Americans now recognize the importance of storing emergency supplies such as food, medicine, and beverages due to the recent surge in unexpected events that have affected the nation and the world.
It is crucial to be prepared for any unforeseen circumstances, and having emergency supplies readily available can make a significant difference in ensuring your safety and well-being.
It is essential to stay informed and take the necessary precautions to protect oneself and loved ones in times of crisis.
Whether you are an experienced prepper or just getting started, what items should you stop stockpiling or buying, and what alternatives should you purchase?
Remember that there are hundreds of things we could employ in times of crisis—far more than can fit on this list.
Below, we’ll review some of these alternatives and recommend what you should buy instead.
Stop stockpiling toilet paper. Instead, consider investing in reusable cloth wipes. Reusable wipes are much more helpful if you run out of toilet paper and can not purchase more at the store.
Reusable wipes or washcloths provide a sustainable and eco-friendly option for more than your hygiene.
Another alternative is to buy a handheld bidet, significantly reducing the toilet paper you need. However, it is essential to note that this option will rely on water.
Many people stockpile paper towels. While this product is helpful, there are better options. Instead of buying paper towels, invest in microfiber or reusable cleaning cloths.
These can be washed and reused multiple times, reducing waste and saving money in the long run. They also take up much less space in storage.
Additionally, using cloth towels can help reduce the spread of germs by ensuring that surfaces are properly cleaned and disinfected.
Instead of buying disposable razors, consider investing in a safety razor and replacement blades; they can be much cheaper to stockpile and will save precious space. By being mindful of the items we store, we can ensure that we make the most efficient use of our resources and space.
Cheap Boots Or Shoes
Investing in durable footwear is crucial for survival. Cheap footwear may seem like a good option, but it will likely wear out quickly and may not provide adequate support or protection. Look for boots or shoes made with high-quality materials and sturdy construction to withstand harsh conditions.
Related: How to Make Your Boots Last Longer
While it may cost more upfront, it will save you money and hassle in the long run. For example, investing in high-quality hiking boots will provide the necessary support and reduce the effects of rough terrain.
On the other hand, cheap boots may lead to blisters and injuries or allow moisture to get into your shoes and socks, making your journey much more challenging and potentially dangerous.
Even in the best of times, batteries are expensive. Consider purchasing rechargeable batteries and a solar-powered charger.
Stockpiling rechargeable batteries, primarily commonly used sizes, will make your life much easier during a crisis.
Batteries should be considered a survival essential. A battery stockpile could be a lifesaver if you need a battery-operated radio or flashlights.
Although water is essential to any survival stockpile, you need to consider how it is contained. Rather than buying individual water bottles, purchasing a water filter or water purification tablets is often better.
When storing water for long-term use, keeping airtight containers in a cool, dark place is vital. Consider using water purification tablets or a water filter to ensure the water remains safe.
Rotating and replacing stored water every six months is also recommended to maintain freshness. Instead of relying solely on bottled water, you can keep tap water appropriately treated with chlorine bleach or other disinfectants.
An even better alternative is building your own rainwater harvesting and purification system. This project takes about 3 hours to complete and can help you store 165 gallons of water.
Bleach has a limited shelf life and can be dangerous if not used properly. Consider an alternative, such as hydrogen peroxide or vinegar. Both are excellent options for cleaning and disinfecting.
Additionally, if you stockpile bleach, rotating and replacing the product is essential.
Rotating a stockpile of any kind helps to ensure its safety and effectiveness. Educating yourself on handling and storage techniques for bleach may also help prevent accidents.
Regular bleached flour has a much shorter shelf life than other options – usually lasting only 6-8 months. Look for unbleached or all-purpose flour with a longer shelf life and fewer chemicals.
Some commercial options are available that are created specifically for long-term storage. These types are generally canned or vacuum-sealed and often contain food-grade oxygen absorbers.
These options and proper storage can allow you to store flour for up to 25 years. Remember, all products should be unopened and kept in a cool and dry environment.
Stocking up on canned goods can be handy if you do not need to be on the move. However, canned goods can be heavy and take up a lot of space.
Moreover, some items may not last as long as you think, and you should always check the dates if you plan to store canned goods.
As an alternative, consider creating or purchasing freeze-dried or dehydrated foods. This process removes the moisture and allows the food to last longer.
What you store in your stockpile is extremely important. Salted nuts, canned soups, and other high-sodium foods can lead to dehydration and other health issues.
Consider stocking up on low-sodium or salt-free options, or even better, invest in a salt-free seasoning blend. For example, when preparing an emergency food supply kit, one could include a variety of freeze-dried fruits and vegetables as a healthy alternative to canned goods.
Additionally, a salt-free seasoning blend can help reduce overall sodium intake while still providing flavor to meals during an emergency.
Dried beans are a staple of many stockpiles.
However, it would be best to consider the time it takes to cook dried beans before you purchase them to store long-term.
Many varieties of dried beans require you to allow them to soak before they are cooked, and when cooked, they often take a long time to soften. This can be challenging in times of crisis, primarily if you rely on fuel.
Having a small amount of dried beans on hand but keeping some other options is more convenient for most people.
While peanut butter is often a prepper staple, it does spoil. The oil within peanut butter is the problem, and most last on the shelf for only a year or so.
Therefore, if you genuinely love peanut butter, powdered alternatives are available that remove the issue-causing oils and allow safe, long-term storage.
Any Foods You Do Not Normally Eat
One of the biggest mistakes new preppers make is stockpiling foods they would not eat normally. Avoid purchasing items simply because they are on sale or will last a long time, and buy only what you know you will consume. When SHTF and all you are left with is a stockpile of foods you do not enjoy eating, times can get tricky fast.
While it is critical to be prepared for emergencies, it is also crucial to consider the quality and sustainability of the items we stockpile. Preppers should reconsider their stockpiling habits and consider alternatives that are more environmentally friendly and have a longer shelf life.
We can better prepare for emergencies while reducing our environmental impact by switching to reusable, sustainable options and focusing on nutrient-dense foods. Remember that being prepared does not mean sacrificing our health or the safety of our planet.
We can ensure that we are ready for anything that comes our way by making wise decisions and simply thinking outside the box.
Can you think of any items that people should stop stockpiling? I would love to read your thoughts in the comments. Stay safe.
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