The Convenience Factor of Preparedness, Prepping, and your Preps

I really enjoy the convenience factor of preparedness. What am I talking about? Well, all of the “preps”. The “stuff”. Having them.

It’s not Rocket Science. However a really good physical inventory sure is nice. Take for example, one’s storage of extra food for preparedness. Food storage is like having your own mini grocery store. Except it’s right at home!

Though I’ve recognized the convenience of it for quite awhile, it struck me again recently…

“Hey Ken, Hows that?”

Well, let me tell ya… Typically Mrs.J is the one who deals with the specifics of our “mini grocery store”. She knows what we have, where everything is. Presently she is recovering from a broken ankle. So I am having to do a lot of extra things around here, including trips to our mini-mart and “finding” this or that.

Again, normally Mrs.J makes the trips into our mini-grocery store areas here at the homestead. Now that I’ve taken over for awhile, I sure appreciate the convenience factor of re-supplying our kitchen with whatever may be running low. Or choosing “this” or “that” for dinner. Lots of choices! Sure is convenient!

Remember a long time ago way before the days of serious preparedness – when you basically didn’t have more of “one” of anything? (or “none” of many things??) If you ran out (or just before you ran out) it required a trip to the store. What a pain.

But when you have more than one (or many) of your regular consumables, it’s great! Convenient!

This is true of just about anything, not just food. A supply of extra of “whatever” you may be using in the future – especially if it’s important.

I know, it’s not Rocket Science. It’s pretty logical. Practical.

I just wanted to emphasize one of the tremendous values of prepping and preparedness. The convenience factor!


  1. I have been ‘saved’ many times due to not throwing away odds and ends when they are left over from a project or found on the ground somewhere. It has saved me many trips to the hardware store. And I could fix whatever broke immediately instead of running around for a couple of hours or having to wait until the next business day. Something bursts, I need a hose clamp. Thank goodness it have on that will fit. It’s a little beat up from getting run over a few times but it works. So yes, saving little odds and ends bolts, nails, screws, or what-have-ya has given me piece of mind many times where it could be a permanent fix or just patched up until I can get a complete replacement.

    1. I am blessed to have a DH like you. The first time I had to move his significant “junk” pile, I complained. This last move there was no complaining and I relished him getting set up in a new shop. Hardware, metal, wood; having scraps around is invaluable!!

      1. Yeah, it’s a pain to move all the stuff and it may ‘appear’ to be disorganized but yes all those bits come in handy at one time or another.
        However, we have a method to our madness in relation to the apparent disorganization.

    2. It’s funny. When we get down to 10 of something, we comment that we’re getting low and better get some the next we go to the store. 2 is 1, 1 is none, and 50 is just about right.

    1. Yes, when growing up a story would go on the news about a coming snow storm. Usually, we would find out there was a major storm expected after we already had several inches of blowing snow. Which means a trip to the store at that time could prove dangerous. My parents didn’t worry though. We always had plenty of food on hand to get us through. We usually lost power during those storms but since we burned wood, we were good to go. We would just sit back inside and watch the snow snug as a bug in a rug. Meanwhile, when the power was still on the news stories would always show people acting absolutely insane in the stores like the world is coming to an end.

      Ohh, how’s come hordes of idiots wait until a snow storm to buy a snow shovel and then cry when they are sold out? Those snow shovels had been sitting on the shelf for more than a month into the winter season.

    2. Exactly!
      Nothing like sittin by the fire looking out the window while a snowstorm rages outside – all snug-as-a-bug, as they say… Enough supplies to outlast an ice-age… Okay maybe not an ice age ;)

      1. Snow storm raging outside? What is that? I wish we would have one so I could set by the fire place and look out the window at snow and eat my pantry stock. But, I would need a fire place also. Would a wood burning stove work? You folks have all the fun and don’t know it.

        1. North Texas up in the pan handle fats some of the white powder. Went through there in 2009 during a nice little storm. And by white powder, I am referring to frozen water. Not the white powder that comes up from the southern border. Hehe

  2. When I go to the hardware store to buy something I need, I generally buy more of it – for next time – unless clearly it’s a “one-off” situation. After some time, you’ve got your own “mini hardware store”. Love that!

