Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Aisle by Aisle, Prep at the Grocery Store

      In the first aid department of the Dollar Tree you will find the first aid things you use daily and occasionally.  Often, beginner preppers stop in the first aid aisle thinking that this is all this store has to offer.  You may overlook things you have never used or places you have never looked.  An ankle brace, wrist brace, knee brace may not be something you have ever used, but if there is a need for one, you will kick yourself for not picking it up when you had the chance.  I also recommend the following; fingernail brushes in hair and makeup, glow sticks (found in the toy aisle), zippered sandwich bags, L E D flashlights, lighters, kitchen matches and the plastic covered dishes to store them in, plastic drop cloths, and socks. 

    I recommend nail brushes to keep clean and to prevent cross contamination of food or wounds.  The glow sticks are good to have when a battery powered flashlight is not available or as a trail marker at night.  Everything should be stored inside its storage container in a zippered bag in case of any leakage inside the container.  Plastic drop cloths make a quick sterile table covering then can be used for surgery or a delivery and wrap up the whole mess for disposal. There are many more items and you can shop online at

   I went to Dollar General Store and bought some Clover Valley brand canned foods.  The quality is as good as any name brand.  While there I saw a clearance section.  I already had most of the prep items they had available, but I paid more for them at another store.  Clearance is the time to purchase the second, or back up, item. 

   How do you stalk the bargains?  There are three shops in one strip mall where I shop.  If I am going to Big Lots for a specific item, I walk down to the other two stores to see what is in stock seasonally and I make a note of it for a few weeks later at the end of the season. 

   In the summer seasonal aisle of any store, I can see a lot of new shiny colorful plastic chip bowls and dip bowls and cracker trays.  I don’t need any more of that.  The new line of sport drink bottles are out.  I make a note of those to purchase later. The end of the season list got longer when I found some canvas grill covers and some solar lights I can use in the stock up for later inventory.  I don’t know what you need for your region or your potential disaster, but if remaining calm and prepping ahead are the best ways to survive a disaster, then recon and planning will get you the best prices for the things you need.

     Every store you shop is a potential outlet for prep items.  A fabric store might draw you in for that missing button but walking the store and examining their inventory may provide you with more prep items.  Jo-Ann ETC. sells solar powered garden lights.  They have craft kits, (also available at Wal-Mart, Michael’s and Target) to build a catapult on wheels.  It is a wooden miniature but it is also a basic lesson in physics.  It will send a marble about 20 feet.  Pop! goes the marble.  I can now boast the knowledge of how to build a catapult.  Also at the craft store, the stepping stone kits teach measuring and setting cement. They also have kits for weaving, macramé and more that teach skills you can translate into survival skills.

     The grocery store sells food.  The organic section of produce provides fruits and vegetables that provide seeds less likely to have been treated with hormones.  The hardware store sells solar lighting and chargers for batteries. They also sell nuts bolts and screws to repair your broken items, so when shopping for your daily needs, keep your future needs in mind.

      I want you to look at each item on each shelf at your shopping place and automatically ask yourself if this is a dual purpose item you need now or possibly later.  There are things you need in your supply closet you may not have thought about.  I was shopping with an acquaintance not long ago who asked what do you need that for?  The answer is, “later”. I need ace bandages at a close out price because the store is changing brands.  It doesn't change the quality of the bandages.  I got six.

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