As preppers, there are things that we not only need to buy, but want to buy. We’re all on different types of budgets that dictate how much money we have to spend each month on…everything! Not just prepping related, but also our everyday life; rent, mortgage, insurance, food, entertainment, etc.
Prepping isn’t just about the end of the world, it’s being prepared for everyday life.
Here are 10 ways that preppers can easily save money for everyday and for preparedness:
- Set your budget. First thing’s first in deciding how you’re going to save money, you need to get all your finances out onto paper, word document, spreadsheet, white board; whatever. Write down every last monthly expense that you have.
- Buy off brand. Off brands are usually the exact same thing as name brand, except off brands are cheaper. We also have a Costco membership which can save us a ton of money on lots of things like toilet paper, dog food, rice, pasta and special items. There are certain name brand items that we will buy, but we usually save up for those things.
- Save for more expensive items. Saving money in general doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re going to forgo on more expensive items. It took us several years to be able to afford a Berkey, but one day we were able to afford it because we had saved for it. We also joined their newsletter and one day received an email which told us they were having a sale. So a sale, plus the money we had saved, helped us to finally acquire a Berkey.
- Make your own items and reuse. We love making our own hygiene items, candles and other things like fire starters. I’m not going to lie, I like to buy commercially made products as well, but I do my best to make things when I can. You may not think buying a bottle of $4 deodorant is a big deal, but my homemade deodorant takes three ingredients and lasts 4x as long as a bottle of deodorant from the store. Plus, it’s just as effective and safer than the ingredients in most deodorants. Do your best to reuse items, as well. Turn an old shirt into char cloth, or a hand towel, etc.
- Stop eating out. We all like to enjoy some time out of the house and not have to worry about making something at home. But eating out is only getting more expensive by the year. Maybe instead of eating out, you could pack some food and go to the park and picnic? That’s free and fun! I remember when I was young, being able to go to a fast food restaurant and feeding myself for $4 or less. Now for two regular meals at a fast food restaurant, we’re lucky to walk away paying $20, normally it’s more. That’s money that could be spent more productively. Same goes for buying coffee or any other drink, when you could easily make it at home. It’s okay to eat out, but do it sparingly and maybe just for special occasions.
- Put away $25 a month/paycheck. We automatically save $25 every paycheck. We don’t ever see the money so we don’t ever miss it. It goes directly into savings and before you know it, you’ve built up a nice emergency fund.
- Shop clearance and sale cycles. The majority of stores have a clearance section. Take advantage of it and shop those sections regularly. This is especially relevant after holiday’s. You will get superb deals the days after each holiday. Also, shop out of season. For example, buy your sunscreen in the winter instead of in the summer. Buy winter clothes in the spring/summer instead of in the winter.
- Keep up to date with car and house maintenance. By keeping up with regular maintenance on your car and home and other mechanical items, you’ll be saving huge money down the line. For instance, if you don’t keep up with regular oil changes, your car will eventually shut down and your engine will have to be replaced entirely. That’s a lot more expensive than a $20 oil change.
- Reduce your bills. What monthly bills do you have each month that you could reduce or eliminate all together? Sometimes we sign up for things and the monthly expense keeps getting deducted but because it’s most likely a small amount, you just keep letting them deduct but you never use the service. Be very aware of what is getting deducted from your account and reduce or eliminate as needed. Recently we were able to reduce $25 from our monthly bills just from recurring payments that we didn’t need. That’s $25 that could be better spent elsewhere!
- Get out of debt. The biggest advantage anyone can give themselves is to get out of debt. You may think you’re saving money by throwing everything onto a credit card, but what’s actually happening is you’re now spending a minimum payment of $25-100 a month on a single credit card. Every. Month. And every month those credit cards rack up the interest, so if you’re only paying the minimum payment each month, you’ll never get rid of that credit card. If you don’t have the cash for it, save up for it and buy it when you do have the cash.
Get a side hustle! Don’t just save money, work to bring in more money! There are lots of ways we can bring in extra money:
- Drive for uber/lyft
- Donate plasma
- Sell stuff on eBay or Etsy
- Have a garage sale
- Sell your talents on Fiverr
- Mow lawns/paint interior or exterior homes
- Dog sit/house sit/babysit
- Get temporary holiday work
There are plenty of other ideas out there. Look at what skills and talents you have to offer or are willing to do based on your available time and abilities.
It feels good to not only save money but to also make money.
Conquer tomorrow, by preparing today!