The other day, I noticed this post.
So I went over to Wallyworld, to see what that'd cost if you did it.
(I do the shopping math, so you don't have to!)
First, the list, with my price tally over on the left side. Afterwards, the analysis.
1. Head to the nearest Wal-Mart and pick-up 20 lbs. of white or brown rice (white rice stores longer but brown rice is more nutritious) and 20 lbs. of pinto beans. White rice has a better storage life while brown rice has more nutritional benefits – your choice.rice $9.28
2. While you’re there grab 5 lbs. mixed beans, 5 lbs. of white sugar, 5 lbs. of iodized salt, one gallon of olive oil (can be frozen to extend shelf-life), 5 lbs. oats, 10 lbs. each of white or wheat flour and cornmeal.4# sugar $2.56
olive oil $31.96
oats none there
cornmeal none there
3. Now head over to the canned foods and pick-up 20 cans of canned fruits and 20 cans of canned vegetables. Be sure to buy only those brands and contents you normally eat and nothing exotic. No need to shock the senses.fruit $29.60
4. Now over to the canned meats. Pick-up 20 cans of various meats, salmon, stews, spam and tuna. Again buy only those brands with contents you normally eat and nothing exotic.meat $7.12
5. Okay. Now to the to the peanut butter shelf and toss two 40-ounce jars in the cart. The listed shelf life is just over two years and each jar has over 6,000 calories. Peanut butter is an excellent instant survival food.PB $10.96
6. Over to the powdered drink mix – go on I’ll wait…Okay, pick up two 72 Ounce Tang Orange drink canisters (provides 100% of the US RDA vitamin C requirement per 8 oz. glass). Also, grab six 19-Ounce Containers of Kool-Aid Drink Mix.OJ $20.00
7. Off to the vitamin and supplement aisle, pick up 400 tablets “one a day” multivitamin and mineral supplements. I buy this brand at the local Wal-Mart – comes in 200 count bottle for $8 each.vitamins $15.48
8. Now to the department we all love – sporting goods. Go to the camping aisle and pick up 4 five gallon water containers. Fill with tap water as soon as you get back home.jugs $51.88
9. While you’re there buy 250 rounds of ammunition for your primary defensive weapon. More if you can, but this will be a good start. Also a good universal cleaning kit.ammo $95.49
10. And while you’re in the sporting good department pick up the best flashlight you can afford, extra batteries and bulb. Also, grab two boxes of wooden matches and several multi-purpose lighters. Don’t forget to date, use and rotate – remember first in first out. Let’s get started. What would you add to the list?3D Maglite $49.97
11. Go to back the grocery department and pick up 5 lbs of powdered milk or the equivalent of canned, now go over to the next aisles and throw in 5 lbs of rolled oats and a case of Ramen noodles. Ramen noodles aren’t the most nutritional food but they are cheap, add bulk to the diet and store well – just don’t rely on them to provide all your nutritional needs. And don’t forget a good manual can opener.milk $21.94
oats didn't have
can opener $6.97
12. While you’re in the grocery department be sure to pick up an assortment of spices to taste, such as Basil, Chili powder, Cinnamon, Garlic, Sage, Marjoram, Oregano, Rosemary, Thyme and Black Pepper. Spices can go along way toward making unfamiliar foods palatable. Also, while you’re in that area add 5 or more lbs of salt to your shopping cart, as you know salt has 101 uses.spices $22.84
5# salt $4.20
13. Okay, counting what you bought during our first trip to the shopping center, that should do it for the grocery. Now go over to the area near the pharmacy and pick up 3 large tubes of toothpaste, 3 brushes, 100 double edge razor blades, (note: if you don’t have a razor you’ll probably have to order one from Amazon.com and don’t forget a brush and bowl), I’ve used this type razor for years and think it is a cheaper long-term solution than disposable.toothpaste $4.96
14. While you’re there, add the most comprehensive first-aid kit that you can find to your cart and don’t forget over the counter pain meds (Tylenol, aspirin etc.). If you’re a woman (or have one in your life) go over a few shelves and pick up enough “feminine” supplies to last three months or longer.FA $24.44
15. With all that food in your pantry its only a matter of time before you have to poop. I know, its shocking but we all do it. If you have a water source such as a stream or lake nearby you can still use the toilet in your bathroom, all you have to do is manually fill the tank in back and flush as usual. If this isn’t an option, you’ll need to look for other alternatives such as the Portable Toilets sold in the sporting goods department or making a sawdust toilet from a five-gallon bucket.
