you do dent the can, just push it back out with your fingers. Make sure you watch the sharp edges. Add the paint can opener to the handle. Attach the handle to the can. Place the above items into the gallon-sized paint can and seal the lid.
How To Use the Heater or Stove:
Remove the small can, the tile, and matches. Open the lid of the quart can and light the toilet paper with a match. Place the gallon-sized can upside down over the top. This creates a cooking surface. You can also cook without the gallon-sized can if you want to roast marshmallows or hot dogs. Note: The toilet paper won't burn, and so when your alcohol burns out - just refill it!
*DIY Fire Starters
You may have made a million fires before but under stress and out in the elements can lead to some high pressure times when you just need a little assistance. Here's where saving some key items will help you prep for that fire you may need help starting.
If you're a Young Living customer than you just know-these essential oil packaging tubes are PERFECT to prep for fires. Save them from your orders and simply stuff them with dryer lint!!! Don't have any of these thick cardboard tubes? Simply use a toilet paper roll instead.
Some of my other favorite items & websites linked here too:
MY PATRIOT SUPPLY
Dear Lord, please let 2021 be amazing. 🤣
And if not, let us be ready for whatever life throws at us!!
Check out this diffuser blend and the benefits of each oil.
Believed to ward off evil spirits and protect against negative energy during medieval times.
Relaxing, clarifies thoughts, allows us to release jealousies, obsessions and insecurities. (It’s a key ingredient in the blend Peace and Calming.)
Creates a feeling of security, negates electromagnetic negative energy
Helps us release negative memories and eases nervous tension; balances our emotions, lifts our spirit, fosters well being, peace and hope within.
And it’s been studied for this -> http://bit.ly/35uKFA9
It’s really an interesting smell in the diffuser, or you can apply it topically and be your own diffuser.