by Lauren at Modern Self-Reliance
Prepping supplies don’t last forever. Food can go bad, tools can rust, items can be taken from the stock and not replaced, or needs can change. It can be hard to keep up with all the inventory; food expiration dates, water rotation times, medication usage. In our household, each month we have one area that we check on. It usually takes less than an hour to check through the stock and add the needed items to our next shopping list. One hour a month keeps our supplies fresh.
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I will share today our 6-month rotation plan. I mark my google calendar with an event and on the first of the month I get a reminder of which category to check for the month.
Why 6-month plan?
- Home canned goods last for about a year, commercially canned foods can last longer but not all food items have yearlong expiration dates.
- We live in a small apartment, some items make more sense to stock a smaller amount of and restock more often as we don’t have too much space. (For example, a year’s supply of toilet paper would be hard to find space for but 6-months’ worth we can handle.)
- A 6-month supply is cheaper than a 1-year supply. For those on a tight budget, finding extra cash for prepping can be hard. If you come to your band-aides for example and find you didn't need any in the last 6-months, you can buy your normal 6-month supply again. Now you have doubled your supply, without stressing your bank account too much. It makes a nice incrementally way to stock up.
January and July – Car Supplies
- Check fluids (quart of oil, windshield, coolant, brake, funnels)
- Check for spare clothes, blankets, gloves etc
- Check for knife (I love this one), hand warmers, shovel, snow brush
- Jumper cables, spare tire, jack, crow bar, air pump
- Check for hammock or tent or sleeping bags or blankets
Should I be checking more? Is there a way to carry water? Check out ----- Car Supplies You Can't Do Winter Without ---- for a complete list of what I store in my car.
February and August – 72hr Bag + Information
- Restock missing items
- Pare down to essentials
- Replace expired items
- Copies of important information on hand (USB drive + paper)
- Cash on hand ($100 at least in small bills)
How much cash should I have on hand? How can I keep my 72-hr bag light but complete? Check out ----- 4 Steps to Building a Better 72-Hr Bag ---- to see what I keep in mine.
March and September – Water Supply + Cleaning
- Check 1 gal per person per day for 3 days (6 gallons at least for 2 people)
- Check Gatorade, coffee, tea, water flavorings
- Water purification tablets + filters (I recommend the Lifestraw or the Family LifeStraw)
- White Vinegar
- Trash bags
Do we have enough supplies to handle a sanitation crisis? No running toilet water? I talk about water in my post
------ Water Storage for Today, This Month and This Year -------
October and April - First Aid and EDC
- Painkiller / Anti-inflammatory
- Anti-Diarrhea / ingestion
- Cough Drops
- Cough Syrup / cold medications
- Allergy medications
First Aid Kit
- Anti-itch cream
- Anti-bacterial cream
- Band-Aids / Bandages
- Sanitizer / alcohol wipes
- Sun burn relief
- Tweezers / scissors / thermometer
EDC – Every Day Carry
- Fire starter
- Compact first aid kit
Medicine Cabinet: What other medications do you use on a monthly basis? What is a 6-month supply of those items?
EDC: What are the absolute essential to always carry on me?
First Aid: Where else should you plan to keep a first aid kit? Check out ------ 3 Extra Places for a First Aid Kit ------
November and May – Food
- Check food storage for expired items
- Rotate older items
- Replace items never used for more common ones
- Check Butane stove + canisters (no-power cooking method) (like this one)
Is this 1-month supply of food things we normally eat? Are there items we normally eat that are not included? I cover what’s in my compact food storage for one person for a month.
------ One-Month Food Stash for Less Than $150 -------
December and June – Paper Products
- Extra toilet paper
- Tampons/ Pads
- Shampoo/ Soap
- Extra Paper towels
- Paper plates + cutlery
- Napkins + wet wipes
Is this enough for the 1-month food supply so you don’t have to wash dishes? Do we use them and have to supply more than this?
At Modern Self-Reliance, we hope to share what works for us in the hopes it helps other people become more prepared, organized and self-reliant.
Did you find this helpful? What others things do you check regularly? Thanks for reading our work.
Want to learn more? Check out ------ 10 Ways I Reduce Household Waste ------.
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