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Things to prep that you may not think about

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Hi everyone, it's been a long time since I have posted here. I have been going through my very own disasters and haven't been around long enough to post, but in the last week I have found so many thing I needed to share I decided to MAKE myself make time to share them. A warning it is a long one, but I think it's worth reading. In the past two years I have found several things you may not consider important enough to store in your preps (I know I didn't think they were important) here are the things I have learned.



1. Wedding tulle. The small hole stuff. The smaller the better! Get as much as you can afford! I just recently bought 30 yards and still need another 20 yards to complete my project. Why you ask? For making simple effective mosquito netting. Recently our air conditioner died and with the heat wave and the constant rain and the windows open all the time. We have clouds of No-See-Um's (gnats) EVERY WHERE!!! Apparently my children and I are allergic to them and we are now covered with bites and those nasty little buggers can fly right through regular screens!


2. Skin-So-Soft. Obviously they say this stuff works for mosquitoes, but works much better with No-See-Um's!


3. Ivory bar soap. We ran out of laundry soap last winter and had NO money to buy more of that fancy liquid stuff. So I grabbed all the little left over bars of ivory, a cheese grater and a box of baking soda and made a batch of my own laundry soap. Turns out equal parts of grated Ivory and baking soda cleans 10 times better than the liquid stuff AND it's 10 times cheaper! I mix 3 tablespoons of the power mixture with water until it dissolves and then pour it in before I add the clothes. Even my DH's nasty brown stained socks from his construction work come out clean and that's amazing. I am now stocking the big bags of baking soda from Sam's and as many bars of Ivory I can store. We use it for showers and washing hands as it is, so we need lots.


4. Rodent traps. This summer I have lost more eggs than I can count to a resourceful raccoon, who I would love to shoot, but is very good at not getting caught when I have a gun. Plus we now have a family of woodchucks who have decided my yard is their favorite stomping grounds! I am investing in a rodent trap set from the feed store. Yes they are expensive, but they are VERY useful. For now they will tempt and catch that darn raccoon and remove (dead or alive) him from my chicken coop, and if things get bad those traps will be meals for us if we need meat or even furs. Why not have them now for use and then appreciate them more when you NEED them.


5. Laundry line or wire. I don't know about the rest of you, but the gas prices are killing us up here in the mid-west. So I have been doing even more laundry on the line. Now I always do laundry in the summer on the line it just makes sense, but now I am doing laundry on the line in the winter too. I have a basement that is fairly dry and clean so I am hanging lines on the beams down there and hanging clothes down there all winter. It saves us a lot of money. I also have used the extra plastic coated laundry wire to tulles up beans and peas when I need to. I also use the cording type for all sorts if things.


6. A roll-up sled. I am now keeping two of these in our car all winter. We recently had a break down with our fairly new car (computer issue and a plug the dealership failed to remove during diagnostics) My DH and I had a long walk to a gas station. That got me thinking what would I do if I had my two young children in the car? How would we get them to walk somewhere if we "had" to. So now the sleds are in the car with some laundry cord in case we need to drag them or anything else for that matter. Get them in the spring and they are dirt cheap!


7.Muslin. Bleached, unbleached it doesn't matter, the more you can afford the better. I recently invested in 7 yards of 90 inch wide white muslin. I ended up making myself two old style nightgowns, my daughter a couple summer nightgowns, and my son several pair of white boxer shorts. I still have enough to make my DH boxers if he really needed them. You can dye the stuff if you want to, it's cool, extremely cheap (I got the 90 inch stuff for 5 bucks a yard) and it can be sewn into anything. It's warm enough to use for winter nightgowns, it's opaque enough to be modest, and it's soft enough to use as sheets or even diapers if need be. Flannel is great for winter, but is hot in the summer. Muslin is great all the time. If you don't sew, than remember others can and if you have the fabric you have a seamstress as a friend.


8. Buckets and plastic storage boxes. Lots of them. We recently went through a tornado in the area and since then we have had power outages all the time. So every time it rains we get as many buckets full of rain water as we can so we can flush the toilets, take care of the animals and do washing if we need to. Small buckets are great for planting stuff in, larger ones are great for storing things in, all of them are great for water catching. We use them all the time. Even if you live in the city (we live in the country) you can use them. If you have the money a couple garbage cans on wheels are VERY good to have around.


