National Preparedness Month is almost over. If you've been overwhelmed with THINGS-TO-DO, remember that your can start small. The little things really do add up. As recently mentioned by K of Planning and Foresight, a price book or list is an important tool in the process of living, and especially preparing, frugally. Here are a few examples from just the last week.
A neighbor's husband just got the good news-bad news. Good news was that he's not on the lay-off list. Bad news is that he's getting a 15% pay reduction starting 1 October. They are going through the process of reducing their family's overhead. We're close enough that we occasionally pick up things from the store for one another. They have a favorite brand of TP, for which I had coupons for $2.50 off 24 rolls at Target. I did the math in the store and found that it would be 60 cents a roll ON SPECIAL ($1 off 24 rolls), plus the $2.50 in coupons. Not sure about you, but my price target is the best I can find below 40 cents a roll for either of the 2 brands we find...acceptable. I couldn't bring myself to buy it for them. With a 'regular' price of 70+ cents a roll, assuming they use 2 rolls a week, that's an EXTRA $31.20 a year for TP. That will buy 25 pounds or beans or rice at Walmart. See how easy it is to be more prepared? Just switch TP -- you're going to throw it away anyway!
Try not to hurry through your shopping, either. When you have the time, proceed thoughtfully and pay attention. I was in K-Mart to pick up prescriptions and Dear Husband's Crystal Light Orange flavor, which was on special. I stumbled across Seattle's Best Ground Coffee 12 ounce bags on clearance for $2.00 per bag (about $2.70 per pound). The 'best by' dates are in April 2014. That price was way below my price for good coffee as an occasional treat, so I bought 3 and vacuum packed them.
We also mix cereals in a cereal container to balance cost and protein content. One-third is the more expensive high-protein cereal plus two-thirds Cheerios and/or Kellogg's Red Berries (all bought on special with coupons) can yield a 6 protein gram per bowl morning breakfast. Kellogg's Special K varieties were on special and had a 'buy 3 get 1 free' offer. I had $2 worth of applicable coupons for a total of less than $2 per box.
Having a little food and staples buffer stored allows you to buy when prices are low, rather than buy at whatever the price is when you run out of whatever.
If you haven't read these two recent posts, they are certainly worth your time and go into more detail about broader reasons and ways to be prepared.