Last-Minute Emergency Supplies: What to Buy When the Shelves Are Almost Empty

(Psst: The FTC wants me to remind you that this website contains affiliate links. That means if you make a purchase from a link you click on, I might receive a small commission. This does not increase the price you'll pay for that item nor does it decrease the awesomeness of the item. ~ Daisy)

by Daisy Luther

Have you ever waited too long to prepare for an emergency and then you get to the store and the supplies you need are gone? The shelves are nearly bare because a horde of other locals got there first? If you need to get some last-minute emergency supplies but your original choices are gone, here’s what to buy when the shelves are almost empty.

I wrote this a couple of days before the advent of Hurricane Florence, I drove to a nearby large city because I was curious to see whether others in the area were feverishly preparing and if so, what supplies were sold out first.  We’re pretty well-supplied so I wasn’t there to shop. I was there to see what was missing and what last-minute emergency supplies could be substituted in their place.

I stopped by a Kroger first and the line was absolute insanity. I couldn’t even push a buggy through the store because it was so crowded. A quick perusal showed that bread and water were basically gone.

Then I went to Wal-Mart. I didn’t go to the one in the neighborhood where there tends to be more crime. I went to the “nice” Wal-Mart in an affluent area. There, it was busy, but there was enough room to move around and gather some information.

In this article, I’ll suggest some last-minute emergency supplies you can purchase in place of the ones you wanted if you’ve waited too late to shop. To do this, you’re going to have to cast away your plans of being organic and healthful. If you’ve waited this long, you’re stuck with what’s left. So please don’t write to me aghast that I suggested conventional crackers instead of volcanic ground chia seed ones, okay?

My suggestions assume that you may or may not have the ability to boil water and heat things up, but you probably don’t have anything more elaborate than that.

What to buy when the store is out of water

Here’s a photo of the water aisle at the local WalMart that I took two days before Hurricane Florence was due to hit.

There are lots of other options if the water aisle looks like this. They may not be as healthy but they’ll keep you from dying of dehydration.

  • Sports drinks (like Gatorade)
  • Flavored or sparkling water
  • Juice boxes or individual bottles
  • Soda pop (not too much though because that can be dehydrating instead of replenishing)
  • Vegetable juice
  • Premade iced tea

A good trick here is to go to the aisle where people get individually packaged stuff for their kids’ lunches. You’ll find all sorts of beverage pouches and plastic bottles of drinks here.

I warned you – not the healthiest, but healthy is no longer available. Trust me when I tell you it will be far better than having nothing available to drink. Oh – and don’t forget the wine. It won’t really rehydrate you, but you won’t care as much that you don’t have water.

Finally, buy containers. You still have running water, right? Buy containers, wash them, and fill them up before the storm hits. No one is going to be sold out of containers unless you specifically look for “Water Containers.” Grab mason jars, pitchers, canisters, etc. Just make sure they’re food safe and you’re good.

What to buy when the store is out of bread

Here’s the photo of the bread aisle. My friend asked what they had against Nature’s Own bread since there were a few loaves of that brand left.

So if you are insistent that you must have the makings for sandwiches, it’s pretty easy to go beyond the loaves you see here. Other options are:

  • Hamburger or hot dog buns
  • Pitas
  • Tortillas
  • Bagels
  • Muffins
  • Crackers

All of these things were still available abundantly when I was at the store today.

What to buy when the store is out of canned food

I don’t have a very good picture of the semi-empty canned food aisle because a lady (and I use that term loosely) hit me with her cart and then glared at me while I was taking photos.

The things that were gone first were items like canned pasta meals, soups, and chili. That makes sense because they’re pretty reasonable meals when heated up slightly, and can even be eaten cold out of the can in a worst-case scenario.  If your desired canned goods are not available, look to these items:

  • Canned baked beans (tasty right out of the can at room temp
  • Canned refried beans (spread them on those tortillas you got because the store was out of bread
  • Canned V-8 and a can of mixed vegetables (turn that into soup)
  • Canned potatoes (Mash them up or put them on the grill
  • Canned fish

Or move away from the regular canned goods and see what they’ve got over on the International Food aisle:

  • Noodle bowls that just need boiling water
  • Soup that may not be as familiar
  • Small cans of salsa or enchilada sauce

Look in other areas for shelf-stable food, especially the aisle I mentioned above for drinks – school lunch box food. With small servings, you don’t have to worry about leftovers spoiling.

