By Brian Duff
Many people believe that prepping on a budget is impossible. They have the misconception that preparedness requires a lot of money. Because of this misconception, some choose not to prepare at all. After all, why spend money on something that may or may not happen? Fortunately, there are many ways to improve your preparedness that are either free or do not require a lot of money
One Step at a Time
The preparedness mindset can often be overwhelming to the novice prepper. All it takes is just one Google search to be inundated with predictions of the end of the world as we know it (aka TEOTWAWKI). Fortunately, throughout history, these predictions have largely proven to be false. Just as fortunate is the fact that most current and future doom and gloom predictions will likely be proven false.
This means that the odds of a cataclysmic event significantly impacting you is not very likely. However, as with purchasing insurance, you do so for those times when the odds catch up with you. Ultimately, you have time to become prepared even if you are prepping on a budget. Take it one thoughtful step at a time. When you do, every prep completed will be one step closer to being truly prepared.
Knowledge is just as important as material items. After all, what good is any piece of equipment if you don’t know how to use it? Fortunately for everyone, there are volumes of free information on the Internet. Therefore, when prepping on a budget, take advantage of the free resources available to you, such as this blog. By doing so, you’ll be able to more efficiently and effectively build and use your preparedness supplies. Free information will also provide you with alternatives to many of the costlier preparedness hurdles. The information is there for the taking, so use it to your advantage.
Planning Your Preparedness Strategy Saves Money
When people first begin preparing, many try to do everything at once. This becomes frustrating because they don’t have the time or money to accomplish everything. Therefore, you need to think about and plan a preparedness strategy. By doing so, you will be able to prepare more effectively. In turn, the increased effectiveness will allow you to prepare more quickly and at less cost than would have otherwise been possible.
Inventory Your Supplies
You may already have a great deal of supplies and not realize it. Therefore, it’s important that you take stock of what you have. By inventorying your supplies, you can avoid buying items that you already have. This keeps costs down and shortens the time it takes to become prepared. Inventorying your supplies requires physically going through your supplies, which increases your familiarity with them. This will allow you to optimize the amount of your supplies and become more familiar with their use.
Know Your Budget
When prepping on a budget, you should first know how much you can spend. Knowing how much you can spend requires analyzing your income and expenses and setting a budget. Once you have a budget figured out, you’ll be able to determine how much you can spend on your preparedness.
Save Money When You Are Able
There are many ways that you can save money. If not already doing so, use coupons, or shop in discount and second-hand stores. Truly consider your needs over your wants. Remember, going into debt when preparing is not the answer. Going into debt reduces your freedom and forces you to take a step back.
Commercial survival foods are nice to have but costly and unnecessary. When starting out, or on a limited budget, commercial survival foods may not be the best option. When buying food items that you normally eat, purchase extra. A few extra cans of food each week quickly multiplies into a large food stockpile. When using this method, it is important to eat and rotate what you buy. Ideally, you should eat the items that are expiring the soonest.
Water is one of life’s necessities. Therefore, you should try to save up as much as possible. By saving your used drink bottles, you can store up a decent amount of emergency water. Just make sure before filling the bottle that you thoroughly wash them. Once refilled, store the bottles in a dark place, such as a cupboard, closet, or basement. Water stored this way should be used, rotated and replaced every six months. You should also consider buying water filters, which will be needed should you exhaust your water supply. The water filter will aid with the removal of impurities and bacteria if you must refill your water from a questionable source.
When it comes to shelter, there are many options. The first option is where you live. Whenever the situation permits, remain in your home. You’re already paying for it, and this is where you are most comfortable and established, so take advantage of it. Next, you should have some sort of shelter ready, should you have to leave your home. This shelter can be your car, a tent, a tarp, etc. Ultimately, you’ll need something to keep you out of the elements and provide as much comfort as possible. Doing so can be done inexpensively, such as buying a $10 tarp rather than a $100 tent.
A dependable light source is needed in the event you lose power. The good news is that LED flashlights are now affordable and last longer than before. Remember, flashlights need a power source. So, don’t forget spare batteries, or buying flashlights that are powered by solar or other alternative means.
Aside from flashlights, candles are also affordable sources of light. When buying candles, avoid buying scented ones. You’ll find unscented tend to be less expensive. Also, when buying candles, don’t forget to pick up lighters, matches, or something else to get your candles, stove and fire lit.
These are some of the high points when prepping on a budget. The key to all this is to avoid being overwhelmed at the beginning. Odds are, TEOTWAWKI won’t happen tomorrow, next month, or next year. Stay the course, gather reliable information and make solid plans. Once you do, you will be on your way to improving your preparedness one step at a time. Each step you take will put you one step closer to being prepared.
Lastly, never forget, you’re just one prep away.
Stay safe, secure and prepared.