12 Ways to Prep When There Are No Supplies to Buy and You’re Out of Money

(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)

Author of The Blackout Book and the online course Bloom Where You’re Planted

If you’ve been prepping for the Covid-19 pandemic recently, you’ve probably noticed a couple of things.

  1. The stores are quickly running out of the supplies people want.
  2. People are quickly running out of money.

Both of these things are important. Of course, if there are no supplies, you can’t buy what you need. But secondly, you need to still consider your budget. This situation with Covid-19 will be personally costly. At this point, we all still have bills to pay and your stockpile won’t do you much good when it’s sitting on the curb beside you because you couldn’t make your mortgage payment.

So while I advise doing everything you can to be prepared, I also encourage you NOT to go deeply into debt now of all times. People are getting laid off by the tens of thousands right now. Everything is changing.

We’re at a critical point right now when there’s a crisis bearing down on us and we want to get prepared. But there are very few supplies left on store shelves to buy and many of us don’t have much money left to spend. This does not mean there’s nothing you can do. In fact, you’re at one of the most crucial junctures of preparedness right now.

How to prep without buying more stuff

Here are some things you can do to prepare for the possibility of quarantine when you’ve put a halt to the frantic spending. Make yourself a checklist and get cracking.

  1. Fill up all your containers with water. A Mason jar full of water takes up the same amount of space as an empty Mason jar. Go through your house and fill up every vessel you can with water.
  2. Organize your supplies. If you bought a whole lot of stuff in a frenzy – and let’s be honest, a lot of us did – you may have them stacked in a precarious pile in some area of the house. Take the time to organize your food. You can go about this in different ways – put ingredients for meals together, put all the veggies in one area, all the grains in another area…however you decide to go about it, getting organized will help you see what you have on hand.
  3. Make a menu. While you’re organizing your food stockpile, create some meal plans based on the supplies that you have.
  4. Organize first aid and medical supplies. Put all your first aid, over-the-counter medications, prescription meds, and medical supplies together so you can see what you have. Think about how you can improvise anything you’re missing.
  5. Organize other supplies. I keep my supplies in kits. I have a power outage kit with candles, lighters, flashlights, batteries, solar chargers, etc. I have a pandemic kit I created back in 2014 during the Ebola scare with masks, gloves, Tyvek suits, booties, and other things specific to a pandemic. I use big Rubbermaid tubs for these kits but you can use anything: cardboard boxes, even space on a shelf.
  6. Do a home-security check.  Go outside and take a walk around your house. Are there things that need to be addressed to make your home more secure? Do you need to trim back some shrubs to keep the area under windows visible? Should you secure downstairs windows so they can’t easily be raised up from the outside? Can you put a locking latch on the gate in the back yard? Does your shed need a lock on it? Focus on the small tasks you may have been putting off to make your home more secure.
  7. Make a family security plan. Would your family members know what to do in the event of a home invasion? If not, you need to make a plan. Vulnerable family members need to get out of the way, and family members who are engaging the criminals need to know who is doing what so they don’t get in each other’s way. Place weapons and potential weapons in strategic areas around the home.
  8. Figure out a long-term water plan. Where could you acquire water if no longer came from the taps? Identify places where you could get water – creeks, ponds, rivers, lakes, even fountains if you’re in the city. If there’s nothing like that, figure out how you could capture rainwater the most efficiently. Make sure you have a way to purify this water.
  9. Take a look at your budget. Are there things you can cut right now to help you get better prepared for a long-term financial crisis? Slash unnecessary expenditures now. Call your insurance company for a better rate. Cancel subscription boxes.
  10. Spend some time learning. If you’re already in lockdown, make the most of your time by learning new skills and acquiring knowledge. The best thing you can do right now is to subscribe to Selco’s Patreon that he’s running with his business partner Toby. It’s only $1 a month and the information on there is timely and PURE GOLD. Learn to make things, repair things, grow things, and take some time to look into old-fashioned solutions. This is a great time to pick up some new skills. Read some of those books in your to-read pile and check out how-to videos on YouTube.
  11. Clean and do laundry. This may not sound like a prep at all, but in the unlikely event that the power is interrupted, it would really be bad to start out with a house that needs to be vacuumed and a sky-high pile of dirty laundry.
  12. Assess your neighborhood. If it’s still okay to go for a walk (without coming in close contact with others) take a stroll around your immediate neighborhood. Identify resources, like creeks or fruit trees in the park. Think about which neighbors are more likely to be allies and which ones you expect could be troublesome. This isn’t something you need to act on now – you’re just gathering information.

