7 Common Mistakes to Avoid When Stockpiling Supplies
With uncertain times upon us, more and more people have taken on the task of stockpiling supplies. Whether due to a natural calamity or the recent pandemic scare, having a stash of essentials to keep you going when supplies run scarce is indeed a clever move. However, if done incorrectly, it may lead to wastage or scarcity of resources when they are needed the most. Here are seven common errors to sidestep when gathering and storing your supplies.
1. Stockpiling Too Much of the Same Thing
A common mistake is focusing too much on one type of item and ignoring others. As a result, you might end up with a year’s supply of canned beans but not enough toilet paper or cleaning supplies. Diversity is key when stockpiling – make sure you’re considering all essential categories, including food, water, medical supplies, hygiene items, and goods for power and light.
2. Ignoring Shelf Life and Expiration Dates
It’s easy to get caught up in the buying frenzy and overlook the importance of checking expiration dates. The last thing you want is to discover that half your stockpile has gone bad when you need it most. Always check the best-before or expiration dates on your items and opt for those with a longer shelf life.
3. Failing to Store Supplies Properly
Your supplies won’t last you a minute if not stored appropriately. Food items need a cool, dry place; pharmaceuticals often require a controlled temperature; batteries need a dry, room temperature spot. Ensuring correct storage conditions will help prevent spoilage and wastage.
4. Overlooking Dietary Restrictions or Preferences
A stash full of gluten products won’t help a person with Celiac disease. Always consider the dietary needs, allergies, and even preferences of your family when storing supplies. You want to store food items that are not only long-lasting but also edible and enjoyable for everyone.
5. Neglecting Rotate and Use Policy
Leaving the same item unused and unchecked at the back of your stockpile can lead to spoilage. Regularly rotate through your stockpile, using and replacing items as necessary. This keeps your supplies fresh and minimizes waste.
6. Stockpiling Unfamiliar Items
During crisis situations, you want to rely on familiar foods and brands that your family is accustomed to. It’s not the time to test out exotic foods or unfamiliar products – stick to what you know and love.
7. Not Having a Stockpiling Budget
It’s easy to overspend when stockpiling, especially during panic buying. Setting a specific budget for your stockpile ensures that you don’t put financial strain on your family.
Frequently Asked Questions:1. How do I calculate how much to stockpile?
It depends on the size of your family and your specific needs. A good rule of thumb is to start with a two-week supply and build from there.
2. Is it better to buy in bulk or smaller quantities?
Buying in bulk usually saves money, but make sure you have enough storage space and that the items won’t expire before you can use them.
3. How often should I replace my stockpile?
It varies depending on the item. Non-perishables can last for years, while perishable items need regular checking and rotation. Always replace an item as soon as possible after using it.