There are so many things vying for our hard earned dollars and for many of us, we are just trying to put in a good days work just to make it by in a comfortable life. So it can be tough to get prepared sometimes when we are trying to make each dollar count. So I thought I’d share some ideas on how to make your dollar go a little farther when it comes to getting prepared.
Understand not all preps are things you need to buy
People are constantly focusing on the physical things you need to buy, but often forget that knowledge is just as important if not more so. The internet is an amazing place to learn things for free. Just on this site, we have a lot of in depth articles on things you need to learn about prepping.
If money is really tight, focus on learning. Decide on the topics you want to focus on and then research each one in depth. The place that most people get tripped up on is they don’t focus their research, so they learn a little bit about a lot. Take it seriously and act like your going to study in depths a few critical skills.
Start with the most important things
When you’re getting prepared there are a million things that you can start with, but if you only have a few dollars (or even if you have a million dollars) you need to think about how you can spend those dollars in best way. Simply put there are some preps that are more important than others. So focus on the core essentials, our 6 areas of preparedness, but meeting them at their most basic level. For example I could buy a fancy lighter for $35, or I could get a simple box of matches for $1 and put it in a zip-lock bag for 2 cents.
Instead of buying fancy freeze dried foods, focus on one week of rice and beans. Looking up prices on popular freeze dried foods, a week supply can cost $125. Compare that to a 25 lb bag of rice for $9.48 and a 20 lb bag of beans for $19.98.
So think about where you need to start. Start small, then grow over time. Finally consider how you can meet basic needs cheaply at first, then build on that.
Prepping is often budget friendly
It’s surprising how much getting prepared can actually save you money. When you prepare for future events, you’re reducing future emergencies because you’ve already taken steps to prevent them.
A great example is job loss. If we are prepared: got out of debt, have some money saved for a rainy day, had a few months of food on hand. Something like losing a job can be devastating to most people, but for the prepared, it may be a difficult time, but we won’t have to rack up credit card debt, take out loans, or potentially loose our homes over it. We may be down, but we’re not out.
Often being prepared means we stock up on things for the future, even normal everyday items. This allows us to have the items we need in our everyday lives, but also lets us maximize our dollars when it comes to sales. If we know we like a certain type of spaghetti sauce and it goes on sale, since we stock up, we can purchase it because we are going to buy it anyway. The only difference is you are buying it at half the normal cost.
Combined sales with couponing can also have some big savings while building your preps. Remember to store what you use everyday, otherwise it’s just a waste of money.
Buy things that will improve your life today
When money is tight, we need to think about our life today just as much in a disaster. The best advice I’ve ever received about prepping is to focus at first on things that will make your life better now. If you start with today, you will most likely continue with your prepping long term and not loose interest. It’s also a really great way to get those who aren’t preppers, such as significant others, on board more easily.
If you do something that your wife or husband sees a benefit, they’re going to be more on board. A good example is having a “lights out kit”. We know the power will go out at some point, so for $20 in materials we can make a little kit in a Tupperware with candles, head lamps, batteries, a solar phone charger/battery, and a weather radio.
When the power goes out in a storm, you can pull it out and bam, you just won some major brownie points. You might even use the opportunity to sweet talk them into going for a few solar panels and a battery so next time the power goes out, you can still run a few lights, a fan and the fridge.
Other ideas are buying an extra can of each thing next time your at the store. I do this will all consumables in my house: shampoo, trash bags, tissues, deodorant, TP, etc. This way every time I run out of something I just grab the one I already have, instead of having to make do or running out to the store. It’s a much better way to live and if the SHTF then you’ll have several of everything you need already on hand!
Think about what is important when your buying your preps, make sure there is a benefit today and in the future and take advantage of sales when you can. Prepping in some ways is a frugal way to live and can make life a pleasure now and better if a disaster does hit. Take care!