When you complete these exercises you may find that there are a few things you still need to buy. At the time of this writing, you can probably still do that. The good news is, these things are unlikely to be the stuff that everyone else is buying in a frenzy – think about essential hardware, high-level medical supplies, and tools.

There’s a lot more to prepping than simply buying stuff and piling it into a closet. The time you spend now on non-purchase prepping is also very important. It’s a whole lot easier to think things through right now when you are calm and well-fed than it is to try and figure them out when you’re under stress. This isn’t the time to sit around streaming Netflix or doing a crossword puzzle. There’s a lot of work to be done before we reach the point that we can’t do anything more.

So close that Amazon window on your computer and get to work.

What are you doing to prep that doesn’t cost any money?

Are you doing some non-spending preps? Share what you’re doing in the comments.

About Daisy

Daisy Luther writes about current events, preparedness, frugality, voluntaryism, and the pursuit of liberty on her website, The Organic Prepper. She is widely republished across alternative media and she curates all the most important news links on her aggregate site, PreppersDailyNews.com. Daisy is the best-selling author of 4 books and runs a small digital publishing company. You can find her on FacebookPinterest, and Twitter.

Picture of 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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  • Continue the January prepper’s tips. Lots of water in, walking, and for me: challenging your brain with a non-fiction book. Netflix can wait.

    • Good suggestions Matt in OK.

      Make up known distance range cards and tape them to the back of hanging picture frames, next to the windows, doors etc.

      • I think most folks need to have a realistic conversation about what’s the line of crossing. In other words if you see a threat how close to you let them approach before a challenge is initiated or shots are fired. We all know our doorway is a threshold to hit the resistance however it needs to be farther.
        Everyone needs to be on the same page. You don’t want a member opening fire on a group 300yds out at night moving vertically to the place when you could have easily let the force pass and not gotten into a firefight.
        On the other hand you don’t want mad max and his bunch pulling into the driveway and ringing the doorbell before he’s even yelled at.

    • Dehydrate or can any extra perishable foods you have. IF one has a dehydrator that would work, but I don’t have one…As long sa we have electric we can have our foods in the frig it think.

      • you can dehydrate outside using a big pan to hold the food and covered with cheesecloth, screen, whatever you have. just bring it in at night so it doesn’t re-wet

    • You can sun-dry things, or even use your car as a dehydrator by putting stuff under the back window on cookie sheets. Just make sure you have a way to keep the bugs off.

  • Garden plan and get the seeds organized and ready. Here in Nova Scotia we’re still quite a bit away from last frost.

    Also, if you didn’t already, work on getting the kids into the ‘everyone is vital’ mind set. There’s a lot to learning other than book work.

    • I have heard there might well be a seed shortage in 2021. I already have my seeds for next spring. All catalogued and sorted. I plan to spend the winter researching the best ways for growing each type of food, companion planting, etc.

  • Work planting a garden or do container gardening in your house. Look at honey due list that can be done with supplies on hand.

    On another note, people come out of the wood work. Shane use to work at the feed store about 80 miles from me. He quit (long story) and like him we also do not support the store for many of the same reasons. I have not heard from him in two years or more, but last night he called looking for eggs. There are none to be had. He also wanted two of our female ducks. We do not sell our eggs, but gift them to family and friends. Both my husband and I are retired military (my husband is 100 disable veteran and I am rated 40%) so we live on our retirements and my husband disability social security. We could use the money, but feel like its part of our tiding to give food. I wonder how many others are going to ask us for food. Saturday I am taking four female ducks and two drakes to two different friends that want to have their own ducks. Due to age and foxes, I need a few new chickens. I still get more eggs than I need now, but always like to gift those who need the help. My only concern is tractor supply yesterday told my husband their shipment due in today was canceled and all the feed prices are going up.

  • I’ve started noticing holes in my preps, not to the point it’s a problem but definitely could have done with more of some things, slightly better organising so as I spot things I’m writing them down. Some of it is a shopping list for when people calm tf down, other things are a to do list for me like working out a proper menu plan and having the corresponding shelf stable items for them, I usually use fresh and just didn’t bother translating a lot of it. I will be using my dehydrator a lot more. And learn to can.

    • I’ve spent a lot of time researching how to treat pneumonia at home and alternative possible treatments for coronovirus. High doses of Vit C ( preferably liposomal) is one many can do and could be very affective. Assume you’ll be treating this at home. Our family eats everything from scratch and we have farm animals. If we’re all sick and have to care for animals it will be difficult. I’m trying to have the animals spaces cleaned up and food at the ready so we can get by doing the bare minimum if ill
      I’m also making homemade bone broth and chicken soup and canning it so we can have easy meals if ill as well.

