Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Q&A Week - Wednesday

Do you store cleaning (laundry detergent, dish soap etc. ) products and how much do you store?

What is your take on cleaning products? What kind should I store, or what ingredients should I store that I can also clean with?

The two questions above were so similar that I'll answer them together. Ideally, I like to store about 3-4 months of non-food items: toilet paper, paper towels, cleaning supplies, trash bags, feminine products, laundry detergent, dishwasher soap, toothpaste, shampoo, medicines, etc. Instead of stocking up on many different cleaning supplies, though, I have a giant bag of baking soda and a lot of vinegar, which will go far when it comes to keeping my house clean. Click here to read an article about cleaning with baking soda and vinegar (article from eHow.com).

Do you guys have a big "everything" list that shows the different categories of things to store? I know that I should be getting things other than food, but I am trying to get a list of it all so I can start from the top, bottom, or middle and start collecting. Having a list already made would help a ton!

There are lots of items I like to store besides food. After all, my ultimate goal is to be able to go three months without ever having to set foot in a store (the ultimate three month supply!). Here is a list of things I like to store besides food (much of this stuff is listed in the answer above):

-Toilet paper
-Paper towels
-Cleaning supplies (mostly vinegar and baking soda, for my storage. Don't forget sponges, gloves, etc)
-Trash bags
-Feminine products
-Laundry detergent and other laundry needs
-Dishwasher and dish soap
-Toothpaste, shampoo, conditioner, body wash
-Cash (don't ask me how much... I really don't know what a good amount is. I just keep what I'm comfortable having around, and what I think I might need in an emergency)
-Any others that you can think of?? Make a comment - I'm sure I'm forgetting something!

Do you think its wise to do a four month supply instead of three. I have found that if I restock monthly then there is a small window of time where I only have 2 months of food. I don't want to be caught ill prepared during this time before I restock. Thanks!

I think this is a great idea. If you have the space and money to stock up 4 months of food, by all means do it, especially if it will help you feel more prepared. Planning your four month supply would be very similar as planning as a three month supply - just a bit more of everything! Great suggestion - I know I get a little nervous sometimes as my supply dwindles a bit and I'm waiting for the sales so I can restock.

Have you done any baking on a gas BBQ? Any tips would be appreciated!

Actually, very soon we'll be publishing a weekly series on cooking without electricity, so stay tuned!

Have you ever done any solar oven cooking?

Yes, we have talked about this in the past. We will also be addressing this again in our upcoming series about cooking without electricity.

What is the one "luxury" product you each store? (Meaning, it's totally not an essential, but it will definitely make life far better). I think mine would have to be cocoa powder, in the freezer. Maybe real shredded cheese in the freezer.

Hannah - I have a few luxury items. Cocoa powder and chocolate syrup top the list, probably. Both can go a long way in making that powdered milk taste better, and the cocoa powder could also be used to make desserts. Also, I just got some powdered eggs that I've been wanting to try; if those work out, I just might stock up on those, too. We haven't talked about those much on the blog yet because we've never used them, and they are a bit expensive so we really don't want to tell people they need them. That's been one of the biggest challenges in making our recipes, especially the desserts! So, I consider powdered eggs a luxury, as well, since they are pricey and can be hard to find. They're definitely not required in your food storage.

Ohh, and cheese! YES! I LOVE cheese, but again: since it's not a pantry item, I don't really "count" it as part of my three month supply. I do have a lot in my freezer, though, and its' great! I usually buy sharp or extra sharp cheddar. Yum!


We Are A Happy Family said...

You can make your own laundry detergent with Borax,cleaning baking soda, Ivory soap or felsnaptha, and water. It is a lot cheaper than store bought laundry detergent.

dgr said...

I think drain cleaner might come in handy!

Shane and Brandi said...

Some extras I love to have on hand are:
tin foil
duct tape

Kathy said...

I have been doing some research on cheese. When cheese has been dipped in wax it can be stored on a shelf for a long time. One article said 25 years! You can also hang it in mesh bags from the ceiling if rodents are an issue. I just ordered some wax and we will be trying it out next week!

Lastly, turns out it is fairly easy to make mozarella from powdered milk. You can order cheese making kits online. We will be trying this as well this week. I was almost giddy with the prospect that cheese could be a viable part of my food storage. I'll let you know how it goes! Thanks for the great post!

Danielle said...

Emergency Essentials has powdered eggs in their monthly sale flyer for groups. I think your group either has to buy 6 or 12 of them to qualify, but the cost is $16 for #10 can (which is about $2/dozen). They waive shipping charges for group orders, and I think they might be tax-free outside of Utah.

I've also been stocking up on my supply of non-food items. I'm probably set with feminine products for a year (thanks to relatives who really don't need them anymore) and possibly with contact solution (which I consider just as essential as food since I can't see well without it).

For other things, I've been following the advice that we were given in our last church activity on storage: If you NEED one, buy three. (Except we're on a major budget, so right now it's need one, buy two.)