Food & Water
Some other materials
This week put your preps to the test. Can you go the entire week with only the items in your pantry?
When disaster strikes, you don’t always get the chance to run to the store for some last minute items. Want a surefire way to test your preps? Challenge yourself to skip the store this week and feed your family with only what you have on hand.
If you are brand new to this and haven’t yet built a supply that will last a week, use this week’s grocery trip to purchase only shelf stable items – this way, you’ll still glean valuable information from the challenge.
Dos and Don’ts of the Pantry Challenge
- Do take careful notes throughout the week. This will help you learn what you’ve run out of, what you really miss, and any extra ingredients that you should keep on hand.
- Don’t stick to the challenge to the detriment of your family. The S hasn’t HTF just yet. For example, if you’re completely out of milk and have no back-up supply, make a mental note to get some dry milk and go to the store and grab just that one item. (No cheating!)
- Do record any creative stockpile recipes that you come up with during your challenge. The best thing in the world is figuring out how to recreate a family favorite entirely with stockpile items.
- Don’t eat anything questionable. If you are concerned that something may be expired (and not just in that kinda stale way) don’t eat it. Also avoid dented cans, food that smells or looks funny, and anything that may have spoiled because of improper storage.
- Do make it fun. Turn it into a game for your kids. This works especially well if they’re on board with the idea of emergency preparedness. It was during a drill like this that my kids created a very tasty Mexican “pie” out of pantry items and spices, a recipe that is still a family favorite to this day.
Weekly To Do List
- Begin storing water for sanitation purposes. Collect some containers for storing water to keep in the bathroom. If you have an interruption in running water, you can use this to flush the toilet, wash your hands, or clean surfaces. Don’t worry as much about the containers when it comes to water for sanitation.
- Get prepared to treat water in an emergency. Pick up single bags of pool shock. They’re fairly inexpensive and the powder will last longer than liquid bleach. Be certain that there are no algicides or fragrances in your pool shock. It can be used to purify water for drinking.
- Do a water audit. See how much water you actually use in a day by only using water from containers. (It works even better if you can shut your water off for a day!) Include in your tally: drinking water, cooking water, flushing water, hand washing water, dishwater….you get the idea! You’ll probably find that you use far more than the standby of one gallon per person per day.
- Transfer the dry food you purchased last week into Mylar bags with oxygen absorbers.
- Get buckets for a bargain. Call your local bakeries and delis and ask if you can have their empty food-safe buckets. Sometimes they’ll charge you a couple of dollars, but often they’ll be happy to let you take them for free.
- This week make 2 main dishes that are primarily rice and beans — no meat of any kind. If your family gives either or both a thumbs up, add the recipe to your SPI Notebook in the Survival Recipes section. This is a new divider you’ll find in the Printables section of Module 2.
- Does anyone in your family have a persistent medical issue that could be taken care of? If so, take steps to resolve dental issues, vision issues, etc. A flare-up of these problems during an emergency can take a situation from bad to worse.
- Make a list of the over-the-counter (OTC) medicines you normally use in a 3-month span. Add them to your To Buy list and plan on adding one package/bottle of each to your stash each month until you have at least a 3 month supply.
- Pick up some solar garden lights at the dollar store. Make a pretty display on your patio putting the lights in a pot with some branches. Then, when you need them indoors, they’ll be charged up and ready to go. Solar garden lights make fantastic night lights for the kids’ rooms and the bathroom.
- Do you have lots of old blankets, quilts, and comforters? Launder them and pack them away with unused dryer sheets so that they are fresh and clean if you need to use them during a power outage. If you live in an area where insects are a problem, protect these blankets by layering dryer sheets in their folds, cedar balls, cedar planks or some other fabric-safe insect repellent. Don’t use moth balls! Space bags can be a great way to reduce the storage space needed for them.
- Select 2 spaces for decluttering. They should be spaces that will lend themselves well for storing food, water, your emergency kits, or other prepper gear. Remove everything from the space (cupboard, cabinet, drawer, etc.) and sort everything into 4 piles: Trash It, Donate It, Keep It, Gift It.
- A battery powered fan could be a life-saver in a summer power outage. Pick up one or more from Amazon, a dollar store, or a sporting goods store and then have at least 2 sets of fresh batteries for each fan.
- View your home as a criminal. Pretend that you want to break in. See where the weak spots are in your personal home security and make a list of those gaps. Some things will be simple to resolve, while others will take more time or money.
- Communication can mean the difference between life and death. This week, determine to pass the amateur (ham) radio test. The study guide and practice tests can be found here.
- Find multiple routes home from work or school. Map out alternative backroad ways to get home, as well as directions if you must go home on foot. Be sure to find hiding places along the way and safe, temporary refuges with people you know. Figure out some places to lay low now, before a crisis situation. Sometimes staying out of sight is the best way to stay safe.
- Keep walking! Try to add some time or distance to the walks you started last week. If your weather is extremely hot, do this early in the morning or later in the evening.
- Read some prepper fiction. When you’re relaxing poolside, sometimes reading fiction can give you some new inspiration. Some favorite books are One Second After (a classic about life after an EMP strike), Day of Wrath (about a coordinated terrorist attack on American soil), and Going Home (about a man on a business trip far from home when the lights go out for good.)
- Stash some candy. Comfort items like Red Vines, chocolate, M&Ms, or other familiar favorites can really help during a stressful situation. You can extend their shelf life by using a Food Saver and a wide jar attachment to package them in canning jars. Watch this video demo by Lisa Bedford.
This week, we’re giving away a set of Daisy’s books:
The Pantry Primer: A Prepper’s Guide to Whole Food on a Half Price Budget gives you an in-depth look at building a healthful food storage stockpile even if you happen to be on a tight budget. Based on Daisy’s own experience when she had to rebuild her pantry from the ground-up, you’ll find shopping strategies, food storage tips, and even frugal recipes.
The Prepper’s Water Survival Guide: Harvest, Treat, and Store Your Most Vital Resource gives you a closer look at something we all take for granted – safe water flowing from our taps. Not only does the book explain how and why you should store water, but it also discusses the impurities that you should watch out for in your presumably safe water supply. Learn how to acquire, purify, and conserve water as well in this best-seller.
Each week, we’ll recommend our favorite brands and products. You aren’t obligated to buy these particular items, but if you’re looking for something tested and true, consider adding these to your stockpile or library.
Cedar storage accessories (This kit from Amazon is an incredible deal)
Battery operated fan (There are numerous options for this, depending on your budget and your needs.)
Solar lights (The dollar store is probably your best bet for these)
This week, enjoy an excerpt from Daisy’s book, The Pantry Primer. Section 3 takes you through the specifics of building a pantry from the ground up. There are shopping lists, sample menus, and strategies to help you create your pantry as quickly as possible, without sacrificing nutrition.Click Here to Download