This year tax day appears on April 17. For most of you, your return is now filed and you are waiting for a modest refund. For the not so lucky, you have just made another huge donation to the government or, as in my case, have filed an extension to delay the pain of filing (but alas, not the pain of payment.)
Traditionally, this time of year is crappy for retailers for all of the reasons above. So, when it comes to adding to your preparedness supplies, well, all you may have is a buck or two. That does not have to daunt you and, in many cases, may be just the inspiration you need to pick up a few inexpensive odds and ends to fill in until you can afford a bit more.
Are you ready to do some budget prepping?
Welcome to the Dollar Store Prepper Frenzy
I always recommend that you should purchase the very best you can afford. I suppose this comes from my aversion to shopping. Buy the best and
Now lets face it. Dollar store items will, for the most part, not have the highest in quality goods. That said, if you are on a tight budget, there is nothing wrong in purchasing average-quality items from the dollar store. You should purchase the very best you can afford and if all you can afford is a dollar, you should do it. The important thing is to start and to do the best you can.
Buying things from the dollar store – and I do so myself – simply makes good sense for some items. Besides, it is fun to shop there. Ready to start shopping? Here is a list to get you started prepping on a budget.
HOME EMERGENCY SUPPLY CHECKLIST
Canned Fruits and Vegetables
Nuts and Crackers
Paper Cups and Plates
Plastic Table Covers
Non-Electric Can Opener
Plastic Storage Bags/Containers
Personal Hygiene Items
Aspirin/Non-Aspirin Pain Reliever
Pet Food and Bowls
Leash and Collar
But What About Free?
Lest you think that the dollar store is your only option when the budget is stretched, what about free? Misty Marsh, who is the food diva at Your Own Home Store and is one of our Backdoor Survival sponsors, offers up these 10 ways to prepare for free!
1. Take a Video inventory of your home.
If you were to lose your home or items in your home for any reason, this type of inventory (in addition to a written one) will make the process of making an insurance claim much simpler. Make sure that you also keep a written inventory of any large ticket items (TVs, Pianos, etc) including brand, age etc. Keep a copy of the inventory somewhere else (a relative’s or friend’s home).
2. Create (and practice) a family evacuation plan.
Would you know what to do if told you had 30 minutes to evacuate? 10 minutes? Moments? You can read our family plan here.
3. Create (and practice) a family emergency plan
Sometimes you have warning of impending danger. Other times, such as with an earthquake, you don’t. Do you (and your children) know what to do in the immediate aftermath of such a situation? Where will you meet? How will you communicate? Do you know where everyone is at different times of the day? Where are each of your children and your spouse at 1 pm? 10 am? etc. Do you know what your children’s schools plan to do in the event of an emergency?
4. Store water in juice and soda bottles.
If you drink juice and soda, rinse them out when you are done with them and store water in them! Make sure they are the plastic (non refrigerated type) juice bottles, not the milk jug-like ones. If you don’ drink juice and soda, ask a neighbor or fried to save theirs for you (and offer to share your water if the need arose!).
5. Make a written list of all important phone numbers.
If you couldn’t access your cell phone to get the phone numbers, would you be able to reach your spouse? Parents? Doctor? Kid’s school? Etc?
6. Print 10+ recipes that you can make with 100% shelf stable items.
I know I have a lot of my recipes stored online. If I couldn’t access my computer, I’d still want to be able to cook! Pick a few recipes that you can make with items you regularly keep on hand and print them out. You can find a whole list of 100% shelf stable recipes here.
7. Brush up your first aid skills
Do you know how to appropriately give CPR? The Heimlich? Stop Bleeding? Treat Shock? Treat Heat Stroke? The American Red Cross offers classes. Some are even free online courses!
8. Learn a few other basic skills
Can you use a fire extinguisher? Change a tire? Start a fire? Shut off the gas to your home?
8. Teach your children some basic skills
Do your children know your phone number and address? My 4 year olds are just getting old enough for this, but since they could speak I’ve worked with them to be able to know my full name, my husbands full name and where Daddy works. Do they know and have they practiced your family emergency plan? Do they know what to do during and earthquake? Fire? etc.? Have they climbed out of their window onto your rope ladder? Can they call 911? BeReady.gov has some fantastic information for kids complete with fun and games.
9. Understand and plan for your specific risks
Call you local government emergency management and find out what things you should know about disasters specific to your area. What sort of warning systems are in place? Find out when you should stay where you are and when you should evacuate instead.
10. Organize your First Aid supplies.
Even if you don’t have an official “kit” it is likely you have some bandages, antibiotic cream, and meds floating around. Organize them so you can get to and use them quickly if needed.
The Final Word
Even though money is tight, you can still add filler items to your preps for just a dollar. In addition, you can hone your skills or increase your knowledge for free. There are so many things that you can do to get prepared – all you really need is to get off your bum and start!
Note: I was just getting reading to share my list of dollar store prepping items when Bernie, the Apartment Prepper diva, published an article on Prepping Supplies for 99 Cents. But not being one to waste good copy, I decided to go ahead with my article. Be sure to check out her piece as well.
Enjoy your next adventure through common sense and thoughtful preparation!
. . . Your comments welcome here and at The Buzz.
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From the Bargain Bin: There are many basic supplies in a survival kit that are inexpensive. Below you will find a list of some of these items. Most are less than $20 and many are less than $10. Take a look – do you have these items set aside for an emergency?
Adventure Medical Kits Trauma Pack with QuikClot: This trauma kit is designed to stop bleeding and control serious trauma at the scene so more advanced care can be sought later.
QuikClot Sport Advanced Clotting Sponge: A must for any first aid or emergency kit, Quikclot Sport stops moderate to severe bleeding until further medical help is available.
The Emergency Bandage 6″ (Israeli Bandage): This 4″ wide, all-in-one device consolidates multiple first-aid devices such as a primary dressing, pressure applicator, secondary dressing, and a foolproof closure apparatus to secure the bandage in place.
Emergency Mylar Thermal Blankets (Pack of 10): You will be surprised at how warm these will keep you. Be sure to test one out in advance so that you have the confidence to trust the blanket in an emergency.
Emergency Shelter Tent: The Emergency Tent is a lightweight and compact emergency shelter. It is wind and waterproof and easy to set up and is roomy enough for two people. Less than $10.
Emergency Sleeping Bag: Another low cost item designed to keep you warm in an emergency situation.
Camouflage Nylon Military Paracord 100 Feet: I need to write an article on the many uses of paracord. Pick your favorite color but be aware that different colors are priced differently. Me? I get the color that is the least expensive although I must admit the camouflage is my favorite.
Potable Aqua Water Treatment Tablets: Potable Aqua Water Purification Tablets make questionable water bacteriologically suitable to drink. Easy to use and the water is ready to drink in 30 minutes. One 50 tablet bottle treats 25 quarts of water.
UCO Stormproof Matches, twin pack (50 matches): This is another one of those items most people forget about. Each match burns for about 15 seconds even if it is windy, rainy, or cold.
Streamlight 73001 Nano Light Miniature Keychain LED Flashlight: This small and super-bright light, features a high-intensity, 100,000-hour LED that will last up to eight hours on four alkaline button cell batteries which are included.
Books for the Survival Library: Here are some recommended books for your survival library.
Clara’s Kitchen: Wisdom, Memories, and Recipes from the Great Depression: If you don’t know about Clara, be sure to read Depression Cooking: A Visit to Clara’s Kitchen.
Holding Your Ground: Preparing for Defense if it All Falls Apart:You NEED this book if you care about defending your homestead.
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