Prepping has started to become a hot topic with the way world events of 2020 and 2021 have played out. If the last 1.5 years has taught us anything, it’s that anything can happen at any moment that could disrupt your ability to provide safety and supplies for you and your family.
Here are some helpful tips to start prepping on a budget.
1.Start With Food and Water Procurement
Attempting to prep while keeping expenses reduced is everything about efficiently prioritizing what you get. There are many prepping gear and supplies that you can get that will certainly make your life a little easier but aren’t nearly as important as other things.
Food, Water & Shelter Are Your Most Important Priorities.
No matter how well thought out your plan is is or what fancy survival equipment you have, none of that matters if you are without food and water for an extended period of time. Dehydration can kill you within days, and lack of food will most certainly hamper all other prepping efforts due to lack of calories.
That’s why the most important things to focus on are food and water supplies when prepping on a budget. This isn’t a location where you want to sacrifice top quality or performance for saving a couple of bucks. It’s far better to save cash in various other areas.
In reality, it’s not going to cost you an arm and a leg to start stocking up on long term food and water supplies. You can create a really solid prepper food storage system that will adequately fit your short and long-term requirements without crushing you financially.
Canned goods and dried food such as homemade beef jerky or dehydrated fruit are affordable places to start. Depending on your spending plan, these can last you a significant amount of time as well as offer you the adaptability to begin exploring more sustainable long-term alternatives like creating your own food sources such as a garden or livestock.
Water can be acquired wholesale and stored quite easily as well, just make sure it is stored in approved food grade containers and keep it in a climate controlled environment away from sunlight.
Having water filtration equipment handy is also a good idea, and worth it’s weight in gold as a backup plan.
It will also help sustain you if you need to “bug out” from your primary location, or you need to deviate from your preliminary plan (a lot more on this later).
When all is said and done, if you don’t have enough daily calories to survive and a steady supply of fresh clean water, it does not matter what else you do. Make sure you have sufficient food and water supplies set apart prior to proceeding to the other things.
2. Stick With Important Supplies
As we’ve currently established, discovering exactly how to begin prepping on a budget has everything to do with your success later on. Now that you have your food and water supplies setup and stored away, it’s time to look at the other gear and equipment necessary for a good prepping plan.
It’s very easy to get sidetracked by “shiny object syndrome” with all the cool, sexy survival gear out there on the market today . That’s why we recommend hitting the basics initially if you have a restricted spending plan.
Below are some examples of inexpensive supplies that make the cut. It’s never complete (we’ll create a full list afterward) but it will certainly obtain you heading in the ideal direction.
+ Comprehensive first aid kit— Prepackaged kits are usually overpriced and not complete. Best to create your own. Should include various types and sizes of dressings, gauze, disinfectants, medication, splints, crutches, needles and thread for stitches, etc.
+ Paracord— the king of versatility, it can be used for too many projects and tasks to list.
+ Tarps— very versatile as well, with a multitude of uses.
+ Tools, tools and more tool — You can NEVER have too many tools. Start with the basic hand tools such as hammers, saws, wrenches, etc, and work your way out from there. Don’t forget oft neglected items such as a wide variety of nails, screws and other fasteners.
+ Duct tape— will always serve you well and can be used to fix just about any problem you may encounter.
+ Fuel— a stored supply of fuel for chainsaws, generators, vehicles, etc. Make sure you use proper containers and add a stabilizer for longer term storage.
+ Candles— Light for if the power grid goes down and you don’t have auxiliary power.
3. Locate An Affordable (Or Free) Bug Out Place.
One of the most daunting parts of prepping from an economic standpoint is the idea of buying and choosing the ideal bug out area.
Ideally you DON’T want to be near any heavily populated area during a natural or man made disaster, or any other catastrophic event, being isolated is the much better alternative (although not necessarily TOO isolated).
Initially, you have every prepping and survival expert telling you that you need to obtain your own piece of land in order to be prepared should a catastrophic event occur.
It is among one of the most dependable ways to secure the safety of you and your family members, and provide you with the means to ensure short term (or longer) survival, depending on the severity of the situation.
While owning your own piece of rural property is optimal and will allow you the most flexibility in a catastrophic event, it’s not always economically feasible.
Buying land can be extremely expensive, depending on the location and what your needs are. Because of these factors, purchasing property can out of the question for a lot of people.
So what can you do?
Luckily, there are sites such as LandWatch where you can conveniently try to find undervalued land to acquire.
There is a TON of land that lots of people do not intend to get because they’re taking a look at it from the opposite point of view you are. They want to be close to a shopping mall, food store, movie theater, and so on and so forth.
However you want the exact opposite.
All those modern amenities are pointless in a SHTF situation, and it puts you too close to other individuals.
Instead, look for the cheap things. Filter and also search by place to find an area that’s further from urban centers, preferably out in rural areas where you can grow a garden and raise livestock. As a bug out location, you want it to give an excellent buffer range, yet not so far that you need to travel for days to reach it.
There’s a number of remote residential or commercial property up for grabs on these sites that will not cost you an arm and a leg, you just need to spend the time and do the research to find them.
Another alternative method to obtaining a bug out location is to seek public land you can hide away in. This is obviously a lot more economical than purchasing your own land, but the actual procedures to accomplish this will vary due to the local laws in your area..
It’s very important that you have some experience (or do the necessary research) on how to construct a basic long-term survival sanctuary such as a rudimentary cabin or yurt if you plan on relying on using public land, as you will be unable to construct something long-term like a traditional house on public land.
4. Don’t Skimp On Your Bug Out Bag. How Good Your Location Is Will Be Irrelevant If You Don’t Have The Necessary Supplies To Get To It.