16. What’s next? You guessed it toilet paper. If you poop you need to wipe, if not you probably need to start. You could use a corncob, cloth, Roman sponge on a stick or paper from discarded books or newspapers but I would wager most of you prefer the softness of Angle Soft. Get enough to last at least a month, more if possible and remember women need more than men so plan accordingly.TP $16.98
17. While you are in that area of the store pick up a supply of disposable plates, bowls and plastic utensils. Don’t go overboard here but having a small stockpile of these items on hand can save a lot of water that would otherwise be used to wash dishes. Also add two or more gallons of regular, unscented bleach to your cart.plates $6.77
18. This is a biggie and can’t be done (legally) at the department store pharmacy without the signature of a doctor – that is stocking up on prescription meds. Getting more than a 30 day supply, at least in the U.S., can be difficult if not impossible. But there are ways to get most of what you need for long-term survival. See this post and this one and this book (note: some of the information in the book is dated but there is still good advice to be found).Rx meds $10
19. Now push your cart (man this thing is getting heavy) over to the hardware department of the store and pick up a carpenters hammer, vise grips, adjustable wrench, screw driver set, duct tape, electrical tape, axe, pry bar, crosscut saw, hacksaw and large can of WD-40. This is your bare minimum survival tool kit.tools $109.98
20. After you get your tool kit, go over to sporting goods and in the camping supply aisle pick up a propane camp stove and 5 or more 1 pound propane cylinders or a bulk 20 lb tank and hose adaptor – yes the pressure in the small bottles is the same as a 20 lb cylinder or even 100 lb tank, just be sure to get the proper adapter and hose assembly. Another alternative and the one I prefer is the Volcano Stove because I can use propane, wood and charcoal.stove $42.88
Volcano stove - didn't have
21. Okay, we are just about done – only a few more steps you’ll be out the door and heading home. You’ll need a way to keep in touch with your group so go to the electronics department and pick up the best two-way radios that you can afford – I have these. Don’t forget a battery-powered radio and extra batteries for both. While not necessary, I prefer a radio capable of receiving AM/FM and shortwave broadcasts – I have this one.
FRS walkie talkies $79.00
Total cost: $1167.26, + tax
There is nothing on this list that's a bad idea, per se. It's all useful and handy stuff, and you should have it, or something like it.
This is, at most, food for one for about a month.
If you tried to tote it all out in one trip, you'd need three minions, because it would fill four full-sized shopping carts, and weigh about 700 pounds.
That's a pick-up truck load.
If you're shopping for two, three, four or more people, the costs and size tally would grow appreciably. Breakfast would be oats, fruit, maybe pancakes or biscuits, and Spam. Lunch would be any dinner leftovers, and dinner would be meat, rice or beans, and veggies.
Spices help, but there's a lot of monotony there.
Anyone that isn't either 18 and broke, or retarded, should have put the listed tool kit together before they graduated high school.
This would be maybe what you'd need for a couple of weeks, after a flood, hurricane, earthquake, tornado, etc.
For the Zombie Apocalypse, it's barely a decent running start, and in a month, you'd starve and die.
And the list of things not on this list - that SHOULD be - would choke a cube van (and these things, too, are all readily available at WallyWorld):
cast iron fry pan
cast iron dutch oven
batteries and more batteries
solar patio lights
bag of onions
bag of potatoes
thread (by the pound)
grommets and setter
water purification tablets
fire starter sparker
fixed blade knife
.22LR ammo (now that it isn't unobtanium)
air rifle pellets
slingshot and ammo
and on and on and on.
That's just what I noticed walking around pricing the other stuff.
Yeah, the post noted briefly this wasn't an inclusive list. So why package it as "The 21 Things..."?? Cut it down to three: (eat, sleep, poop), or else call it the "First (of 300) Things You Need...".
If you want to use the original list, it's not bad. For some folks, it's a budget- and back-breaker. For a lot more, it's way too little.
And no way in hell should you ever think this is something you could do last minute, without a family the size of the Brady Bunch, and smarter than the characters in The Big Bang Theory.
Worst of all, a list of stuff is still just a List Of Stuff.
Stuff won't save your life, knowledge + stuff will.
And the best knowledge is that rather than slap-dashing your preps, and trying to pull them out of your ass at the last minute in a WallyWorld panic buying spree, work smarter:
Break your preps into Systems, not Stuff. And rotate through each one on a regular basis.
I.e., get all the water SYSTEM stuff at once, and have back-ups to back ups, e.g. bleach, water purification tablets, iron kettle for boiling, plastic sheeting for solar stills and rain catchment, water jugs and canteens, etc.
