10 Low-Cost Ways to Prep

10 Low-Cost Ways to Prep

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Today, it’s all about 10 low-cost ways to prep. I find myself constantly encouraging and challenging people to be prepared well ahead of the storm, whether it’s a tornado, hurricane, wildfire, or earthquake that you may one day face. With all of the disasters and calamities that are happening more and more all around us, I can’t stress prepping enough with you. Let’s talk about these 10 low-cost ways to prep. In case you missed my post, Thrift Store Items To Stock Up On

Low-Cost Ways to Prep 

Many times people will tell me that they simply don’t have the finances in order to make this happen, and I understand where they’re coming from. Maybe this sounds like your current situation?  It can seem costly when it comes to prepping, but that doesn’t mean that you should give up on the idea. 

Prepping on a tight budget may in fact be tougher to do, but it is possible and I’d love to show you how. Here are 10 low-cost ways to prep when your money is tight. I highly recommend some WaterBricks when your budget allows. They are stackable and you can put some under your bed out of sight if your bed frame is high enough.

10 Low-Cost Ways to Prep

Don’t Prep While on a Shopping Spree

Something that I’d encourage you not to do, is to head out and buy everything all at once, or make the mistake of waiting until it’s too late and the disaster is already knocking at your door. Prepping is all about being patient while finding the best deals. 

Do your research ahead of time instead of heading to the store or going online while trying to get everything all at once. Yes, this will require many trips over a period of time, but you’ll save a bunch of money taking your time and shopping for the lowest prices and not buy things that you don’t need. 

Prioritize What’s Important

When you’re first starting out with prepping, it’s imperative that you prioritize everything based on your planning. Think short-term. Don’t get caught up buying the cool survival gear that should come much later for when you’re planning to “bug-out.” 

Prepping for disasters is certainly not cheap, so be sure to buy the things that matter the most, first. This includes gathering enough food and water for everyone in your family that will last you for a minimum of 72 hours. Think about what you will need for shelter, clothing, and ways of cooking your meals. 

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Ask For It

Have you ever had family or loved ones ask you what you want for your birthday or for Christmas every year? If so, now’s the perfect opportunity to ask them for survival gear and other prepping equipment without having to feel bad or ending up with something that you’ll never use or didn’t want in the first place. 

Add Prepping to Your Budget

Since prepping is something that should be looked at as more of a long-term goal, why not add it to your budget? You might be thinking that you don’t have any wiggle room in your budget for prepping, but I’d be willing to bet otherwise. 

You’d just have to be willing to make a few sacrifices along the way, whether it’s with your weekend entertainment or how often your family eats out each week. Consider all the other areas in your budget that aren’t necessities where you could cut back.  

Buy In Bulk While Going Generic

When it comes to your food supplies, there are several different methods that you can use, and do so at a lower cost. When you have a larger family, I’d encourage you to do your shopping in bulk. 

  • Though you’ll pay more upfront with just one visit, you’re actually paying a whole lot less over time. You can buy large bags of rice and dried beans for only a few pennies a pound, while they’re both filling and come with protein that your family needs.
  • Shopping for generic foods is also not a bad way to go. Yes, there may be a few times where generic is not priced as you’d like, but in most cases, it’s quite comparable to the national brands when you pick up the right product. You’ll also have another advantage of paying a lot less for generic food when you can purchase things in bulk.    

Shop for Non-perishable Foods at Food Banks

This one may require some of you to swallow your pride in order to even step foot in one of these stores, but food banks are an extremely cheap way (even free for those that qualify) to stock up on canned goods and other non-perishable food items. Just remember to rotate your stock at least once a year, that way you’re not stuck with spoiled food when you need it the most. 

Hit Up the Dollar Store

As a prepper, you can save yourself hundreds of dollars by heading to your local dollar stores for several of your prepping needs. After all, there’s no need to buy something that’s higher in retail stores when a dollar item could just as easily deliver in the same way when SHTF. 

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Why would you spend a bunch of money on something that you’ll only use once, or maybe never even at all?    

At a dollar store, you can find first aid supplies, medicines (pain relief, allergy medicine, antibiotics, etc.) flashlights, and hygiene supplies (hand sanitizer, baby wipes, shampoo, soap, toothpaste, etc.). You may even come across rain ponchos, t-shirts, socks, and underwear when you visit. Even though they may seem to be of lesser quality, dollar stores sometimes have small hardware items, such as hammers, blades, screws, washers, and other cheap items that will more than serve their purposes.  

