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Prepping on a shoestring budget

Updated on March 29, 2013
© Melis82 | Dreamstime Stock Photos & Stock Free Images
© Melis82 | Dreamstime Stock Photos & Stock Free Images | Source


Ever since the Y2K scare years ago, an increasing number of people have either begun to store food, water, and medicines or are at least curious about it. The growing economic crises in Europe strengthen the prepper's argument, and as people are drawn to preparedness there are some who believe they cannot do it because of a tight budget. This sort of thinking must be quashed before you ever begin to do any amount of prepping. This attitude will not serve you well when it comes time to survive.

Threat Assessment

Prepping on a small budget is possible, it just requires more patience and determination. When preparing for a disaster, on any sized budget, the first thing that should be decided is the type of disaster expected. This can be in the form of a natural disaster, economic collapse, EMF interference, chemical or biological threats, civil unrest, martial law and any combination of those and more!

Disaster preparedness should take the local region and its inherent strengths and weaknesses into consideration. For example, in a coastal region, a hurricane is probably a bigger threat than in a region prone to tornadoes. Likewise a rural area will have different considerations than an urban area. All of this needs to be considered and planned for.

Begin Prepping Today

Once a threat assessment is complete and there is a better understanding of what is being preparing for, steps can be taken to begin preparation. Patience is a virtue when it comes to prepping; the impatient will lose heart and become discouraged. It will seem like a very tall order to fill, and without noticeable results, complacency sets in.

Before any supplies can be stored, the question of where to store them must be answered. This area must be an area that is somewhat hidden or concealed, and a place free from mold or mildew or any other environmental hazard that may destroy foodstuffs or damage tools. Once a large enough area has been identified and made ready a list can be made that will help guide you. This list is a living, growing thing that will never be complete.

The very nature of prepping is an ongoing activity and mindset. There are basics to keep in mind when preparing a list of survival supplies. Food and water are the top priority, however there are so many considerations, especially when there are monetary challenges.

Absolute Necessities


Water is hands down the most important thing to store when it comes to survival. Humans can live without food for up to three weeks, but will die without water after only three days. In addition to having water available, it must be clean potable water, or it must be made clean through distillation or with water purification drops or filters. Water usually goes for around a dollar a gallon in the grocery stores. Two extra 2.5 gal. containers of water at every grocery trip shouldn't break the bank, yet is a great way to begin storing water in case of disaster.


Food is second only to water as a necessity of life and is vital to survival. Under normal circumstances it is reasonable to want food that is natural and free from preservatives and other chemical additives or genetically modified ingredients. In a survival situation, these concerns go out the window. Get food that is cheap and full of calories. Bags (or cans) of beans are a great way to provide food security and are relatively inexpensive. Buying one or two extra 1lb bags of rice or beans each grocery trip is a good way to begin storing food.


Stocking up on medicines that are essential to well being is very important, and should not be overlooked. Special medical conditions need extra considerations, however they shouldn't preclude the ability to adequately prepare. Stocking up one one extra 1000+ count of Ibuprofen or other NSAID medication once a month can be a tremendous help in the future. One final note regarding medication. It is best to reduce dependence on addictive drugs before a survival situation occurs (consult a medical professional before stopping any addictive or dependent drug), rather than after.

General Supplies

This area of preparation is vast and has many schools of thought. In a survival situation however these supplies could be extraneous dead weight, or the difference between life and death. Some supplies are useful for barter (precious metals, alcohol, tobacco, toilet paper, coffee, etc.) and some have a utilitarian use, or both. Decide what it would take to survive for thirty days without leaving home. This will provide the framework to grow preparations to a larger degree and gives peace of mind that regardless of the type of disaster, the chances for survival just went up. There are so many supplies to keep in mind and all of them are dependent on the region where the disaster occurs, and the type of disaster being prepared for. The general supplies items could range anywhere from food preparation, to hygiene, to tools and ropes.


No discussion of prepping is complete without mentioning defense. Since this article is focusing on inexpensive ways to prep this subheading will avoid the topic of guns, as they are many times cost prohibitive. Instead, think of other means of defense. Baseball bats can be picked up at a garage sale for next to nothing, and most people have a collection of knives in their kitchen. Pipes, chains, and other tools and instruments can be fashioned into rudimentary weapons with little or no effort. Without defense stored food, water, and supplies are at risk.

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Summing It All Up

The topic of disaster preparedness is one that puts many people off especially if they are convinced they don't have the funds to "properly" prepare. This is a false assumption. There are ways to stay protected and secure both physically and nutritionally. The efforts to do so can be very expensive, but don't have to be.

Begin prepping today by obtaining one or two items in each of the above categories each week. Before long the time and energy spent planning and obtaining the necessary supplies and implements will accumulate and chances of surviving a disaster will increase dramatically.

© 2013 davidwhoward


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