Are you looking for last minute gift ideas? Would you like to encourage your family or friends to be a little more prepared without breaking the bank? Here are a few cheap or free ideas you can use that go along with the themes of our BabySteps. Pick one or two, or give them all! You can start on Christmas and go for 12 days, or just use it as a starting point for ideas. I hope this helps you think of some creative ways to share your love of preparedness with your loved ones this year.
DAY 1: Emergency Preparedness
Emergency Preparedness is always a great place to start. Print out our in depth Emergency Preparedness Plan that your loved one can fill out as a starting point for their family. Roll it up and tie a pretty ribbon around it and attach the Day 1 tags and labels to it. You could also include a personal note letting them know that you will be giving them some fun little gifts over the next few days to help them be more prepared.
DAY 2 – Shelving / Organization
I have two ideas for day 2. On this day we will cover shelves and organization so you can build a little rotating can shelf out of cardboard and stick the day 2 tags on it. Download the instructions here and you can even give them a copy so they can make their own additional units to fill their pantry. If you don’t have the time or patience to do this, you can opt to print out our Small Spaces Storage Solutions handout which gives lots of ideas on sneaky places to store food storage. Again, this can be rolled up with a cute ribbon tied around it and the Day 2 tags added to make it fun.
DAY 3 – Water Storage
Water storage is one of the most critical components of any preparedness or food storage plan. For today you can either recycle a few empty pop or juice containers and fill them with clean water, or you can splurge and grab a few little water pouches that can be great for 72 hour kits or car emergency kits. Depending on how many you buy they can be less than $0.50 each! Whichever option you opt for, add your Day 3 tag to make it cute.
DAY 4 – Three Month Supply
One of the first things people do to build a food storage is put together a 3 month supply of regular foods. Print out these worksheets to help someone get started on their 3 Month Plan. There is an Instruction Sheet, a Menu Plan Sheet and an Inventory Sheet. You will need to print the Menu Plan Sheet multiple times depending on how many different meals you want to plan. Put the printed worksheets in sheet protects or roll them up and tie a ribbon around them. Don’t forget to attach the Day 4 tag!
DAY 5 – Long Term Storage Education
Many people get overwhelmed by the concept of long term food storage. It’s confusing to know how much to buy, what to buy, and how to cook with it. Here is a handout that includes instructions and a simple food storage calculator that you can print out, tie a ribbon around, add the cute Day 5 Tags, and give to someone. This will help them determine quantities of foods to purchase based on their family size.
DAY 6 – Grains
Learning to use grains, and more specifically wheat is a great first step towards cooking with your long term storage. People often have a hard time using wheat if they don’t have a wheat grinder. If you haven’t tried making Blender Wheat Pancakes you are missing out! This is something easy you can make that uses wheat with no wheat grinder required. Put the ingredients in a baggie, tie a ribbon around it and a recipe card with instructions. Don’t forget to add the Day 6 tag as well. It wont cost you much, but will surely impress and motivate someone to use their food storage.
DAY 7: Legumes
The next skill to master with long term storage is learning to cook with beans/legumes. Legumes can be very intimidating to a lot of people so this is a great one to help people realize they aren’t so bad. Purchase a 1 lb bag of 12 bean soup mix from the grocery store ($1-$2). Tie a ribbon around it and include the Day 7 Tags. Include this 12 Bean Soup Recipe on a cute recipe card for them, it’s delicious!
DAY 8 – Baking Ingredients
Baking ingredients are necessary for you to be able to make a lot of recipes using your grains and legumes. Salt is one of those things that you run out of, and don’t necessarily think of storing. Find or buy a container of salt and make it cute with ribbons, or put it in a gift bag, and remind them that Food Storage isn’t just grains and legumes.
DAY 9 – Fruits and Vegetables
Purchasing or preserving fruits and vegetables should be an important component of your food storage supply. While not critical for sustaining life, fruits and vegetables are a welcome addition to any food storage program for the health benefits, variety, and to help you save money on your day to day grocery shopping. Gardening is a great way to become more self reliant. Try giving a few packs of gardening seeds to help motivate people to get going on gardening. If you know the person doesn’t have a lot of space, pick herbs, or things you can grow on kitchen counters.
DAY 10 – Comfort Foods
In times of crisis it’s important to have some great comfort foods on hand. This is a great day to buy for during the holidays since this kind of stuff is on sale. Even just a candy bar or 2 in your storage for just-in-case scenarios is great. Pick up the person’s favorite one and surprise them with a little treat to have in time of need (and tell them they can’t eat it right away, they have to store it Tie a cute ribbon around the candy bar and add the Day 10 Tags and you’re all set.
DAY 11 – Non-Food Items
Being prepared is definitely MORE than just having a food storage. We also need to consider all aspects of storage that are NOT food. We can’t forget the non-food items that are important and necessary to store not only for hygiene but also for cooking, cleaning, first aid, etc. Any inexpensive toiletry would be a great gift for this day (toothpaste, deodorant, etc.) Make it a cute gift by adding a ribbon and your Day 11 Tags.
DAY 12 – Beyond the BabySteps
Once you have completed the first 11 days for a friend, or family member, it’s time for them to keep the journey going themselves. To help them do that, we have our BabyStep Checklists. Have the person you are giving to sign up for our free email checklists. You could even sign up for them with their email address and print out the first checklist for their gift. The checklists last for one year and are sent every 2 weeks. After following the 26 checklists they will have a full food storage for one person.
-Jodi Weiss Schroeder