MIAMI (CBS4) – Hurricane season starts every year on June 1 and that means it’s time to have your hurricane supplies ready, but in this economy having the money to get the supplies may be difficult.  Nonetheless, there are ways to keep you and your bank account fully supplied.

“We bring in a vendor that will give our employees a discount for hurricane or emergency supplies. I think 10-15% that’s across the board generators and everything,” said Vickie de Oro. She works for South Miami Hospital, which is trying to help employees stock up on hurricane supplies.

But the reality for many of us when it comes to getting ready for hurricane season is that we wait until the last minute, being forced to wait in long lines and dealing with empty shelves and higher costs associated with last minute shopping. It can also break the budget if you try to buy everything at once.

“My theory is the longer the line the shorter the common logic, common sense is going down, the line goes up you’re going to spend more,” said Sharon Harvey Rosenberg, the author of “The Frugal Duchess,” and a new book, “10,001 Ways to Live Large on a Small Budget.”

Rosenberg said said it’s doesn’t have to be that way if you plan ahead and know where to look for deals.

  • Budget a certain amount every weeks to stock up your hurricane larder.

“The idea is little by little use the sales, use the discounts, use the promotions, stock your counter, stock your cabinets and save money. I’ve been so surprised at what I’ve found in dollar stores,” said Rosenberg.

When it comes to water, Rosenberg said save and fill old jugs and containers with tap water instead of buying it. Designate an area just for supplies and don’t dip into them and check to make sure they’re not expired.

  • She suggested you might want to consider MRE’s, ready to eat meals; they’re not just for military anymore. MRE’s will run you an average of about $6. They sustain one person for entire day and they have a shelf life of 3-5 years. It’s much more economical and it’s nutritionally balanced.
  • Canned goods can be purchased on sale and have a good shelf life. Make sure you purchase foods your family will eat, so the supplied can be used if not needed for a hurricane.
  • Don’t forget at least one hand-operated can opener. You’d be amazed how many people do
  • Energy bars are often on sale, along with granola bars and similar products. They can be purchased in small quantities from January to June and easily stored.
  • Packaged cookies of a good shelf life and can provide a quick energy boost, as well as making the kids happy. Look for specials at dollar stores or 2 for 1 sales at the market.

However you get your supplies, whether early or last minute, experts said just make sure you get them and enough to sustain you and family if a storm hits.

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