    1. Half the time what I need (replacements for something I just used “one” of, for the most part) isn’t there. Especially in the last year.

    2. mini hardware store, Lol. mrs said i had too much “stuff” sitting around…She needed…? I said lets go out to the “on premise” hardware store where (I/ we ) hummm Had what she needed.. changed her mind about “stuff” too funny 3 is 2/ 2 is 1 / 1 is none!

  3. DW and I are going to do a complete inventory of our preps this week then “stock up” on whatever holes we find.

    Most of us remember the old movie RED DAWN about an invasion of the U.S. The way we see it, our Republic has been invaded by an ENEMY IDEOLOGY which is destroying out West and is heading eastward. BLM/Antifa might as well be Soviet/Cuban Communists.

    Yup it’s nice to have extra, but in the coming months, I am certain it might be life or death.

    The is a storm coming, please-please-please prepare for ugly!

  4. Ken, agree 100%
    Years ago I bought high grade Cambridge Mask Co. washable reusable face masks because I suspected we would need them in the future. Enter March 2020, my teen daughters were impressed that we were already prepared. Yes, we prepare for known reasons and also for potential situation and crise.
    Besides food and other life sustaining supplies, it is a good reminder to keep one’s body and spirit prepared for today and what tomorrow may bring. About a week and half ago, I had a “wake-up” call at work that I really need to get physically stronger. So I began a simple stretching and hand weight exercise plan. I am actually enjoying it and can already feel the difference. Also we are in a down-sizing mode and cleaning out a lot…today I found my Mission-Matthews compound bow and arrows. That I hadn’t touched since 2012 due to an injury. Well, I went out and had an invigorating yet meditative beginner again session of shooting arrows at a foam target. Prepping can be fun. :)

  5. Ken, I swear you’ve been snooping around our place. We call our extended pantry “the store” as well. I know for a fact it is better stocked than the nearest grocery store 25+ miles away. Mine has yeast! My husband’s motto has always been “If you need one, get five.” I think it’s a good plan because my motto is “1 for failure, 1 to have, 2 for spare, and 1 to share.”

    1. Haha! How else do you think I got the post idea? ;)

      Seriously though, it’s awesome having your own little grocery mart. Like you said, we too have plenty of yeast (and other things you can’t find anymore!).

      We often talk about the preparedness aspect of having these stores. But really, anther great thing about it is the convenience. Can’t beat that…

    2. AZ…same here. I get a kick saying…..going to store, be right back!!
      Such a nice feeling having what one needs…no, I don’t have it all, but I have what I need and can make do.

  6. My brother’s family has recently moved in with us. They make usually at least two or three trips to the store per week outside of normal shopping because they forgot something or ran out or didn’t have enough.

    My SIL has taken to sending one of the kids to find me and ask if we have whatever it is. And we usually do.

    1. Sounds like you should charge a premium for the convenience of them shopping in your mini-grocery store ;)

  7. Interesting comments on the home hardware store. My wife just asked if we had anymore leather scraps and polishing compound for some amber she is polishing with bugs in it. I said let’s go see what’s in the store (a.k.a the garage). Sure enough tin oxide and an old leather polishing lap. Easy-peasy. I’ve carried some of my hardware with me for 60 years. It generally gets used on many home projects. I apparently replenish the stock by acquiring “stuff” from other folks that are discarding it. Old stuff is good stuff.

    Speaking of old stuff, I can imagine that this has happened to any number of you. The magical replication of hand tools. The screwdrivers must be having quite a time after I shut down the shop, because they have replicated like rabbits (or raccoons this year). I must have two hundred flathead and Phillips screwdrivers. And don’t get me started on pipe wrenches. I have no idea where they came from. :)

    1. Hehe, I think the Easter bunny brings some to my dad every year. Because yes, it seems they multiply like rabbits. The problem is half the Phillips screwdrivers are wore out. I mentioned it to my dad but NOPE, he has to keep them. For what I have no idea.

      1. I have the opposite problem. Every time I go looking for a Phillips screwdriver there are none to be found. I think they hide from me. Flathead screwdrivers, no problem. But I never need those.

