How to be Prepared Without Breaking the Bank
A couple months’ back we featured an article where we talked about preppng on a budget. Since then we have received a number of really good suggestions from our readers on how to prep with little to no money.
Here’s Some of our Readers Best Tips for Prepping on a Budget.
Become a DIY Expert – Start doing more DIY things, instead of buying pre-made foods start making bread from scratch, learn how to make your own laundry soap, learn to sew or knit, rather than throwing broken things out, try to fix them.
Look for Sales & Use Coupons – I only buy when it’s on sale, off-season clearance or I have a coupon.
Barter – Don’t forget about bartering. I try to barter for just about everything. I’m a handyman so I can often trade my services for gear, food, or whatever it is that I might need.
Be Self Sufficient – A good way to prepare yourself, gain skills and save money is to find ways to be more self-sufficient. You could plant a garden or look in to getting a couple of multi-purpose farm animals, goats, chickens, rabbits, etc..
Simple goals like a little planter box garden, canning, practice making fresh homemade bread, learning to sew the holes in your socks rather than buying new ones right away.. Those are things a lot of people don’t know how to do
Buy Generic – When buying food supplies, go to the stores that have a larger consumer base. The higher turnover rate of goods will get you fresher food than stores with a lower inventory turnover rate. Also, store brand foods are, in most cases, much cheaper than the national brand, and just as good. If you intend on buying a lot of something, test it out first though. But if you can’t taste a difference in one can of something over another, buy the cheaper one. Store brands are very often made by the national chains, and can be had for 2/3 or even 1/2 of what a name brand costs. The savings add up.
Prep With Knowledge -Those who prep with knowledge will be far better off than those who rely solely on their gear to survive.
Buy Multi-purpose Items – When buying items, look for things that can serve more than one purpose. Multi-purpose items like duct tape, bandanas, cordage, rubbing alcohol, iodine, and tarps have a huge number of uses, and are relatively cheap.
Live a Healthier Lifestyle – Work on improving your health and getting off medications. You do not want to be in a position where you have to take 5-10 pills a day (or more!) just to sustain life.
Prep for the Most Likely Disasters First – Many beginner preppers spend a lot of time and money on non-essentials, or in other words gear that is only practical in a certain survival situation. The moneywise prepper will analyze the potential disasters or scenarios which are most likely for their location and build around that model first.
Example: when in lived in Alaska the greatest danger was long-term power outage combined with extreme subzero temps. The wise preppers made sure that their heat sources weren’t all dependent on electricity and that their food stores could be frozen and thawed out without destroying them. In most places longer term (1 week to 3-4 months) power outage is a very real threat. First think about the likelihood of the proposed scenario happening and cross it with the severity. Red dawn is a scary scenario but probably (IMO) not as likely as hurricane/flooding/power outage on the east or gulf coast.
Prioritize and Rearrange - My family minimized our monthly bills by getting rid of our cell phone plan, we were paying $250 a month, we now have a couple prepaid phones that cost $30 each a month. We downsized our cable bill by bundling it with our internet. Ultimately we cut our monthly bills by over $300 a month, just buy prioritizing and rearranging.
We also took a look at our luxury items, for example, we had gaming systems and flat screen TV’s out the wazoo, we decided as a family to only keep 1 xbox 360 and 1 tv in the whole house. That was huge for my husband and kids! We sold the rest on craigslist! So selling things that you don’t need might be a good way to get preps that you may not otherwise be able to afford.
Thrift stores, Craigslist & Garage Sales – I hit garage sales almost every weekend. This is one of the best ways to grow your preps when you’re on a tight budget.
Just make sure you know how to protect yourself when using sites like craigslist.
Cook Like Grandma – It just common sense to cook like Grandma did! I save hundreds of dollars a year by stocking up on staples and cooking with her Depression Era recipes.
We eat “stick to your ribs farm food.” You know, the meals that provide energy for hard work, and filling enough to last you all day long. That is the kind of cooking people need to learn.