How to be a Prepper without Breaking the Bank

US Crow – by Adminstrator Ryan

In this guide we are going to talk about being a prepper without breaking the bank.  I can not tell you how many times we get emails from our readers who are on a fixed income, don’t make enough money, or are retired, and can’t afford buying some of the prepper gear, food, and supplies we suggest.  The emails we receive are truly heartfelt, from people who are really concerned about their survival, and I can’t help feeling their pain.  There was a time when I too was on a ‘restrictive budget’ while supporting a wife, and two daughters.  You can’t help feeling helpless with a tiny worry growing into a grave concern as the world burns around you.  This guide is for all of you who need some tips on prepping without breaking the bank…  

Prepping water on the cheap…

Rainwater collection systems for preppers..One of the most important things you need to prep is water.  The average human being can only survive three days before lethargy, irritability, vomiting, diarrhea, and eventually death kicks in.  Fortunately of all the things you can prep, water is the least expensive.  If your budget allows it you can get a Rain-Water Diversion Kit for around $25.  Now all you need is a barrel.  Instead of blowing money on a brand new water barrel that costs a minimum of a hundred bucks, go to your local beverage factories (almost every city I’ve ever lived in has one), and find out where they put their discarded barrels.  They’ll either give them to you for free or extremely cheap.  Now all you have to do is clean the hell out of that barrel with dish-washing detergent and bleach.

Prepping food on the cheap…

prepping-canned-goodsFood is pretty damn important for any living being on this planet.  The average person can survive without food for about three weeks, but I’m sure Calista Flockhart will say otherwise.  Either way after three weeks without food your organs will be permanently damaged, and eventually you’ll die.  Normally we suggest freeze dried food with a thirty year shelf life as a surefire means to food prepping, but that can cost hundreds of dollars, and a lot of people can’t afford it!  Luckily, there are a few ways you can stockpile food without blowing your wad.  The easiest and fairly inexpensive method to stockpiling food is buying canned goods.  People don’t buy canned goods as much as they use to, which has grocery stores pushing some pretty amazing deals like ten cans of tomato soup for five bucks.  Each time you go to the store look out for deals and buy a little extra each visit.  If you’re going to stock up on canned goods be sure to properly rotate your food since canned goods typically last anywhere between two to five years.

When people think of prepping food they almost always think of having some glorious banquet of food, but the reality is much less elegant because you are stockpiling food for survival not comfort.  This means you should focus on essential food like beans, rice, nuts, peanut butter, super greens, and etc.. All of which are very inexpensive to buy and can be used during normal day to day routines allowing for rotation of stock.  I’ve spent many weekday afternoons in my childhood clipping coupons with my Mom at the kitchen table in preparation for our weekend grocery store trip, and I suggest you get clipping too!  If you have a garden obviously you want to start canning, luckily we wrote a guide on how to can your food.

Prepper gear…

Used prepper gear...Life after doomsday will be rough, and this country will undoubtedly be a war-zone.  You’ll want some gear to help you hump miles on end, stay hydrated, be protected, and prepared for any threat.  Sure, we’d all love to shell out three hundred bucks for a Crye Precision Plate Carrier, but not that many people can afford it.  Took me a month to save up for it, and it hurt my pocketbook for a few weeks after.  If you’re on a fixed income it’s going to be hard fitting something like that into your budget.  Save yourself some money and learn to buy secondhand.  I was raised on yard sales and swap meets, and to this day I still frequent them every weekend.  Believe it or not you can find some amazing gear at these places, and more often than not they’re usually genuine U.S. Military Gear.

Another useful resource is Backpage.com, which is one of my favorite sites to buy tactical gear, and rifles.  You can see what their asking price is, check out photos, followed by some shameless wheeling and dealing.  Just be sure to ask its’ current condition (poor, fair, like new) and verify before you hand over any cash.  One of my favorite Backpage techniques is to post bartering offers.  For example I once offered up a Nikon Coolpix(valued at about $75) for any shotgun.  Within a day I had traded the camera for an H & R Pardner Pump, which I then pieced together a couple parts I had laying around (folding stock, shell attachment), and ended up reselling it for $165.  Point being is Backpage is an excellent resource for the shrewd.

