So you decided to begin prepping huh? Dreaming of that underground bunker while watching The Walking Dead and Revolution? Throw all those thoughts out of your head right now. As a beginner prepper you need to start by ignoring everything you have seen on TV and instead start by walking around your house. Look in your pantry, look in your medicine cabinet you first should identify what it is that your family constantly consumes. What food do you regularly eat? What do you usually drink? What medicine is used by your family the most? This is exactly where to start prepping, don’t start with a solar generator and seed vault. Can you immediately eat or drink either of them? Nope. Start with this simple thought ‘In one month from now, my family and I will NOT be able to go to shopping for two weeks straight cause a disaster is going to occur. What do we need to survive those two weeks?’ Answer that question with a list of consumables needed to MAINTAIN YOUR CURRENT LIFESTYLE for those two weeks. I don’t buy cheap food, drink or medicine that my family doesn’t consume on a regular basis for prepping I follow the rule ‘Prep the items you normally purchase‘.
So start by paying attention to your families needs for a week straight. If you have to take quick notes, then do so. How often is your wife taking Advil? How often do your children use the restroom? How much laundry is done in a week? How many meals a day do you actually eat?
Establish a prepping room or area
Next start by putting up one free standing shelf (cost $10-$20) in your garage or basement and consider that your prepping area where you will begin storing your supplies. You could also use a spare room or closet.
Then start couponing! Watch for sales at local stores and when you have a coupon(s) you can use with that sale stock up on those items. Some items like drinking water, there are no coupons ever available for, but drug stores like to run buy 3 get one free sales on bottled water but that is a cheap item so there is no harm in buying a case or two every time you go to the store. Using coupons on items when they are on sale can easily save you 30% of your bill so do it! I make 6 figures a year and I use coupons every week, there is no shame in ‘a dollar saved is a dollar earned.’
Beginner preppers tend to make a lot of mistakes when it comes to establishing water reserves. The first thing you need to understand is that ‘Water can be toxic!’ Unlike what you were told on Doomsday preppers, water in a hot tub is toxic and cannot be consumed. Milk jugs cannot be cleaned properly and drinking water from them will get you sick. Store bought water DOES expire and needs to be replaced. And one last thing – ‘using bleach to clean your water’, read that last line again, okay now read it one more time, Bleach and drinking water … hmm … well call me crazy but there is no way in hell I am going to dump bleach in my water before I drink it, or chlorine, or Iodine. You can if you want but I am not going to trust the CDC on this one, I’ll stick with well water straight from deep underground, or boiling the water or using the sun for purification. Now setting drinking water aside let’s talk about water for laundry, toilets and hygiene You can store water for these in a hot tub, large containers and milk jugs, just don’t consume this water.
Beginner preppers shouldn’t start out by purchasing bulk rice, beans etc … You should instead stock up on the food you normally eat and start rotating your storage food with your regular pantry. This way you aren’t wasting money on garbage food you won’t eat normally. By rotating your food supplies you ensure that your food never expires and is always fresh. This does not apply to fresh produce obviously.
Walmart has an isle with $0.88 medicine, I would steer clear of this section unless you are purchasing things you normally don’t use. First focus on increasing the amount of medicine you regular take sticking with your normal brands. Think about all seasons and stock up on medicines your family needs for each.
So start filling your shelves with the three basics Water, Food and Medicine as these are the items you need most to survive most unforeseen circumstances. 30 to 90 days from now you should have two weeks worth of these basic supplies filling your shelf. Once you have established your prepping foundation you can then begin focusing on your Bug Out Bag.