Prepping: When Your Heart Says YES but Your Bank Account Says NO

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Prepping on a BudgetOne thing that many preppers have in common is struggling to find money in their budgets to buy prepping supplies. Let’s face it, a lot of the things that you need to purchase in order to become prepared for emergencies aren’t cheap. Some people are fortunate and have very deep pockets and they can march right into any store and buy as many supplies for their emergency stockpile as they want.

The reality of the matter is that this is generally the exception to the rule. Most preppers have families to support, mortgages to pay, car payments to make, and numerous other expenses that really limit one’s ability to spend money on prepping.

So, what are you to do if you really want to focus your efforts on prepping but you just don’t have the money in your budget to do so? In this article I’ll be sharing a few ways that you can prep without spending hardly any money at all.

Learn New Skills

Learn New Skills

A huge mistake that many preppers make is thinking that prepping is all about buying supplies. While it is true that there are many things that are necessary for emergency preparedness that do cost money, one thing that doesn’t cost anything at all is acquiring knowledge.

In a survival situation, your skills and knowledge may very well be more valuable to you than your emergency supplies. Supplies can run out, or worse, they can be taken from you by looters but no one can take your knowledge.

All too often, preppers get caught up in buying the latest prepping gear and they overlook the importance of developing essential skills and acquiring valuable knowledge about how to survive in a crisis. The Internet is chock-full of free resources that you can use to acquire knowledge about becoming a better prepper and developing your survival skills. Your local library is also a good resource for this type of material.

Make Use of Recycled Items

I suggest that you make a list of some items that you can recycle into prepping supplies. Hand this list out to your friends, family members, and neighbors and ask them if they wouldn’t mind giving you these items instead of throwing them away. Some examples of items that often get thrown away that can be used for prepping are listed below:

    • Empty Glass Bottles with Lids: Old bottles can be cleaned out and used for many purposes. The key is to clean and disinfect them adequately before using them.
    • Empty 2 Liter Plastic Soda Bottles: Old plastic 2 liter bottles can be disinfected and used to store everything from drinking water (when properly treated) to rice and beans.

Empty Plastic Shopping Bags: A prepper can never have too many of these saved up. They can be used for so many purposes that there really are too many to list in this article. Most people simply throw them away so you can accumulate quite a few of them and they don’t take up much storage space either.

  • Old Clothing: When old clothing becomes torn and tattered, instead of throwing it away, cut it up and make it into rags. These rags can be used for things like wound dressing (when sterilized beforehand), cleaning, and even as makeshift toilet paper when your supply eventually runs out.
  • Old Books and Magazines: Ask your friends and neighbors to give you their old books and magazines instead of throwing them away. In a doomsday scenario when the power grid is down, having access to interesting reading material will go a long way towards passing the time and relieving boredom.
  • Old Bicycles: A lot of times people will throw away old bicycles that they think aren’t worth fixing when they can easily be repaired. If we ever end up living in a world where gas is too expensive to buy, or even unavailable, a bicycle will serve as an excellent source of transportation.

Shop at Thrift Stores

Many supplies can be purchased very inexpensively at thrift stores. You can find all kinds of containers, backpacks, sleeping bags, tools, and more. One thing that you might not realize is that you can often negotiate the price that you pay at a thrift store. On many occasions, I’ve been able to negotiate a better price on something that I wanted to buy from a thrift store.

Hit Up the Local Yard Sales

Yard Sale

Yard or garage sales are an amazing place to find great discounts on prepping supplies! Just like I mentioned above, don’t forget to try to negotiate on the price. At a yard sale, the advertised price is rarely the price that the seller will actually take. Here’s a tip that can save you a lot of money at a yard or garage sale. Find out the time that they plan on shutting down the sale and show up right before closing time. In a lot of cases, you can negotiate even lower prices because you’ll save the seller the hassle of having to re-box everything that they weren’t able to sell.

Learn to Be Resourceful

If you ever find yourself in a survival situation, having the ability to be resourceful could save your life. What better time to practice the art of being resourceful than looking for ways to prep now without spending any money.

This article has provided you with a few ideas to help you realize that there are actually a lot of things that you can do to prepare for emergencies that don’t cost much, if anything. I highly encourage you to expand upon this list and find ways that you can prepare when you’re on a tight budget. Whatever you do, don’t let the lack of available funds prevent you from prepping!

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Patty Hahne (pronounced, “haw-knee”) is the author of the website where she has numerous helpful articles that are similar to this one. Her emphasis is on helping both beginning and advanced preppers develop their skills and emergencies preparedness plans.

She is also the author of the paperback book titled “The Doomsday Prepping Crash Course – The Ultimate Prepper’s Guide to Getting Prepared When You’re on a Tight Budget”.  Check it out here at Amazon.

In addition to this paperback book, check out her Ultimate Guide to survive for 72 hours with her ideal Bug Out Bag at Amazon.


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Meet the Author

'Mountain Man' John

'Mountain Man' John is a Survival and Preparedness enthusiast who loves everything outdoors. He has a passion for learning anything and everything to help sustain his and his families way of life post SHTF. He frequently shares his knowledge on a variety of topics from his hands on DIY projects, learning new skills such as hunting and trapping along with reviews on his Survival related purchases - Prepping has been in his family for generations, it's in his blood.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • David Trexler Oct 5, 2015, 8:17 pm

    If you are saving plastic grocery bags, also save tissue boxes and stuff the plastic grocery bags in the tissue boxes. Easy to distribute without having grocery bags everywhere. And you can keep a tissue box full in the garage or other places where they come in handy quite often. Not my original idea, but I can’t remember where I got it from.

  • Dave Nov 27, 2015, 6:01 pm

    I would strongly discourage buying or salvaging any kind of second hand clothing, furniture or bedding. The bed bug situation in this country is reaching epidemic proportions. Unfortunately many people, when they become infested, will put the infested bedding and furniture on the side of the road or up for sale instead of disposing of it properly. Picking up any of these types of items is like playing Russian roulette with your families health and safety.

  • termite Feb 20, 2016, 4:41 am

    Yes! Finally someone writes about bed bug sniffing dogs.