Prepping on a budget: Eat the Basics and Save for the Gear

Avatar Gaye Levy  |  Updated: December 29, 2013
Prepping on a budget: Eat the Basics and Save for the Gear

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budgetdollarsLast month I suggested that prepping can be done, even on a strict budget of $5 to $10 a week.  We started with water, both purchased water (you will be surprised at how much bottled water you can get for $10 on sale) as well as the do-it-yourself type in used jugs.

We then moved on to raiding your pantry and moving canned goods, dry goods, and staples from your day to day supply to the emergency bin, cupboard or even a large garbage bag.  The point was to set your emergency food somewhere away from you daily pantry to that it will actually be there when you need it.   The caveat was/is to store your food away from heat extremes and moisture.

So what comes next?  Say you only have $5 to $10 spend and even that is a stretch.   I say don’t spend a dime this week.  Instead, add this amount to the cookie jar where you will have the extra cash available to spend on prepping next week.

Hold on.  You can save even more

For three or four of your family meals this week, get yourself some dried beans and rice (from the grocery, not your emergency supply) and learn how to cook them.  Make a survival stew by mixing beans and rice together with seasonings and then – this is the important part – eat this for three or four days. Ditto oatmeal – cooking and eating it that is.

This accomplishes three things:

  • You learn to cook, eat and actually enjoy basic, unprocessed food.
  • The money you save  can be put into the following week’s prepping budget, giving you $20 extra to work with.
  • If you are not used to eating beans, you can avoid the gastro discomforts associated with legumes by gradually introducing them in to your diet.

So where are we?

This weeks prepping budget $10.00
Eating beans, rice, and oatmeal instead of typical meals $20.00
Next week’s prepping budget $10.00

Now we are talking.  Next week we will have up to $40 to spend on gear such as a decent flashlight, batteries,and perhaps some pepper spray for self defense.  Just remember the three primary survival needs you need to prepare for are:

Sustenance:  Food and drink for strength and nourishment

Shelter:  A place to live providing protection and cover

Safety:  Protection from danger and injury

Things you can do for free

What if money is so tight that even $5.00 is too much?  There are still things you can do for free.  Try learning a new skill such as lighting a decent fire (for cooking and warmth) or learning how to read a compass.  Go to your library and get some books or search the internet for tips on growing food.  It is so easy to think of prepping in terms of  buying stuff.  You know, going to the store and purchasing good and supplies.

Not so.  Prepping is so much more than that: it is planning, organizing, and preparing mentally for an unexpected emergency.  Luckily, the planning and organizing part is free and simply takes a commitment of time.

Budget prepping can be done.  Using baby steps along with some planning and yes, sacrifice, you can slowly build up your supplies and your knowledge, one little step at a time.

A nod to my first sponsor

Ready Made Resources has become my first paid sponsor!  I invite you to click their link and look around.  They have everything you might need from food, to gear, to equipment to set up a sustainable survival platform.  Many of their items include free shipping so I hope you will check them out.

Enjoy your next adventure, wherever it takes you!


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7 Responses to “Prepping on a budget: Eat the Basics and Save for the Gear”

  1. its a good idea to buy the extra items as your budget allows. but in my household asking a fella who works hard for 12 to 14 hrs a day, to give up better foods for a week? Hmmm, not a strain that works well for me, and goes with your article about being obsessed with prepping. just a bit too far to give up your meals for prepping, it sounds too much like the Obama’s telling people to go without meals, to send the campaign contributions.

  2. I have always tried (not always successfully mind you) to limit my weekly prepping budget to a manageable level. For me that means a few additional cases of water, some dried and canned goods, and maybe whatever else I can either think of, or hear through others, that seems reasonable and appropriate–while not breaking the bank at the same time.

    I must admit to purchasing a few “toys” from time to time: things I want more than I probably need. The “cool” factor sometimes sways me towards those types of things, but all in all I think I do a fairly decent job of remaining mostly grounded. When I either see firsthand or read about a tragedy where peoples lives have been turned upside-down by events outside of their control, I usually become better focused and return to my list of priorities.

    • I believe that the thirst for toys is part of our humanness and is okay as long as the necessities are covered. Having the internet makes it easy to shop and get the best deal on the toys or, as I sometimes do, shop but not buy in order to get the urge out of my system LOL.

      — Gaye

    • About the hash browns: have you tried them? I meant to purchase a supply last month when they were on sale. Grocery store has browns are so awful that I thought I would try these for day-to-day use as well as long term storage.

      — Gaye

  3. Great stuff Gaye, There is some really great info hear and also so excellent advise. I am on a budget and anything helps. The skills is where its at. If you have those you have the key to survival. Keep up the good work.

    • I was talking to a colleague yesterday who told me that she has always wanted to prep for an emergency but the budget was tight. She told me that the motivation to do one thing – just one little thing – a week was so helpful. It was so rewarding for me to hear that.

      Also, many folks forget that prepping involves so much more than running to the store to buy stuff. I really do believe that knowledge and the proper frame of mind are essential to getting through stressful situations.

      — Gaye

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