Disaster Prep on a Dime

We live in uncertain times. But you can be prepped at home and be ready for anything. Here's how to frugally build up your pantry and supplies.


  • Bottled water
  • Canned goods
  • Pasta
  • Yeast
  • Flour
  • Butter
  • Cream
  • Cheese
  • Bread
  • Premade/ready-made fresh foods and cold cuts
  • Meats, poultry and fish — even less popular fish, like halibut
  • Toilet paper and paper towels
  • tampons
  • baby formula
  • Cleaning supplies
  • Frozen foods, particularly frozen meals and pizzas.
  • Turmeric, Vitamin D, Vitamin C
  • Citrus fruits (also known to be immunity-building)
  • Jarred salsa
  • Pasta sauces, especially marinara.


1. Emergency basics- have flashlights and/or a  lantern in case of power outage. At the min, matches and candles, which can be bought on clearance after the holidays.

2. If your heat is electric, think ahead to how you’ll keep warm in a cold climate.  Portable heaterFireplace? Blankets work, until it’s 40 degrees in your home.

3. Stock up on water and food. Food should be ready to eat in a can, that doesn’t require heating.  This assortment of camping foods is a good idea too.

4. Speaking of food, food in the fridge lasts 6 hours, the freezer a little longer. Keep the fridge closed during the outage and your food may last a little longer.

5. Cell phone. Our cordless phone went completely dead in the outage and I couldn’t find the corded phone. Luckily, we had a battery-powered cell phone  charger like this one, which was a lifesaver.

6. Cash. It’s good to have cash on hand for emergencies, in cash you need to go to the store and their credit card machines aren’t working. This actually happened a few times to me.

Here are more supplies to have on hand:

  • 2 week supply of non-perishable food
  • 1–2 week supply of water — one gallon of water per person, per day.
  • Portable, battery-powered radio or television and extra batteries
  • Flashlight and extra batteries.
  • First aid kit and manual.
  • Sanitation and hygiene items (moist towelettes and toilet paper).
Join the conversation
2 of 6 comments
  • Felicitas Felix Loranger Felicitas Felix Loranger on Aug 10, 2022

    I have 3 dogs and ALWAYS have 1 month extra food for them but now add some more. I have flower stored in the fridge and will buy 1 or 2 extra gas bottles for the grill in case I have to cook outside.

  • Rene Rene on Aug 15, 2022

    I just purchased a fire pit so I can use that to cook on if grid out. I live in an apt. On ground level. Thank goodness 🙏 My kitty ran away now I have stock of food no kitty. You are going be alright smart move you made preparations. Good luck to you.