  • Pudding
  • Applesauce
  • Pouches of precooked rice (some have beans and other vegetables mixed in)
  • Peanut butter
  • Breakfast cereal
  • Granola bars
  • Jerky
  • Candy
  • Veggie chips
  • Potato chips
  • Pre-popped popcorn
  • Fruit cups
  • That squirty yogurt you get in pouches (the shelf-stable kind, not the refrigerated kind)
  • Vienna sausages
  • Pre-cooked bacon

You get the idea. Go out there and be creative. Scan every aisle to look for things that won’t spoil that your family will eat. I know whenever I’ve grabbed this kind of stuff, my girls have been thrilled since we don’t usually keep junk food in the house.

What to buy when the store is out of batteries, flashlights, and emergency candles

I forgot to grab a photo of this, but the camping aisle was pretty barren. Here are some alternative suggestions.

Scented candles – I hate them passionately, but you can choose the most lightly scented ones there – better than sitting in the dark.

  • Tealights
  • Decorative jar candles
  • Headlamps
  • Shop lights – the LED kind will last for a long time
  • Batteries – see if there are any rechargeable ones and charge them before the storm

For supplies like this, think about non-traditional stores:

  • Hardware stores
  • Home decor stores (I’ve scored unscented candles at TJ Maxx before)
  • Toy stores
  • Automotive stores like Napa
  • Corner stores or 7/11 may have batteries
  • Feed stores often have lanterns and flashlights
  • The dollar store
  • Electronics stores will probably have batteries
  • Drug stores
  • Liquidation stores (I found some really bright LED lanterns for $5 each at a place called Hamricks, a Southern franchise)

Don’t forget these other last-minute necessities:

  • Heavy duty garbage bags
  • Bleach
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Paper plates
  • Plastic cutlery
  • Pet food
  • Essential medications
  • Cat litter (even if you don’t have a cat)
  • Something to do (I grabbed some yarn to start on my holiday projects)

When the store is out of last-minute emergency supplies you wanted

Don’t despair if you can’t the last-minute emergency supplies you wanted. It just means you’re going to have to be flexible and creative.

And when this disaster is over, think long and hard about the things you wished you would have had. Make yourself a list and start buying these items and by the time the next disaster rolls around, you’ll be much further ahead.

You’ve got this!

Some last-minute resources

These two books may be of help. They are PDFs so they’re instantly available for you to download.

The Prepper’s Hurricane Survival Guide contains last-minute tips to secure your home if you’ve waited too late. It also tells you what to expect before, during, and after a hurricane. Order here.

[thrive_link color=’blue’ link=’https://learn.theorganicprepper.com/cartflows_step/the-preppers-hurricane-survival-guide-2/’ target=’_blank’ size=’medium’ align=’aligncenter’]Learn More About The Hurricane Survival Guide[/thrive_link]

The Prepper’s Book of Lists provides you with checklists of the supplies you need and steps you should take for a wide variety of emergencies. Order here.

[thrive_link color=’blue’ link=’https://learn.theorganicprepper.com/cartflows_step/preppers-book-of-lists/’ target=’_blank’ size=’medium’ align=’aligncenter’]Learn More About The Prepper’s Book of Lists[/thrive_link]

The Blackout Book helps you handle a power outage like a boss. Since a power outage follows most natural disasters, this will be a helpful guide. Order here.

[thrive_link color=’blue’ link=’https://learn.theorganicprepper.com/cartflows_step/the-blackout-book-2/’ target=’_blank’ size=’medium’ align=’aligncenter’]Learn More About The Blackout Book[/thrive_link]

You can also order my paperback book, Be Ready for Anything for this information and much more. Order here.

