Preparedness Challenge: May Week 2

During the month of May, many condiments, sauces and spices go on sale in preparation for summer barbecues and family gatherings. Take advantage of those sales and stock up condiments for the second May preparedness challenge. Be careful. No one needs 24 bottles of ketchup. Personally, I keep one item in the refrigerator and one on my shelf, and more of a few items like mayonnaise or BBQ sauce. The choice is yours. Imagine a tuna fish sandwich without mayo!

1. Decide Which Condiments to Store

  • Look in your refrigerator and kitchen cupboards and take an inventory of condiments you normally use such as ketchup, mustard, relish, pickles, mayonnaise, steak sauce, BBQ sauce, soy sauce, teriyaki sauce, salad dressings and vinegar.
  • Toss any expired condiments and clean your refrigerator and cupboard shelves. Put usable items back in your refrigerator.

2. Buy a 3 to 12 Month Supply of Condiments

  • How much you store will depend on your finances, storage space and family needs. You could store a 3-month supply or a year’s supply. Or a mixture. Three bottles of BBQ sauce might be a year’s supply for me, but only a 3-month supply for a larger family. One bottle of Tabasco sauce would definitely last us one year.
  • Think about how fast you go through each of your items and set a goal of how many you would like to gather. Then start shopping.
  • I’ve found great deals at my local grocery store when I combine sales and coupons in May. Sometimes I buy store brands and sometimes name brands. Sam’s Club and Costco also have picnic pack items.

3. Research The Shelf-Life of Your Condiments

  • Condiments sometimes have a shorter shelf-life than you think. Take a few minutes to go to and find out how long your items last on your shelf and when opened. It may surprise you.
  • Go to and review the items you should throw away after a power outage. That’s very important to know. 

Best wishes on your preparedness goal this week. Be happy, stay healthy.

Valerie Albrechtsen
The Food Storage Organizer

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