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Cheap Survival Tips, Prepping On A Budget

Updated on August 13, 2013
Being prepared is what t is all about when it comes to disasters!
Being prepared is what t is all about when it comes to disasters! | Source

No Bulk!

Obtaining your supplies over a 15-week period helps to lessen the impact on your budget. This means you can avoid buying in bulk!
Obtaining your supplies over a 15-week period helps to lessen the impact on your budget. This means you can avoid buying in bulk! | Source

15 Weeks To Survival Preparedness

Be Smart, Be Prepared

With all of the natural disasters occurring in our world, it just makes good sense to have an emergency survival preparedness plan in place. While it would be impossible to expect to be prepared for every scenario, when it comes down to basic survival readiness, it is crucial to have the right supplies and survival gear to keep fed and safe during potentially harsh natural disaster encounters.

Spend Economically While Preparing Responsibly

Shop To Survive While Saving Money

Now, I don't intend for you to run out to the local bulk shopping center and blow all of your hard earned money to get prepared. When planned effectively, you can manage your safety as well as your money all at the same time. By following this 15-week survival prep shopping list, you can spend economically while preparing responsibly. Print out the 15-week shoppng list in this article, or bookmark it so you have it to work from every time you venture out to the market or hardware store over the next three and a half months. The results might just be what saves your family during any natural disaster.

How Does Getting Prepared Work

15 Weeks To Being Prepared

To begin with, you will be shopping for particular items on a list each week for 15 weeks. Each week may require different supplies than the prior one, or it may be the same or similar. The purchase of items is spread out over 15 weeks to help level off the impact on your bank account, while still considering the urgency of becoming prepared for the worst. Any item listed, is done so as an one item PER PERSON listing.


For a three person family

  • Week 1 Grocery Requirements: one gallon of water, an energy bar, jar of peanut butter, water purification tablets.

What this is telling you is that because your family consists of three members, you will need to purchase three gallons of water, three energy bars, three jars of peanut butter, and enough water purification tablets for three people. If your family has four members, the number of each item becomes four, and so on.

At any time during your survival shopping, should you find something that is within your budget that makes good sense to acquire, then by all means add it to your survival kit.

Pet Survival Kit List

(click column header to sort results)
Freeze dried dog food, water, vitamin packs
Portable pet carrier for small vulnerable breeds, light weight food and water dishes, collar and leash, ID tags, any medications, favorite toy or chew stick
Freeze dried cat food, water, vitamin packs
portable pet carrier, light weight food and water dishes, collar and leash, ID tags, any medications, favorite toy or snack

What About The Family Dog

Planning For Pets In Survival Preparedness

Don't forget about the family dog and cat when planning. Keep your pets up to date on shots and licensing, and even an ID chip helps to keep them healthy and easier to retrieve when things do settle down later. If you lose track of your beloved pets during a disaster, it is reassuring to know that you have given them the best chance to make it through by maintaining their health and licensing. Nothing makes home feel like home again as does snuggling up with your furry best friend(s)!

The reality it this: we love our pets and they are absolutely part of the family. However, it is important to know that their most basic instincts are to survive—and between a cat and a dog, a cat will win in 9 out of 10 survival situations. So, making certain your family dog has supplies is more critical than for your sweet little cat. She will have a much higher success rate at coming out unscathed than will your dog. Food and warmth are always necessary for both. In the most extreme disasters where it is all you can do to save yourself, allowing them to have their freedom can be the one thing that gives them a fighting chance to survive as well.

Shopping List For Disaster Preparedness

15-Weeks To Survival

Below is an in-depth 15-week shopping list that has been broken down into a week by week plan. Each week you will add to your survival preparedness kit only those things that are on the list for that week. This keeps your costs practical, and the task less daunting overall, saving you time and money!


(the critical week)

What To Do: Designate a contact family who lives out of state from you. These are whom you will communicate with during an emergency. This also aides when the phone lines are limited, you only have to make a single call to let people know your situation. This leaves the lines available for greater emergency needs for others. Make sure that you let your other family members and friends know who your contact is, this way everyone is able to get your information during a disaster.

Survival Water Tip

Storing your water on strips of treated non-toxic wood keeps it up off of the concrete floor, which in turn helps to keep leaching chemicals away from your water supply.

Survival Water

Every person in your family should have one gallon of water for every day, for a five day period—more would be better for drinking, dental hygiene, and bathing in general.

2 Facts About Stored Survival Water

  1. It take 16 drops of bleach per gallon to purify water enough to drink. (Or you can use purification tablets purchased from a camping, fishing, or hiking store.)
  2. You should NEVER store water directly on concrete floors because chemicals will leach out of the floor through your containers and into your water. You should rotate out your stored water every six months.


