We've been stockpiling long before a worldwide epidemic occurred and are often faced with the question of “How long to stockpile for” by beginners looking to start a stockpile.
In this post, we'll look at the questions you can ask yourself today to help you decide how much of a stockpile to create and how long to stockpile for.
An I'll share my own experiences in starting a stockpile, the questions we asked ourselves and where we are today in terms of emergency preparedness.
Remember, this stockpile is not just for the worldwide epidemic we are facing today but for any emergency in which you or your family may face in the future.
How Much Money Do You Have Available?
A stockpile should be created gradually over a period of time to not create financial strain over the short term.
For this reason, you should try and spend at least 10% of your monthly food budget on stockpiling items.
Let's assume you spend £100 on groceries a month.
However, you choose to either increase your grocery budget by 10% or spend 10% less on your ‘regular' grocery shop to allow for stockpiling.
That's an additional £10 towards stockpiling food every month.
So, after 10 months you should assume that you've a stockpile of around one month.
It's cost you £100, but the financial strain of that expense has been lifted by being created over a longer period of time.
You should also look towards deals and purchase a larger quantity when items are on offer – thus naturally creating a stockpile.
What Situations Are Going To Lead You To Need To Use Your Stockpile
Helen and I decided to stockpile mainly due to being self-employed.
Being self-employed if an invoice is late, or we incur an unexpected cost over an extended period of time we may struggle to pay bills.
We wanted to ensure that we had a cushioning to ensure we could not stop entirely, but certainly reduce our food bill without it heavily impacting our day to day life.
Ask yourself “Why might I need a stockpile in the future?”
It could be that you're self-employed, but could also be due to a remote location, poor weather conditions etc.
Consider everything life throws at you on a day to day basis. Even the things you think might never happen such as a worldwide pandemic or a job loss.
While I don't follow any religion what-so-ever. I have found an incredible number of resources on emergency preparedness and stockpiling is the Church of Jesus Christ Latter-day Saints.
We, therefore, believe aiming for a three-month stockpile for an emergency is very reasonable.
How To Build A Three Month Stockpile
I've already got some fantastic resources for understanding how to build a stockpile.
However, the key takeaway is certainly to try and build this stockpile over a period of time.
You'll be able to maximise discounts and deals and minimise your financial impact.
The easiest way to achieve this is to aim to set up a ten-day stockpile.
Once that's achieved try and go for a one month stockpile.
Then a six-week stockpile.
A two-month stockpile.
Before finally achieving a three-month stockpile.
Not only does building a stockpile this way help you reduce the financial costs, but it also helps you understand how you're going to store and use your stockpile on a day to day basis.
What To Stockpile
When looking at what to stockpile, you should consider the shelf life of a product.
We personally don't stockpile anything that has less than a 12-month lifespan.
Such as shampoos, conditions, handwash etc. all have no shelf-life so that's great.
It's always going to be used, and needed so we always try and purchase it when drastically reduced where we can afford to do so in our budget.
In terms of food, dried and canned goods last the longest so we always try and purchase reduced products of these wherever our family budget permits.
However, remembering that we will have to consume the food so that it doesn't go to waste during this time is important.
Buying 100 tins of tuna isn't a great idea if you don't like tuna.