Stacks of Coins

How to Start Prepping with No Money

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Prepping, or preparing for emergencies and disasters, is a smart move that can help you and your family survive during tough times. However, many people think that prepping requires a lot of money, and because of that, they don’t take the necessary steps to prepare.

But here’s the good news: you can start prepping right now, even if you have no money. I want to share some tips and strategies that will help you get started with prepping without breaking the bank.

How to Start Prepping with No Money

1. Start with a Plan

Before you start prepping, it’s important to have a plan in place. This will help you stay organized, focused, and motivated. Start by identifying the potential risks and hazards that you may face in your particular area. This could include natural disasters such as hurricanes or earthquakes, or other disasters such as power outages or civil unrest.

Once you have identified the risks, you’ll want to decide which one is most likely to happen to you first. This will help you focus on the most important preparations first.

2. Use What You Already Have

One of the best ways to start prepping with no money is to use what you already have. Look around your home and identify items that could be useful in an emergency. This could include:

Make a list of these items and keep them in a central location so that you can easily access them in an emergency.

3. Learn Basic Skills

Another great way to start prepping with no money is to learn basic skills that will be useful in an emergency. It doesn’t really cost anything to learn basic skills, you just have to take the time to learn! Here are some really good skills to start learning:

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There are many resources available online and in your community that can help you learn these skills. Check out YouTube tutorials, attend local workshops, or join a group of like-minded individuals who are interested in prepping and willing to share their skills.

4. Stockpile on a Budget

While you may not have a lot of money to spend on prepping, there are still ways to stockpile essential items without breaking the bank. Here are some tips:

  • Be willing to give up other non-essential items so you can establish a prepping budget. Maybe one less dinner or movie date, a less robust cable package, public transportation in lieu of a commute to work, etc. Cut back on sweets and buy extra hygiene products, shampoo, storage containers, or safety gloves.
  • Shop at discount stores and dollar stores for canned and dry goods. I’ve told my readers for years that they can start prepping and keep the momentum going “one can at a time.” Yes it takes a few dollars, but most of us can spare funds for a can of beans, a small bag of rice, a box of pasta, a package of toilet paper,
  • Look for sales and discounts on essential items such as first aid supplies, flashlights, and batteries.
  • Buy in bulk to save money in the long run.
  • Consider trading with other preppers to get the items you need.
  • Look for coupons at the stores you frequent and use them wisely.

5. Create a DIY Emergency Kit

If you can’t afford to buy a pre-made emergency kit, you can create your own DIY kit using items you already have or can easily obtain. Use these items to create a DIY emergency kit!

  • A backpack or tote bag (to store your supplies)
  • Water bottles or a hydration system (for water)
  • Non-perishable food (such as granola bars or trail mix)
  • First aid supplies (bandages, antiseptic, etc.)
  • Basic tools (flashlight, knife, multi-tool, etc.)
  • Blanket or space blanket (for warmth and protection)

6. Types of Emergency Kits to Build

7. Build a Community

Building a community of like-minded individuals can be a great way to start prepping with no money. By pooling resources and sharing knowledge and skills, you can create a strong support network that will help you survive during tough times.

Reach out to friends, family, and neighbors who are also interested in prepping. Attend local meetings or events related to prepping, or start your own group if there isn’t one in your area. Survival skills aren’t a secret, use your network to learn about and master those skills.

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Are you looking for ways to prepare for an emergency but have limited financial resources? Here are some frequently asked questions and answers regarding prepping with no money:

How can I start prepping if I have no money?

You can start by organizing and taking inventory of the items you already have at home. Look for items that could be useful in an emergency, such as blankets, flashlights, and non-perishable food. You can also consider learning new skills, such as basic first aid or gardening.

What are some low-cost prepping ideas?

  • Foraging for wild edibles
  • Collecting rainwater
  • Repurposing old containers for storage
  • DIY projects such as making your own candles or soap
  • Plan and build a garden on your property
  • Learn how to preserve food without using a lot of food preservation gear
  • Look for discarded items like sheets of wood to cover windows during a storm
  • Learn to sew and make many of the items you wear, sleep with, or cover your windows with
  • Don’t be afraid to buy used items like pots and pans, water storage containers, tools, and more at garage sales, estate sales, and thrift stores
  • Buy store brands that are cheaper when buying things like toothpaste, canned goods, etc.
  • Become a better cook by learning to make your own bread, cereal, and treats. Buy raw wheat and grind it into flour to complement your new cooking skills.

What should I do if I can’t afford to buy a bug-out bag?

You can create your own bug-out bag using items you already have at home. Look for a sturdy backpack or duffel bag and fill it with essential items such as water, non-perishable food, a first aid kit, and warm clothing. You can also consider repurposing items you may not have thought of, such as using a bandana as a makeshift mask.

How can I prepare for a power outage without spending money?