Learn to will and deal…

Willing and dealing preppers...As you can see from my story above, knowing how to will and deal will not only save you money, but it will get you some pretty useful items.  The first rule when it comes to negotiating is you never pay asking price.  Cash in hand means buying power, and I’ve never walked away empty handed.  If you’re at a garage sale and the guy is asking fifty bucks for an item you can find online for forty bucks, let him know that and be able to back it up.  If there’s imperfections like scuffs, stains, etc. point it out, cosmetic stuff can always be fixed after the purchase.  Don’t be an asshole because I’d turn you down on principle alone.  Be polite, confident, and firm.

Bartering is a timeless method of commerce that has been around long before you or I got here, and will be here long after we are dead because it’s an easy way for two people to both get what they want without forking over any cash.  Got a TV you never use, or a car that just sits in the barn?  Research your items’ current market value, and find something that has the same value as your item and offer up a trade.  One rule I have to stress to all of you.  Never accept checks, money orders, or cashier’s cheques for any reason whatsoever.  You could get burned, or worse…you could land in jail when you try to cash a fake check!

Medical supplies on the cheap…

Cheap first aid for preppers...When the shit hits the fan you’re going to need a medical kit, and again you may not be able to afford a Fully Stocked First Responders Kit.  Instead what you can do is buy the necessary items little by little.  Don’t be afraid to go to the Dollar Store!  At the end of the day, gauze is gauze, and bandages are bandages.  You can either use one your old backpacks, or buy one from a thrift store for less than five bucks.  Stock it up with all the essentials; scissors, latex gloves, belt for tourniquet, gauze rolls, bandages, ibuprofen, cloth tape, hydrogen peroxide, alcohol, burn gel, and etc.  You can find all the essentials at your local dollar store for a dollar each saving you a pretty fair amount of money.

Now this might sound a little bit morbid, but keep an eye on your local newspaper’s classified ads for estate sells.  These usually happen when a soul has moved onto a better place, leaving their estate up for auction.  It is at these estate sales where I’ve found specialized medical equipment like oxygen tanks, wheelchairs, gurneys, and etc. for an incredibly low amount of money.

Repurposing items…

Wood pallet garden for preppers...People throw away useful stuff all the time and as the old adage goes ‘One man’s is another man’s treasure..’.  Thanks to apps like Pinterest you can get some pretty useful tips on repurposing.  In just five minutes on Pinterest you’ll learn a thousand ways you can turn wood pallets into a vertical garden, patio furniture, and even a bed.  Moral of the story is there is a wealth of information out there on repurposing other people’s junk into something you can use in your life as a prepper saving you hundreds of dollars and maybe even making you a little extra cash.  Not only can you repurpose old items, but if you’re able bodied and have a truck you can drive around your neighborhoods at night picking up recyclable items to pay for your prepper addiction.  Before you scoff, think about this…you can get $1.30+/- a pound for aluminum cans, $3 a pound for scrap metal, so if for each ton you recycle you’ll make over five hundred bucks!

In closing…

I specifically didn’t go into ammunition and weapons because both require a good amount of money, which is why I brought up bartering.  We really do care about our readers and will do anything to help you and your family survive.  This article was written with the idea of making it possible to be a prepper while having a tight budget, but we might not have gotten everything, and we encourage our readers to comment below with their money saving tips.  We as preppers are a small community of like minded people and usCrow.org was founded to bring us together, and help each other out!  When everyone else fades away from the harsh cruelties of a post-apocalyptic world, we will only have each other…

https://uscrow.org/2015/09/01/how-to-be-a-prepper-without-breaking-the-bank/

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