It’s the flu season again, and if any of you are like me, you’ve already gone through a few boxes of tissue. Have you found that in the last few months your grocery list usually includes cold and cough medication, pain relievers, cough drops, and vapor rubs? Isn’t it interesting that even though we know we’ll need most of these items over the next 4-6 months, when the air cools and the noses start to sniffle, we can’t seem to find it anywhere in our house.

When we think of medication and food storage, most of us immediately think of that standard First Aid kit sitting in our closets or pantries. While this is a very important tool, having a supply of some of the everyday medicines we use can be just as important. Today, we’ll take a look at some of the basic medicines we can all store, why we should store them, and how we can better improve our medical storage pantry.

What medicines should I stock up on?

As we mentioned above, having a basic First Aid kit in all of our emergency and food storage supplies is a must! This kit should have everything we’d need in case we do run into a physical emergency, such as bandages, wraps, disinfectants, and other supplies. But the items we can improve on are the one’s that many of using everyday. Basic pain relievers such as aspirin and Tylenol are items we use often. I’d call them the Hard White Wheat of your medical storage pantry. You know you’ll be using them a lot, so stock up heavily.

Flu medications, cold and cough medicines, and other seasonal items are important to grab. Remembering to purchase these items in the summer months can keep you from making numerous trips to the store when winter hits. Remember too, tissue and toilet paper are also items you may need during that time.

Do you or a family member have any prescription pills you take regularly? If so, this is definitely a medicine you’ll want to stock up on. Talk to your physician and see what options are available for getting and keeping up a 2-3 month supply of your prescriptions.

Why do I need to store medication?

The reason for storing up some of these basic medications is the same reason we build up and maintain our food storage pantry’s. To prepare for the unknown emergency or event. Whether it is a natural disaster, family emergency, a loss of job, or even something as simple as a 3-day cold, having what you need now can help you and your family get through whatever may come.

How do I build up and improve my medical storage pantry?

There are a lot of little things that we can do right now to help us better our medical storage. The biggest step we can take is that of organizing. If you’re anything like me, your medical storage currently consists of a cabinet cluttered and disorganized with various medicines that all seem to fall out every time you open the door. Think about it, if we spend so much time organizing our food storage pantry so that we can know what we have, how old it is, and when it needs to be re-stocked, why haven’t we done this with our medications? Taking time to organize our medical cabinet our pantry, in the same fashion as our food storage pantry, can drastically improve our medical storage needs.

Another tool we can incorporate is spreading out our purchases of medications and supplies. Instead of trying to build-up our medical storage all at once (which can cost a small fortune), buying 1-2 items here and there can allow us to stock up without draining our funds. Keeping our eyes peeled for discounts and purchase generic brands can also keep costs down.

Remembering to purchase items before we need them is also a great idea. Purchasing cold and cough medications in the summer months can keep us from making a trip during the cold winter days.

Medical storage, just like food storage, is all about you. You know the best medicines and supplies for your family, so focus on that as you stock up. Make it personal and both you and your family can be better prepared for whatever happens.