Don’t Forget Your Local Thrift Shops 

Thrift shops are another great place to look when you’re trying to prepare for disasters while on a budget. There’s certainly nothing wrong with purchasing items that have barely been used and where you’ll only wind up spending a fraction of the cost compared to buying brand new. 

You can track down flashlights, lanterns, rain and winter gear, clothing, blankets, medical supplies, sleeping bags, camping gear, tools, and cooking ware. The list goes on and on, but you’ll need to be patient and be willing to visit a number of times to find what you’re looking for.        

Stay Warm with Space Technology

Your everyday typical blanket that you’d find at any given retail store will run you around $10-$30. But when you have several members in your family that can quickly add up. Why not use these emergency space blankets that you can find for free, or for under $4? They use your body’s own heat to keep you warm during an emergency.    

Don’t Go Skimpy on Your Drinking Water

While you may be looking for ways to save money on all your other prepping needs, your drinking water shouldn’t be one of them. You don’t want to be left drinking contaminated water that can make you and your family sick. 

Water is arguably the most critical item that you’ll be needing, so whether you decide to buy several cases of bottled water, or purchase a handful of portable water filters that can be used on any water source, don’t wait until after the disaster has struck because your tap water may no longer be drinkable.

10 Low-Cost Ways to Prep    

Final Word

Prepping for disasters does cost a bit of money, but with extra planning and patience, you’ll be able to cut those costs by over half while using some of my budgeting tips.  However, I don’t want to lead you astray. There are items that you don’t want to go cheap on when it comes to your survival gear. For instance, you have to be willing to pay a little extra for good quality sleeping bags so that your family is not freezing outside during the night. What are some other low-cost ways of saving money when prepping that you’ve come across? May God Bless this world, Linda. 

Copyright Images: Small Town Thrift Shop AdobeStock_42713813 by smp928s

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  1. Great post, Linda ~
    Another way to incorporate prepping in an already stressed budget is to just pick up one or two extra things at the grocery store each trip – especially things that are on sale. I still do this each shopping trip. I especially look for those items that are 10 for $10 or buy one get one free or half off, that sort of thing. I have enough pasta, rice and beans to last for 6+ months because I do this.

    Also, remind people that to make the most of the dollars they are going to spend on prepping is to make a plan, write it down. I used the menu plan when I first started by making a menu plan for 1 week and shopping for that week but getting 2 of everything non-perishable. Then I made up a second week menu and did the same thing. It was a bit tough on my budget in the very beginning but after 2 weeks, I had 2 weeks of non-perishables on the shelf. I continued that until I had several months worth of non-perishables. It was like insurance for me to have that much in my pantry. But, by the time a couple or three months went by, it was more a habit to purchase extra each shopping trip.

    As for other tangible items, I did what you suggested and asked for bigger ticket items as gifts. I also planned my budget to include saving for the more expensive things. Sometimes it took me several months to save the money to get, say water bricks, but I made it work for me.

    Biggest thing I think I can caution people with is to NOT USE CREDIT CARDS to purchase prepping items unless they can pay those cards off as soon as the bill comes in. Using CCs will further stress the budget with interest and longer term pay off.

    1. Hi Leanne, my local church asked me to take ten minutes (not much you can do in ten minutes but, oh well) yesterday to talk about Food Storage. I gave them my printout “Where Do I Start” Food Storage List. It does just what you talked about. Make a plan for a week, then another week, and so on. Before you know it, you have a great pantry or a home grocery store. We are truly blessed, Leanne. Linda

  2. Hi Linda, great post as usual! If you are prepping with beans,rice pasta etc… People really need to think about the extra amounts of water it takes to soak, boil and process these foods. I love to use broth to cook rice and beans. Like you, we boil all the bones from prior meals to make homemade broth. (Yum-we freeze for future use) My daughter had bone in ham for Thanksgiving which I absconded with the bone to make ham and bean soup!
    On a side note… Have you ever tried Argentine Red shrimp? Tastes very much like Lobster!

    1. Hi Bill, oh my gosh, we have been eating my bean and ham soup for three days! It’s like a FREE meal, and so yummy! I agree with you on the beans. I buy dry beans as well as beans in cans ready to open. NOW, I have got to look into that Argentine Red Shrimp!!! Oh my gosh, I love hearing this! Thank you! Linda

  3. This evening I went to a local discount grocery store looking for some affordable food storage preps. It’s the type of store ya never know what they’re going to have – it’s like a treasure hunt. 🙂

    Given the price & lack of availability of #10 can foods lately, I was shocked to see 3 #10 cans of Auguson Farms buttermilk pancake mix. The cans, lids, etc are in perfect shape. The use by date is 2030. Best part? They only cost $1.50 each! SCORE!!! 🙂

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