Results from September 26th “Commitment” post…..

[NOTE from Rourke: sorry for some of the test being so small. I had a heck of a time trying to format this post. Importing formatting/HTML from varying sources was horrible and time consuming.]

I received a couple of responses to my “Make a commitment for one month” post from September 26th.

In that post I challenged everyone to spend a small amount of extra money on preparedness supplies every time a store is entered. These small items could be rice, water, a candle, fish hooks, band-aides, dried beans, a can of soup – whatever.

Here are some results:

From Wyzrd  –

Click to enlarge
Background: I already have 8 Rubbermaid totes of mostly food, so I tried to be
 a little bit more balanced. Not certain I succeeded. 

(2) 6-packs bottled spring water (16.9 oz. (house-brand))  @ $2.19
(2) 1lb bags dried white beans @ $1.59
(1) 1lb bags dried small red beans @ $1.29
(1) 2.9 oz. sea-salt grinder and (1) 1.4 oz black pepper grinder @ 2/$3.00
(2) 4.4 oz 'Pasta Alfredo Sides' (house brand) @ $1.79
(2) 15.5 oz can white beans @ $1.92
(1) 100-pack 'restaurant disposable' bamboo chopsticks  @ $3.25
    (eating utensils, skewers, blowpipe darts, shims/wedges, dry tinder (paper
    sleeves), dry kindling (sticks) -  very all-around useful items to have)
(1) 2-pack Scripto butane lighters  @ $1.59
(1) 6oz bottle "Texas Pete" hot sauce @ $1.59
(1) 18 oz. jar creamy peanut butter (house brand)  @ $2.59
(1) pint 91% isopropyl alcohol @ $1.65  (first aid, firestarter, fuel)
(1) 10-pack 3"x4" adhesive gauze pads @ $2.49
(1) pair nitrile/cloth 'hi-temp' gloves (the grey ones) @ $4.59
(1) 8 oz bottle povidone iodine solution (generic Betadine) @ $4.99
(2) 3-packs 'disposable snap-blade utility knives'  @ $1.00 (always useful,
                                  or excellent trade goods)
(1) 2.25 oz jar dried oregano @ $2.09
(1) half-gallon bottle chlorine bleach (house-brand) @ $1.56
(1) 5.75oz jar dehydrated minced onion @ $2.56
(1) 2.75 oz jar garlic powder @ $1.00
(1) 2.75 oz jar onion powder @ $1.00
(1) 2-pack (2.5 oz) dried onion soup mix (house brand) @ $1.79
  (Dollar Store trip to 'catch up' - all @ $1.00)
   (1) 2-pack 4-inch cyalume lightsticks (yellow - replace old ones in car kit)
   (2) 1-pack 12-inch cyalume lightsticks (yellow - replace old ones in car kit)
       (take advatage of holiday deals, folks - white LED strings are cheap after Xmas, too-
       cheap lighting you can run from a solar panel/battery with minor hacking)
   (1) refillable butane 'fireplace' lighter  (replace old one in car kit)
   (1) pair lg fleece men's winter gloves  (will be added to car kit)
   (1) knit watchcap (polyester - will be added to car kit as a spare)
   (1) aluminum water bottle  (trade goods - or backup - 'real' ones are stainless steel)
   (1) 4-pack toothbrushes w/covers
   (1) 20 oz. box instant mashed potato flakes
   (1) 20-pack #2 wooden pencils
   (3) KJV Bibles wrapped in plastic (trade goods)
   (2) pairs 2.00 diopter reading glasses (useful, or trade goods - we're all getting older)
(1) 1 lb, 10 oz box non-iodized table salt @ $0.59
(1) Knorr scampi-flavor pasta side @ $1.45
(1) 3lb box Kosher salt @ $2.59
(1) 20 oz. jar "Tang" @ $3.49

 I totally blew the $2.00 'limit' - sometimes more, sometimes less - Oh, well...

 Not all 100 chopstick pairs are shown in the picture  - representative sample.

