While it may sound like it, you don’t need a huge amount of money to prep.
You may not be able to get the best equipment on the market right away. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t prepare for exceptional scenarios.
Prepping is primarily about making decisions that correspond to a certain mindset.
All the money in the world won’t do you any good if you approach things with the wrong attitude.
So today, let’s explore how you can prepare for crises or disasters, even on a tight budget.
Yes, even with little money it is possible to become a prepper. Provided you’re willing to put in the time to plan and gather supplies.
However, it’s not as easy as it sounds, and it requires some creativity and planning.
Below are some tips on how to achieve this goal.
Regardless of your budget, you should consider the following points:
Of course, I will examine the points mentioned in more detail for you in this article so that you know exactly what this means and how you can implement them. Nobody is left in the dark here.
Especially now, when you want to start prepping, even though you only have a small budget, your decision-making is an essential point.
In the future, you will have to pay very close attention to which investments you make, how, when and why. In view of this, a little look into the past will help you.
Reflect on past decisions and investments and how they fit into the prepper lifestyle. Have you been very wasteful at times? Then it should be over now at the latest!
Have you previously made your decisions very rashly and thought to yourself: “It will be all right!”? That too should come to an end now.
Resources are limited, you should always be aware of that.
Do not approach your project with caution, but be prudent and well-considered. You should discard old patterns that no longer fit into your lifestyle and everyday life.
Especially in today’s time of incessant technological progress, the internet and social media, most people are reluctant to take responsibility for their actions and especially for their failures.
After all, there is always something or someone to be found to take responsibility or blame for you, right?
From now on that is over too.
Understand that whatever decisions you make in the future will have a direct impact on your future and possibly that of your loved ones.
While you don’t have much control over what disasters may come your way, you do have control over how prepared you are.
So you want to start prepping, but don’t have too many options in terms of your financial situation?
No problem, because there is a plan here.
You have to carefully consider what you best prepare for.
That means thinking about what your priorities are.
For example, if you live on a dream beach in Greece, you will hardly have to stock up on thick skins for the winter.
So check which exceptional situation is most likely to affect you and prepare accordingly.
Don’t forget that your financial resources are limited and so you should mainly be prepared for the scenarios that could actually affect you in the near future.
If you currently have around $1000 at your disposal, you should split it up accordingly.
Let’s say you live in an area known for its cold and harsh winters. At the same time, an energy crisis is looming, which is having a huge impact on heating costs. Since you don’t have that much money anyway, this fact affects you even more.
So it would make sense to prepare for exactly this situation, namely a hard winter with no way of heating your own four walls. Coupled with a complete energy crisis, the situation becomes all the more difficult for you.
So it is best to invest 50%, i.e. $500, of your budget to increase the supplies you need. By that, I mean food, water, first aid kits, toiletries and anything else you might need. It’s always important to build a foundation that you can build on later.
You can use the other 50% either entirely to protect yourself from the bitter cold by stocking up on blankets, firewood, supplies of gas or oil (if you can, depending on the type of heating) or these as well split again. The only important thing is that you invest a small budget in the things that you really need.
What do you really need?
To tie in with the previous section, here is a little reminder to you: Only buy what you actually need.
Does it really have to be the most modern flashlight with integrated Morse code, which is equipped with a compass, digital clock and star map, but costs USD400?
If you actually only have a budget of USD1000, like in the example above, then certainly not.
Believe me, I can sing a song about how I would like to have numerous prepping tools that are constantly being released, but sometimes it just isn’t possible.
And don’t get distracted by any “gear junkies” who are constantly buying new equipment. you go your own way
So keep an eye on your budget and stick to the cheaper option, which may not have a compass or star map, but only costs USD20 and still comes with everything you need.
Sharpen your survival skills!
What will cost you very little or no money is honing your own survival skills.
Consider what skills you need when SHTF.
- Are you able to make a fire or cook without electricity?
- Can you treat wounds?
- Do you know which berries and herbs are safe to eat?
Practice tasks that technology is likely to do for you at this point in time.
Find like-minded people!
Find people who have the same or similar goals, hopes and dreams as you. The group is always stronger than the individual, and it always helps to have people around you who you can rely on when things go wrong.
Ideally, you set up a small community, which over time collects more information, opens up new networks and calls other like-minded people onto the scene, who in turn support you with their knowledge.
In this way, you can acquire valuable tips and tricks, exchange experiences and learn new things.
Initiate those who are directly affected!
Both your family and close friends will usually know what you are doing and will be more or less directly affected. So let them know ahead of time, explain your intentions, and see if you can pique their interest.
You don’t have to fall right in with the door and reveal all your intentions. This is especially true when you know that not all of your views would be accepted.