One of the things that you do not want to be stingy on is your “bug out” exfiltration plan. This means your bug out bag containing your essential gear, as well as any sort of transport you’ll be using to guarantee that you as well as your household are able to make it to your bug out location.
I won’t go into great detail into creating a bug out bag in this post, however here is an awesome comprehensive resource that goes into great detail on how to put one together.
Remember, you could have a wonderful bug out location all picked out, stocked and ready to live there, yet if you don’t have what you need to actually get to that location it will not matter.
Luckily, a lot of these products have been mentioned previously in this post. Things like water, food, first aid, garments, fire-starting products, and shelter can be picked up in a very cost effective manner and stored away in a backpack, ready to be used at a moment’s notice.
It’s likewise essential to consider your transportation also. Maintaining the health and integrity of whatever mode of transportation you plan to use is extremely important. It’s no good to have your location prepped and ready and a bug out bag ready to go, but when the SHTF your vehicle won’t start.
Invest what it takes to maintain your car, truck or other mode of transportation, and make sure to keep it equipped with the essentials. If the distance of your destination is greater than one gas can of fuel, stock up on the gas you will need to get there and make sure to replace it regularly (you can simply put the “old” gas in your car so this should not result in any added expense, as you are using your supplies as you go).
5. Understand Exactly How To Reach The Bug Out Location.
This is not only extremely crucial for prepping on a spending plan, however, for general survival too. No matter how much money you have, if disaster hits before you are fully prepared and you are without food, water and other essentials, you’ll need to fend for yourself.
Having the ability to live off the land is the skill that keeps on giving. If you know how to survive with skills you have learned such as procuring water and food, as well as making fire and shelter, it will make you less dependant on what you have actually stocked up in your prepping endeavours.
A large part of this means having an understanding of where the water resources are around you, regardless of where you find yourself, so you can access them when necessary as well as treat/filter it to make sure that it is safe to drink.
There are ways you can do this with food as well. If you understand the sort of plant life in the area you’ll have the ability to recognize edible plants, nuts, and berries that can help you maintain your health and energy resources when it comes to calories.
Remember, survival is a tough game, and it requires strength, health and energy to accomplish so many tasks. Having enough calories is crucial to this aspect of survival.
Understanding the kind of wildlife in the location you are preparing as your bug out location will allow you to position effective traps or fish too (if there is a nearby body of water). This will offer you the all important protein your body needs, as well as calories for energy, without needing to spend a bunch of cash on a motherload of dehydrated food.
“Free” food is the best food…
Additionally, farming is a another “go to” method to use when planning food production for your bug out location. Seeds are extremely affordable, and if you have access to land for making a garden, this is an excellent lasting and long term sustainable way to grow plants and vegetables for food.
These are all things to consider when putting together your survival plan, especially when you are prepping on a budget as well.
6. Keep An Eye Out For A Good Deal.
If you want to find inexpensive prepping gear and materials, make it a practice to always look for a bargain. Discovering inexpensive prepping supplies once the SHTF will likely to be impossible (think grocery store shelves in advance of a hurricane), but when the world is running “business as usual” it’s not that hard.
Yard sales, thrift shops, or even apps like Varagesale or Kijiji can prove indispensible for locating useful items to add to your prepping gear.
Even if you don’t find anything that you would deem essential to your plan, this can be a means to round out your existing gear with some nice added non-essentials such as power tools or other items, while at the same time conserving some cash.
7. Figure Out Your Prepping Budget.
When initially considering a prepping plan and how much money to allocate to it, many people overthink this aspect and fall into the trap of thinking that you need to obtain all your gear NOW.
This leads individuals to believe that if they don’t have sufficient cash to fulfill the entire plan right off the bat, they get frustrated or discouraged and give up on their plans.
Don’t fall into that trap…
While you need to do whatever is in your power to have your most prompt and immediate demands met by meeting your essential need for food water and shelter, and that your safety and security are ensured, that doesn’t mean that you won’t be able to obtain some more expensive luxury items later on in the execution of your plan.
Start small with the essentials, and keep working on your plan one day at a time, bit by bit, with whatever cash or other investments your are able to spare.
There’s no scenario where having some extra money later on in the execution of your plan to purchase more suitable land, extra gear, or added food to stock is not a possibility. If that’s not what your financial situation is currently, there’s nothing that says it won’t be feasible in the future.
This is where a smart prepping budget becomes more valuable than gold.
While you ought to never ditch your traditional financial savings, retirement accounts, or any other financial resources you may have, it well worth taking a small percentage of your monthly income and squirrelling it away for your prepping plan.
Depending on what investments you have, it might not be a bad idea to use some of those resources to “kickstart” your plan a bit faster as well, depending on your situation. Physical resources for survival can be just as, or more, valuable than money sitting in an investment ready for a day that may never come.
Be disciplined with your money, invest in long term survival over short term creature comforts. Do you really need that shiny new car or the latest smartphone?
Learn to prioritize…
It’s the tradeoff you get for being secure and prepared while every other person around you flounders and struggles.
Even if the most you can do from a financial standpoint is to put away a few bucks a month, it’s better than nothing. That will add up in time and also allow you to be a little extra prepared!
Hopefully this article has given you a good understanding of how to begin prepping on a budget. This process doesn’t have to be costly or intimidating, and if you adhere to the concepts we noted over you’ll be just fine.
Now it’s time to start prepping!
I am a gym owner, personal trainer, reality based self-defense instructor (Certified Level 2 Krav Maga), and passionate bushwacker, survivalist and prepper. When I’m not working on one of my many projects (which include trying to decipher current world events), I enjoy working on my homestead that sits on 60 lovely wooded acres out in the country in rural Canada, honing my bushcraft and blacksmithing skills, and sitting in my hottub with a glass of good bourbon…