Last Minute Preps

What are last minute preps? Imagine the shit has hit the fan and you didn’t bother to prepare. A pandemic is spreading across the country like a wildfire, maybe an earthquake has knocked out the power and water. Perhaps there’s been a terrorist attack and part of your town is in flames, or hyperinflation has hit a critical point where prices are rising throughout the day. If something like this occurs, you’ll have to run to the nearest grocery store and get what you can, while you can.

Unfortunately, you won’t be able to get everything you need to last for several months, but it might still be possible to get enough to ride out whatever disaster has occurred. Pull the kids out of school and keep your cell phone handy. You and your family will have to work together and keep in touch. If you own multiple cars, take them to the gas station caravan-style and fill up. Also buy some containers and fill them with extra gas.

On your way to the grocery store, call your doctor to renew any prescriptions you might need. When you get there, each of you should grab a different cart and take a different part of the list. Don’t get into fights with other last-minute shoppers. And if the store doesn’t have something you’re looking for, forget about it and move on. Maybe the next store you go to will have it.

You will need cash! First go to an ATM and withdraw as much as you can, or go to a store that offers cash back and get as much as they’ll allow. Some stores might not be able to accept plastic in this situation. Hopefully you already have a lot of cash on hand because if the power is out everywhere you just might be up the creek with no paddle.

The list is below. I suggest sending the kids or the wife to get the non-food items as more people will be fighting over the food and water.


Water, as much as you can get
Gatorade, several bottles
Rice, as many bags as you can
Beans, 20 cans
Dried beans, several bags
Vegetables, 10 cans
Tuna/chicken, 20 cans
Soups that don’t need water
Pasta, 20 bags
Pasta sauce, 10 jars
Mac & cheese, several boxes
Tomato paste, 20 cans
Jam/jelly, 3 jars
Peanut butter, 5 jars
Oatmeal, several bags/boxes
Crackers, several boxes
Mixed nuts, several containers
Energy bars, protein drinks
Coffee, tea
Sugar, several bags
Salt, big box
Powdered milk, several boxes
Vegetable oil, 5 bottles
White vinegar
Spices you use
Potatoes, 2 bags
Onions, 1 bag
Fresh fruit and veggies
Frozen meat
3 loaves of bread
Butter, 10 bars/tubs
Cheese, 10 bricks

Non-food items:

Prescription refills
N95 masks
Disposable gloves
Tylenol/acetaminophen, 3 bottles
Aspirin/Ibuprofen, 3 bottles
Soap, shampoo & conditioner
Toothpaste, mouthwash, dental floss
Vitamin C & multivitamins
Omega-3, antioxidants
Imodium A-D
Rubbing alcohol
Shaving cream and razors
Laundry soap
Dish detergent
Paper plates, plastic utensils
Paper towels
Toilet paper, 8 packages
Kleenex, 5 boxes
Garbage bags
Water purification tablets
Flashlights, 3
Battery-operated radio
Tools, rope, tape
Matches, 2 boxes
Lighters, 10
Batteries, 10 packs
Hand sanitizer
Propane cooking stove
Propane fuel, fire starters
Ready-made first-aid kit

Hopefully you’ll be able to get everything you need before your local grocery store shelves look like like ones in the picture above. So there you have it. If I left out anything important, let me know in the comments section below.

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  • azheat

    Great list! There are many more real necessities than what we normally think of. Other than the dairy and fresh vegetables, these are all items that we can create surplus of at home and rotate it.

  • Anonymous

    Exactly. You’re better off if you start keeping extra stuff on hand now so you aren’t racing to get all these things at the last second. Grabbing all these at the last minute would be really difficult and dangerous.

  • papa bear

    Hopefully people on this website will know that it is easier to stock up on these items ,and keep them storred, as part of their normal life. I would not send the kids looking for anything in a crissis situation.

  • DoomerSooner

    good list. What I did was put my list in order of how it is stocked at Sam’s. Yes I’m prepped (12 people good for a year) but, if there is a run on the grocery stores I might as well increase my preps. Sam’s is my 2nd stop after gas. Everyone in my family has this list of what to grab. A good run on the grocery store could double the length my preps would last.

  • Anonymous

    Even if you have preps, if the SHTF in a serious way, you will want to go to the store to use your dollars while they are worth something, and get as much as possible. This is a decent list, I would avoid most of the fresh stuff unless there is a riot going on in the can/dried section. Fresh foods should be cooked ASAP.

    Your advice to bypass conflict is VERY IMPORTANT.  

    My one disagreement is I would NEVER send children–people will be in panic mode, unless you beat the rush, and even then the rush could begin at any moment, if something happened to your child you will likely lose any supplies you got when you go to help/protect them.  In general, in a life and death situation you want to project strength, children can’t do that.  

    I would send adults and I would send them armed (concealed).

    I would also make sure you have a getaway driver and someone sitting shotgun (and yes I mean that literally).

    Remember people will want your supplies, not you, so if you are able to send two or three cars of people, park the people transports, but keep a designated supply transport car waiting for you and manned (for me its my F150).  LOADING is the most dangerous part of this operation so make sure you have one or two people (+ the driver) on overwatch pulling security as the rest load up the truck. I would also do this while fueling up!  Once loaded the supply truck should move to safety at a pre-arranged meeting spot while the people mover cars load up.  If you have multiple teams shopping walkie talkies would be IDEAL (just remember radio discipline as others may be listening) but you could also have your supply vehicle circle the parking lot picking up the various groups and theirs supplies as they come out.

  • JimJim

    Nice thought provoking article. I dont think the list is very helpful though (other than being thought provoking). I think it all depends on YOUR situation.

    Personally, I would grab peanut butter, tuna, and batteries no matter how much of it I had stocked.

    Im glad people are stocked for TEOTWAWKI or the post-apocalypse, but those don’t seem likely to me.

  • granmur

    Good point papa bear. I don’t believe it would be smart to even take them there. Things will more likely than not get very ugly.