Establishing baselines

Discussion in 'General Preparedness Discussion' started by Jason, Jan 13, 2010.

  1. Jason

    Jason I am a little teapot

    This is geared toward the prepper newbies, among which I count myself. We have started writing the date we purchase and/or start to use items to see how long they last, especially items which last a while, like laundry soap, toothpaste, etc. We do this to establish baselines to see how much of a given product we need to last a month, year, etc. That way our limited money can go to needed items. Instead of 3 years' worth of mouthwash and a month of 2 cycle oil, we can judge when to buy what, and how much. You old timers no doubt figured this out years ago, but like I said, I just wanted to throw it out there for the newbies.
  2. *Andi

    *Andi Supporting Member

    I do that because I'm getting old(er) and can't remember --it:)

    Good point.:2thumb:

  3. Lake Windsong

    Lake Windsong Well-Known Member

    Good point!

    Nice plan. Guessing how much you use of a product will sometimes surprise you.

    A lot of people just starting out get overwhelmed at their goals, baby steps get you there. Once you've been prepping for a while, you figure out a system that works for your family. It's always good to reevaluate your priorities from time to time as your family changes (kids born/leave home, health needs such as medicine/diet) to make sure your still on track with your goals.
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2010
  4. bunkerbob

    bunkerbob Supporting Member

    Jason, that is really a great idea, never thought to do that on hard goods, just food.
    Again that is why we are here on this 'forum', ideas, ideas, ideas.
    I will start today, never to late.

    Thanks again.
  5. NaeKid

    NaeKid YourAdministrator, eh?

    For re-usable containers, I use a Dymo label-maker to mark the product and date. A re-usable container would be something that holds food that I make myself (soup, stew, chili, etc) that end up in the freezer, can be cleaned and re-filled. The label comes off easily enough that I feel that I do not damage the container.

    For throw-away containers, I have a permanent marker that I will write the date on and if there is an expiry-date I will make it more noticable. This works for commercial-products like Campbell's soups, ketchup, rice packed in plastic-bags, etc.

    I was thinking about purchasing an inventory-system (bar-code-scanner / printer) for the home and anything that comes in is scanned in, inventoried and when used, is scanned out of inventory. Any homemade products would receive a custom barcode for date-tracking. I am still looking for a reasonably-priced system to do that.
  6. bunkerbob

    bunkerbob Supporting Member

    Naekid I use different color china markers(grease pencils) to mark the top of reusable containers.

    You are way to hi-tech for me. I just use printed inventory sheets to keep track, hang on clipboard, old school.
  7. Vertigo

    Vertigo Member

    If I were you, I wouldn't try that system. Apart from the fact that it is a very pricey system, which needs a lot discipline to be maintained, consider these things:

    - One day you are out of the stickers you use to print barcode's on. Oh never mind you say and just put the goods in your stocks and you never remember to actually put them on again.

    - Every now and then it will happen that something that was scanned in, will not be scanned out, because you wanted that cold beer now... not after you have run it through the whole system. This means that every week or so, you will be obliged to do a maintenance check on your inventory system, to see if any wrong data is present. And trust me the 'weekly hunt for ghost objects' gets really tedious after a while.

    - Or maybe some friends/family come over, apart from having to explain why you are scanning everything that you are bringing to them for refreshments, there will be moments where they will 'go get something' and will not scan.

    But, that's just my idea. Unless it really is someone's business/job to have and maintain a very tight inventory control, there is almost a 99% chance most people will fail at consistently keeping it up.

    my 2cents,

    Last edited: Jan 15, 2010
  8. Vertigo

    Vertigo Member

    What actually would be a better/easier system, would be to get yourself a scrapbook and use it to collect all the shopping tickets you get when you pay. Just when you come home, you add it to the back of the scrapbook and then after the year has passed and you believe you did a good job of consistently keeping track and adding every ticket to it, just sit in front of your computer for a day or two and start typing in excel.
  9. sinbad

    sinbad Well-Known Member

    In addition to Vertigo's and other points t consider is that fact that such a bar code system requires electric power , which may disappear in an emergency and you wont have a clue what you have in your pantry.

    I have shifted from e-planning to old technology of paper and pen for most of my daily TO Do lsiting and such types of planning. It is easier, goes with me everywhere and never needs batteries or recharging. I only use pens of different colors and used papers ( I use the other side for TO Do lists and other such stuff.

    This way, I think SHTF can't disturb my plans or blind my tracking system.
  10. sinbad

    sinbad Well-Known Member

    OOPS! Forgot the original subject: Baselines

    Actually, I haven't tried since my DW is not really onboard with me in planning & prepping. I did some baseline study on the side which I control which is money. I have found my upper and lower limits of monthly expenses. I really wish I can find a baseline for the family consumables but my DW will think I am gone nuts.

    Well, she already thinks I have. LOL
  11. greaseman

    greaseman Well-Known Member

    Just ask your old lady, they can tell you how long everything lasts, if they've been buying the groceries for a while. if you have a teenage boy at home, a box of cereal last about 2 days if you're lucky. Two teenage boys can eat $75 worth of groceries in 2 or 3 days. If they bring their friends over, they will eat everything you have in your house.

    So, baselines?? if you have teenagers at home, there are no baselines. Nothing last long enough to establish a baseline.
  12. pdx210

    pdx210 Well-Known Member

    Focus on important basic needs not overpriced junk cut out the expensive crap you can make basics like toothpaste & laundry detergent here's a basic home recipe for toothpaste.

    6 teaspoons baking soda
    1/3 teaspoon salt
    4 teaspoons glycerin
    15 drops peppermint or wintergreen extract

    Baking soda 50 pounds cost for about $45.00...good for many uses cleaning as a scrubbing/ polishing agent, deodorizer, good for cleaning food containers, coffee pots, boosts detergent cleaning properties

    glycerin 1 gallon 27.00 used for all manor of personal care, lip balm, skin moisturizers, soaps food additive in some foods & beverages and of course nitroglycerin

    Salt. do we need to go here?

    Peperment oil 4oz for 10.00

    you can make many years of toothpaste for what you spend in a year same with laundry detergent which is 90% water!

    Chemicals A-Z by The Chemistry Inc
  13. SaskBound

    SaskBound Well-Known Member

    Remember to re-do your tracking when your situation changes. For instance, a bag of dog food used to last us about 3 months. We kept a couple of extra bags around for emergency situations. Then, we went and got another big dog. now a bag of dog food lasts about a month. Guess what just got urgently added to the grocery list?
  14. Jason

    Jason I am a little teapot

    That's a good point, Saskbound, and we are in a state of constant situational change as our toddler son grows. He'll just quit eating something he used to love and he eats larger quantities all the time. And I'll not even discuss how fast he outgrows clothes. We get most of his clothes (as well as DW's and mine) from thrift shops because it'd be a fortune keeping him in new clothes that fit.