What To Do: Pack a go bag. Include your medications, extra eye glasses, personal hygiene goods, bottled water, and a whistle. It is a good practice to tape a list of emergency radio stations to the back of a portable hand-cranked radio.

Week 3 Grocery: A gallon of water, can of hearty soup, can of fruit.

Week 3 Hardware: breathing filter—like a painters dust mask, goggles, portable radio, hand saw and a large crowbar.

Week 1 Grocery: One gallon of water, jar of peanut butter, energy bar, water purification tablet or bleach.

Week 1 Hardware: Heavy poly rope, duct tape, manual can opener, manual tools (in case gas leaks require fixing and no electricity is working), hard hat, safety goggles, gloves.


What To Do: Get a first aid kit together or purchase one.

WEEK 2 Grocery: Buy supplies for your first aid kit (see chart at below for red cross suggested contents —or— to purchase a complete kit see at right).

WEEK 2 Hardware: Wrench for shutting down a gas valve—crescent wrench, dish soap, heavy duty work gloves.

Recommended First Aid Kit Contents As Per The Red Cross

First Aid Kit Contents
First Aid Kit Contents
2 absorbent compress dressings (5 x 9 inches
2 pair of nonlatex gloves (size: large)
25 adhesive bandages (assorted sizes)
2 hydrocortisone ointment packets (approximately 1 gram each)
1 adhesive cloth tape (10 yards x 1 inch)
5 antibiotic ointment packets (approximately 1 gram)
1 roller bandage (3 inches wide)
5 antiseptic wipe packets
1 roller bandage (4 inches wide)
2 packets of aspirin (81 mg each)
5 sterile gauze pads (3 x 3 inches)
1 blanket (space blanket)
5 sterile gauze pads (4 x 4 inches)
1 breathing barrier (with one-way valve)
2 triangular bandages
1 instant cold compress
Oral thermometer (non-mercury/nonglass)
First aid instruction booklet
The Red Cross recommends that all first aid kits for a family of four include the items listed above. Table data derived from:

Comfort And Games

Sometime a few of the comforting things, like a nip of vodka or a game of Go-fish, can sooth a nervous night following a disaster. Just don't over do it!
Sometime a few of the comforting things, like a nip of vodka or a game of Go-fish, can sooth a nervous night following a disaster. Just don't over do it! | Source


What To Do: Put more items in your go bag. Emergency cash, list of emergency phone numbers, super high-calorie snacks, flashlight with extra batteries taped to it, something that brings comfort to you—snugly stuffed animal, favorite alcoholic beverage or soda, and games to play.

Week 4 Grocery: Bottle of juice, canned tuna or chicken, can of vegetables, a can of beans, stew, or chili.

Week 4 Hardware: Camp stove, fuels bottles for camp stove, bleach.


What To Do: Stash extra cash (only small bills), a roll of quarters and an emergency credit card. Get your dog proper ID and rabies tags and put these on his collar. Store all documentation for your pet in the emergency kit.

Week 5 Grocery: Toilet paper, 2-gallons of water.

Week 5 Hardware: Trash can with attached lid and wheels; this is to be used as a large portable go bag.


What To Do: Get all of your pesticides, herbicides, paint, pool chemicals and motor products secured within covered—with tight fitting lids—plastic bins and store these bins on the bottom shelves. Get certified in CPR/First-aid, or at least take a class. It is easy to sign up for a Red Cross CPR/First-aid Class.

Week 6 Grocery: Can of meat, can of fruit, can of vegetables.

Week 6 Hardware: Pliers, hammer, vise-grips, and bailing wire.


What To Do: Print out the article New Earthquake Survival Plan and keep it in your emergency kit in case of a big quake. Clear vegetation from around your home's perimeter in case of a fire.

Week 7 Grocery: Large bottle of juice, tea, instant coffee, powdered drinks, pet food.

Week 7 Hardware: Bungee cords, 200-foot of strong parachute cording, tarps.

Quiz For Testing Your Emergency Know How

view quiz statistics


What To Do: Secure heavy furniture items with "L-brakets".

Week 8 Grocery: Can of chicken or tuna, can of fruit or vegetables, spices including salt.

Week 8 Hardware: L-brackets to secure furniture, small crow bar, axe.


What To Do: Secure items on shelves so they won't fall during an earthquake or other emergencies. Toss an extra pair of really good sturdy shoes into your go bag.

Week 9 Grocery: One gallon of water, can of hearty soup, toilet paper, assorted nuts and energy bars or dried fruit.

Week 9 Hardware: VELCRO furniture straps, more batteries, bug repellant, glass wax and wood putty.

