By: curugon on morguefile.com

Getting Ready for Winter 101: Emergency Supplies on a Budget

Oil lamp

How do you prepare for emergencies in a frugal manner? This is a good question. I am not sure that it can be done completely on the cheap, but here are some ideas for you.

Remember: Sometimes spending a little extra up front will allow you to save a good amount of money over time. And you will not have to worry so much about rising costs in an emergency.

Light

Flashlights are the mainstay. If you use these, purchase a bulk package of batteries at a dollar store such as the Family Dollar in Old Town, Maine. All items are NOT a dollar at this store, but costs are certainly reasonable.

Oil lamps are another option. Be sure to have extra oil and wicks on hand. Candles are another option, as long as you have matches to light them with.

There are solar lights available, as well as other options for lams that do not necessitate the use of fire or batteries.

Entertainment

A deck of cards, or 5 if you like Canasta, will provide hours of entertainment, as will board games that you already have on hand. Power outages are a great time to talk and reconnect as a family as well.

Heat

If you have a wood/cook stove you are all set. Otherwise, you may want a kerosene heater for emergencies. In all honesty, as long as some of us are huddled under a few blankets we are fine… even in the coldest areas.

Food and Beverages

There are many foods and drinks that can be kept on hand. Some cost more than others. Individual serving items cost the most, unless you happen across a sale and coupon duo :)

Keep food on a shelf or in a box and make sure everyone knows not to touch it until there is an emergency. Replace these items every 4 to 6 months. None of these items need be refrigerated, and everything can be purchased as store brands to save money. You will also want to look to dollar stores for more savings on a few items.

  • a big bottle of 100% juice

  • ½ gallon of water per day per person, plus another half gallon for cleaning purposes.

  • crackers

  • peanut butter

  • small jar of jelly

  • pita bread

  • canned or jarred fruit

  • granola bars

  • fruit bars

  • large bag of chips

  • raisins

  • dried fruit

  • seeds/nuts

  • dry cereal

Be sure to have enough on hand to last at least a few days. Depending on where you live, you may need more.

Other Items

Many people who do not have power will also not have water (or at least no hot water) for cleaning tasks, so there are some non frugal items we normally do not purchase that we may need.

  • paper plates, cups and bowls

  • napkins and/or paper towels

  • plastic silverware

If you have tips for surviving an emergency, please share them with us in the comments for this post.

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