 I generally get "tonight's" veggies and meat fresh every day - work has been more
 insane than usual, thus the 'catch-up trip' and lack of more .22 and .40 ammo
 or fishing gear  - no daggone time to shop this month :( 

 Consigning the books to the 'trade goods' container is in no way meant as
 disrespectful to anyone, I promise. (I had to think a lot about including this
 purchase, at all) I already have my own 'important' books stored safely, for my, and my
 family's use. I would like to add EVERYONE's religious literature to the stash,
 if cheap enough - other Bible versions, Books of Mormon, Qu'rans, 'inspirational'
 books - I'm not selling my version of what I believe, but I'm happy to trade
 "other people's" favorite books for a good tool, or a fresh piece of dead critter,
 if the need arises.

 Now.. to pack all this stuff up....

Amber W– My goal was to spend an additional $5 each time I went to a store. It didn’t exactly end up like that, especially by the end of the month–one of my kiddos had a birthday at the end of the month, and birthdays are a big deal, prepping or not 🙂

I have come to love the Dollar tree for prepping stuff–they have huge candles, which I stocked up on a few months ago, and they have good back up stuff for your stuff. I don’t exactly expect the “duct tape” I bought to be as good as the real stuff, but it’s better than nothing. I tried to incorporate at least some things that I know my kids will eat/drink. With younger kids, like I have, you can’t always just say, “Eat/drink or do without,” so I want to have some things that they like and are used to. If I need to, I can ration or dilute what I have, to help them transition to our “new” way of life. And, I like having juice boxes and things on hand for unexpected play dates and when the team mom forgets to tell me that it’s my day to bring snacks, lol!

I watch Kroger’s sales for food, and I did purchase other food for my pantry that’s not listed here, but that’s part of my “regular” shopping. I wanted to challenge myself to do more, and to be more prepared. The little store in our area, Bells, has been having great food sales, as listed below. I think sometimes you get better deals on sales in small stores, as opposed to larger chains. Looking forward to November’s tallies.

I want to try to stock up on a few toys–doesn’t seem like it would be important in the grand scheme of prepping, but I want to make sure that my kids always have at least a little something for Christmas and birthdays, no matter what the state of the world is. I’ll be sure to stock up on crayons next year during back to school shopping, because crayons are always good!

Dollar Tree $5.35
Duct tape
Hand sanitizer
3 pk lighters
Super glue
5 pk toothbrush

Walmart $ 6.38
Fishing line
4 pk AA batteries

Academy $4.79

Kroger $5.79
4 lbs peanut butter

Bells $6.58
Toilet paper $3.59
Laundry detergent $2.99

Kroger $4.54
Toilet paper 2 @ 1.77= $3.54
Juice boxes $1.00

Walgreens $4.06
Cottonelle 12 pk $1.00
Sterile gauze pads $1.49
large antibiotic bandaids (8ct) $0.75
assorted antibiotic bandaids (20ct) $0.82

Bells $4.85
Scott paper towels, 9 pk

Bells $5.10
bleach (96oz) $0.85
laundry detergent power 5 @ $0.85

Bells (more than my $5, but so proud of my great deals!)
Swiss Miss hot chocolate 2 @ $0.85
Hunts spaghetti sauce 4 @ $0.85
Hunts ketchup 2 @ $0.85
Hanover green beans (29oz) 2 @ $0.85
sloppy joe sauce 4 @ $0.42.5
apple juice cocktail (64oz) 4 @ $0.85
White Lily SR flour (5lbs) $1.85
White Lily SR cornmeal (5lbs) $1.85
Mondo juice bottles (6ct) 2 @ $0.85
Capri Sun juice pouches $1.85


Joe sent me the following:



CC did a great job with a $5.00 Challenge:


02           Hungry Jack Potatoes                                                                                                                    $2.14

12oz can of Chicken Breast                                                                                                                          $1.99

Powerade Zero in PETE bottle                                                                                                                        $0.59

05           1 CVS glass dropper 2 pk (prefer glass to plastic)                                                                 $3.19

(after purchasing, friend told me to ask the pharmacist for dropper for free baby dropper/syringe)

First aid kit in plastic container (wanted the plastic case for glass droppers)                            $1.49

07           Emergency blanket                                                                                                                         $3.49

Toe warmers                                                                                                                                                          $1.29

07           4# Pinto beans                                                                                                                                     $2.84

Tiny Shrimp in a can (who knew??)                                                                                                             $1.75