[thrive_link color=’blue’ link=’https://amzn.to/2ZGvQov’ target=’_blank’ size=’medium’ align=’aligncenter’]Learn More about Be Ready for Anything[/thrive_link]

Last-Minute Emergency Supplies: What to Buy When the Shelves Are Almost Empty
Daisy Luther

Daisy Luther

Daisy Luther is a coffee-swigging, globe-trotting blogger. She is the founder and publisher of three websites.  1) The Organic Prepper, which is about current events, preparedness, self-reliance, and the pursuit of liberty on her website, 2)  The Frugalite, a website with thrifty tips and solutions to help people get a handle on their personal finances without feeling deprived, and 3) PreppersDailyNews.com, an aggregate site where you can find links to all the most important news for those who wish to be prepared. She is widely republished across alternative media and  Daisy is the best-selling author of 5 traditionally published books and runs a small digital publishing company with PDF guides, printables, and courses. You can find her on FacebookPinterest, Gab, MeWe, Parler, Instagram, and Twitter.

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65 Responses

  1. Excellent advice! People panic and when thinking about something like “water containers”, all they can do is stare at empty shelves of water containers. Yet, a kiddy pool would do wonders and you can always grab another for a top. I just wish that everybody wouldn’t wait until the last minute-like when the hurricane is gonna hit landfall in 14 hours. I mean, really? But humans do denial very well. I’d also add, grab an extra 18 eggs and hard boil them while you have a chance. Put those hard boiled babies in a kids plastic bucket, surround it with a few frozen water bottles, and you have great protein snacks for everybody. Now might be the time to buy some cast iron cookware-it will happily stand up to a fire in the fireplace, an outside fire ring, or the bar b cue. Stainless and aluminum? Not so much.

    1. Sandra, your hard boiled egg is is great! One of my things is to be sure the laundry is done and all chargers charged, because the electricity will go out, tue only question is for how long.
      Be safe, take care, Teddy

      1. I just discussed that topic…laundry day…with my husband yesterday. The ‘Mennonite by name only’ across the street uses Monday as laundry day—I do laundry when I get a load…and at night when rates are better, hang those boogers on my covered porch retractable line and they are dry in the next morning !!
        Even when I worked before retiring, I did laundry at night.
        I will not have baskets full if power is out.

  2. Daisy, thank you for this list! Today I found a three pack of headlamps for only $10! They may not be the best, but they work. I took them to my elderly parents, who cannot come to my house (as theirs is much better suited to their needs), so I’m trying to get them ready. (They are not really on board!) I told them that when I travel, I always put my headlamp around my neck when I go to bed, so if the electricity goes off during the night, I’ve already got a light on me! I hope they will do likewise: no elder needs a fall in the dark to top off a hurricane experience!

  3. We live in the country. Put in a hand pump well to access water. Also bought a deluxe
    woodburning stove that has a metal top, an oven and a 25 gallon water tank.
    Husband cuts wood that we are able to get for free. We live 40 miles from a nuclear plant.

    We buy Seychelle water pitchers and bottles they will filter 100 gallons of water, before you
    need to change the filter. there is a Ph water filter, and a extreme water filter.
    We get these from the jimbakershow .com when they are on sale
    Carl Palmer is the owner who has developed these water products. He is a frequent guest
    on the jimbakkershow. Jim has very good guests on that help you prepare.

    We take our water bottles with us everywhere. You can look up and it will tell you all the contaminets
    these will filter radiation being one of them. Carl has also come up with a pump that you can use
    for lake water .
    He developed the radiation filter within 3 weeks after Japan’s nuclear plant went. Have been using these water products for the last 3 years. NO BUYING BOTTLED WATER

    ALSO ANOTHER MUST HAVE PRODUCT IS SILVER SOL. Comes in a liquid form to take. Frank Davis
    company produces the silver sol. Has silversol gel, silver sol hand cream, liquid silver sol.fights infections,
    He is also a guest on the jimbakkershow. We have been using these products for the last 2 years.
    Our oldest grandson would ask for the silversol gel when he would start getting rashes.
    When he was a little younger he would call it the itchy cream.

