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How we need to prepare


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Cost versus expediency

An area which always causes us issues is what is the best way to prepare? What order do we purchase items and how do we go about reducing the cost?

Well the truth is that we have two conflicting requirements which are usually mutually exclusive. These are;

You see we want to have everything at the minimum cost yet because we don’t know when an event is going to happen we cannot afford to wait until the price is right. It is unfortunate but we have to buy certain items regardless of current cost and in some cases we will find that later they are cheaper. You just have to bite the bullet and ignore it.

If cost was the primary factor we would go shopping every day, monitor the prices and when the price dropped we would buy the items. We would go to car boots and liquidation sales, the pound shops or the supermarkets and buy special offers, 3 for 2 and BOGOF items. This way we would have the cheapest items we could but our prepping would take much longer. The risk is that it takes so long we have an event and then you discover that water never went on sale and you die surrounded by 20 years worth of food, a complete medical facility and your own nuclear generator, bargain at a MoD car boot sale of Trident kit to help pay for increased MP expenses.

If expediency was the primary factor we would go out and buy our stores all in one go, making sure that we covered all our major food groups and our needs for the next 20 years. Quick but very expensive.

We want a compromise. We want to minimise the costs but we also want to make sure we grow our preps in an organic way. We don’t want to buy 2000L of water and no food even if the water is cheap. We want to buy a months supply of food, water and sundry items. As the water is cheap any spare funds can be spent on more water. Next month water may be back to normal and pasta cheap. You already have two months supply of water but one of food, bring everything up to two months, which makes three months water, and spend the extra on pasta. Next month nothing is on sale so you can only afford three weeks worth of goods. Once you reach three months or so you can include some additional items as discussed such as torches as we need more than just food and water to survive. See the main articles.

The best way to do this is to set up a routine for shopping as follows;
Take your list of purchases (You have prepared this haven’t you)
Take this list with you when you go shopping and note what each item costs and where. Visit several shops in your area and convenient online shops like eBay and Freecycle to find the cheapest.
Every week or month or whatever frequency you go shopping you check the prices and look for bargains. Buy what you need to first and spend any extra on the for sale items. The on sale items may not be on of your necessities. It could be an extra like a solar power panel or a 25 gallon drum of oil. But this way you build up your stocks and quickly as you can whilst maximising your buying power.

After doing this for a while you will notice patterns. Staples like rice and pasta perhaps being reduced every three months while water, fruit, clothing and other linen are seasonal. Use that knowledge to plan your purchases. Bear in mind seasonal items when planning your purchases. Don’t buy winter clothes at the start of winter but during the sales after winter. Buy ahead.

Keep a lookout in the forums for announced bargains and if you see any at your local stores let us now as well. Once we get our coop up and running I hope that we can leverage suppliers to get some good bargains after all a group via this site will be no different to a small shop.

Each of us will have different requirements and different funds. We need to fit into our requirements and not blindly follow someone else typing on a survival site. Make sure that you stock up as per your priorities at the speed you can afford. Prioritise the items and always keep an eye out for bargains.

Shop wisely and minimise your spend whilst minimising the period you are at risk. You know it makes sense.

2 comments to Cost versus expediency

  • fred

    It seems to me that this is no different to the way supermarkets and fast food shops operate. They take a stab at what the demand will be but are sometimes left with egg on the face. they discount and clear and factor that in. As you say, it’s part of the game and you learn to do it better but never completely eliminate wastage.

  • Skean Dhude

    Fred,

    Exactly. We want to take advantage of things like this. Only thing is that to do so takes so much time. Going to each supermarket at the right time to pick up the bargains.

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