INVENTORY: Pantry cooking basics.
Now is the time to count things your bake with: such as baking powder and soda, salt, cornstarch, yeast, flour, sugars, oils, cooking spray, cocoa, chocolate chips, etc. Decide what you need to stock up on. Toss anything that is past its expiration dates.
STEP 1: 3-MONTH FOOD STORAGE per person:
12 oz. chocolate/baking chips
4 oz. baking cocoa, unsweetened
I keep my chips in my freezer, but bring to room temperature before baking with them. Baking cocoa keeps indefinitely if stored in a cool, dry place.
STEP 2: 2-WEEK WATER SUPPLY: Accumulate 14 gallons of water per person. That's about 4x24 ct. cases of 16.9 oz. bottles. If you refill your own containers they need to be changed every 6 months, whereas commercially bottled water can be stored indefinitely. But it will taste better if you use it periodically, then buy more. Water is an absolute necessity! You will need more for hygiene, cleaning and cooking.
STEP 3: FINANCIAL RESERVE or EMERGENCY FUND: Start small, but be consistent. Add $2.00 or more per person each week. And only use it for emergencies.
STEP 4: LONGER-TERM FOOD STORAGE:
Do this step if you have completed STEPS 1, 2 and 3. Throughout the year I will suggest long-term items in STEP 1 with (LT) after their name. You can purchase a 3-month supply or a larger amount for your long-term storage. These items can be stored for 20 - 30+ years. For instance, if you want a 1 year supply of sugar, multiply the amount in STEP 1 by 4 which would be 40 lbs. of sugar per person, etc. The choice is yours.
HOME STORAGE: Humidifier/vaporizer. If you don't have one, now may be the time to get one for the cold season.
72-HOUR KIT: Add $10 + into an equipment fund. (see below)
AUTO EMERGENCY KIT: Add $10 + into an equipment fund. (see below)
EQUIPMENT FUND: Many of you have been working on your 72-hour kits and auto emergency kits with me for the past 9 months. So, for the next 12 weeks you will see a suggested amount to save for a more expensive equipment item to be purchased at the end of December. However, if you are not ready to do this and want to continue building your emergency kits, go back to my older monthly lists and look for items you want to purchase each week. We will start over again in January.
1. Decide on an item such as one of the following that you want to save for: Electric Pressure Cooker $100, Pressure Canner/Cooker $100, Tent $150, 2-Burner Outdoor Propane Stove $100, Volcano Cook Stove $100, Indoor/Outdoor Heater $100, Electric Wheat Grinder $250, Chain saw $200-300, Solar Oven $300, KitchenAid Mixer $300, Bosch Mixer $420, or Generator $800+
2. Divide the dollar amount by 12.
3. Put aside that amount each week.
4. Purchase your item at the end of December.
EQUIPMENT GOAL: Rechargeable wall lights. These are the lights that go on when the power goes out so you can see. You leave them plugged into an outlet.
PREP GOAL: Have a mock fire drill. With your family practice a drill that includes leaving the house at night. Push the button on one of your smoke alarms so your children know what it sounds like and then leave the house. This is not an evacuation where you grab important items. Just get out. Today I am moving all of our winter coats into the coat closet and the boots by the front door. See HomeFireDrill.org.
HOW TO USE THIS LIST:
1. Decide on a monthly or weekly home storage budget.
2. Realistically decide what you want to gather or do from the list.
3. Multiply amounts by number of family members.
4. Adjust amount for younger children.
5. Adapt, adapt, adapt. These are only suggestions. Pick and choose.
6. Each week look for store sales that match your goals.
7. Carry your list with you or put it on your cell phone notepad. You are never behind if you take one step forward.