  8. My son and family living on our property sometimes come over right at their mealtime and ask if the grocery is open we tell them take what you need well pick up 2 more tomorrow. Convenience is right.Peace of mind, Priceless.😷

  9. Yup the wife is starting to complain again bout the accumulation of junk piles in the backyard.
    Wood Pile Check! Metal Pile Check!
    Pile of cement blocks Check!
    Stone Pile! check!
    Compost stock Pile Check! You get the idea….

    Still finding a lot of treasure going down the road in front of neighbors homes during garbage pickup day.
    Making more piles is fun!

    1. I know your anguish.

      I had this discussion with my “tennants” (relatives from socialist states camping in my yard as quarantine before rejoining society) the other day. As I proceeded to raid my stashes to fix their broken stuff. And they keep commenting on my “pantry” I have in the basement of which they’re grabbing stuff regularly. They have a difficult time managing their own stuff so it amazes them that I am able to manage so much stuff.

      I built another “yard trailer” out of scrap… To hold scrap. Everything I have is on trailers except concrete blocks and firewood (both are still on structures but no wheels). Even the incinerator. A trailer for T-posts, wood posts, 2x wood, fence, scrap, PVC, etc. Easier to bring everything to where you are working, even the “burn barrel”. When you aren’t using it you hide it out of sight.

  10. Hubby just came back from a marathon trip to find canning lids.

    None to be had :(

    Along the way he stopped at a gun shop and asked about ammo. Was told that the reason there is a shortage is… There is a Lead shortage. Was told even now hard to find “sinkers” as for fishing. A sinker shortage ! WHAT ?

    Is all that stuff made in China ???

    1. You might try Farm & Home if you have one in your area. Mine (central IL) has probably a hundred cases of jars and lots of other canning supplies, mixes, tools etc. They even had a stack of 5 & 7 cu ft. freezers.

    2. grandee–I think I can send a bunch in a ”stuff all you can in a post office box” (forgot what they call them) c.o.d.??
      I have shoe boxes full of regular lids. I do stuff like this all the time—National Police and Assoc. mailed me a reminder for donation I promised–I sent a note–I use cash..don’t want you giving my info to strangers and I know you do give the list of donors to other charities.
      I bought years ago at Amish store.
      I’m serious. No one I know cans.

  11. Never too prepared, always remember the adage, “two is one and one is none.”

  12. Here is the thing, I hate grocery shopping! If it means I do not have to drive into town for groceries every few days, it a win-win in my book.

    Years ago we lived closer to a military base for shopping it would be an all day trip because of the mileage. It was an hour to hour & a half to arrive there to shop depending on traffic.

    Stocking up was a way of life for us, and fitting into our budget. If I could pickup two months of groceries each trip that meant we were not shopping in the open market. One house we rented was a 1930-40’s, it had the best built in pantry I have ever seen. A 6 month supply of food would have still left space in there for home canned goods. Pure pantry porn, as we referred to it years ago. lol

    1. Haha! I love the wordsmithing on that one! How times have changed – those pantry’s have to be special made these days!

  13. Like everyone else here we have a spare bedroom full of supplies. I also have a cabinet full of nuts, bolts and screws in the garage. Another prep that comes in handy is pallets. I have broken them down and used them for lumber. Many places will give them to you for free. It has been really busy lately with all the garden stuff coming in. We are restocking the store with all the canned and frozen veggies.
    Our stove had one burner that didn’t work when we got it. Two weeks ago another burner went out. This past weekend a neighbor said he had bought a new stove but the store would not deliver because of the virus. He offered to give me the old stove if I would pick up the new stove and take it to his house (he does not have a truck). Another friend was cleaning out his garage after he moved and found several cases of old jars that he gave to us. Thank God for generous people. God always provides but I usually have to do some work.

    1. Speaking of pallets… I have a friend in town who built an impressive shed with wood from pallets!

    2. Different situation with my dishwasher–no one can get a white one with utensil on door for 3 months.

  14. I too have an awesome hardware store. The only problem is that it is spread out between the basement, bedroom, shed, indoor basement entry way and wood shed. It takes me half an hour to find everything I need when I need to fix something. My husband had his own system which I have yet to figure out. Starting next week I will be taking on the task of organizing all tools and misc. hardware.
    I also have piles of wood, metal, and odd scrap. Just trying to look like a backwoods hillbilly with junk piled about.

