Thoughts by Emily

Building Up Food Storage and Planning for Emergencies

I am a huge believer in being prepared, not for your day to day adventures per se, but being prepared for emergencies. I am not a great planner and often fly by the seat of my pants. When it comes to planning for the unknown, I am a tad better. There are so many different emergencies that one could encounter in their life, and I feel it is important to plan for those events as much as possible.

I don’t consider myself an extreme couponer with an excessive stockpile, but I like to have enough of a stockpile in foods and toiletries, and household items, to hopefully get my family and I through any rough times. Such rough times might include a natural disaster (if our items are held in tact), job loss and more. When my husband’s commercial construction company went under 3 years ago, I realized more than ever how important building up food storage and planning for emergencies really is. We all chug along in our daily lives, and can’t foresee any big problems in our future, but we should prepare anyway. We don’t always know what may be ahead of us. I hope and pray that nothing tragic will strike us, but I think that being prepared and having enough necessities on hand, to get through those rough times, can make those tough times that much less tragic.

Not only can your stockpile help you and your family, but also your neighbors and friends! If we all prepare and plan, just think of the things and power we could have.

I want to give you just a few quick tips for building up your food storage and planning for emergencies.

  • When you do your grocery shopping, start purchasing just a couple extra of those things you know your family will eat. These items could be your foods for survival. If you purchase bit by bit, your stockpile will slowly, but surely, grow. You can also shop online and purchase such kits, for these purposes.
  • If you have extra coupons and something is going on sale for cheap or free, buy extras! You may not think you need 5 bottles of shampoo, because it only takes you a month to get through one bottle. Without being negative, and a “Debbie Downer”, try to think about how you could be prepared for those “just in case” moments. If I had started planning and preparing for months or years before my husband lost his job, life could have been that much easier.
  • Look at the shelf life of products. If they don’t expire or go bad for a very long time, then buy extras while you can, or while there is a really good sale. I like to buy a lot of an item when it is at it’s lowest price point. Then I hopefully won’t have to purchase that item again, until it is on sale again! Try to do this as much as possible, to help you save and build.
  • Make sure you always have the staples, or “survival food” on hand. I think of survival food, as those basic foods one can get by on, if one had to. This could be flour, sugar, wheat, powdered milk, evaporated milk, pasta, rice, etc. These foods all have a pretty long shelf life as well.
  • One thing that we do (and need to update), is that we have a 72 hour emergency preparedness kit. This could be a large dufflebag that has a change of clothes for you and each of your family members, flashlights, matches, granola bars, blankets, etc. The purpose of this bag is so you have something super fast and easy to grab in case you have to flee your house in a hurry, because of a natural disaster, or something of the sort. 

Because my income fluctuates month to month, there are some months where it is very difficult to make ends meet. I have a lot of peace knowing that I don’t have to go out and buy toothbrushes, toothpaste, laundry detergent and more, during those rough months, because I have sufficient on hand. Then when a month is a little better than another, I try to replenish my stockpile as much as I can. Just start thinking ahead and planning and preparing. You never know when you just might need to use that stockpile.

Now for a little fun, If you had to live off of one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?


P.S. Those Capri Suns and Cereal boxes in the photo, got us through the whole school year, without having to replenish!


About the author

Emily Buys


  • I so agree with you. It seems like the media often portrays people who stockpile or prepare for emergencies as nutsos 🙂 But – it’s not about the extreme stuff. It’s just making sure that you are doing the best you can to prepare your family for any scenario.

    Sure, my friends make jokes that we have “bug out” bags too – a backpack for each of us with some basic supplies to grab quickly if needed. But, if there ever was a disaster – which is totally possible, it wouldn’t seem so silly.

    And like you, my income fluctuates a TON each month too. So stocking up when we can to have what we need when I can’t afford it is a lifesaver!

  • I am a big fan of picking up a few extra items on a shopping trip. Besides saving up for emergencies it is nice if you run out of something you hadn’t planned on you won’t have to run to the store because you already have it on hand. Thanks for the tips.

  • My mom was a big believer in buying a few extra of certain items. She told me over and over, “A couple of extra cans of salmon in your cabinet is like money in the bank.” She was right.

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