Next day/week/month/whatever, work on your stored food system, then your personal protection system, shelter system, food obtaining system, communication system, cooking system, power system.
Instead of buying 400 pounds of staples, try this: every week, buy an eighth day of canned food meals. Set it aside for tougher times. In a year's time, you'll have a 52-day food cushion, in cans that last from 3-5 years, if not far longer, and it'll be food you're already eating. Three years would give you six months back stock, which you could then rotate into use every week, and always have six months' food on hand. (Always feed your pantry first.)
Plan something like 14 days' different meals, break down the cans required to make it, and buy all the cans and items for one of those meals every weekly shopping trip. A day's meals, even for a family, is maybe $10-15, tops, in canned goods. If you can't scrape that much out of your weekly budget, you're already in bare survival mode now.
WallyWorld is regional. Commander Zero's store in MT stocks Mountain House #10 cans.
Mine, no way in hell.
One in MS or AL has cornmeal, or grits, or whatever.
One in Chicongo or CO, not so much.
Be aware of what you can (and can't) find in your area.
Chili is a life support system. Not including it on the meats list was a major faux pas.
Fish hooks and line will feed you just about everywhere on the planet.
Rat traps baited with peanut butter and staked down with cable or sash chain will feed a family eating nothing but tree squirrels on most of the North American continent, indefinitely.
Ditto bird seed used for pigeons, and a milk crate trap. Catch enough alive at once, build a dove cot, and you have a poor man's chicken ranch, and dove season is every week, no shells required. (Raising real chickens, and rabbits, would be even better.)
The bag of onions and potatoes are to plant, not eat. You'll survive on those pretty much forever, if you have dirt, water, and sunlight. With pigeon or squirrel added to the potato and onion, it's a pretty fair stew. And rabbit pellets are decent fertilizer when you compost it. Which grows you more potatoes and onions.
You could fit $100 worth of $0.20 seed packets into a cardboard banker file box, and they'd grow enough food for a small army for several years. After the fish hooks, line, and such, they're the second thing I'd grab in the apocalypse, if I wanted to eat next year and beyond. If you're really bright, you'd have sacks (or N2 or CO2-filled sealed canning jars) of the non-GMO non-hybrid heirloom varieties sitting around for that day, which would produce seeds endlessly, pretty much like they've done since Adam and Eve, or Thag and Og, depending on your personal beliefs.
250 rounds of ammo? I can't even.
Look at any mob you've ever seen.
I don't want 250 rounds, I want 250 cases. And more in the truck.
But if you're going to go that low, how's about 200 rounds for a rifle, and 50 for a pistol?
Along with a few boxes of assorted 12 ga. and a brick of .22???
Before I'd spend $30 for the flimsy toilet seat, I'd get a 4'x8' sheet of 3/4 plywood for about the same price, and one wooden toilet seat, cut and build a much sturdier toilet cube with lid, made the right height to slip a 5 gal. bucket inside, and have a solid toilet that I could close tight, that'd last longer, and keep the smell in and the flies out. I'd coat everything but the toilet seat, inside and out, with truck bed liner, and I could rinse or sponge wipe the whole thing any time I cared to, and seal the wood so nothing go into it, including splatter or splash.
The toilet paper was $16.98 for 36 rolls, and 18.97 for 20 rolls. Really. (Manager's Special - for public school graduates, no doubt.) Caveat emptor.
Gloves and safety glasses used during Tough Times will cut back drastically on using the First Aid kits. And you won't need nearly as many glass replacement eyes and prosthetic hooks and rubber fingers, when yours don't grow back.
$200 for razor blades, but $25 for first aid? WTF???
And also, you won't need to shave next spring, when you starve this winter.
The "best first aid kit" available at WallyWorld, or anywhere else, is a small plastic Tub Of Shit. It's a half-fast solution for lazy people, with substandard supplies in sub-optimal quantities, and a waste for any real-world use, unless you're stocking a life raft for a party barge or a float platform for the pond. Probably not even then. (But other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, how was the play?)
Build your own damned kit, better, bigger, and many times even cheaper. I think I've covered contents and training to use them a few times in the past. A first aid kit you didn't build is like a meal you didn't cook from eating out, because you don't know how to cook: an expensive luxury, added risks, and a sop to laziness.
While pricing this, I found two different Eton emergency radios (AM/FM/weather) at WallyWorld on markdown, one with a hand charging crank for $35, and one without it for $5. I bought them both on the spot. A decent emergency battery-powered radio for $5? Hell, yes. This is also why I walk out a piece like this in real life: serendipity.