Saturday, May 29, 2010

Preparedness 101 - #6

I'm working on a "master list" of items I want to stock up with regards to our preparedness efforts (see additional preparedness posts here, here, here, here and here).

This list is by no means comprehensive, but it's something to keep in my purse and consult when I'm in the city. It's fluid as well. Some items are a one- or two-time purchase (I need some more clothes pins, for example), while others are things I'll just keep stocking up on whenever I find them or whenever I have spare money.

Throat lozenges
Bag balm
Reading glasses (over the counter)
Nasal decongestant

Cash 'n Carry (a regional wholesale grocery)
Baking powder
Votive candles
Aluminum foil (heavy duty)
Waxed paper
Washing soda (together with borax, ingredients for laundry detergent)
Salsa (in gallon jugs, to re-can)
Pizza sauce (ditto)
Vinegar (in gallon jugs)
Soy sauce (ditto)
Brown sugar

Value Village (a regional chain of huge thrift stores)
Glass globes for kerosene lamps
Bread pans (mine are old)
Canning jars (of course!)
Flannel sheets (we live in Idaho, brrrr)
Sheets for sewing - flannel for warmer clothes, cotton for cooler

Winnco, Albertson's, or other large retail grocery
Gallon jugs of Ivory dish soap
Matches (strike anywhere)
Canning lids
Ivory soap (bars)

Dollar Store
Workman's gloves
Cheap washcloths (for substitute toilet paper)

Hardware store
Kerosene (gallon jugs) for oil lamps

Department store or online sources
Socks for everyone
Underwear for everyone

Next I'm off to inventory my spices....


  1. Patrice,

    I have no experience with kerosene so I don't know how fast it burns. We have bought some wicks and wick "stands" from Leamans. You can put some olive oil in a jar, add the wick and stand and burn it like a lantern. It does not burn fast, at least from our knowledge and it burns clean. We have also knocked over a jar and it has gone out without starting a fire. I only mention this because I wonder if olive oil and wicks are a cheaper solution to using kerosene lamps. What do you think?


  2. Have you ever tried Azure Standard (quality bulk and natural foods). It is out of Oregon, they deliver tax free and shipping free. I have been buying most of my bulk items from them, when they are cheaper than Costco.

    We also get out kerosene for out lamps from Lowes in 5 gallon cans. (FYI)

  3. if i used your list as is i would be in trouble-have not thought about socks or underwear. and i guess i had better put deodorant on the list too.make my own laundry detergent so i could go a step further and just make my own bar soap. and i did not think to add to my list the dawn dish detergent-for more than just dishes! i am so glad you shared your list. one question i have though is why buy gallons of salsa, etc..just to recan it? i ask this cause i can everything but i have never recanned anything unless it did not seal right away the first time.

  4. Answering questions:

    Olive oil is a *whole* lot more expensive than kerosene. I doubt I could buy olive oil for less than $20/gallon (cha-ching!). Thanks, Lanita, for suggesting kerosene in 5 gal. containers at Lowe's - I'll look into that. If I use glass globes and canning jars bought for pennies at thrift stores, then screw-on mason caps/burners (mentioned here:, I believe overall that's a more economical alternative. In other words, kerosene can be used in ordinary oil lamps... though perhaps not in lamps specifically made to burn olive oil (I'd have to look into that).

    I've looked into Azure Standard and many of our neighbors have ordered from them over the years. But they're expensive compared to a wholesale grocer/restaurant supply store because Azure specializes in organic foods (cha-ching!) plus there's shipping. Also, I can buy supplies piecemeal as I can afford them at a local wholesale grocers, rather than having to spring for a huge order and pay for it all at once (cha-ching!).

    Why re-can gallons of salsa and pizza sauce? Because if we lose refrigeration, we can conceivably use a pint of pizza sauce or a pint of salsa at a time without it going bad, but we sure as heck can't use a gallon of either at a time. Plus buying it in the gallon jugs is cheaper (cha-ching!).

    As you may have noticed, saving money is something of an obsession of mine...

  5. You can't have too much baking soda or vinegar. Baking powder looses its oomph eventually, especially in humidity. Put up some cream of tartar (keeps looong time.) Mixed with baking soda, creates baking powder.
    I have recently added mosquito netting to my stash. If we are forced to sleep outside in summer we'd prefer not to be eaten.
    Extra bread pans might be a good barter item. "Ladies supplies" will be worth their weight in gold post disaster, and I insist EVERY household should have an emergency birthing kit and midwife's manual. Perhaps no one in your family is likely to be pregnant, but trust me, you'll come across someone who is.
    Zip-lock bags of various sizes can be used for everything from dry socks keepers to giving charity bags of salt post disaster.
    These lists can go on forever, can't they?

  6. I didn't include some items on my list because I'm already adequately stocked. I have lots of cream of tarter and baking soda, for instance. (But can you tell us what the ratio is for making baking powder? I wasn't aware you could combine to two to make baking powder.)

    I don't need any "ladies supplies" because we use the excellent feminine hygiene products made by our neighbor and I can highly recommend them (here's the link:

    I have lots of Ziplock bags. Right now I'm in the market for a few more plastic containers made by Ziplock and other companies... you know, those Tupperware-style food containers. I'm picking those up a bit at a time too.

  7. 2 Tablespoons Cream of Tartar
    1 Tablespoon Baking Powder

    If making up a small jar full to keep for a while, add 1 T. Corn or Potato starch. It helps keep humidity from it, and "calms" the reaction so your recipe doesn't need to be popped in the oven so immediately.
    If you're out of cream of Tartar, you may use another acid such as vinegar, lemon juice, butter milk or yogurt, Though they don't work as vigorously.
    Some people prefer these other acids because the cream of Tartar can leave a lightly metallic taste to some.


  8. I made a boo-boo!
    2 T Cream of Tartar
    1 T Baking SODA.
    (Believe it or not, I talk like I type. Too bad my tongue doesn't have a backspace key.)