We’re Prepared Wednesday: Starting your Stockpile on a Budget and Saving Money in the New Year!


The events of the past year have made it plainly clear to me that I need to get back to the basics, which includes focusing on emergency preparedness!  Since I started using coupons, I have had a pretty extensive stockpile of personal care items and food items.  Having that stockpile had a huge impact on our budget because we weren’t buying things on a regular basis and I could meal plan around items we had on hand.  When we were hit with financial surprises (including my husband being unemployed for awhile), we were able to rely on our stockpile.  My stockpile isn’t what it used to be and one of my goals this year is to focus on rebuilding that.  My other goal is to focus on making sure we have cash on hand for emergencies.  If you know much about Dave Ramsey, one of the first things he recommends is a $1,000 Emergency Fund and we do have that, but I look at that as “sacred” and don’t want to use it unless we actually do have an emergency that we can’t cover.  If you’ve ever been through any sort of natural disaster, though, you know that for the first few days afterward, systems may be down and many places, including gas stations and grocery stores, operate on a cash only basis, so having cash on hand is important, too.  I came across this 52 weeks Savings Plan on Pinterest and I think it’s PERFECT for helping us to save cash to have on hand for emergencies and I will also use some of it for our Christmas savings.

The first week of the year is over, but you only need $1 to get started, and I think most of us can come up with that (if not, look in your couch, your car, or in the laundry room!).


Here are a few things that I plan to do this year to add to my savings:


Ibotta – if you haven’t heard of Ibotta, you get cash back for buying select grocery or personal care items at your favorite grocery or drug stores!  Right now, they are also offering a $5 bonus just for signing up! (this bonus is only available through 1/11).  I have earned $15 in the past week with my bonus and by purchasing products at my local grocery store!  Find out more about Ibotta and register for your $5 bonus here–> Ibotta Registration

SURVEYS:  these are all reputable survey companies that I have personally used!

This is a quick and easy way to jump start your savings: 

Jump start your savings with a $50 bonus when you open an Capital One 360 checking account.  This is what I use for our Christmas and vacation fund.  This is also where we keep our emergency fund because when we’re ready to use it, it’s easy to access with our check card!  Click here for details–> Earn a $50 bonus when you open a Capital One 360 Checking account

Sadly this offer is not currently available.  I will let you know when it’s back!


My other goal this year is to re-build our personal food storage.  I found a few different programs that help you to build up your food storage by purchasing items on a weekly basis.  I think that you have to look at what “works” for you and your family when doing this, but this at least gives you some ideas for getting started!



The two plans above both recommend buying laundry detergents and bleach this week. There is a GREAT deal on Tide this week at Kroger (especially if you have the $1.50 off coupons) and there is also a great deal on All at CVS.

This list tells you how to build your food storage on $5-$10 per week–> Building Your Food Storage on $5-10 per week

I’ll be updating you on my savings progress and food storage progress each week in my Savings Saturday post!  I can’t wait to hear about your progress, too!

*This post may contain affiliate links. Please refer to my disclosure policy for more information


Emergency Preparedness: Eton Self-Powered AM/FM weather radio+flashlight+cell charger only $26.69!

Hurricane season is just getting started this year and an earthquake last week on the east coast followed by Hurricane Irene shortly after should be a wake up call to all of us that we need to be prepared in the event of an emergency!  This Eton FR160R Microlink Self-Powered AM/FM/NOAA Weather Radio with Flashlight, Solar Power, and Cell Phone Charger is a GREAT item to have on hand in the event of an emergency and Amazon has a GREAT deal on it today – it’s on sale for just $26.69!

Here are the technical details:

  • AM (520-1710 KHz) and FM (87-108MHz)
  • NOAA weatherband ? all 7 channels
  • Built-in 3 white LED light source
  • Powered by solar or dynamo both of which charge internal Ni-MH battery
  • USB cell phone charger

Click here to order yours:  Eton FR160R Microlink Self-Powered AM/FM/NOAA Weather Radio with Flashlight, Solar Power, and Cell Phone Charger

For more tips for preparing for a hurricane or other emergencies, check out this post here–>Six Tips for Preparing for a Hurricane and Other Emergencies

*This post may contain affiliate links. Please refer to my disclosure policy for more information.


Six Tips for Preparing for a Hurricane and other emergencies

Shortly after we moved to Texas, Hurricane Katrina and then Hurricane Rita hit.  A few years later, we were faced with Hurricane Ike.   I was raised in west Texas and was pretty much clueless in terms of hurricane preparedness.  I learned a few things along the way and thought I’d share them with you!