  • Using candles or lanterns instead of electric lights
  • Keeping warm by layering clothing and using blankets
  • Cooking meals on a camping stove or using a grill or an open fire in a fire pit
  • Keeping your phone charged with a portable power bank or solar charger
  • The next time you’re looking to buy a flashlight or lantern consider buying a solar version that is charged by the sun

Final Word

Prepping doesn’t have to be expensive. By using what you already have, learning basic skills, stockpiling on a budget, creating a DIY emergency kit, and building a community, you can start prepping right now without spending a dime. Remember, preparation is key to surviving during tough times, so don’t wait until it’s too late to start prepping. May God Bless this World, Linda

Copyright Images: Woman Putting Coins In Jar Depositphotos_197182856_S, Stacks of Coins Depositphotos_161657776_S

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  1. I started by saving soda bottles and putting drinking water in them. Them old Clorox jugs and stuff were used for non potable water to flush with.
    Jars that still seal like a used pickle jar will hold water. That’s a couple of hours more than you had.
    Junk piece of wood and old nails and screws fastened into a literal bed of nails can make a pretty good deterrent
    Rocks can be found free and make a fire pit or an old STEEL wheel with the center removed. Don’t use mags. That way ya cook grid down.
    Don’t cost much but time to make a bow drill and practice
    Little old wire can make a snare

    Money or no money Military 101 is always improve your position

    1. HI Matt, I love your comment a always. We can use some containers we have for non-potable water but it’s better than no water. Soda bottles work great for drinking water! I really hope people put together a fire pit in order to cook or boil water outside. It’s easier to build ow and practice cooking on it. A Dutch oven should be in every single home. You can boil water, make breakfast and even pizza. You can cook most anything in those if you have kindle or old pieces of wood to burn. Charcoal without the lighter fuel should be stored in airtight containers, they will last forever. We must indeed improve our position! Good one, Matt! Linda

  2. If your store has a shoppers card use it. I had never bought toothpaste at a grocery store before
    but I would buy at Walmart but I now keep a eye on the ad and use my shoppers card. Recently
    a store had name brand toothpaste that is normally almost $2.00 a tube but with my shoppers card I got it for 99 cents so I bought the limit of 5. I was lucky enough to have the “extra” money to buy them.
    You can buy things cheaper if you just watch ads and use “tools” that you might have like a
    shoppers card.
    thanks for the reminder Linda

    1. Hi June, oh wow, that was a good buy!! That’s cheaper than the $1.25 dollar stores! LOL! Love finding buys like that. Wee use our store cards for so many things. Mark uses it for ice cream, I look for the bargain food! Life is good! Linda

  3. There are lots of ways to prep with little or no money. For example, Safeway has $5 Fridays – I have gotten some really good deals that I can store away for later. I use an app called Ibotta and I know there are several others where you scan your receipt for cash back – sort of like on-line coupons. I also watch sale ads carefully for one get one free – although, when I see these, I have to really have a need for the first one!! I ask for senior discounts since I am a senior but there are other discounts available – you just have to ask. My niece is a vet and she started asking for a discount and gets between 10% and 20% off a good many things. You just need to ask!

    That all said, I started prepping before Y2K! I bought dry beans to store away. What I found the best method for prepping for me, however, was to only store what I eat and eat what I store. I try to always have at least 2 of a non-perishable on hand at all times. When I have the money or there is a good sale, I buy 2 or as many as I can afford and keep the non-perishables in constant rotation.

    As for water, I have to use distilled water for a medical device, so I always have gallon jugs available. I keep several gallons of filtered water in rotation as well since I know I cannot store long term in plastic bottles so they get rotated.

    I think many will give me flak for this one, but I started shopping at the Dollar Tree for inexpensive tools and such for my initial preps. That was back when things were still a dollar! I know they are not the high quality I want for a serious emergency, but it got me started. I have since upgraded many of those tools as money allowed.

    If you have a Harbor Freight in your area, get the freebies when they have them. I have gotten 5-gallon buckets as well as flashlights, rope and “duct tape”. All I had to do was have the coupon and make a small purchase – in my case, I purchase rope, zipties, or other small very useful items.

    1. Hi Leanne, I love Harbor Freight! They have great coupons and good buys! Boy was Y2K a fiasco! That was the dumbest scare about electronics and such. Surely our country is smarter than that. Oh well, it all worked out. Nothing surprises me now. I’m glad you’re able to get filtered water, we had a shortage here for several months. I remember you telling me about you Ibotta deal, I need to do that. I’m not sure we have a Safeway here i Utah, I will have to check it out. Thanks for the heads up! Linda

  4. Most of us have a kitchen full of tools for cooking. And many of us have bags or packs. In an emergency you grab what you have and you go. I think people forget this and they end up buying all the specialized survival gear.

    Water bath or pressure canners, freeze drying machines, dehydrators, and smokers expand what kind of foods we can make and store. But we can acquire these things in due time.

    As you mentioned there are foods we can prepare at home that don’t require special kitchen tools such as hardtack, pemmican, pickles, jelly, fermented foods, and so on. Although an actual dehydrator would be nice, people can use their oven.

    I always thought I needed a wheat grinder and wheat berries, but then I read that if you make hardtack and store it properly that you could crush or grind it back into flour. This to me is a great prepper hack because it’s easy, cheap to do and you don’t have to buy a grinder or purchase wheat berries.

    1. Hi Frank, great tip on the hardtack for flour, I have never thought of that, good one! Yes, only buy what your budget affords and is necessary. You can dehydrate on your car dashboard if you had to! In the summer anyway! Or on screens outside. Linda

  5. Linda,

    I got a chuckle when I read your “less robust cable package” advice. Jane is addicted to the Hallmark Movie Channel on our DirecTV satellite package. Any reduction that didn’t include that would be bad for MY health.

    1. Hi Ray, oh my gosh I got the giggles over that one. Mark has to have the sports channels. That’s why we need two TV’s, I am not in to sports at all. LOL! Linda

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