    1. Peanut, re: reorganizing tools and parts….i did that years ago, instead of finding things I need, I spend more time trying to remember where I put the reorganized stuff. I also can’t find something, bought another one, then found the original. But that’s just me.

      1. Yes I also had bought parts only to lose them and have to purchase again, then find the original item. Hence the need to reorganize. So far found 7 hammers. I had to throw 2 away as they had split handles. DH had a hard time throwing things away even when broken. They fled Poland during WW2, so they lived through some hard times. He even got mad at me many years ago because I threw out some dried up paint.

  15. Hahaha
    Sounds like our house hold. The other half does the food stockpiles, TP, cleaners, etc. Knowing what we have and where it is. What we may be low on.

    Extra spark plugs, saw chains, motor oil, 2cycle oil, gasoline, firewood, tools.
    Screws, nails, lumber, bolts, washers, nuts.

    You, know,
    the guy stuff.

    The extras sure came in handy during virus state shutdowns.
    I didn’t have go anywhere for 8 weeks.

  16. Sydney, Great story! Made me smile regarding your girlfriend. And I like the analogy to having your own utility company too…

    1. Same here –great story. My neighbor told me if things got that bad– referring to my stores and supplies, etc– she’d rather die and I said…well, you will!!
      I wonder now what she thinks cause I’ve only been over once in last 3 years to her porch and she hadn’t been anywhere in 3/4 months. She had ovarian cancer and is 72, susceptible surely.

  17. My mom always ran our pantry based on buying only when something was on sale and cooking out of the pantry. This was based on family history of leaving Europe due to bad conditions, loosing family to war, influenza, or medical conditions. Her dad died during WW2 of heart problems(bad valve) leaving behind 11 kids with my grandmother. Everyone worked and turned over cash to run the house; got back what was needed to get to work. All my aunts and uncles had side gigs long before it was fashionable. And recruited my generation as child labor once we were tall enough to help.

    My generation kept up the habit as we worked our way through school and started our own households. In getting together we would always be comparing our bargain shopping and household repair secrets.

    My husband wasn’t quite on board when we got married, but we’ve had enough unemployment and natural disasters to appreciate the effort. I still get teased about only buying something on sale or close out.

    I’ve always enjoyed staying home during Nor’easters when everyone else was trying to corner the market on milk and bread. Unless a tree came down on the house just wait for daylight before heading out.

    Now it’s sit at home avoiding the current cultural mayhem.

  18. In college I lived close to the grocery store. It was not a big deal to drive or walk to the store for whatever I needed at the time.

    Real life after college found me in small towns and rural areas where a trip to the store was a good 30 minute drive. I learned to make lists for the ingredients I needed for a week or two. Remember when fuel was expensive? I did not want to make the drive to town and spend those $$ on fuel. Yup, I am cheap! Or frugal.

    Our last home had a custom made pantry that we designed when we built it. That, and the 2-headed shower are the only things I miss!!

    I think the rural area where we have to make do with what is available, and my father going through the depression have made me the prepper I am.

  19. You have the food store now go for the gas station. Get those electric bikes that can be charged from your solar panel system. Create the means of fuel for your transportation. Then get the hardware store, have a means of making metal repair parts with a means of brazing or soldering. If you can home source the butcher shop, farmers market, the dairy, the winery, the water, power and sewer then your have achieved self sustaining nirvana.

    1. Those electric bikes you talk about not so sure are everywhere here in China. Most of them are just like regular bicycles but with a small electric motor. Those you can rent. Just use the phone to scan a pad on the bike and ride away. When done park them wherever. As I said, they are everywhere.if you need one, just walk to the street and you will find plenty to choose from. There are so many in fact, they are a nuisance in many places. Many people will take a bike to the shopping center and then take a taxi home with all their purchased stuff. So, outside a shopping center, there are literally a hundred bikes or more sitting outside. There are also electric mopeds here. There’s a gajillion of those here as well. Most are privately owned. They kind of resemble the Honda Elite series mopeds except they are electric. My wife has a little three wheel electric moped that we use every day. If the distance is more than a couple of kilometers, we will get a Didi (similar to Uber) to get us there and back.
      We charge up the three wheel bike every few days and it costs around 30 cents each time at the charging station.

