You do not have to be in a preparedness calling to help your neighbors with group buys, and aren’t we all in this together, anyway? If you need something for your own food storage or for preparedness, look into doing a group order. Ask if a business will give you a cost cut if you buy and what is the minimum. Most often, it’s less expensive to buy as a group and people are more apt to prepare if you make it ultra easy for them to do so. If it’s something online and you can get a large enough order, most of the time, you can avoid shipping. Even a store like Home Depot has price cuts for bulk buy of certain items (e.g. heavy duty plastic to cover windows if there is an earthquake.)
The key to success with a group order is to stay organized and to give people two weeks to sign up and pay. Two weeks gives them time to decide, as well. Don’t go longer than that, as people tend to stop listening. Design a sign-up sheet with the info people need and make lines for them to sign if they want to buy it, including the quantity they want and the total they owe you – see example below.
You will have to take care of collecting all the money yourself, which means you will probably have to call a few people a couple of days in advance to give you their money – it always happens, as we’re human and forget. I usually have them make the checks out to me, since I have to pay for what they order with my own credit card or with cash. Therefore, do not buy anything that people have not already paid for, even if they say they’ll pay later. Also, if you’ve given them enough notice of when to pick up (two days before the product is coming so they get a chance to see their email notice from you), kindly insist they pick up their product within a certain window. Practice patience and remember the times you have not done what you said you’d do. :)
Over the years, I've done group orders for:
- Honey (several times)
- Grain (steel-cut oats, included)
- Olive Oil
- Dehydrated veggies and fruit in #10 cans
- Freeze-dried fruit and veggies in #10 cans
- Real Salt
- Nuts and Peanut Butter (every year for years)
- Bulk Spice and Herbs
- Canning Lids & Rings (several times)
- Cacao Nibs
- Clear Heavy Plastic Sheeting (earthquake prep)
- Extra-wide Gorilla Tape (to tape the sheeting to the windows)
- Collapsible lanterns
- Battery adaptors that turn three AA batteries into a C or D battery
- Pump 'n Seal (a product from Wyoming that takes air out of bottles)
- Wheat Grinders
- Water Barrels
- Food Storage Buckets
- Lid lifters
- First Aid Kit
We recently made fire starters. We plan to make Wonder Boxes. A zillion other DIY projects are possible.
Teach Gardening and Canning:
We've taught people how to can chicken in groups and personally. We've had heirloom tomato tasting. We've gone to the Home Storage Centers as a group.
Encourage, Cheer Them On, and Keep Smiling and Trying!
Anything you need, included someone else and bless their life.