08           (2) Crystal Light on sale $1.99 each makes 12 qts each                                                    $4.00

11           yellow popcorn                                                                                                                                    $1.39

Outdoor 54” Shoelaces                                                                                                                                   $0.64

Clothesline                                                                                                                                                             $2.44

14           (2) whistle/compass/match combo ($1.99 each)                                                                 $4.00

 poncho                                                                                                                                                                     $1.00

14           butter buds (refrigerate after opening L)                                                                                   $1.69

Clothespins                                                                                                                                                             $1.63

Pancake mix (2 x .80)-in PETE bottles with caps                                                                                   $1.60

15           extra truck key                                                                                                                                    $2.99

extra house keys                                                                                                                                                $1.99

17           dried milk                                                                                                                                               $2.98

cough drops                                                                                                                                                           $1.88

Peanut butter packet                                                                                                                                      $0.68

18           temperature gauge with daily high/low and humidistat                                                  $6.99

(really wanted the daily high/low!)

22           4 stuff sacks @ $0.97                                                                                                                       $4.00

Coleman 15% DEET spray                                                                                                                               $0.97

25           Sunscreen (tube)                                                                                                                                 $1.09

Cold pack for 1st aid kit                                                                                                                                      $1.99

Sewing kit                                                                                                                                                                $2.10

27           Wyler’s powdered chicken bouillon                                                                                    $3.78

31           Honey                                                                                                                                                         $2.25

Canned Brown Bread                                                                                                                                      $2.79


I’m new to prepping and had a lot of fun this month. In the true spirit of the competition, I did not go out of my way to go shopping nor did I go anywhere that I don’t normally go.  I was in for the $5 challenge and only went over with the temperature gauge. With every purchase, I did research or gathered recipes for the products that I bought and even tried out a few. I made potato bread and potato soup with the potato flakes and chicken bouillon and made chicken tortilla soup with canned chicken and all long term storage foods. I used dry pinto beans to make refried beans in the crock pot (no soaking, no joking!), and I made iced mocha cappuccinos with dried milk. I also looked up how to store water in PETE bottles and “put up” extra water with the bottles I had saved this month. After purchasing some items, I would find a better product or a better solution just because I was in the mindset of thinking survival and storage. This mindset and the gathering of knowledge, I think, was the best part of the challenge.


NOMADTM added some good supplies to his stores:

1. Treated 250 gals of water for 5 years
2. clips for stacked mags on AK and AR
3. DVD’s on Ak47/AR15/10-22
4. Paracord – 1000′
5. Rifle case combo
6. Crossbow case
7. Emergency dental book
8. Freeze dried food
9. Emergency dental kit
10. AR-7 Survival rifle
11. Gamo air rifle
12. 2 man cross-cut saw
13. Boxes of wipes
14. 200 watt inverter
15. More batteries
16. Q-tips x 2
17. Gorilla tape x 3

Previous months have been candles, TP, emergency radio,  +++++

The list goes on, but needless to say can do for a few months until get something else figured out.
And if nothing happens, can always use it for wilderness trips.

Live life at full draw!


Padre sent me this great info:

I can send you the boring pictures of the two cases of canned bacon (AT AN AWESOME PRICE!!) and 10 cans of spam I bought as food preps but attach is the picture I promised of the more interesting preps for the month of Sept.

I spent too much on Vacation and ended up needing new tires on my truck this month so the two guns that I have under agreement with a friend will have to wait till November.  And I never made it up to the gun store that had a great sale on .223 and 9mm, too bad, but with 5k plus stored away I have enough rounds to last till next month. I did get one weapon this month, a sling shot and some steel shot, I know its not as fun to shoot as the 9mm carbine but it fills a need for silent hunting capabilities.

However I did follow through with my purchase of some com gear.  I bought two Midway base stations. These are small AM/FM/Weather radios with a flash light and hand crank dynamo for emergency situations, that also include a FRS radio in them.  They came complete with rechargable batts, AC/DC cords, and the mic and were a great deal from Amazon. I also got a two pack of hand held GRMS/FRS radios that are interoperable with the base stations and the three FRS radios that I had.