      • Did lots of research on chloroquine before the big announcement. It is very effective against viruses and specifically coronaviruses. There are multiple studies regarding Covid19 despite the dismissals by FDA and other “medical experts” that it needs to be studied for a year. Does it have side effects? Yes, all drugs do and some are serious, but the eye problems are greatly exaggerated. Most seem to related to either extreme doses or taking it for a period of years. If China’s and SK’s sudden stabilized case numbers are to be believed, remember, both countries treat w chloroquine.

        If you check CDC’s own website on malaria/Travel, you’ll find it’s safe enough to be given to pregnant women through all three trimesters and young children. It has been routinely used for rheumatoid arthritis.
        It has been trialed for things like SARS, HIV, and glioblastomas (brain tumors) since 2003. *SARS also began in southern China.

        The drug is cheap and 90 day supply can be purchased online from India. Even if you don’t need to treat this time, good to have on hand IMO. Good luck.

  • Even though it has already been mentioned, I am prepping for my garden and doing some dehydrating. I am also trying to organize what I have stocked up. My next step is to do some meal planning. I am trying to focus on cooking from the fridge first, freezer second and pantry last when possible but I have not perfected that by any means yet. Just setting goals. ????

  • Daisy,
    As always you are spot on! Spending the day washing sheets, towels and clothes, including cleaning the house spotless (including bathtubs that can hold water) and arranging the new food in the food pantry after a few fast unloadings. Going through my medical supplies, getting all sheets and blankets clean to be able to use for others just in case. Already made runs for food and cleaning supplies. Checked on my long term food supplies. Getting the kids set up to do school work online and setting up their desks to study. Taking care of that odd lists to-do that hasn’t been completed and taking time to call on family to check in on them. Making sure cell phones are fully charged, gas tanks in all vehicles are full, garbage taken out of the house, made more space in the utility room for the extra cleaning supplies. Turned on Christian music on while we work so we don’t hear the non-stop parade of virus “experts”. Already picked up my kids from college and moved them home since the rest of the school year is online only. Thinking of ways to earn extra money, reducing our expenditures and winding down the need to go anywhere. Got the board games out & going & checking in on-line with those that have their head in the game! (PS: Your right about know matter how much you prepare for stuff like this it’s still surreal!)

  • I do this year round and it doesnt cost a thing. I pick up bark that has shed from my pine trees and sycamore trees. I have a lot of pines on my 5 acres and they grow after every rain front comes through. The bark just explodes and shoots everywhere. I pick it up, store it in tote boxes in my carport and one day may need it for fire tinder when there are no newspapers. Some pieces come off as thin as parchment. If I never need this as tinder, then I just exercised my back and butt for free.

  • I was fortunate enough to take an excellent hands on class on seed starting in February. So I have been starting seeds for tomatoes, cukes, squash, peppers, eggplants and different herbs that I am sharing with family and friends.

    I also have repurposed old bunker style livestock troughs and old mineral tubs into extra container gardens this year. I’ve got garlic, carrots and lettuces planted in several. Will be planting seed potatoes in one of our raised beds this weekend.

  • Right now is a good time to check and re-check all of your supplies/goods for both your Bug Out and Bug In scenarios. For most of us, sheltering in place is the best option we have at this time in the crisis. So organizing supplies/goods into manageable, easily at hand access, saves time and effort.
    Cleaning and maintaining your firearms is an activity that not only makes sure weapons are good to go, but encourages your muscle memory as an aid in function and use.
    Check and organize your Ammunition Stockpile. I keep my ammo in individual ammo cans that are caliber specific. I don’t mix calibers in an ammo can, not even the calibers that can be fired from the same gun (example: .38 Special and .357 Magnum), even though my stockpile of both is used in the same gun, I keep them separate for safety.
    If you reload, now’s a good time to get it done. I’ve loaded up every cartridge case I had on hand. Over the last year I concentrated on acquiring more components than buying boxes of ammo (I try to keep a 1500 round minimum for each of the calibers I own and regularly shoot). The reasoning being if we’re faced with Ammogeddon II, like we were a few years ago, I can maintain the stock I’ve built up. For ome calibers, especially rimfire, reloading isn’t an option for those, so I buy .22LR and .22 WMG whenever I find a good price or sale.
    Dryfire practice, to help maintain good trigger control is another activity to help from losing the skills we’ve worked so hard to gain.
    Checking zero or boresighting any firearm you own with a scope or optic. Do you have spare batteries for each illuminated scope or optic? If not, now’s the time to obtain them. A month from now they may well be impossible to find at any price.
    The list of things that cost little or no money, that will keep you and your family prepped and ready is nearly inexhaustible. All one needs to do is think it through from best to worst case scenario. We hope and pray for the best, and prepare for the worst.