So only reveal what you are sure will at least be accepted.
For example, when you do your weekly shopping, you can say that it would be better to buy the cheaper milk and buy several of them than just one pack of the expensive counterpart. Bring your ideas into everyday life, so your loved ones learn to accept your new way and implement it in everyday life.
No more wasting time or money!
Let’s start with wasting your most precious commodity: time!
How much time in your life have you spent playing video games, watching series after series, hanging out on social media, or doing other pointless things?
Probably more than enough – so it’s time that this also comes to an end.
There’s nothing wrong with taking some time out for the things you really enjoy and enjoy doing. Nevertheless, you should also invest the time you have in things that will get you ahead.
This is especially true when it comes to the top survival skills and prepping skills.
The situation is similar to your financial means. Keep in mind that these are not infinite either and you have to set priorities. Treat yourself to something from time to time, it’s mostly good for morale. However, focus on the important things that you really need.
As you can see, there are numerous ways to use your valuable resources sparingly without having to suffer any disadvantages.
Now let’s look at a few tips on how to get cheap equipment and emergency supplies.
Tips on how to get cheap equipment, food and water
If you can reuse things, then you should do it as best you can.
Recycling can help you in many ways to save costs and invest your existing budget in essential things.
For preppers, recycling is even more important. In a long-term disaster scenario, recycling allows you to:
- Manage the amount of waste you produce more easily
- Reuse valuable resources to craft other important items
- Turn organic matter and food waste into a way to grow plants
- Keep your home and living spaces clean, even without access to modern sanitation facilities
Here are some examples:
- Old canning jars: use them as containers, turn jars into plant pots, use glass as an alarm system
- Plastic: Reuse as a container, craft a basket, use containers to collect water, craft fish traps, containers to grow plants
- Paper: As a fire starter, use it for insulation, make papercrete, create seed pots
- Metal: for animal traps, build a grill, build a gas hobo
Find out how to get groceries that cost less. If you find offers, you can stock up and save money.
But make sure to store the items properly and use what you buy.
In particular, bulk rice is much cheaper than small bags from the supermarket. But that doesn’t make sense if you buy brown rice and it spoils before you’ve fully used it.
Grow foods such as fast-growing vegetables to reduce your vegetable costs. Work with a gardener to trade gardening time for vegetables. In return, you get experience AND food. If you don’t own land, look for community gardens.
Reduce the amount of money you spend eating out
In general, eating out is much cheaper than eating out. A fast food meal can cost €6 (€24 for four people). Or you buy potatoes or rice, beans and some fresh vegetables for €24 and eat for a week.
Here are some examples:
- I generally get multiple meals out of a large roast chicken by eating one serving the first night, then using the remaining bones to make broth and the remaining meat to make soup or other dishes.
- I do the same thing with broccoli. On the first day, we eat broccoli and on the second day, I make a soup from the broth I cooked the broccoli in.
- I fillet fish and the bones and trimmings go into your pot for fish soup.
Avoid prepackaged foods
In general, prepackaged foods are 2 to 40 times more expensive than the basic ingredients. Cook from scratch instead.
Prepare large batches at once, wake up or store them to save time and prepare your own “fast food”.
First Aid Kit
Your first aid kit may consist of nothing but bandages and rubbing alcohol, scissors, and tape.
You don’t have to start buying tourniquets and advanced medical devices right away. Only get what you know how to use.
Buy items on sale (but not items you don’t need)
Write down the products you use daily and how much you use for a week or two. This will give you an idea of how much to fill up.
Then, when you see these things on sale, stock up and buy in bulk. This includes products such as: groceries, toilet paper, shampoo, soap, hygiene products and clothing.
But don’t buy things you don’t need or that are bad for you just because they’re on sale.
If you’re struggling to control impulse purchases, get a shopping app to help you stay within your prepping budget.
Repair and reuse
Fix something instead of throwing it away. Reuse things when you can.
A worn-down t-shirt can be a rag, or cut into strips to tie veggies together, or, in a pinch, a firelighter in the form of charred cotton — or even usable for butt wiping.
Reduce your contract costs
If you pay for Netflix and Amazon and Disney, you’re paying a lot per month. Get rid of what you don’t need. Spend less time watching fiction and more time studying AND save that money to spend elsewhere.
If you have an expensive smartphone contract, switch to a cheap one. Use your old smartphone for longer and don’t immediately buy a new one.
Use rechargeable batteries
Once you can afford good gadgets and things that require batteries, get rechargeable batteries, a charger, and a small solar charger.
You can also use it when camping, charge it in an emergency and you won’t need any spare batteries for at least 5 years.
