Be Prepared Challenge – Acquire #1

Now to the fun part of the challenge (mind you, last week was fun).  You would have put aside a space somewhere by now if you have been following the challenge, however before you rush off to the food co-op to stock up on goodies, lets start at the very beginning. 

What do you already have on hand?  What do you really need to get you through a short interruption or an extended one for that matter?  Do you honestly need 24 cans of Spam in your pantry?

Task #1 – Inventory.

So, these questions need to be tacked before we start to acquire anything at all.  The very first thing I suggest you do as task number one for this week, is to perform an inventory!  Sounds boring, but believe you me, it is essential if you want to do this as effectively and efficiently as you can. As Bec will be covering the budgeting aspect of being prepared, I will not repeat it here, but it you have a tight budget this will be an essential task.

Get out a pad and pencil, and go through your existing pantry/storage area and write down exactly what you have at hand.  How else will you know if you already have items stocked up already for a rainy day?  Don’t include stuff you have in the fridge, because in an emergency, consider that the electricity supply in your area to be either unreliable or non-existent. 

It doesn’t matter what the food item is, write it down.  If it is out of date, this will be a good time to throw it away.  As you work through this process, think of things that you could make with it if cooking facilities are turn out to be primitive.  You may have to resort to an open fire, barbecue, or solar oven to cook your food. However, don’t be tempted to jump ahead and start writing down a whole bunch of recipes.  Just keep it in the back of your mind for now. 

Then sort it out into “meals ready to eat” and “needs preparation”.  Have a think about how you would need to prepare it to make a nutritious meal out of the item.  Do you have other items currently in stock that you need to achieve this?  Add notes to that effect.

This task could take from a few minutes to a few hours, depending on how prepared you may already be.  Once you have an inventory of your food, move on to essential items like personal hygiene, water, and fuel.  Think about all the things you use in your day currently, and see if you have these things on hand.  Now, they may not help you in an emergency, but just add it to your list for now.

I too will be participating in this part of the challenge, because even though I have already done all this before, it is good to know what you currently have at hand.  We have been stockpiling food and essentials for about 3 years now, however sometimes these things get out of hand, and you buy too much of one item and not enough of another essential.  We already have our budget each week for our groceries, so I can personally skip that part of the overall challenge.

Anyway, what are you waiting for?  There is no time like the present!  I bet you find all sorts of goodies that you didn’t realise you had.

Later on in the week, both Bec and I will discuss what essentials may be required, covering food, water and your emergency kit.  Until then, have fun.

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  1. says

    Great post, Gaving. Here is my first one for this week:

    Bruise Mouse, I am still there too!! I am going to set up a print or download function at the end of this, so people can do it as a 4 Step challenge, over any time frame, rather than feeling like you’ve got to do all this in a month. It’s taken me 2 years so far (doing both short & long term preparedness) so I know it’s not easy to fit it in amongst everyday life!

  2. says

    Great post I’m halfway between – OMG I need to have everything I need forever. And, OK lady – reduce your consumption more – what else can go.

    Thank you more to think about here :)

    As always, from the other side of the world, I read and think more with pleasure.

    I’m at the end of my own grown tomatoes – and back to the tetra packed ones (I’ve run out of my own, but the call for tomato based dishes at home still is high) – I take a while to learn.

    Very soon I’ll become in the habit of = I’m at the end of the homegrown tomatoes – I won’t cook with them again til summer (which is where I’m at with alot of local produce)

    Very small steps. Thank you for helping me along!

  3. says

    The first time I did this it was a real eye-opener. After cleaning, sorting and tossing I realized that I wasn’t even keeping two weeks worth of food in the house on a regular basis. With six people living here, what was I thinking? It pays to keep tabs on this. It is one job I never delegate to someone else, but always take care of myself.

  4. says

    Yes great idea to see what you currently have before you rush out to buy other stuff.

    Im very interested to see what you do regarding water storage to drink!

    Really enjoying reading yours and Bec’s posts. Thanks Guys.

  5. says

    I have been lurking here for awhile but simply must comment on this series – I love it! I have been thinking lately about preparedness for our family which includes my grandmother who needs more and more care. My first priority has been getting a stash of her prescription medication.

    I have been putting off renewing our stockpile of groceries because I always seem to run into the same obstacles. While we stockpile regularly to some extent to take advantage of sales and because we live somewhat rurally so running to the store is a half hour event, our stockpile is not especially ready-to-eat. I cook almost everything from scratch with the exception of condiments, pasta sauce, and a couple other things, so what I have in my pantry is a lot of staples which have to be combined with others from the refrigerator and freezer. I would love ideas on how to stockpile without spending a lot of money on preservative laden food my family will not eat.

    Thank you for the series.


  6. says

    Hi Gavin, I did my inventory of my pantry today-I also cleaned out my cabinets in the kitchen and put all items with 2012 exp date in my pantry. I moved some stuff that was set to expire from my pantry to my kitchen but not much. I am working on an excel spreadsheet to track my pantry storage and my basement freezer inventory. Freezer inventory is tomorrow. It has been too cold until today to do this-single digits at night and below 30 during the day for the last 2 weeks. Needless to say the basement is not a place to spend much time when it is that cold! Thanks again for this challenge! Karen from CT

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