  • Here no one leaves the property any more. Cases almost doubled from aournd 8,000 to 15,000 in one day. We are in the high risk group so shopping hasn´t been an option for at least a week now since we had more than 500 new cases a day. Now it is time to learn, to apply the learned, to think outside the box, and to appreciate that we still have the internet to look up solutions. And to appreciate that we have each other in the family, appreciate the friends caring, calling or skyping. Sat together as a family and spoke about how my grandparents, who lived through both world wars, conserved their perishable foods. Put carrots in a bucket of humid sand, froze eggs and some cream, wildcrafted stinging nettle for todays lentil-spinach (resp nettle) lasagna. Thinking about substitutes, when we run out of stuff. Make a plan to buy online on time to be able to put the parcel in some unused corner for 2 weeks to “self-decontaminate”.
    Think about any root tinctures we want to make now before the plants start to grow to much over ground. Yes, planning the garden and hopefully soon start it.
    Think ahead of what was planned for April/May to consider ways how things could be either done safely or be postponed without making the contract partners angry.
    And put a Thank You card and 5$ note on the front porch for the mail(parcel)man 🙂

    I try to switch a bit off from the news to recover from the extreme tense times when all was about making the decision when it would start to be unsafe to go out, and from the fear, the family would not be easily convinced.

    Thanks for the great ideas, what else should not be overlooked now.

    Stay safe and healthy everybody!

  • Very good as always. Since we hardly ever go out – medical appts, WM pick-up, library and thrift store only, this social isolation is not hard on us – except that the libraries are closed until April 12th Yes, of course, there is Hoopla, Kindle, etc but they aren’t as comfortable reading in bed as a book – I will adapt. We’re retired and live on a fixed income. I have a BS in Home Economics when Pres Johnson’s War on Poverty was in full swing so all my classes focused on how to get the most for your money and how to do it yourself. Hubby has several AS degrees emphasizing engineering, building, mechanics, computers.

    I did feel bad a couple of weeks ago ordering my 45 rolls of TP but it was time – I have a regular schedule of ordering staple foods, cleaning supplies, personal care supplies thru Amazon Subscribe and Save – that service has been wonderful.

    My advice to everyone, and has been for quite some time, is to learn to live without social media as much as possible, read books, talk to each other, and learn as much about your neighborhood as possible. Get a map and make concentric circles at 1,2, 5, 10, 20 miles and study what you find. I’m sure you’ll be amazed at what resources are available.

    • BELLEN: some of us have NO husband, NO wife to talk to. I have only my dog for companionship…As for as neighborhood they aren’t coming out. I live in a campground of pretty much full time people and we are social distancing now. Not visiting on the porches anymore or out in the lawn together for roasting marshmallows or making a nite fire like some used to do. They come in and they aren’t going out much except for essentials and that’s it. SO since you are fortunate enough to have a husband count your blessings, I would love it if I now had one but have been alone since June of 2011…I will survive by the grace of GOD and this to shall eventually pass. GOOD LUCK, STAY SAFE…

      • Chef AJ just mentioned on her Facebook page that her neighbors were meeting outside but staying in their driveways and talking, I’m guessing very loudly, to each other for a few minutes. Regularly scheduled, thru e-mails maybe, meetings like that would greatly help reduce the feelings of isolation. And, I do count myself very lucky to still have my husband – almost lost him in 2010 to heart surgery & major MERSA infection, 2018 to Sepsis and last year to combination of pneumonia & flu. His doctors call him a tough old bird and they’re right. Best wishes to you, stay safe

  • May sound extremely pessimistic, but for me part of being prepared, too:
    Make a list of ailments and respective care measures and meds of my parents, same for pets and horses with health conditions, and make arrangements about who would care for them if things would go really bad and neither my better half nor I would be around anymore. So the animals wouldn´t be left to starve like we´ve seen it happening with many pets in Wuhan.
    Only in our forties, but thinking about making a last will, too, so if the real manure happened, property and so on passes to the ones who deserve it and not the state…Just in case…

    • Martina – we got our first will when hubby was in the Navy and deployed overseas – 52 years ago. We now have a will, a durable power of attorney, advanced medical directive. These are necessary not because of age but because anything can happen. I immediately think of an auto accident where main bread winner is either killed or seriously injured requiring major surgeries, lost work time. If you have kids under 18, you must make provisions for their care if something happens to both of you. I know it costs money, you can find sources on line and usually someone to do a simple will for about $150, but you can also have notarized letters indicating who is to inherit certain family heirlooms, special pieces of jewelry, etc, Now that we’re in our 70s with some medical problems that come with age, we’ve made what we feel is our last will. In the meantime we are offering our kids any possessions we no longer want that we fell they might – some artwork from our time in Sicily, some things my Dad made, that kind of thing. Planning now for the future/death is just another part of prepping.

