Don’t be overwhelmed!
I attend local prepper meet ups and sometimes newcomers are overwhelmed. Especially when they hear experienced preppers talking about buying property to bug out to, bunkers, years of food stored up…etc. It’s easy to get discouraged, and when you hear wealthy preppers who can lay down thousands on preps, you can give up. Look at my blog on prepping on a budget and I will give you a brief synopsis here.
Money! Set aside a small weekly budget. Ask family and friends to give you gift cards for stores that have supplies, like lowes, Home Depot, Harbor Freight, the grocery store. Don’t tell them you are a prepper unless they are like minded and are prepping too.
Food and water are musts, so simply look for sales and buy a few extra cans of food every time you shop. Budget $20.00 a week. Don’t store water in milk jugs, toxins can leach in from cement floors and they eventually leak, Thicker juice bottles or gallon thick, water bottles are good for the short term.
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Big Lots..if there is one near you. Every few months, they have a friends and family event which is 20% off everything in the store from food and water to mattresses, tents, furniture, grills, paper goods, pet supplies and more. Save up for these events.
Emergency essentials. They have water containers in many sizes, and canned and pouches of freeze dried food and MRE’s. They have daily and monthly sales.
The web sites for Legacy, Mountain House and Augason Farms. They also have freeze dried foods that are a must for long term food supplies, and include a good selection of Gluten Free foods and powdered milk that actually tastes good.
Northern Tools has coupons every week.
Harbor Freight has coupons and free stuff, like led flashlights, small tools, etc, Whatever you don’t use can be saved for barter.
If you are canning, buy reusable lids! Standard lids seal one time only, but those lids can be used to store dry goods. However, buy a good food sealer. They seal everything, like 5lb bags of sugar and salt, spices, food to be frozen and some bags can even go from the freezer to a boiling pot for a quick meal.
The dollar store! You can get boxed milk that lasts for months on the shelf and lasts longer in the fridge, for a buck a quart. Make sure you check the expiration dates. Medications and first aid supplies can also be found at the dollar store as well as paper goods, juices, snacks, spices, vegetable oil, towels, games, cheap utensils and cleaning supplies. Maintaining a sanitary environment is very, very, important. You can die from dysentery and spreading diseases and viruses, and food poisoning, just from improper sanitation.
Games. Those are important because people and children when they are bored, get into arguments and trouble. So checkers, balls, paints and coloring books and crayons, jump ropes, which provide exercise in a small space, hula hoops, whistles, which are important for getting help. All sorts of games can be found at the dollar store, and the cheap butterfly nets are good for catching fish and scooping debris out of ponds. Let your children pick out the toys that can be used over and over again to get them involved.
End of season sales! You can pick up everything from tents to grills to clothing at these, so shop every season.
Flea Markets and antique stores.. A good source for hand tools, cast iron pots and pans.
Bug out locations and storage. Briefly, rental storage places are great for storing items that are not heat of cold sensitive, like tents, cots, toilet, pet kennel or break down pen, bedding in plastic storage bags, paper supplies, also sealed in plastic so rats won’t nest in the toilet paper. Zip loc makes huge 2X storage bags that are great for everything, non, food. grills, (but not fuel) wood, yep stores that sell small bundles of wood put them on sale in the spring, so buy a few of them to store. But remember, wood does attract some bugs, so keep the wood off the floor and away from food. Foods that never die:
Rice, salt, sugar, corn starch, honey. These can be stored in air tight containers in the heat and cold, but they can crystalize and clump, but are still edible. We store ours in coolers we get on sale, not only are they vermin proof, but anyone walking by won’t see pails of food.
With a storage place, you have more room in your home/apartment for food and water and a place you can bug out to to get the rest of your preps and even live in, but remember that they don’t lock on the inside, so you will have to figure out a way to lock intruders out. Important! Get a storage facility without a fence and gate. If the power is out, how do you get in?
If you have your own home get a rent to own storage barn. If you are a renter, get a small, transportable tool shed. They have them at lowes and Home depot. Some of these even have extenders and connectors, so you can add to your storage unit as you can afford it.
Your automobile. Think of how you are going to bug out. Now if cars are working, and say you get advance notice and can bug out, then how much can you put in your vehicle? We had two compact cars and now we have a minivan with all the back seats taken out and a roof rack and soft shell topper, and a used 4X4 AWD small bed pickup truck with roomy back seats. We can put pets and clothes in the inside and everything else on the outside and roof. Something to consider the next time you buy.
So this is what all experienced, budget minded, preppers do. Think prep everywhere you go and every time you shop. Saving money in one area lets you have money for other things, like a bug out location.