by Daisy Luther
Be honest. When you think about a stockpile, the first thing that comes to mind is food, right?
Preppers are well-known for having a stash of long-term food to sustain them through anything from a winter storm that leaves them stranded for a week to the end of the world, but there’s a lot more to a good stockpile than edible items. Think about the things you use on a regular basis that you purchase from the store. Personal hygiene items, school supplies, cleaning supplies – the list goes on and on of consumable goods that you use without really thinking about it.
Ever since my kids were little, I’ve always kept a stockpile of these types of goods. And there have been occasions in my life that I was very grateful to have them on hand. When I was unemployed for a few months, I didn’t have to run to the store to get day-to-day items, nor did I have to do without. I was able to simply go shopping in the pantry and meet my family’s needs. Because of this, we survived a stressful situation without the added stress of not having the things we needed to live comfortably.
How to get a good deal on non-food stockpile items
Shopping for non-food stockpile items is much like shopping for your grocery stockpile. It’s essential that you get the best deal you can. If the deal is really epic, sometimes I stock up on brands that we don’t really use so that I have some items on hand for a friend who may have fallen on hard times. A gift of health-and-beauty supplies would be very welcome to someone who has lost a job or otherwise fallen on hard times.
- Watch the flyers. Sometimes these types of items are loss-leaders, which means the store will be selling them at a loss in the hope that you’ll buy some of their more overpriced merchandise.
- Buy in bulk. Sometimes you can get a good deal by purchasing items in quantity. Places like Costco, Amazon, and Winco often sell non-food supplies in packs of 3, 6, or 24. Be sure to do the math and confirm that you’re really saving money, though. Sometimes they can be tricky.
- Hit the dollar store or clearance store. I get lots of great stuff at our local Grocery Outlet, part of a chain. They sell lots more than groceries and often have organic brands of health and beauty aids for a fraction of the price that the boutique stores charge. The dollar store can also be a good source for certain items. Take care not to get something of terrible quality that won’t really work, though.
- Clip coupons. If you’re a coupon-er, good deals can often be found on high quality, name brand items.
Add these items to your non-food stockpile
Your expanded stockpile will save you time, money, and stress. When you have a well-provisioned home, you can meet most situations with aplomb. Scenarios that would have other people scrambling to provide the basic necessities for their family will hardly register as a blip on your radar.
You can click the links to find reasonably priced options for some items.
- Soap (At the time of publication this was less than 50 cents per bar)
- Laundry products (or the ingredients to make your own)
- Shampoo and Conditioner
- Disposable razors
- First Aid supplies
- Calamine lotion
- Dish soap
- Feminine hygiene items
- Toilet paper
- Paper towels
- Baby wipes (even if you don’t have a baby!)
- Shower gel
- Cosmetics if you use them
- Coconut oil (This is SO multipurpose!)
- Peroxide (The dollar store and Wal-Mart usually have the best prices for this.)
- Rubbing alcohol (The dollar store and Wal-Mart usually have the best prices for this, too.)
- Hand sanitizer
- White vinegar
- Cleaning supplies
- Garbage bags
- Kitty litter (for emergency sanitation)
- Pet food
- Flea and tick medication for pets
- Essential oils
- Lotion and moisturizer
- Extra filters and parts for your water filtration device
- Spare parts for important equipment like canners or tools
- Lighters (These were 33 cents apiece at the time of publication)
- Long-burning candles
- Batteries (This is a great deal)
- Stationary/school/office supplies
- Lip balm
- Toothbrushes and toothpaste
- Sewing/mending supplies
- Hair elastics (ask any female with long hair how necessary these are! In a pinch, I’ve been known to use a zip-tie to keep my hair back)
- Over-the-counter remedies for common ailments like heartburn, nausea, congestion, coughing, and pain relief
- Insect repellant
- Deodorant (We usually use homemade or an expensive natural brand, but I still keep this on hand.)
- Duct tape
- Paper plates and disposable cutlery (in the event of a water shortage)
- Tin foil (good for more than hats)
- Ziplock bags in a variety of sizes
- Cotton balls and cotton swabs
- Hardware like nails and screws for emergency repairs