  • We are long time “stockers” but back in December I began setting up supplies for a sick room, and designated which room that would be. I put all the supplies for that in a different room, to avoid conta!ination. Other than that, we are raising our own pork, beef, and have hens for eggs. We also have a garden and are eating fresh asparagus and broccoli at the moment. We do some foraging, I made redbud blossom jelly this past weekend. We also have a Big Berkey water purifier and catch rainwater for running through it. There are so many clever ideas shared here, like setting up a sick room, something I had not considered before, though we have always separated anyone sick from the rest of us.

    Keep on writing!

    Deb in rural Texas

  • As part of #11, be sure all your dishes are done in a timely fashion & rinse dishes before putting them in the dishwasher. Our small town was the last to have power restored after a weather event & my husband & I volunteered at the “command center”. I was working with a woman who said her dishwasher was full of dirty dishes – she didn’t run it before power was lost 9 days prior. She dreaded opening it to put soap in – I would have run it w/o soap 1st and then run it again LOL.

    As many have noted, this is a great time to get organized – who knows what you might find. Before you set too much aside for donation, consider what other uses it may have. I use old reusable cups as scoops in our ice melt buckets, kitty litter containers etc.

    • Hello happy housewife: as for the dishwasher, I laughed at that one. She should have thought ahead (most people don’t) and had dishwashing liquid so she can easily take the dishes out of the dishwasher and wash them ALL by hand…Some dishwashing liquid and some SOS or BRILLO pads was all she needed. WOW, it amazes me how people just can’t think for themselves, or use an ounce of common sense…I’ve been doing my dishes by hand for many many years now. I bought a camper and I live in it with my doggie. I don’t have a dishwasher. GEE, maybe she’s spoiled and is so used to it she just isn’t capable of thinking of any other way to wash her dishes and pots and pans. SAD, and funny at the same time hahaha!!!

  • I’ve been planting and expanding my garden space. Doing continue education for my career, and dehydrating foods. Once we are no longer able to leave our home, my son and I will organize and deep clean the house. He has issues with depression, so I’ve been encouraging him to spend time with friends and he does the last minute shopping things ( so I don’t have to go out). We have also worked on security issues the last 3 weeks.

  • Getting dirt and starting seedlings indoors to be moved outside come May when the weather is nice enough.

    reorganizing stocks and investments to have the best chances of success and to make sure what is there… Also stopping any upcoming investment payments till the markets stabilize..

    Getting some light exercise, and getting the kids outside and off electronics – school holidays the struggle is real…

    • Where did you move your stock and investments? My fianancial planner doesn’t have any suggestions for me except CDs. His suggestion is to ride it out, as most financial planners say, but they have never dealt with anything like this before. What do you suggest?

      • My grandparents (and dad as a child) lived through the great depression. My grandfather lost his interstate trucking business and they struggled to make ends meet, working multiple jobs. As a kid caddying for wealthy golfers, my dad brought home more income than my granddad. They kept their stock in the market (AT&T) and told me “You only take a loss if you sell.” They also kept most of the houses they bought over the years. One was a rental and there were a couple of vacation cottages. Their main residence had city water, a private well (from before they were hooked up to the city) and a sheet metal lined, cinder block cistern that caught rainwater from the gutters. Had both gas and wood fired outdoor grills. They had plenty of canned goods on their shelves and multiple freezers and fridges. They hoped for the best and prepared for the worst. While it sounds like they had a lot, they lived modestly, keeping what they earned. If you can, buy. Everything is on sale and the sale will get better before prices go up.

  • We will make our last shopping trip tomorrow. Have to wait to get paid. We will get what we can and be grateful. We have what we need for the most part, just want to complete this months grocery list. Took a nonparishable inventory yesterday. Started on the freezers today. Hey great time to clean the freezers.
    I have a really strange question. Why is everyone freaking out about water. We have water around the house and rain drain water in case of earthquake but why fill all the fruit jars with water?? I have LOTS of fruit jars and little storage so the empty ones are in boxes or laying done under dressers and such. What am I missing?