      1. No…more like pork. Just use the thighs and the heart. The rest can be composted for the tomato plants. Skin can be used for leather, too. And, so many of the enemy have these really cool tattoos, which one can incorporate into their leather craft.

        Best to just cut ’em up for stews.

        1. Ision – I think you just converted a few hundred people to a meatless diet. Thank you. And good morning.

      2. ha ha I was thinking they might taste like a mud sucking, bottom feeding catfish. Oh I know, some catfish are good like those Blue Cats in the cleaner rivers.

    1. Ision – You could get really sick eating that…I suppose, maybe with lots and lots of ketchup… Nah, you really shouldn’t eat that.

        1. No, no, no….. Tapatio and Gringo Bandito! The end all and be all of hot sauces! (one of the few advantages of living in the land that God forgot) Herdez guaca-salsa is pretty savage too.

      1. I make my own sweet and sour sauce so I have stored Ketchup, brown sugar, white vinegar and soy sauce. All long shelf lives.

  20. Love my little grocery store here in my back room. I can usually make a Thanksgiving or Easter dinner for several people without going to the 140 or 320 (roundtrip) miles to a grocery store. It is great to be prepared out here on the Frontier!

  21. Don’t worry Sydney. Your secret is safe with us. Us few thousand people here at MSB who post and just read the articles won’t tell a soul. Hehe

  22. Well this is a timely post, just last weekend we went through our “store”, to rotate and cull out our stock pile.
    And yes we also joke when we need to go to the store. And walk down the hall and return minutes later. Saying “I’m back”, always a giggle.

    Fortunately all the culled food was opened, stored in freezer bags for the pigs, along with any edible food scraps. We call them pig sickle’s, and they love them. So really nothing goes to waste, just recycled into different food.
    Having a panty as large as we keep does take work. But we only do minimum weekly shopping, and when I do a restock. I have spread sheet, that I do an inventory. Then I go and compare prices of what I need at the local stores. We are fortunate that we have two major regional store chains, SAMs, Costco, and Walmart. Along with two discount chains, Aldi, and Save a lot. This like window shopping, but it shows who has the best price on what. Surprisingly sometimes those big box stores are no bargain.
    The discount stores you have to watch the dates, along with any store sells.
    I look at having the pantry as an investment, hedging on price increases. And my latest shopping adventure was surprising. Yes food cost have gone up.
    Having what you need on hand, priceless.

  23. My father (a teenager in the Depression) always kept the screws, nuts, small bolts etc from discarded items in a bucket. I watched many times as he would dig through it to find a small screw or other piece to fix something else. As I grew up I saw all of the homesteads kept “junk piles” because if you threw it away you would need it soon. So when I established my home I too started to save the odds and ends and it has paid off big time. I would encourage everyone to think before they just throw away items if they have a place to store them. Too often a small piece to fix something has a big price tag new when the old piece you threw away was essentially free.

    We also buy on sale and in bulk and that has certainly paid off as well. Now if you can’t find something in the store you just go shopping in your own “grocery store”. As things get worse more people will see the wisdom of buying when you see it available because sales are few and far between in my neck of the woods. The recent tp shortage will be the normal for many items as time goes on. If you are short don’t wait for a sale, buy now while it is available!

  24. Even before I knew what prepping was I kept any doo dad part of anything. Guess I got that from my Mammaw. Just recently an old hairdryer bit the dust. So I harvested anything that might come in handy off of it. When they built the covered screened porch there were two pieces of 16 foot insulated roof left over. Noooo don’t throw that away. Now we have the wood pile off the ground sitting on top of them.
    I love the metal rolling shelves. They are not too expensive if you buy one every now and then. An extra shelf can be purchased also. One size has a zippered cover too. They can be purchased at Amazon.

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