Many preppers have income resources that allow them to spend what they want on emergency preparations. However, survival is not the domain of the rich. Many preppers have limited budgets and have to squeeze every ounce of preparation that they can out of every dollar. I would say that most of us fall into that category. If you do, here are some ideas to allow you to get more prep for your buck (or Euro, or Pound, or whatever).
Prepping is one of those projects that tend to be never-ending. If you are serious about preparing for serious emergencies up to and including The End Of The World As We Know It, you will probably never reach the point to where you can kick back and say, “O.K. I’m done. I am totally prepared”
But prepping doesn’t have to be a life and resource draining project either. Especially when you are first starting out. If you are first starting out, I recommend you read my Beginning Prepper Series.
Before you begin spending money, you need to sit down and carefully think about what you are prepping for, and develop a plan. You need to decide what things you need and in what priority order you need to acquire them. A basic 72hr bug out bag should be first on your list. Then go from there. Make a list of the things you will need, update it frequently and make sure you prioritize the items on it.
Do an Inventory of What You Already Have
Take stock of what you have on hand that you can use. You may not have the money right now for a first class bug out bag rucksack, but a small old suitcase, or even your old Army duffel bag will do for now. Look at everything you have that can substitute and fill in until you save the funds to buy a first class item. Most people have more usable gear than they realize. Be creative. Clean out the garage and closets and you will be surprised at the usable things you have that you forgot about.
Establish a Budget
You should already have a functional household budget, and your prepper budge will simply be a part of it. Be realistic about how much you can budget for each month. Are there ways you can cut costs in other areas that you can add the money to your prepper budget? Do you really need that Starbucks coffee before work each morning? How many cable channels do you actually watch? Once again, be realistic, and don’t shortchange other vital necessities just to prep.
Where to Shop
You would be surprised at the great deals you can get for usable items at a seriously reduced cost. Look in the Dollar Store. Check out the Goodwill store. Flea markets and yard sales are also great places to look. Check the “For sale” listings in your local paper. A lot of people will buy camping gear, use it once and decide they don’t like camping and will sell their stuff dirt cheap to get it out-of-the-way. This may sound odd, but occasionally check the local dumpster where you live. People who are moving will often throw perfectly good items away to save moving space. Craigslist and Freecycle are great ways to get things other people want to give away.
Start collecting coupons and use them. The money you save will little by little add to your prepper budget. Consider buying in bulk at outlet stores such as Sam’s Club or a Co-Op. Insure you store your items correctly for long storage life.
The gray matter between your ears is the most valuable prepping tool you have. Stock up on knowledge before you stock up on things. There are a tremendous number of books on the market that will cover this subject in-depth.
Take Your Time and Be Steady
Rome wasn’t built in a day and your preps won’t be either. Be steady and methodical about your prepping. If you can only afford one extra can of food when grocery shopping, that is one more can than you had before. You will be surprised at how quickly your preps will build up over time.
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