    • I don’t get the water thing, either? Maybe it’s like buy TP instead of food?

      Being of a certain age and trained I can say the only water outage I endured was The Great Northeast Blackout of 2003. No power in many major Metro areas also meant no city pumping stations. Read Wiki if you are not familiar.

      Keep in mind your traditional hot water tank at home likely holds 40-50 gal of fresh, drinkable water. Power goes out, your water faucet still flows. Used sparingly you’ll be ok for a few days.

      You can also look at findaspring.com for no cost water sources.

      • Abigail what do you do if enough people become sick and that water no longer runs for 2-3 weeks? It’s not juts water but clean water. Right now its clean but don’t forget many rural water places are treated weekly by 1 person with maybe his boss as the backup so if both are down then….
        Many families have more than 2 people. You take a family of 4 with 2 dogs and a cat then grandma moves in cause she needs help then that water usage dramatically increases. Summers coming,
        I’ve been deployed overseas where water was off n on sometimes days at a time and you need more than you think. Like Daisy is saying you’ve lost nothing if you do this and just use it later other than a few minutes.

    • Water is the most important prep above all others. If you don’t have water, you won’t survive very long. While it looks as though we’ll have power and water throughout our quarantine, there is always the possibility of something going wrong. A concurrent disaster like a tornado, hurricane, or earthquake could disrupt or contaminate the municipal water supply. If things got so bad that nobody was working at the water plant, it wouldn’t be long until that supply either dried up or was seriously contaminated. Having your own stored water buys you a little bit of time while you’re figuring out a longterm source. I have had well pumps die, lived in a place that had an algae bloom, and have written about many other water emergencies, so I always consider it the first thing you should prep. It’s something you can do for free and if you never need it, you can water your plants with it later and no harm has been done. 🙂

  • Dollar Stores are your friend. I went today and got all but two items on my list. Yes, their didn’t have a lot of paper items, their food stores were hit big time. Never seen an empty shelf there before. BUT they still had plenty of laundry supplies, plenty of cleaning items, and in fact had just gotten a shipment of bleach. I was still able to pick up some OTC meds.
    It is still early enough to be able to plan your garden. Reach out to family and friends for seeds if you are new to gardening, and imbibe their wisdom. I just sent DD a seed package myself. She is new to gardening so I also shared some trusted resources for info.
    Do an inventory of what you have on hand. There are online resources where you can plug in the food items you have and they will show you recipes to use those items.
    As we are going into spring and warmer temperatures, open your windows and get fresh air into your house! And get out and get some Vitamin D when it’s not raining (which it seems to be a daily occurence here)
    Remember we are all in this together. Take advantage of online communities like this for support.

  • Have and have nots……I am the Emergency Operations Coordinator for our town and as you may imagine, it is a little busy right now….. I am getting bombarded by people that are suddenly realizing they have not been preparing……in fact, many that previously were quite verbal about the “wastes” that we committing… But, that is another story. I was in a meeting last evening,,,,,and those that have been preparing on a personal level, business level and municipal level had a much calmer approach than, obviously, those that have been busy watching the Kardashians on their new I Phone 52…. People are suddenly realizing they have not done enough, if anything and now this pandemic is looming over them. People are realizing they may have messed up by not taking any advice prior on preparedness. People will be asking you all what do I do now……..we can either be “depart from me thou unpreppared”….or we can help calm the situations by good solid advice like you give and your readers are sharing.
    People are noticing who is prepared and who isn’t,,,,it is almost visible as I am out and about, just by body language, calmness and attitude. Pay attention to your surroundings,,,,because people are paying attention to you…. I learned a long time ago,,,,,you never want to get in a fist fight with the guy in the bar that is smiling,,,,,,,,yes,,,the hard way, unfortunately. Continue doing what we do,,,don’t strut around, play down your preps,,,don’t act too smug,,,,because it may bring the wrong kind of people your way. I was a Police Chief for a number of years,,,,and the criminal nose is one of the most under studied subjects in the universe…….they have an extra sense……they see things, read situations, notice things, weakness, and strength for that matter,,,,that many people miss. I have said for years a criminal would be a great preparedness instructor because they can be so dang creative,,,but you keep losing your laptop in the process…probably not worth it… My wife and I have been playing the “what if'” scenarios…..as an exercise. What if the car breaks down seriously now that the non-essential businesses such as the car dealership are closed? What if I get sick, what if you get sick? etc. What if I can’t get flea medicine for the dog next month….oops, Do what we can do to help without compromising your safety or your families.