    1. Jim Bakker is a weasel and a liar. He preys on the elderly, scaring them and then trying to sell overpriced stuff. Those water filters propbably cost about half if you search the internet. Silver is nonsense.

  4. Great article with useful information and helpful tips. I did not, however, understand this comment: “Then I went to Wal-Mart. I didn’t go to the one in the neighborhood where there tends to be more crime. I went to the “nice” Wal-Mart in an affluent area.“

    1. There are several Walmarts here. One constantly has police cars in front of it, breaking up fights. The other is the one we call “the nice WalMart” because the merchandise is more upscale and you don’t have the same issues with crime there.

  5. If you can’t get bottled water before the storm, make sure to fill the bathtub with water(clean first) and then put a piece of plastic over top to keep air and contaminants from getting in. Also, if you have a hot water heater you can always drain the water from the drain valve at bottom. Roughly 40 gallons which no one thinks to look at.

    I put in a few 55 gallon drums in a wooden cradle and hooked up the drums in a series, one to the other and so forth. I connected the first drum to the water line in my home and then connected the last drum back into the water line after the hot water heater. Its been hooked up for a couple years and have not had to use it yet….but its there out of the way, if the need should arise.

  6. I went to Walmart in our area today….not for water/food, I have plenty. I went for some Command hooks for a kitchen project. While there I asked about water… My daughter drinks bottled spring water…and when she shopped on Saturday (before the big rush) she underbought, just for her day-to-day use. Anyway, I thought I’d grab her some if they had any. When I asked, the worker, rather condescendingly, said, they haven’t had water for two days (today is Tuesday). I asked weren’t the warehouses sending more in to replenish the shelves (our Walmart is one city over from one of their biggest warehouses). I was told they were sending all their water to stores along the Coast. Interesting…. Another way to “find” water is the baby department. They sell gallons marked for babies. And, a great place to get foods of all kinds are drug stores. They always have one or two aisles of the basics. Good article, Daisy. I enjoyed reading about your experience. Thank you.

  7. You did good Miss Daisy………….I’m from South Texas…………been through many hurricanes……….you are spot on…………

  8. I have moved away from hurricane country, but I’ve been through a few.

    Fill your washing machine with water. Also, the bathtub if you can get a good fitting plug.

    Also, look for batteries in the toy section. Some toys need batteries and there may be some stocked there.

  9. I sure hope that people will help the elderly and those who are handicapped. I often wonder how many people would go out of their way to ask what they could do to help them to either make sure they are safe with other family members or have what they need at their own home. Who knows what this storm is going to do and the force it will bring and how long people will have to go without the things they normally have. I’ve also thought of all the animals, small and large that people will NOT consider. After seeing what the last two big hurricanes brought of destruction, injury and death, I would hope that they would make sure of their care and safety as well. If you see a situation with either people or animals that you believe are at risk, say something, do something. Please.

  10. I think a healthy alternative to canned fruits and veggies is baby food. Granted it comes in much smaller quantities and is more expensive. However, it’s a good snack and source of nutrition. We always stock up for our little girl, and she’s excited to share her pear/blueberry mix. ???????? stay safe out there everyone!!

    1. Amen! And I would suggest having a couple of packs of baby wipes on hand too, even if you don’t have a baby. If you lose your clean running water, you won’t be able to bathe or shower…

  11. To get the jump on any mold that starts to appears around the house, inside or out, stock up on TSP, TriSodium Phosphate, concentrated chloride, N-95 masks, borax, baking soda, long handled bristle brushes, rubber latex gloves, pails and pently of gallons of vingear. Mold will destroy your house and your health.

    If you have tarps, paracord, poles, you can get rainwater into a kiddie pool. Large glass jars filled with water can be partially disinfected sitting in the sunlight. Avoid water for drinking coming off the roof as it is not safe because of the asphalt shingles.

