Everyone is on a specific budget. A budget doesn’t mean you have no money, it just means that you have a specific amount of money to spend on specific things throughout each month. The prepper world is very into gear (sometimes very expensive gear) and it seems like it’s impossible to prep if you’re on a tight budget. But I promise you, no matter your budget, you can get prepared.
If you’re on a tight budget, how do you squeeze in getting prepared?
While some of these things do require a little investment in the beginning, the long term payout can be extremely rewarding and budget friendly.
Here are 50 ways to save money and get prepared on the cheap.
1. Shop at the dollar store for food and various supplies such as first aid, candles, home supplies, etc.
2. Can your own stews, vegetables, fruits, jams, etc.
3. Dehydrate your own meals.
4. Make your own soap, shampoo, deodorant, laundry detergent, lip balm, lotion, bug repellent, etc.
5. Buy in bulk from places like Costco or Sam’s Club. They have yearly membership fees, but the long term savings are evident with just your first trip.
6. Search for great deals on eBay.
7. Find free stuff or great deals on craigslist.
8. Shop garage sales and thrift shops.
9. Put aside $20 a week for your food and water storage and stick to that budget. A little bit adds up to a lot over time. There’s no rush!
10. Make a list of the gear you want and then search for the best deal online or in stores.
11. Wait for sales to buy specific large gear purchases.
12. Take advantage of coupons.
13. Consider taking the bus, train, biking or walking instead of driving.
14. Use the resources at the library.
15. Go for a walk around the block or go to a local city park instead of purchasing a gym membership. You can even download lots of different types of exercise apps.
16. Go to the $5 and below store to get exercise equipment.
17. Learn how to maintain/fix your own car, bike and household issues.
18. Learn how to sew your own clothes and/or fix your clothes.
19. Start and keep a garden, indoors and outdoors.
20. Refrain from eating out and cook at home instead, download free apps to help you meal plan.
21. Ask your bank what sort of saving options they have available, some banks have a ‘save the change’ where they take whatever change is left from your transactions and put it into your savings account, or they can automatically deduct a few dollars from each direct deposit.
22. Make your own bread, make your own peanut butter, make your own butter; make whatever staples you can from scratch.
23. Start a rain barrel collection bucket.
24. Don’t stress about getting ‘the most expensive’ gear, simply focus on the type of gear that you can afford, do your do diligence by researching and reading reviews first.
25. Reuse whatever you can, such as food containers from the grocery store; clean and reuse.
26. Stop buying paper towels and instead, use reusable wash cloths and towels.
27. Save electricity by keeping lights off when not needed, not watching so much TV, unplugging devices that aren’t in use and only use AC and heat when absolutely needed, air/line dry your clothes.
28. Save on water by taking quicker showers, if it’s brown flush it down, if it’s yellow let it mellow, do laundry only once a week, don’t leave water running when it’s not being used (like while brushing teeth).
29. Have ‘blackout’ weekends where you don’t use any electricity.
30. Instead of going on expensive date nights, stay in and sit by the fire or play some card games.
31. Make your own candles.
32. Ask for specific gear that you want/need for your birthday, Christmas and any other holiday’s that you celebrate.
33. If you have a child in diapers, consider switching to cloth diapers instead of disposable.
34. Make your own baby food instead of buying it. (only buy it for food storage purposes)
35. Find books and other games at half priced/discount book stores or in the used section on Amazon or at library book sales.
36. Try making some extra money by going through your home and decluttering, getting rid of things you don’t want anymore and selling them online.
37. When traveling, always carry a refillable water bottle and bring your own snacks.
38. Pack lunch at home instead of eating out, make coffee at home and eat breakfast at home.
39. Look up blogs and videos online to learn and practice skills.
40. Learn to cut your own hair or have a friend/relative cut your hair for you.
41. Find the discount sections at stores. Most stores will have a dedicated discount section and while they don’t always have great stuff, sometimes you can find a gem or two.
42. Make your own fire starters.
43. Consider investing in a reloading machine if you shoot a lot.
44. Take a look at your overall expenses and see what can be cut or reduced, such as your cable bill or other monthly bills.
45. Learn to forage for food in your own backyard and finding other wild edibles.
46. Learn how to fish and hunt. While there is initial investment, such as license fees, this could be a great way to provide for yourself and your family.
47. Take up a side hustle with any skills that you may have to earn some extra income. Or take on a seasonal part-time job.
48. Stop using credit and buy things with only the cash you have available. Do whatever you can to get out of debt, you can even call your credit card company to negotiate rates.
49. Keep good hygiene. Getting sick can get expensive; lost days at work, going to the doctor, medications, etc.
50. Practice patience. Keep a journal of your goals and progress and never stop improving yourself and your preps.
There are a lot of others ways to prep on the cheap and save money. What are some other ideas you can think of?
Conquer tomorrow, by preparing today!