    • Razman,
      I know this is serious but thanks for the good laugh on this phrase.……“depart from me thou unprepared”. A little laughter does help right now.

      Very good insights on the fact that others are watching and, particularly, how criminals are watching right now.

      Thank you!!!

    • Excellent advice! We have also been doing the “what if” scenarios and trying to think about options for situations.

  • My sister sent me these items for Audible & Bluprint. (Neither of us are affiliated with these companies.)

    “With all of us experiencing varying degrees of social distancing and school closures, we have created something that we hope makes our customers’ lives a little easier. At stories.audible.com, you will find hundreds of our titles available completely free. The collection has been handpicked by our editors and is a mix of stories to entertain, engage, and inform young people, ages 0–18.

    These stories offer a screen-free option that we hope may help break up the day for families with students home from school.

    There are selections for our listeners in English, Spanish, German, French, Japanese and Italian.”

    Bluprint offers online classes and they have a 14 day free trial for new subscribers:
    “Online Creative Education Classes: Stream thousands of family-friendly classes in crafts like quilting, knitting, sewing, baking and even paper airplane making. Everyone in the family can watch lessons anytime, anywhere, at their own pace. We’re launching new classes regularly so you can always learn more about the crafts you love.”


    • Note–I don’t know whether these require a credit card before you do it. The 14 day Bluprint thing sounds like it might.

  • I am going to build a rocket stove from some left over bricks. It is time to clean out closets at my house but I don’t want to. I’ll go prep the garden instead.

  • HEY DAISY: I’m not sure exactly where you live or what grocery stores you have, but I live in western N.C. and we have a Walmart as well as 3 Ingles (grocery stores) and only 1 BI-LO (another grocery chain), so we have 5 available places to shop. They ALL have what we need here so far, the only one that is now only getting one delivery per week is our local Walmart. Last I was there was on Monday, they had little cheese, they had only 8 packages of ground beef, but not the low fat kind. There was for the first time NO BREAD at all, they had very little milk in 1% or 2%, and a few were left that were whole milk and buttermilk, and chocolate was ALL gone….There was actually some toilet tissue left, plenty of napkins and paper towels. SO I don’t know WHY you aren’t finding supplies, even our Dollar Tree has items that we can all use as well as Dollar General in town…SO hopefully your town and it’s stores will replenish soon for the people in that area.
    YOU must be more remote than I am. I live about 3-4 miles outside of town so I am relatively close to everything…I think as this progresses we will see shortages but for right now I and all my neighbors here are good. Walmart did cut their hours from a 24 hour store down. They are now closing at 11 pm. and not opening up again until 7 a.m. ALL of our sit down restaurants are CLOSED with no reopening dates in sight. IF they are able to they can provide carry out meals. People call in to order food, go and pay for it, pick it up and leave. They are not NOW (as per order of the North Carolina governor) allowed to sit down and eat in the establishment. Our fast food places are ALL closed on the INSIDE, and we can now ONLY drive thru which of course means extra long lines. SO if you are at a hurry it doesn’t pay to sit there for up to 20 minutes to get from where you are in line to the actual food (seriously)…SO good luck to you there DAISY and all, but for today we are in pretty good shape. Lots of loss employment however. Child care problems with many as well as ALL of our servers here have lost their tips b/c of NO work. Places that serve liquor are closed as well. We have NO actual hang out bars in my town but there is a VFW and the AMERICAN LEGION and a few more that serve liquor but they have been closed down and don’t know when they will be allowed to reopen. I am hearing the virus can last for the rest of this entire year and possibly into next year as well so it looks like if that turns out to be correct then we are ALL in this together and for the longgggg haul.! It’s the worst thing I’ve even been thru and I am now senior citizen…SO I do know it’s bad…People are NOT taking it seriously, and think it’s just going to overnight disappear and their lives will return to normal. They are people with their heads buried in the same. About 1/2 of our country is unfortunately that way regrettably…I sat in front of Walmart yesterday watching people going in and out and I only actually saw 2 people that had on mask. ALL of the other hundreds had NO protection at all, no mask, no latex gloves, NOTHING to protect them. SO I didn’t show there yesterday b/c it was so crowded and even though I wear a mask and gloves and use my sanitizer I still didn’t feel safe. I went to one of our Ingles. I paid MORE money there yes however I was not in a crowd of people and I made sure I was not close to anyone. There were maybe 40 people in the store if that many considering there were literally hundreds in Walmart…SO smaller is better and safer in my opinion…The small the crowd the better, the less people we come in contact with the better, the smaller our town the better…This is our NEW normal for as long as it takes to get it back to our “old” normal, and lets hope that does happen sooner or later. BLESSINGS!!!