    For the lady living near a nuclear power plant study up on seaweed and iodine. And vitamin D, I believe to help absorption. Save your money.

    Feed stores near you might sell wheat berries. Read up on that for long shelve life. Even the growing tips of catbriar/Smilax is edible. See the website “Eat the Weeds” with Green Dean for a wealth of knowledge. Along with your local county extension USDA office.

  12. You did a good job, Daisy! Thank you again! The smaller serving sizes you mentioned are actually great for a smaller household, especially a one or two person household. No refrigeration needed, as the food is already in small packages so no waste, either. One of the things people do here is have big cookouts after the storm to cook frozen food before it goes bad. They share with neighbors if they have enough. Have to cook on the grill, but food always tastes better from the grill anyway. When Irma was coming, I went to my nearby Home Depot Wednesday morning for plywood. We waited in line for 6 hours because the truck was late, supposed to have been there the night before! Irma came Saturday. The only board stuff left was chipboard, and people were buying that to cover windows. I’d rather use real boards. I’m very thankful so many people are moving out of the way. I hope filks are prepared for at least a couple weeks without power, etc. Be careful, and you know, I never have heard of someone over-preparing for a ‘cane, have you? And find things to laugh at! You will survive better.

  13. I absolutely cracked up at you venturing into grocery stores, risking life and limb, getting batter-rammed by a maniac with a shopping cart, to bring us the on-the-scene investigative reporting into the Hurricane Flo madness, complete with photos. You deserve some kind of combat prepper journalism award. My favorite line in the whole article: “don’t forget the wine. It won’t really rehydrate you, but you won’t care as much that you don’t have water.” But seriously, this was a super informative article, with many good practical suggestions for substitutes to buy when the stuff you intended to buy is sold out. Talk about a well-researched article! Glad you made it out alive!

  14. Don’t forget the wedding section in Walmart. It always has candles and tea lights, often the small batteries that go with them.

  15. I saw that last year in Volusia Co. Just before Hurricane Irma hit. Our flight was cancelled, so we stayed with family. Riding out a hurricane was Not on my bucket list! We were very fortunate!

  16. Couscous and ghee — that, and boiling water, and you’ve got a bowl of very tiny pasta. Put in canned chicken, and it’s dinner. Put in cinnamon and dried apples and sugar, and it’s dessert.

    Also, don’t forget to get your fondue pot out of storage, and some tea lights.

  17. My granddaughter, her husband & 5 kids (one special needs) are in Virginia, right in the path of Florence. I’m in Idaho having a nervous breakdown! She assures me they have adequate supplies but I never know if they are just telling me what I want to hear.

  18. Great article, as always Daisy! One little “hack” I saw yesterday on Facebook was for those who were unable to find water bottles (you have great tips above, but thought this was a great idea too!). Buy a couple boxes of gallon Ziploc-type freezer bags. Fill them from your taps now while you have water, freeze them (again, now) and you have ice to keep things cool when the power goes out, and you can pull out a gallon to defrost and you have drinking water too 🙂 There are so many ways to think outside the box, but so few people do!

  19. Fantastic suggestions! I’m always at a loss when I see people frantically buying water before a storm. Buy the case of water NOW, and maybe you won’t need to use it for a year or two. Do you wait till it’s raining to buy an umbrella?

  20. Two of the critical items you should have in a disaster are a CO detector and a gas detector. Both can be portable, battery powered and hang on the wall for in place sheltering.
    The CO detector is not just for you, although you are likely to generate CO from burning items and possibly cooking, especially if you are using LP stove inside. It is also for the drifting in of CO, possibly from your neighbor’s generator which he set outside well away from his house.
    It is also possible to have natural gas leaking thru the ground and popping up in your basement so a gas detector is your only alerting before you blow up. Outside a leak if big enough will also seep into your house. The real danger is LP (propane). It is heavier than air and will travel down gullies, drainages, etc. for a considerable distance. It will accumulate in low areas, basements, until it can explode. Natural gas is lighter than air and can also accumulate in upper stories, and at ceiling levels.
    When you have potential disrupting changes due to flooding, ground shifts, slides, etc. you have the possibility of ruptures/leaks.
    Stay alert and safe.

