Anyone involved in preparedness knows that it can quickly get expensive. This doesn’t need to be the case. Here are a bunch of tips for prepping on the cheap.
Don’t be a Gear Snob
While having top of the line gear is often ideal, you’re better off having something that will do an efficient job than holding out for that perfect item. For example if you have nothing for home defense, you’re better off buying a used 20 gauge shot gun for $75 than holding out for a $1500 AR-15.
Another idea that came to mind is purifying water. While I love our current method of purifying water, we needed a tax return to afford it. Until then, we would have boiled water or used bleach. That’s mot ideal but it would have gotten us by.
Don’t be a Brand Snob
When it comes to things like toilet paper, I have my favorite brand, but we have cases of other, less expensive brands, stored. I’m not trying to be crude, but if there is an event that makes it so we can’t go buy more TP from a store, anything short of tree bark will seem like a blessing.
Trudee really started couponing last year and has saved us a ton of money. Sometimes saving 30% on a weekly grocery bill. If you’re building a pantry, coupon like your life depends on it. It might mean going to more than one grocery store, but it can easily be worth the trip.
Sales and BOGO (Buy One Get One)
This might sound like a no brainer, but when there is a sale on an item, stock up. Grocery stores often have “buy one get one free or half off”. I have also seen “five for $5” or “ten for $10”. These are great opportunities to stock up.
We have a discount grocery store called Aldi’s. From talking to others and my own experience, if you get produce from them you should consume it quickly. However, canned and frozen goods should be just fine.
Craig’s List, Free Cycle
Looking online, you can often find free or inexpensive gear. This would be a great way to stock up on camping gear, and other preparedness related items.
Flea Markets, Garage Sales and Auctions
These can be a great resource for getting gear. You can often haggle to get the asking price even lower.
I learned about copy canning from the video Urban Master Volume 1 “The Home”, created by the late Ron Hood and his wife. The process is very easy and is as follows:
- You decide you want chicken noodle soup for lunch so you take a can out of your pantry.
- Add chicken noodle soup to the shopping list.
- When you go to the grocery store, you buy two instead of one. (If you used two cans, you guessed it, you buy four.)
This is a great way to build your pantry to the point where you’re at the maximum amount of any item you want to store. Then you simply move back to buying just one when you use one.
While not all dollar stores are created equal, I would wager I could survive for a week or two based off on the items at most dollar stores. I didn’t say I would enjoy it, but I would survive. Others might have this as well, but Dollar Tree has a section of their website called ”Emergency Supply Checklist”..
Big Box Stores
Costco and Sam’s club can be great money savers. If you can’t afford a membership, consider going in on one with another family. You might always need to go shopping there together, but it would be worth it.
Do you have any tips for frugal preparedness? If so please add them to the comments section!
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