Have you noticed the shelves are getting bare? With current diesel shortages, you know it's time to stock up so you can provide for and protect your family. It's a challenge to be stocked up at all when you have a large family as we are constantly consuming! However, with a plan in hand, this is possible. Here is our family's “stock up for three weeks” plan.
Note: Some links in this post are affiliate links, which means I receive a commission if you make a purchase. Affiliate relationships include, but are not limited to Amazon Associates, Walmart.com, and Etsy.
Make an Ideal Stock Up For Three Weeks Plan Checklist
Even with my handy checklist, our family has not had everything checked off our list at once yet! We can only do so much with each paycheck we receive and we are not over-buying any one item, just what we would need for three weeks. That's why it's called an “Ideal” plan.
You need to make a checklist of each type of item that is needed for three weeks time. When making your list, consider freezer and refrigerator size, you may need to plan for more dry goods. Think about where to store them, will that area be too humid or does it freeze at this time of year?
If you have children, do consider what they will eat. I know people tend to think, if we are starving, they will eat whatever I put before them. That may be true if they are a wise adult like you, but children – especially LITTLE children don't think that way. Some would actually rather starve. So try to stock up up on some favorites. Also remember to get baby formula if your family members may need it or alternates (research powdered goat's milk.) My youngest is no longer a baby, so those items will need to be added to your checklist.
As far as those in the family who can eat other items… what you stock up on may not be what you would normally eat as there is so much salt in canned items. Just keep telling yourself that it's an emergency stash and it should be okay to eat it for three weeks of your entire life.
Here is a one page free printable blank checklist for you to fill in for any size family.
Here is a printable filled in 3 week checklist PLUS blank ones for you to fill in. Includes printable pages to go with the checklist, menu (breakfast, lunch, supper, snacks and desserts) and 17 recipes. 15 pages are included. This was made for a family of ten to stock up for 3 weeks. You may need to adjust your amounts accordingly.
Take An Inventory of What You Have
Use your checklist to take inventory of what you have on hand before you go on a shopping trip. Walk around your house and check what you have of each item. You could laminate your list and use a dry erase marker to write what you have next to each item, or just use pencil (like I do) and erase it next time before you start again.
List how many you need and have room to write what you currently have as well as what you bought today (sometimes there are limits on items at certain stores, so you need to remember how much you bought at each location on your shopping day, write this in as you get it).
Determine How Much You Need To Buy
Now determine how much you need to buy and write the number in that column. If you are already stocked up on that item, you can put “0” here. This helps you at the grocery store in determining how many to get. Also, if anyone accuses you of hoarding, you can truly explain that you are “only buying what FEMA recommends.” In my case, I tell them I have 8 kids, which I do, and their eyes get very big and they seem to completely understand (and sometimes pity me, “oh, you poor dear!”) and leave me alone. I am very thankful for my children on earth as I have had 4 miscarriages.
Keep Track of What You Have Bought
As you go from store to store (there may be limited supplies), write what you have bought, so you know if you have enough.
Am I Hoarding?
I know my ideas below may seem like “too much.” You may be thinking, “Why do I need a BIG bag of rice?” My Dad was a Cub and Boy Scout Master for over 13 years and his motto was, “be prepared.” The thing is, at this strange time, we don't know what will happen, here are a few to consider…
- supply chain issues
- possible quarantine
- food supplier shut down due to health restrictions
- an unsafe shopping environment due to hungry people looting
- unsafe weather conditions or roads blocked
- power outage
Do try to consider what items are a luxury and what are truly NEEDS if your budget is limited. Always get the food first.
Also, consider the ant… “Go to the ant, O sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise. Without having any chief, officer, or ruler, she prepares her bread in summer and gathers her food in harvest.” Proverbs 6:6 (ESV). I feel like this verse tells me that it is wise to prepare. So we are “being prepared,” not hoarding.
