Prepping on a Budget
We often see people on the popular show “Doomsday Preppers” who have a seemingly unlimited budget for prepping. Some have bought abandoned missile silos, fully stocked farm, military vehicles and night vision equipment that cost more than many people cars. It is true that those people made priorities out of those preps, but they had to have the available income to make those purchases in the first place. Especially in today’s economy, that just is not possible for everyone.
Learn to Budget and make Cuts
So if you are just barley making ends meet, that that mean you should just give up? Not at all! There are tons of things that you can do put yourself in a better position if things get bad. If you are working with a limited income, it will require some dedication and sacrifice. For starters, you have to make a budget. It is imperative that every household has some means of tracking how much money is coming in and how much is going out. It is not enough to say “there is nothing left at the end of the month so the same amount is going out as is coming in”. That is not an acceptable answer. You have to list all sources of income. Then you must list each individual expense. If you have never done this, it will take some time to get it all together. Check out our “Budget” post to learn more about getting your finances in order. Once you have your expenses listed, you can start thinking about areas that can be cut. Do you need all those channels in the premium cable package? If you cut soda out of your grocery bill how much would you save a month? Are you using coupons? Don’t tell me they don’t have coupons for the things you use. There are coupons for just about everything. When matched with store sales like “buy one get one” deals, coupons can be fantastic. Check out our “Coupon Corner” to learn more about couponing.
Spend it Wisely
Now you have cut the grocery bill by $$10 a week with coupons and the cable bill by $20 a month right? Where ever you have been able to make a few cuts, that money can now be put to good use. First, you need an emergency fund. Dedicate half of the savings to funding that rainy day account. The other half, we can be very frugal and build up a basic survival kit. A cheap way to quickly build up some emergency food is by purchasing dried beans and rice. Dried beans can be as little as $1 per pound and rice can be as little as $7 for a 20lb bag. 10lbs of beans and 20lbs of rice will keep you alive for about 20 days. The total cost is $17. Can you come up with that? Now, water purification. It is worth it to get a good filter, but you can make one yourself. All you need is two buckets, sand gravel and charcoal. One bucket will act as your filter and the other as the catch. Put a few small holes in the bottom of the filter bucket and you are good to go. Arrange the filtering materials as in the diagram below. You can also treat the water with bleach, 8drops per gallon before running it through the filter.
Thanks to Survival Guy for the great diagram!
Gear on a Budget
There are several places to pick up cheap gear. Second hand stores often get used camping gear which they unload for cheap. Craigslist is always full of deals on just about everything. In these economically challenging times, many people will sell older guns at gun shows. You may be able to pick up a shot gun for under $100. It may not be the tricked out AR-15 that you dream of, but it will make you a harder target if it hits the fan.
Having to get prepared on a couple hundred bucks may not put you in a decked out under ground bunker, but it can significantly improve your odds of survival if you spend it wisely. Keep adding to your preps and your emergency fund a little at a time. Perseverance will take you a long way.