I would urge everyone to work towards having 3 months worth of self-sufficiency, as much as is possible. Make a list of everything you would need on a daily, weekly or monthly basis. List food items, toiletries, personal things, medications, emergency heat, light and cooking, and needs for household, babies and pets, etc. If you had to stay in your home and rely on only what is there, have enough of everything you would need to be as comfortable as possible. Make a meal plan and figure the amounts of ingredients.
I know things are very tight for many of us, but it's amazing how quickly extra cash and items can be accumulated just a little at a time without really noticing that any extra was taken. It's not too hard to cut out a few things that aren't essential and put that money towards your preparedness goals. Here's a few ideas:
- Rent a $1 movie instead of going to a theater.
- Don't buy the clothing item unless you really need it. Even if it is a great sale!
- Keep a list of groceries and other things you need and then go buy them at once, instead of running to the store every time you think of an item or two. Use less gas.
- Learn how to make fun entertainment at home by playing card or board games, reading good books, crafts or hobbies, good conversation with family members.
- Cook more from scratch and buy less pre-prepared convenience foods. This will save you LOTS of money! You'll be healthier too! Soups are so easy and very healthy.
- Trade needs with a friend. Let someone cut your hair and you watch her kids. Loan your neighbor your lawn mower and let him help you work on your car. You can develop a support group at the same time!
- Don't waste! Extra food can be eaten next meal or for a snack. Reuse items.
- Take inventory of what you have.
- Make a list of what you need.
- Make a plan and set a goal to have it completed.