  • One of the first things I did at the start of our quarantine was to catch up on my homemade mixes that were depleted this winter. I made some seasoned salt, taco seasoning, some dill dip packets, bread mixes, corn bread mixes, as well as brownie and crazy cake mixes. I’m a lazy cook and when I’m sleepy in the morning it is so easy to dump out a container of pre-measured flour, salt, and sugar so I just have to add yeast, oil, and water to make peasant bread. Half the cleanup as well. For pumpkin pie, I mix the sugar and spices and put in small containers near the canned pumpkin so it takes almost no time to make. I also store a can of evaporated milk on top of the can of pumpkin. So quick, especially if you’re making pumpkin bars without the crust.

    You can find all kinds of spice mixes or desert mixes on Pinterest or Allrecipes. You just have to find what works for you. It’s great being able to pull out a homemade brownie mix for a quick desert when you have last that minute warning about guests. (When we’re not on lockdown, that is.)

    I write out the ingredients in the jar, then write the rest of the recipe. I use shipping tape to cover the instructions so I can use again and again. When half of the recipe is already measured, it makes it so much easier to cook.

  • One of the best things I’ve done as far as no-cost preps go, is losing weight. Since I’ve been doing that with bodyweight exercises, weight lifting, walking and also eating a lot less, it has prepared me for being more active, as well as helping me get used to food rationing. It’s also lowered my blood pressure a good ways and improved my immune system. It’s never too late to start – you can see the first benefits from this kind of thing in just a couple of weeks.

  • This, is in away, the best training to have. Real time and not a test. Keep notes and learn from your mistakes. Share with friends and learn from our community. Best to you all. BTW PRAY!

  • Excellent suggestions! I am building my husband a desk so he’s more comfortable working at home, expanding our water catchment and helping my father install some of his own, and rushing to help my friend finish getting ready for the new baby before restrictions increase further, because babies wait for no virus. Trust me, these are essential tasks. No more socializing around here. We weren’t very mixy people to begin with compared to the rest of the population, and we’ve cut our exposure greatly.

    I’m also cleaning. And writing out the barn task list in detail. If I get sick, my family members would have no idea what needs done to care for the animals. Now is the time to have that talk.

    My friend has decided this is the moment to try to raise meat chickens. I’m glad she’s interested, but my local feed store was expecting to have a stocking problem by June, due to last year’s rain and poor harvest. Instead, they’re running out now. This is the year to make a big shift to bring animal feed on-farm, and I’m glad I’m not looking at starting any new types of livestock, with all the failures and emergencies that accompany doing something for the first time.

    It’s also a good moment to make a cull plan, so those decisions aren’t made under stress.

  • Freeze eggs. Doesn’t hurt them. Make your grocery list now for your next payday, keeping your budget in mind. You have time to plan this list since you can’t spend anything else yet anyhow. Stores are restocking. It will help to have a shopping plan of action for the next go in a week or two.

  • I feel even though I have always been in the know when it comes to not a matter of if but when on any disaster and felt the prepping I did was not enough for the big one I at least felt good knowing I was somewhat prepared but as it gets more spread around the # s rise I feel like I’m not really going thru it like it’s not real it can’t really be happening I go back and forth from ok this is it to wait maybe no it’s just me looking into it and take a break and it it truely like I am not me but outside of me watching almost like a movie.. it seems like I’m out of body watching it from outside of my mind if this makes sense I hope I’m not alone I don’t think I am tho.

  • Thanks you for all of your ideas, hints and to do lists for prepping during this stay at home crisis.
    I am making home made bread (I have several recipes to try)
    I am making homemade laundry soap (ingrediants have been sitting around for sometime)
    Making homemade flyspray
    Planting more veg…potatoes beans peas carrots onions

  • Budgeting, creating routine and order for family (daily prayer and gospel reading, job captains), lifting (Wendler 531), cleaning/organizing neglected areas of the house, fixing/throwing away broken things, tidying yard, prepping garden beds, practicing skills (dry fire drills, area study, radio monitoring), lots of walks (patrolling AO morning, noon, night), keeping in touch w/people. Would like to spend less time on internet, but it’s fascinating to watch this emerge.

  • I am making lists of useful skills I can barter with. And I am meeting neighbors. I am not going to make it by myself, but by working with others, I can not only improve my own odds, but be of service to others. That feels good.

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