You don't want to over-buy and put others in danger, or use up your shopping money on too much of an item, when you could have bought what you needed for three weeks of that product and had money to buy the next thing you needed. Having a checklist helps you to take inventory before you go to the store so you can buy exactly what you need and know how often you need to go to the store to achieve it when limits are set in place so you can plan your shopping trips accordingly.
Stock Up Plan for the Pets
Please remember your pets when making your checklist. Include…
- nutrition/pet medications
- shampoos/hair products
- grooming tools (our local dog salon closed due to coronavirus recently, I had to buy some tools and learn on YouTube what to do! We have three dogs!)
- other items you normally buy for them
Plan for Health Needs
In Wisconsin, USA we are currently having a hard time keeping fever reducer medications on the shelves, for example.
- fever or pain reducers
- sore throat drops
Hair Care Products
Sadly, all of our hair dressers have had to close up shop during the pandemic. Here are some things to consider in case that happens again…
- hair cutting tools
- extra brush/comb
- styling agents
- styling tools
- hair color kits (I let my gray hair show, but my some of my dearest friends enjoy color)
Filters/Water Softener Salt
According to FEMA, to prepare for a biological threat (includes “virus”), they recommend getting a HEPA filter as they remove particles in the .3 to 10 micron range and will filter out most biological agents that may enter your house. Consider all your filters and water softener system…
- HEPA furnace/air conditioning filter
- water filters (refrigerator water filter, faucet water filter, pitcher water filter)
- water softener salt
Our dentist was only able to take emergency cases at one time. Do all you can to care for your teeth!
- an extra toothbrush
- floss/flossers/dental picks
- mouth rinses
- tooth pastes or powders
Eye Care Products
Even if your eyes are in perfect health, they may get dry and you could want eye drops. If not, please note that our local vision centers have posted signs like the one below and at one time, my daughter could not get new glasses!
- eye drops
- contact lenses
- extra set of glasses
- extra set of “reading glasses”
- glasses repair kit
- glasses cleaning kits
- glasses cleaning solution
Even if you can't sew, you can learn on YouTube how to sew on a button or repair a small rip. If you can sew, you could save a lot of money with this reusable popcorn bag tutorial rather than buying store bought microwave popcorn.
- sewing repair kit (includes thread, needles, the basics)
- sewing notions
- extra fabric scissors (not a good time to have one break!)
Other HBA Needs
- skin care
- aloe vera in case you get sunburned
- lip balm
- soaps, hand soaps
Don't Forget the Water!
Be sure to have some bottled water on hand or a way to have clean water. We have two sources of water we can walk to locally, I love that I could pour this through a filtered system, like the ZeroWater and be able to drink it. With all the people in my home, I don't know where we would find room to store how much water we would need. We do have the 40 cup one on our counter next to our faucet and use it everyday in our home anyways. Just remember to store lots of back up filters.
Consider Buying Reusable Products
Some stores are having shortages on baby wipes, feminine pads, toilet paper, paper towels, diapers, facial tissue and more. But you CAN buy all of these in reusable form and wash them just like in the old days. It would be wise to have enough on hand for two days, so you can use enough for today while laundering enough for tomorrow. Then you have no need to worry if they are not available in stores.
Since these are not common items, I like to get them handmade on Etsy. The links below are for your convenience to find these items FAST.
- NeededInTheHome Etsy Shop
- baby wipes
- feminine pads – called “mama cloth”
- toilet paper – called “family cloth” or “toilet unpaper”
- paper towels – called “unpaper towels”
- cloth diapers (I like to buy “all in ones” like these)
- facial rounds (cotton rounds, face washing pads, makeup pads)
- handkerchiefs or facial tissue
Check out my sewing tutorials to make your own reusable items HERE.
It's nice to have paper goods on hand.
- toilet paper
- facial tissue
- paper towels
- paperware (paper plates, paper bowls, plastic forks, plastic spoons, plastic cups)
- formula (even if you breast feed, in case you must be apart due to hospital stay or whatever, if child is under age 1) or alternatives (research powdered goat's milk.)
