Editor’s Note: Coincidentally, I received two very similar articles about dollar store shopping from writers in two states in the same week. But because they have different perspectives, I’ve decided to post both of them. The other one will be posted tomorrow.
I’m here visiting our oldest son in New York City, always an eye opening experience. After church, several of his friends have asked how to get started on building an everyday carry (EDC) bag after seeing our day bags. However, after seeing their respective apartments, we decided to start more basic (understanding we are teaching a few concepts that may be equally applicable to items within a starter level EDC bag or shelter-in-place plan). Think “just moved-into-their-first-apartment-out-of-college-basic” in terms of the problem we are trying to solve. They can build their full kit EDC bag after they prepare for the basics of shelter-in-place in the big city so to speak. To have some fun, we decided to host a grand tour of the dollar store to simply walk around with my oldest son and a few of his friends to point out items that would cost $1.00 at the Dollar Tree.
I was hoping to spark an interest in prepping with these city folks (ages 23-28) and get them thinking about how to prepare while understanding that you don’t have to spend a tremendous amount of money to make progress. Not able to have a full game plan but the first few steps on that metaphorical long journey. On the actual physical walk over, my husband shared a 3×3 grid of probability and impact – probability marked as Low, Medium and High and then impact to you from the event happening as Low, Medium, High. We had one free afternoon – a few twenties in our wallet – and a desire to get organized for a power outage as a proxy for one of the “high probability/medium impact” events for our end users. No need to price check items at the Dollar Tree, everything is a dollar (just some humor).
These young folks just graduated from college and had literally just moved into the Big City. My husband commented that maybe instead of eight pairs of basketball sneakers, they could have bought a few cases of bottled water and I tried to sssshhhh him a bit. We later dropped off four cases of water at their apartment and told them to stash those in the closet and put one case in their car trunk (car being kept at a local garage at some astronomical monthly fee). My son had already anticipated the “always keep your car with a full tank of gas” and we all shared a smile on that front. We checked out their gas grill on their balcony along with propane tank and then took a good look in their freezer to gauge what type of food they cooked. Meat, check. No soy milk, double check.
I reminded my son to keep his mini Sawyer water filter handy from camping and we took a look at their backpacking gear to ensure things were stowed in one spot. I gently reminded him that the camping gear needs to get shoveled into the car if he needed to leave and he smiled wryly that he remembers me saying that a few times before. We checked to make sure he had multiple choices for water storage (bottles, canteen, soft plastic and metal version that can be heated) and his Sawyer mini. They had a few leftover Mountain House breakfast packages from camping. I shared that the Mountain House meals (for example, breakfast skillet or egg varieties) work great in a tortilla wrap – and that the tortilla wraps hold up longer versus a loaf of bread in terms of shelf life). A bottle of hot sauce, tortilla wraps and Mountain House breakfast skillet inside and life is good, power outage or not. We order our Mountain House foods from Ready Made Resources online. That works fine, and they have good prices.Continue reading“A Dollar Store Prepping Expedition, by T. Lee”