  21. I pray for the people who are facing this hurricane, some have no idea how bad things will be during and after this storm. If one has not been through a major hurricane they know not how and why they should prepare, not to mention the mental and physical toll it will have on one’s life.

    Thank you Daisy for all the work you do to help us prepare keep us informed.

  22. Don’t forget any office supply stores. They have batteries, food and water of the type for break rooms, and flashlights and other things that business travelers might want. The advantage is that most of the mindless hordes never think to hit them!

  23. Living in an rv for the past year we’ve had to deal with a lot of humidity and moisture, I finally bought a small dehumidifier from Costco. Cost about 300$ (I’m in canada so everything costs more)

    we got this one, it’s pretty quiet. Bionaire 20 L (42 Pint) Dehumidifier

    I highly recommend taking that (perhaps hard to find) money and buying one immediately and keep it with you. After the storm you will most likely need it in your home, but if not, you can use it inside or outside to easily collect lots of clean distilled like water to drink. If your place is moist or wet you will need to keep mold from setting in. For the price, it’s a great source of renewable drinking water and peace of mind.

    1. Oh also grab thick blankets and wrap your fridge / freezer up once the power goes out to keep them cold longer. Good luck to everyone in those areas.

  24. “””What to buy when the store is out of batteries, flashlights, and emergency candles”””

    I just last night emptied/moved a closet of stuff from a closet holding the water heater with one shelf (I made)and moved the box of lanterns, lantern oil, 100 hour candle, matches, headlamp/flashlights from that shelf to the floor for easy access…and there is a magnetized flashlight on the power box (for the water heater??) for use –easy access, not searching for needs when needed.
    People not prepared deserve what they get..or don’t get! 🙂

    1. “People not prepared deserve what they get..or don’t get! ”

      Actually, Jaybird, I try not to look at it that way. I try to help regardless of what has been done (or not done) ahead of time. Not everyone has led a life that has inspired them to be prepared. Not everyone is in a good situation, let alone an ideal one.

      We were all new at it sometime. 🙂

  25. Usually blogs relative to the subject of being prepared bore me to tears. I will have to say that you did a fine job on this one! ????

  26. Party supply places will have candles and possibly matches. Stores that sell cigarettes will have matches.

    In the Canned food aisle picture there were boxes of “microwave” boxed lunch food. Nothing keeps you from taking the food out of the microwave packaging and putting it in your fondue pot (you still have that don’t you? ) and heating it over the sterno. (Party store will have the sterno too)

    Did you check the Baby Food aisle? There might have been shelf stable squeeze fruit or jars/plastic containers of pureed fruit. Apple sauce is apple sauce no matter what packaging it is in. Right? (Try some of the other fruit. Some of it is pretty good) There are toddler meals there too, which is pretty much “stew”. (again, heated inside in your fondue pot)

    Is there cheese left? Make cheese fondue and dip crackers in it. No milk. Check the powdered milk section….(need milk to thin the melted cheese)

    How about the dry soup section? You still have 14 hours, right? get some of those dry soup mixes and cook them up, so they are now wet soup. Of course, before you left the house, you put a bunch of cool whip bowls in the freezer to make blocks of ice….put the blocks of ice into cooler to keep your fresh soup fresh to eat when the ice thaws. (if you keep the lids on the cool whip containers you will have ice cold water to drink 🙂 )

  27. When filling up your bathtub with water, and the stopper leaks … or might leak

    There is a product called a Water BOB worth knowing about. It’s basically a 100 gallon plastic bag that comes with a little hand pump. It fits in your bathtub so you fill up directly into that bag, so you don’t have to worry about tub stopper leaks — or silly accidents like soap being knocked over into tub water, etc. Amazon carries them, here:

    https://www.amazon.com/WaterBOB-Emergency-Container-Drinking-Hurricane/dp/B001AXLUX2/ref=sr_1_3?crid=1JEDWD0RZ9CIU&keywords=waterbob+for+bathtub+water+storage&qid=1567262468&s=gateway&sprefix=water+BOB%2Caps%2C150&sr=8-3

    I squirreled away two — one for each bathtub.