What I am really excited about is that I also was able to pic up 100 x 500mg tablets in Amoxicillan and the same in Ciprofloxin for my “fish,” as well as a number of doses of human grade anti-biotics overseas where you don’t need a script. I really had been pretty light on antibiotics with only a dose or two of cipro in storage so I was really happy I was able to get as much as I did.  As per the suggestions of a number of medical type people I picked up Ampicilian, Erithromycin, Azithromycin, Metronidazole. Which according to a Canadian doc I know will deal with just about any bug.  I figure that gives me about twenty doses of antibiotics now (not all the same drugs of course) so my fish are guaranteed to be health even is I can’t get these things from the local pharmacy for any reason.

Total cost of the months preps probably just north of $400 depending on the exchange rates I paid for some of the stuff.

From loyal reader BW comes the following pics and info:

IMG_0659 - Click to Enlarge


IMG_0661 - Click to Enlarge
IMG_0686 - Click to Enlarge
IMG_0684 - Click to Enlarge
IMG_0685 - Click to Enlarge

Image 0659 was our food storage prior to the challenge

0661 was our paper and toiletry  inventory

0686 was after the month

0684 we bought a new shelf and hygiene goes here

0685 is now otc meds and paper

Total spent was 300 not including new shelf (79.00).

Most food stuffs were bough at a mega event(almost a case lot event they have here in salt lake). and from manager specials being discontinued. The hygiene stuff was purchased at a local retailer using coupons. Total spent was 300 but before coupons was nearly 555.

This is only part of my storage, i also have 3 full closets of items as well

Maybe not what you originally asked for but a little planning and 1 highly motivated couponing wife made it possible.

Thanks everyone for sharing. If I missed you let me know.

Keep stock’n up!!



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  1. I’ve got shelves all over the place full of food and stacks of 5 gal buckets full of food. What I don’t have, yet, is cached food. I have been promising myself to bury 5 gal buckets; some with food and some with non-food necessities. I accept the premise that in a serious economic/social upheaval that murauding gangs will come and drive people out of their homes and take what they want. If you have a years supply sitting on shelves in your closet/garage these items will be taken or destroyed by any murauders. What are your choices when you hear them coming and they are approaching your home? Run out the back door and save yourselves but lose your preps or stay and die protecting them? My goal is to bury two buckets per hole (stacked) and in these two buckets have a months supply of food for two. I am going to concentrate my efforts on foods I could prepare over a campfire while out camping in a tent (which includes most of what I store). 12 holes, 24 buckets for just food. Then I want to bury some buckets with necessities and clothes. Things like a tent, sleeping bags and pads, tarps, clothes, tools, seeds, water filters, toilet paper, pots and pans, etc. Enough to provide me with shelter and comfort for at least a year and tools to allow me to build something more permanent to live in.

  2. Rourke,

    Thnks again for the great job you do. After looking at the photos of these preppers’ preps, I feel the need to take even larger steps for my own storage.

    Last year I bought two very large ammo cans (20mm rounds). They are large enough to hold three laptops on top of each other inside. Anyway I put canned food – a variety – and emergency water packaged in heavy metallic/mylar bags. I also put a couple of boxes of .38 and 9mm ammo in with it. Before I sealed and stashed the ammo cans, I placed everything in freezer glad/ziploc storage bags. All the foods expire in 2013 and the water in 2015. I have placed those in the ground where it is cool even in the summer and deep enough to not freeze in the winter. I realize there will be rust issues and Jim Rawles at survivalblog suggested that ammo cans should be “painted” with asphalt emulsion but I wanted to get some stuff cached right away. I will go back to the sites in the Spring and see how they endured the weather. I’ll replace or improve my methods when I “re-stock” my cache. I will also expand and create more caches over the next few months.

    I want to do more and the Analylitical Survival channel on youtube details how to place cache – supplies.

    I certainly am no expert but I am trying hard to prepare well.

    My family and I wish you, your family, and all your readers a Blessed and Happy Thanksgiving!


  3. There are some great items posted here that I am going to add to my stash. The chopsticks, superglue, the blades, slingshot ammo and a replacement sling (original dry rotted quickly). Going to check out the antibiotic bandaids (are they embedded with antibiotics? new to me!) and the Ball preserving book. Have the old and trusty Blue Book and would love some new recipes. Thanks for sharing everyone!

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