Buy used items
A thrift store is a great place to shop on a budget. But flea markets are also good places to go for tools, crockery, gardening equipment, etc. Often you can get very good used things for a LOT less money.
Buy more durable stuff
Although it’s more expensive initially, you won’t have to replace high-quality items as quickly, and they’re less likely to break in an SHTF situation. Start with a good pair of work shoes, gloves, heavy-duty pants, and a good jacket.
A Prepper saying is “cheap is expensive.” If a product is too cheap (breaks easily), it’s expensive because you have to pay for it repeatedly.
Start with food and water
Even after purchasing the finest survival gear or building a cute off-grid bunker, you won’t last long without the essentials of life like food and water.
In your budget plan, decide how much money you will spend on buying long-life foods. You can budget monthly or weekly, it really doesn’t matter. The important thing is that you have a budget and actually stick to it.
Water storage budget
Having a few water bottles, water jugs, and even two or three 30-litre jerry cans is definitely a good idea.
First, make sure you have a few packs of bottled water. You can get them cheaply at any discounter and you can drink them individually without any problems.
Then get some water canisters to fill with tap or other drinking water and clean them thoroughly. Store them in your garage or basement.
Storing large amounts of water may be impractical for many. In this case, it would be a good idea to budget $5-10 per week so you can get yourself a water filter in 5-10 weeks.
A water filter is great because it filters down to 0.01 microns to remove viruses, bacteria and parasites and reduces most heavy metals, tastes and chemicals.
A water filter can be worth budgeting for, especially if you need to get out of town quickly and leave your water containers at home. Keep it in your bug out bag for quick and easy access.
How to create a stash of USD5 per week
One of the questions I am often asked is….
“I want to stock up, but how do I find the money for it?”
Can you spare USD5 a week? If not… what can you cut out of your week to find €5 to build your emergency stash with?
How important is it to you to have a stash? Can you make it a priority over something else in your life that costs USD5 a week?
Here are some tips on how to stock up with just USD5 a week
I’m not a zombie prepper. I’m not preparing for the end of the world. I’m not preparing because I think aliens will attack Earth and we may have to hide in bunkers until they’re gone. I prepare to be prepared.
- What if there was a power failure due to a blackout and you can no longer cook, make phone calls or heat?
- What if prices were temporarily increased so we couldn’t afford to buy the basic things we normally get?
- What if grocery chains are broken and we go a few months without our grocery order?
- What would happen in the event of a job loss where we would need to save as much money as possible to pay other bills?
In situations like this, it’s a good idea to have a small supply on hand.
Can you imagine only having groceries at home for a few days? I just can’t imagine it!
Ok, back to building a stash with those USD5 a week…
Before you begin this challenge, remember: Be realistic about your stash.
Don’t stock up on supplies your family can’t or won’t eat. If you don’t buy what’s planned for one week, you’re simply buying double what you can definitely use another week.
Create a weekly grocery shopping plan
Make sure you don’t spend more than €5 per week to purchase the item listed. Also, make sure you have suitable food storage containers for everything before you buy.
- Week 1 – Spend $5 on rice
- Week 2 – Spend $5 on dried lentils, beans, peas
- Week 3 – Spend $5 on salt, sugar, and pepper
- Week 4 – Spend $5 on flour
- Week 5 – Spend $5 on baking powder, yeast and powdered milk
- Week 6 – Spend $5 on pasta
- Week 7 – Spend $5 on canned tomatoes
- Week 8 – Spend $5 on oatmeal
- Week 9 – Spend $5 on baking powder, yeast and powdered milk
- Week 10 – Spend $5 on nuts
- Week 11 – Spend $5 on everything else, like canned meat, fish, and veggies
Now comes the real challenge. How much of each of these items can you get for just $5 a week? Do your best to stretch that amount as much as possible.
Are you ready to join me in this challenge? At the end of 11 weeks, you won’t have the largest and most impressive stash ever, but you will have a nice set of crisis fundamentals laid aside.
Of course, a fully stocked stash will include more produce (hopefully you can preserve some meat, fruit, and veg, too), but this list will build a great stash of staples.
Conclusion: Even with a small budget you can prep properly, you just need the right mindset!
As you’ve read in this article, your budget doesn’t have as much of an impact on your ability to prep as you originally thought.
In fact, that’s not surprising since when most people hear prepping, they think of state-of-the-art, self-made bunkers with tons of canned food and expensive gadgets.
What really counts in prepping is the inner attitude. You have a goal, want to be prepared for certain circumstances and align your life accordingly.
So if you have little to no money to prep with, don’t be discouraged.
You see, it depends more on your own decisions than on the contents of your wallet.