Fill your cars with gas ~ After Hurricane Ike hit, it was several days before the gas stations opened and when they did open, the lines were long.  If you have a generator, you will also want to make sure you have extra gas on hand for that.  We also keep an extra propane tank on hand for grilling food.

Make sure you have cash ~ When the grocery stores re-opened after Hurricane Ike, many of them were not able to accept credit and debit cards.  If you didn’t have cash, you weren’t able to make purchases.  It was like this for several days.

Make sure you have water ~ A good rule of thumb is to have at least one gallon of water per person per day on hand.  I personally like to keep enough for 7-14 days on hand in my house because if we lose power and it’s in the middle of summer, it’s going to be HOT and we will need to drink water.  I try to stock up on bottled water when it’s on sale.  You will also need water for washing dishes and possibly flushing toilets depending on the circumstances.

We purchased a Water Bob for each of our bath tubs so that we can store water there as well in the event of an emergency.

We also have several Collapsible Water Containers – these definitely came in handy during Hurricane Ike!

Have non-perishable food to last at least 3 days – Our “hurricane food” (as we refer to it around here) includes non-perishable items that we can easily prepare if we don’t have power such as canned soup, instant oatmeal packets, peanut butter and crackers, and Vienna sausage.  None of these are favorites for the adults, but in the event of an emergency, we’d be able to get by.

Have plenty of light sources – Flashlights are great, but they don’t give off much light and they go through batteries pretty quickly.  Candles are one option that is relatively inexpensive.

A battery-powered lantern is another great resource because it provides more light.  These were a huge help in our house during Hurricane Ike.  A family-sized lantern is just $24.99 on Amazon right now.

Solar-powered or crank-operated flashlights are also a great investment.  I’m a huge fan of this American Red Cross Microlink Self-Powered AM/FM/NOAA Weather Radio with Flashlight, Solar Power, and Cell Phone Charger.  It’s just $30 on Amazon right now.  It works as a flashlight, radio, and cell phone charger!

Prepare for special circumstances – Don’t forget about your pets (they need food and water, too!) and prescription or over the counter medications.  It may be several days (or even weeks) before you are able to fill prescriptions!

When a storm or other disaster is headed your way, it’s incredibly stressful and it’s not the time to be preparing.  Stores are crowded and supplies are limited.  Have piece of mind and plan ahead.

For more tips on emergency preparedness, check out the article written by Nathan Engels on WeUseCoupons.com and FEMA tips on food and water in an emergency.

*This post may contain affiliate links. Please refer to my disclosure policy for more information.

Tip of the Day Tuesday: Lessons learned in hurricane preparedness

When we first moved to Texas four years ago, it was a few weeks before Hurricane Katrina hit in New Orleans followed by Rita which hit the Texas and Louisiana coast. Hurricane season was a whole new experience for my family and one that we were not at all prepared for. I remember going to the store to get a few “basics” like bread and diapers and I was surprised to find that the stores were completely wiped out. I decided at that point that I would be prepared for hurricane season in the future!

Every week for the next few weeks, I will be sharing some of my tips for hurricane preparedness including deals and tips for stocking up. Many of these will apply to emergency preparedness in general, so even if you don’t live in an area that is impacted by hurricanes, it can help you prepare for other events. You can do this by spending only $5-10 per week.

This week, my focus is on paper goods. I think that this is something that many people don’t think about when they are planning for emergencies, but when Hurricane Ike hit us last summer, many people were without power and water for days, and paper goods definitely come in handy in those circumstances.

This week, Target has a deal on Dixie and Solo paper products:

*Dixie/Solo Tableware – $2.49/each
.50/1 Dixie Or Dixie Ultra Paper Plates Or Bowls, Any – 05-10-09 RP
$1/1 Target IP here – $.99 when you combine the Target IP and the Dixie coupon!$1/1 Solo Heavy Duty Tableware Products, Any – 05-17-09 SS
.75/1 Solo Cups, Plates or Bowls, Any Package printable here

Another great every day resource for paper products is your local “dollar” store. I was surprised to find that my Dollar Tree store has a large variety of paper plates, cups, and even plastic cutlery and everything was priced at $1! If you are planning a shower or birthday party, it’s also worth checking out because they even have themed items.

If you know of any other deals on paper products this week, please feel free to share!