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
A bar of soap serves more purpose than just cleaning us! Here are some of our favorite uses for soap around the house.
What soap is to the body, laughter is to the soul.
A drawer will slide more smoothly and quietly if you rub both sides and the underside with soap.
To lubricate a stubborn zipper, rub soap on both sides while closed, then unzip it and rub soap over the opened teeth.
Protect windowpanes, doorknobs, hardware, glass doors, and switch plates when painting by coating them with soapsuds. Paint spatters will settle on the suds, and both can be washed away together.
A squeaky hinge gets the soap! Wedge moist soap between the doorframe and hinge, and work the door back and forth; also rub soap directly onto the hinge.
Place unwrapped soap in drawers, closets, and empty suitcases to prevent musty odors.
To make a saw slide more smoothly and easily, coat both sides with soap. The cutting edge will go through any wood much faster.
To halt squeaks in floorboards, work a little moist soap into the cracks between the boards.
Loosen a tight ring by rubbing soap over the finger. The ring will slide off when the hand is washed.
To pick up bits and pieces of broken glass safely, rub a damp bar of soap over the area where glass has splintered, then shave off the surface of the soap of which the glass has adhered. Wrap these soap “peelings” in newspaper and discard.
Prevent a watering can from dripping by rubbing moistened soap under the lip or spout.
To loosen a stiff door lock, lubricate the key by rubbing it with soap.
Rub sled runners generously with soap for a slicker ride.
Pins and needs will go through material more easily if you first stick them in a bar of soap.
To prepare paper logs for a cozy fire, roll old newspapers tightly into small logs, tie firmly, and soak them in soapy water. Stand them on end to drain and dry.
Planning to cook outdoors? First coat the bottom surfaces of pots and pans with soap; soot will wash off with the soap afterward.
To keep eyeglasses from steaming in cold weather, rub both sides of each lens with soapy fingers, and then polish.