You might think prepping is an expensive hobby if you’re new to this lifestyle.
But as any veteran prepper would tell you, you don’t have to shell out thousands of dollars just to call yourself prepared.
Sometimes, you only have to work smart and develop a solid plan to have everything you need, even with a limited budget.
In this article, we’ll teach you exactly how to do that. Let’s get started:
Set Priorities and Goals
In the prepping community, identifying your priorities and goals is a given before making any preparedness plans. It’s all the more critical to set expectations if you’re on a tight budget.
To determine what you need in a disaster or emergency, list out all the possible threats your area is prone to first. Prioritize the most realistic threats you’ll face by ranking them according to their likelihood of occurrence.
Make a Supplies Checklist
Once you’ve established your priorities and goals, write down what you will need for the top 5 or so events in your disaster list. You can break down your survival supplies into the following categories:
- Emergency food items and drinking water
- Personal and feminine hygiene supplies
- First aid kits
- Cooking and heating equipment
- Lighting tools
- Security and protection gear
- Survival bags
Pro tip: Start by stashing three days’ worth of essentials and slowly build them up to a 2-week supply, 1-month, and 6-month supply until you’re covered for long-term emergencies.
Take a Personal Inventory
To cover all your bases, consider your strengths and weaknesses. This way, you won’t waste your money splurging on gadgets like an amateur radio, a multitool, or a compass that you don’t know how to use or can’t even use in disaster situations like wildfires or thunderstorms.
Understanding what you can or can’t do makes it easier to do some prepping because you’ll know where you should focus and invest in.
Review Your Finances
You don’t need a fat wallet to stay prepared for disasters and emergencies—fun fact: some of the best-prepared folks don’t come from money.
Even if you only earn minimum wage, there are several ways to set aside a tiny amount each paycheck.
The trick is reviewing your finances and understanding your spending habits. Setting aside a small budget for prepping is possible if you live within your means and avoid debt.
Other clever ways include upcycling and learning how to stretch resources. Here are some examples:
- Repairing or repurposing damaged tools and discarded objects before throwing them away
- Cutting a tube of toothpaste to squeeze out what’s left
- Diluting shampoo with water
Watch Out for Sales
If you’re a little thrifty, big sales are your chance to purchase discounted goods and essentials.
Supermarkets and department stores will hold sales every season, so grab this opportunity to splurge on the survival tools and supplies you need.
You might get an awesome deal on food items like a buy one, get one promo or score huge discounts on off-season wear like winter clothes in the summer.
Stay on Top of Your Health
You can’t afford to get sick when SHTF. Aside from hospital bills and medications costing a fortune, healthcare services might not be available in critical situations. But if hospitals and other health facilities are up and running, they will likely be swamped with people.
In an SHTF scenario, you’ll be relying on your body a lot, so spend some of your free time doing exercises before things go crazy. You can’t avoid getting sick, but you can prevent illnesses by staying active. You won’t have to spend thousands of dollars on health care if you do.
Remember: prepping your body is a steady and slow process. Make sure you’re feeding your body and brain with the nourishment they need. Aside from physical fitness, mental health matters in emergencies, too. Why? Staying sane when SHTF will significantly affect your chances of survival.
Build Your Knowledge And Skills
One way to save money if you’re on a strict budget is to work on your prepper knowledge and survival skills, so you won’t have to spend on expensive tools and gadgets and depend on them when you find yourself in a bind.
Here’s how you and your family can build your knowledge base and practice your skills:
- Read survival and prepping blogs
- Watch prepping videos on Youtube
- Read survival books
- Train with your family
- Check out online forums like Reddit and Quora
- Join prepper groups on Facebook
It pays to know what’s going on around you when prepping. If you’re updated with everything happening in your area, you’ll be better prepared and can make adjustments quickly when needed. Here are some ways you can practice staying aware in case of emergencies:
- Read the newspaper every day
- Watch the news
- Listen to the radio
Making every dollar count is the goal you wanna achieve when prepping on a budget.
It’s already a good sign that you’re making a conscious effort to prepare for disasters and emergencies. But you don’t wanna rush things and do everything all at once. You just have to remember that it’s best to take things one step at a time.
The tips mentioned above are an excellent way to start prepping even with tight funds.
Wanna learn more about survival and prepping? Feel free to check out our other articles.