9. Garden Cart barrels. They are a new thing I've seen in the stores. I got one this summer to use as a laundry cart. I discovered a hundred uses for it since then. We use it to haul water out to the back gardens (saves hauling the hose for little jobs), we fill it with ice and pop for parties and can move it anywhere we need it to be, I use it to carry groceries in from the car when I have a ton to bring in, it has tuff wheels and the barrel shape and doesn't leak so you could use it as a hand washer by your laundry line if things were bad enough. I have only one right now, but come the end of summer I think I will try and pick up another one on clearance. They are really worth it.


10. Mercury free, battery free thermometers. It may not seem like a necessity, but when you have a very sick kid and the batteries go out on your trusty thermometer and the doctor tells you that you can only double the ibuprofen when the temperature is at a certain temp and you don't have a thermometer what do you do? Learn this one the hard way. So now I have two of those little glass bubble ones. I wrapped them in bubble wrap and store them out of anyone's reach until we need them. They are very touchy! I also bought a couple cheap battery ones so we have them when we need them too.


11. Fly tape! LOTS of them. Nothing work better at catching No-See-Um's, moths and other nasty light and sweet attracted bugs as those sticky little bug tapes. What would we all do without them? What would you do if the stores ran out of them and you had no power or air conditioner ALL SUMMER? Yep I'm making a special box in my preps just for bug tape, worth every cent I spend on them.


12. Metal coat hangers. You would not believe how many times in the last year we have used one of these things. They have thousands of uses. Plant poles, tomato cages, use them to hang herbs to dry, as a hook for reaching in tight places, a holder for bird deflectors (pie tins swinging in the wind), drawer handle, bucket and bushel basket handles, picture hangers, keys for old door locks, repair parts for old lanterns, woven to make a burn barrel cover, like I said thousands of uses. Worth stashing a box of them in a corner somewhere.


13. Medical tape. We ran out of band aids this winter (I know I couldn't believe it either, but hey I have kids what can you say! I've learned my lesson, I promise) I had a small old roll of that clear medical tape and a couple cotton balls which was very useful when my son got a nasty scrap. Now I have band aids AND medical tape so I can mend larger boo boos and if we ever run out of band aids we'll have it. The clear stuff tears off easy and seems to last forever. It would also be a very important item for trade if things get bad. Oh and trust me duct tape is NOT a good substitute for medical tape.


14. Wax and wicks. What would you do if you lost your power and ran out of those pretty (smelly) candles? Ever figure how much candles cost? I did one day and since I don't like scented candles I went looking for cheap unscented one. I found those prayer candles at our local store at $1.50 a piece. They burn for a good while and are already in jars so that make them easy to use. I also found those emergency candles at the local dollar store 6 for a buck. But they are small and will only last for a few days before they are gone. BUT you can buy huge block of paraffin wax at the local craft store for cheap (I use the 40% off coupons on them) and the wicks on a roll too! So I have saved the jars from some of the jellies and cheese spreads the family like to eat on holidays and I now have a stack of 10 pound blocks of wax and a couple rolls of wicks. I figure I can make at least 25 - 30 prayer candles for about $7. Now that is a savings!


15. Aluminum food pans. All different sizes. I recently went to a local bulk food store that caters to the local restaurants and found aluminum food baking pans. You know the kind that you put sheet cakes in or the ones you get TV dinners in. They were really cheap and came in 10 different sizes and many came with lids. I got to thinking after that trip that we could sure use some of those. For things like left-overs to put in the freezer, or for storing things in. Then I started gathering my own seeds for the following year and drying tea leaves and realized those sheet cake pans are awesome! I now have a stack of them and when I gather seeds or herbs I lay a paper towel on top of the pans and then spread out the seeds or herbs and stack the pans on top of each other (cross ways so they sit on the edge of them) and let the stuff dry. They are light weight and are easy to store and there are a ton of uses for them. Plus if things get bad I can make breads in them and be able to make several at a time.



Like I said I've been thinking on this for awhile and it is long, but they are things we learned lessons from here and I feel I should share with all of you. Hope they help.






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Oh, I've wondered where you got to!!! :hug3:


Great tips, and I love how you included the reasons! Nothing beats practical experience talking!!!


I'll be back when I get more time... :wave:




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:wave: Hey there, Jingles!!!! Great suggestions. I use/stock many of these too. Sheet cake trays: I'm always looking for trays to put my projects on. [the most recent, a bunch of photos fresh out of the printer for a photo-albumn gift. Where to let them dry?] Good idea and light/cheap.


MtRider :cheer:

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