WEEK #10

What To Do: Secure your water heater to studs. Check with your local city or county for suggestions and requirements—or the expert at the hardware store. Get an extra change of clothing into your go bag, making sure they are right for the season (rotate these seasonally).

Week 10 Grocery: Baby formula, diapers, wipes, personal hygiene items, energy bars or dried fruit.

Week 10 Hardware: Water heater strap kit. Super Glue gel, poly sheeting, staple gun and extra staples.

WEEK #11

What To Do: Test or install smoke and gas alarms. Mark your calendar to rotate food items from kit. Day light savings is when I change mine, it just works out great as a reminder. Water in plastic jugs must be replaced and never stored directly on concrete flooring.

Week 11 Grocery: One gallon of water, plastic-wrap, aluminum foil, sterile-wipes.

Week 11 Hardware: Large bucket, toilet seat lid, Eco-friendly toilet paper, plastic bags to line bucket. You get the idea here, right? Yeah, it's a makeshift toilet.

WEEK #12

What To Do: Get toys and games for your children into your kit. Put a flashlight next to your bed.

Week 12 Grocery: Freeze dried meals, space blanket.

Week 12 Hardware: LED lantern and extra batteries, collapsiblewater jug—about 5 gallon size.

WEEK # 13

What To Do: Learn evacuation paths and practice family fire drills. Get eating and cooking tools into your go bag—forks, spoons, knives, spatula, plates, etc.

Week 13 Grocery: one gallon of water, energy bars, cereal, favorite non-perishable food.

Week 13 Hardware: Folding (hiking-style) shovel, dry chem—2a:1obc, is recommended by Red Cross—fire extinguisher.

WEEK #14

What To Do: Take video of the stuff you own in and around the house. This helps with insurance claims later. Keep a backup copy online, in your safe deposit box, with a family member, or even on an USB mini drive around your neck or in your go bag. Make sure your insurance—home owner's or renter's—is up to date and covers everything you need it to.

How To Video Document For Insurance Puposes

Include In Your Video;

When applicable, document serial numbers, model and maker of all items, including jewelry and collections.

  • computers
  • cameras
  • TV's
  • art work
  • vehicles
  • furniture
  • anything of monetary OR sentimental value

Week 14 Grocery: One gallon of water, can of tuna or salmon, can of vegetables, dried fruit.

Week 14 Hardware: Flashlights & extra batteries & extra flashlight bulbs, both Phillips and Flathead screwdrivers.

WEEK #15

What To Do: Check with your neighbors to see whom may need help in an emergency. Manage child care with your neighbors as you work together to rebuild and recuperate from any disaster, natural or otherwise.

Week 15 Grocery: Extra personal items, baby items, two gallons of water, paper towels, paper plates and cups.

Week 15 Hardware: Heavy-duty garbage bags, multi-tool (like a leatherman tool) or Swiss army knife, a screw-in-ground tie-down for pets or a portable sturdy kennel.

Prepared For An Emergency Disaster

Once you have your go bag, first aid kit, and emergency prep all in place, it is simply a manner of maintaining the rotation and storage of your supplies. Keep in touch with your neighbors and friends who live near you. Your neighborhood may be able to come up with a process for building a storage supply for your entire block's benefit! You know what they say, "survival is best when it is accomplished with others."

How Prepared Are You For An Emergency Disaster

Do you feel as if you have done all of the things needed to protect yourself and your family during a disaster?

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Comments for "Emergency Survival, Getting Prepared On A Budget"

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  • Blessed Success profile image

    Sandy J Duncan 

    3 years ago from Kansas City, Kansas

    Great hub and easy to follow plan!

  • Kristen Howe profile image

    Kristen Howe 

    4 years ago from Northeast Ohio

    Great tips on how to survive for you and your family. Very useful with detailed tips and voted up!

  • amazmerizing profile image


    4 years ago from PACIFIC NORTHWEST, USA

    Love this hub... been working on mine for awhile now... really into food preservation and self defense

  • GetitScene profile image

    Dale Anderson 

    6 years ago from The High Seas

    Good stuff.

  • pstraubie48 profile image

    Patricia Scott 

    6 years ago from sunny Florida

    Great hub. It is wise to spread out the acquisition of these emergency items. Some of these are on hand but to be really prepared having a well stocked emergency supply is important.

    Thanks for sharing this

    Sending Angels your way :) ps

  • shin_rocka04 profile image


    6 years ago from Maryland

    I like this method of pacing yourself instead of going all out in one weekend. You'll not only save money but you'll have what you need when you actually need it instead of panicking like everyone else. Sharing and voting up!


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