Friday, May 1, 2015

6 Simple Tips for the Beginner Prepper...*

The thing about being a “newbie” is you have a lot of questions. You have questions that you don't even know to ask about. Getting started is deceptively simple.

For us it all started in the fall of 2011, trusted friends gave my husband a book called "Inflation Deception". We had a talk and we then decided to start preparing for the future.
I've always liked to have a “little put back”. Mostly because I hate to run out of something.
So, without even knowing about what “prepping” was, we made a plan. It was a very slow start, because we didn't have a clue.

Our first goal was to be prepared for 6 months here at home. In the beginning, I handled the “home” (beans, band=aids, everyday items, etc.), DH handled the defense (bullets) & the “go” plan. 

1. Make a List: The very first step for me was I simply started by making a list of everything thing we used everyday. Literally, from the time I woke up I wrote down what we used...

Things like: water, meds. (prescription and OTC's), TP, soap, shampoo, conditioner, etc...

This was list “A”. We established that we would set aside 10% of each paycheck for prepping. Slowly, every payday, I added to the “little put back”. I utilized Walmart & Amazon free online shipping. Order it and have it shipped to my home. At this time, also began purchasing items like peanut butter, canned meats (ugh!) and veggies. 

EDITED 040614: The (ugh!) mentioned above is in reference to purchased canned and shelf stable meat products.I tried in the beginning. Since that time I started canning my own meats and it has made a huge difference.
How To Pressure Can Chicken & 12 Nifty Tips I have Learned

2. Start utilizing the "Use one, buy two concept": This is so simple. When you open something, anything i.e. a package of toilet or a new tube of toothpaste, pick up two from the store. If you faithfully use this concept then at the end of our first year you will have at least 1 years supplies of said item stored.

3. Buy large: Toilet paper is something you will use no matter what. I buy the largest package I am able to get.
4. Buy cheap: If there is an item you are not picky about, buy something that doesn't cost a lot. For me, I am not too picky about shampoo and conditioner. So, I buy the least expensive I can tolerate. I didn't go overboard here because I decided early on I was going to develop skills & learn how to make items myself.
5. Buy wisely: Some items I don't compromise with. A lot of deodorants don't work me for or smell to strong for me to use. While I now try to wait for sales/use coupons; here I pay what it takes to get a product that works for me.

6. Think ahead: Now water is one item that I didn't purchase in my normal shopping. Yet, I knew I used it, based on my list. So, I just started added a gallon or two during each shopping trip. The brand I choose cost $1 each and it was in a long term storage container. The ones that are like milk cartons won't hold up for long term storage. Look for the ones that in are PET containers. Just Check the bottom for the code.
The thing about starting your own list is that it insures that you are actually storing items that YOU use everyday. It really works. I have been using this method for several years & I know that I have several years worth of these items stored. If you have questions, ask. There are people who will help you. 

So, this is how our journey began in the beginning. We are currently moving to our new property, which we paid for in cash. I am seeing the fruit of our beginning labors after I am boxing up all our preparations and I feel pretty secure. The hardest part for some is simply taking that first step...
How did you start?

Top Three Picks: What I do here is simply share our preparedness journey. If you liked this post we would love it if you joined our Perky Prepping Gramma community on Facebook, comment or share. Plus it would just make my day.


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  1. This is pretty much the same way and almost the same time frame my husband and I began to prep seriously too! We has dreamed of living in the woods in a log cabin when first married but life and such got in the way. Now we ended up in Florida and in a suburb neighborhood but we have managed to begin a journey of being self-sustaining that surprises many we know! I finally have my walk-in pantry new this month and am able to redouble much of our efforts!
    Love your site and all the great tips - beautifully done!

    1. Keep working it. I know you love your pantry. I converted a closet into a storge area. ~Perky

  2. I felt a need to start saving money and getting prepared but wasn't sure why. The thought never crossed my mind about economic collaspe or inflation. My husband works for the government and he said something about sequestration but didn't think it would last long. I guess that is what set me off. We have always tried to keep a savings to pay our mortgage for a few months. But this feeling was different. I first decided I should stop buying prepackaged food. 1 because it's junk and 2 it is cheaper to make myself. Our first big expense was eating out. We stopped that. Then buying sodas. I got a soda stream and it still took my awhile to not want that soda from the store! It is all so addicting but we got off it by using the soda stream and we almost forget we have it now. The other big expense was cereal. I now make granola. It is so easy and so good. Some we make with dehydrated strawberries and I think that is our favorite. I learned to make yogurt because my kids love it and we would buy a small one for .75 to .90 and that was times 2 per day! Now I make it and the cost is about $2 for a week or more. I have been buying vegetables on sale and dehydrating them. I just started just after Christmas 2012. I have been grinding my own wheat and baking my own bread for quite some time but have slacked off on it till last year. We have wheat stored up along with some dehydrated vegetables. I bought meat but it is all frozen. I dehydrated some but haven't cooked it just yet. We have alot of beans, peas, pastas, paper products, canned meat, and medical supplies. Oh and coffee! I found costco has awesome columbian coffee so I have enough for 6 months so far and it is a lot cheaper than what we use to buy in the stores. Starting in April we will be living on a lot less money. 35% less money. For some your prepping may be for later down the road. For us this has been a lifesaver. I know we are going to have tough days ahead it is going to be much easier having eased into this new way of living. I just need the courage to get a pressure cooker to learn to can now. Thanks for all the information on your web site and FB.

    1. That is awesome. I want to encourage you to give the canning a try. It really is VERY easy. It will change your storage drastically. ~Perky