- bottled water to mix with formula
- diapers, reusable cloth diapers
- wipes, reusable cloth wipes
- burp rags
- baby soaps, shampoos
Consider Clothing, Outerwear and Shoes
- socks getting holes in them?
- will you need some seasonal clothing soon?
- anyone growing?
- anyone losing weight?
- what if we can't go to rummage sales?
- anyone need a winter coat for global cooling/warming?
- are we growing out of our shoe size?
- propane tank
- charcoal for grilling and a way to light it
- grass seed
- garden seeds
- garden/yard tools
- mower/trimmer in working order?
- fluids for mower, etc?
- generator, gas and oil for it?
Lighting, In Case of Power Outages
- lanterns and batteries or fuel
- candles and matches
I have been homeschooling my kids since 2004 and still am. I do have one child that attends public high school and he has had to do some online classes during the pandemic. Here is how to keep the kids educated during this time…
Teach all your kids American History at the same time right away in the morning while they are eating breakfast by reading the Laura Ingalls Wilder series of books – it's good for you too, in case you do need to learn how to churn butter, bake your own bread, etc. It's very detailed. The Little House Cookbook by Barbara M. Walker has recipes to try with your kids as science experiments/home economics. Let the kids play cards, do puzzles, draw, play with toys while you read anything to the group, just ask them to keep the noise down so they can hear. This works with grade K and grade 12, we all need to know how to prep / support ourselves, just in case.
Get the Comprehensive Curriculum Workbooks from Sam's Club. They have them in the stores from grades pre-K up to grade 6. There are sometimes several pages for a topic like Analogies. Have them pick one to do and cross out the extra pages if you think your child “gets it”. They have Reading, Math and Comprehension all in the same book.
Get a copy-writing book for them to copy handwriting in like the Pentime books sold by rainbowresources. When you are working with one child, have your other children either read a book, work on their own on the computer / tablet / ipad, do handwriting or art (coloring/drawing).
See What Else You Use and Need
Take a walk into each room of your house. Open the medicine cabinet, pantry doors, bathroom closet, everything and see what you may need if you can't leave your house for a while. I love this photo of one of my favorite authors, Joel C. Rosenberg, who had to quarantine in his own apartment when he returned from International travel at one time.
Consider Ordering Items Online
Consider ordering items online, but note that it may take some time before it is shipped to you. Some online sellers are currently experiencing delays. It may be best to order from someone on ebay or Etsy as many of them are sellers in there homes and can ship through the postal service, which is running well at this time.
Have the Items Delivered to your car or door
You can use Walmart Grocery and purchase your items online, schedule a time to pick up your items, let them know on your phone app that you are on your way and they bring the groceries to your car! At my local Walmart, I can put my trunk button to open the trunk for them and they load them in for me! I don't need to get out of my car! This is a great way to get my items and not have the kids and I get out of the car.
Wipe Down the Items With Disinfectant
Do your best so no one in your home gets ill. I watched a YouTube video that shows a great example of how to disinfect items coming into your home from the grocery store as well as take out food. I think we probably should do this no matter what type of virus is out there.
Stock Up For Three Weeks Plan for Food
- You need to make a checklist of each type of item that is needed for three weeks time.
- Use your checklist to take inventory of what you have on hand.
- Determine how much you need to buy.
- Write what you have bought, so you know if you have enough.
- Make a rough draft
- Make a store shopping list.
- Recheck your inventory before you go to the store again.
You can save a ton of time and buy my 3 Week Stock Up Checklist for Food (includes checklist, menu, and recipes – 15 pages total) and adjust it to your family size and preferences.
Or, I can send a free printable template checklist to your email for you to fill in with your own needs (for any size family, even a single person) by subscribing here.
- Here is a free printable blank checklist for you to fill in for any size family.
- Here is a printable filled in 3 week checklist PLUS blank ones for you to fill in. Includes printables for the checklist, menu (breakfast, lunch, supper, snacks and desserts) and recipes. 15 pages are included. This was made for a family of ten to stock up for 3 weeks.
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