    –Lewis

  28. If you have a Harbor Freight nearby they have all kinds of lighting, batteries, household tools and water purification supplies. It’s not as high quality as “name brand” but it will do in a pinch and it’s cheap

  29. I just read an Associated Press article about the approach of Hurricane Dorian. It contained this sad anecdote:

    ….Lauren Harvey, 51, scoured the aisles of a nearby supermarket in search for non-perishable foods that could last her throughout the storm. Harvey…recently moved from the Philadelphia-area. She said she is not sure what to expect and is preparing to spend her very first hurricane alone. “I just moved here, so I’m lost,” she said with a blank expression on her face, after grabbing a couple of water bottles from a scantily stocked shelf. “I don’t know what I’m going to do.”

    If I were able to email this woman a link to Daisy’s article, i would. But i also felt exasperation. There is this thing called the internet, does it not occur to this lady to google for advice?

  30. While it’s too late when there’s a pending hurricane (or tornado) to do this, I’d suggest as part of everyday prepping that you begin to hit up yard and garage sales for candles. Often times there are lots of ‘slightly used’ candles, sometimes even whole boxes that were used once (such as red ones for Christmas dinner). You can pick these up cheap. Over time you’ll amass a good quantity.

    If they’re reasonably priced, buy them all. Doesn’t matter if they’re tapers or jarred, they all can supply light (and heat).

  31. Good reminder to be creative. I am but I’ve had friends who would only use a certain item or brand. I’d be happy with peanut butter and tortillas. I’m pretty simple. Do i have favorites…sure do.. But I’m flexible.

  32. This might sound frivolous, but if you’re stuck in your house for days with no power and limited things to do, you’ll see why it can be so helpful. I clip Sudoku puzzles from magazines, and keep them for such a scenario. I’m sure that while the bottled water and lumber shelves in your stores are empty right now, books of crossword puzzles and word-searches and other mind-games are still available.
    Of course I have tons of books on-hand to read too–but you can only read books for so many hours a day before you can’t stand it any more!

  33. New to the site and loving it, thanks for all your advocacy! A quick question – are there other uses for cat litter beside oil spills? Google was not helpful on this topic…

  34. Per another article I just read here, I often find empty shelves at the chain grocery store these days whether or not we have an event coming, but I do indeed have much better luck at the (much closer) dollar store and convenience store.

    The items typically don’t get snatched up as fast in general anyway so they linger longer and are more likely to be there when you need them. The dollar store has a good bit of duplication with the chain grocery and the prices are comparable; the convenience store doesn’t have as much variety and their prices are typically higher, but aside from one time when the bread was cleaned out before a blizzard, I’ve never seen its shelves empty.

  35. Another alternative to candles/torches is glow sticks like those used at raves or for fishing. The green ones tend to produce the most amount of light and last longest.

  36. Love your writing! I just recently found your site and it’s already my favorite! You’re fantastic! LOL

    To do this, you’re going to have to cast away your plans of being organic and healthful. If you’ve waited this long, you’re stuck with what’s left. So please don’t write to me aghast that I suggested conventional crackers instead of volcanic ground chia seed ones, okay?

  37. About buying candles (not really a last minute option) but often you can get Christmas pillars and tapers a little after the holiday for 50% or less. Stock up when you find them and avoid the rush!

  38. I was surprised that there was an untouched shelf of those Hormel Compleats and Barilla Pasta meals! They’re shelf-stable and fully cooked. You can eat them cold. They may cost more than a can of chili or soup, but when you gotta eat, you gotta eat. They’re not bad tasting either. I had coupons for ten (five at a time) that I picked up for a less than a buck-and-a-half each. We’ve used a few on nights when we’re too bushed to cook, and my wife has taken them in for lunch.

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