18 Ways to Prep With No Money – Budget Preparedness

No money for preps?

I’ve been there and sometimes, I still am. Even being out of debt, we have a lot of projects going on around the homestead and it always seems like we’re a little bit behind financially.

You do not need to prep to the detriment of living. If you don’t have the money for it, try to save up for it over time, try to avoid going into extreme debt.

There are tons of ways to prep on a budget and in this article, I’m going to talk about some ways you can be prepping with no money while still living your best life and staying prepared.

How to prep with no money:

Learn skills

One of the easiest things we can do is start learning some skills! Check out my huge list of prepper skills. Many skills may need little to no money to get started. For instance, learn to make shelter by making forts in your living room! You can get creative.

Check out books from the library

The library is a great resource to find books on all kinds of topics. Jot down notes from the book for later reference and if you really like it, try to find it used so you can have a copy for yourself.

Go to the local park to practice skills

When you start to learn new skills, some may require that you practice outdoors. Head to your local park and practice those skills. Like foraging for wild edibles, making stick shelters, making a fire in their fire pits and so on.

Practice situational awareness

Every single day we can practice situational awareness and it costs absolutely nothing. Simply be in the moment and observe the world, nature and the people around you.


Go for a walk, lift some rocks, jog in place, watch YouTube videos, running around your house with your bug out bag on; there are so many ways to get movement into your day without ever needing a gym membership.

Mental preparedness

Do some yoga, meditation or simply go outside and listen to the breeze. Practice your mental well being through self-care, taking a breather away from technology, living in the moment, doing what brings you joy or maybe it’s just doing nothing at all. Take care of your emotions and your mental wellness.

Read blogs

Head to the internet and read up on some blog posts about ‘how to do this and how to do that’…hey, you’re already doing that right now! :)

Watch videos

YouTube offers a wide range of videos on topics you can learn, or maybe just watch some videos for good ol’ entertainment.

Make lists

Making lists of skills you want to learn or items you want to acquire or goals you want to achieve can be a great way to motivate yourself. Keep the lists visible so you always see what you want and how to get it.

Check out all of my free guides and my free checklists.

Save for big items

People always say certain things are out of reach but if you save for it, you can reach it, eventually. Budget out how much you can save to get the item you want. We were able to save or the down payment on a house by just cutting our grocery bill by 3/4. It all adds up!

Look at the free section of craigslist

We recently got a swing set for FREE from Facebook marketplace. I literally only have a Facebook so I can scour Marketplace as it seems to have more options than Craigslist. But still, if you’re patient, you’ll come across some amazing, FREE, deals. Don’t forget to look for free pallets, too!

Join community groups

Whether online or in-person, engaging with like-minded individuals is a great way to grow your preparedness by getting inspired through seeing their journey. We don’t compare, but we cheer each other on and get ideas from others. It’s a great way to stay focused on preparedness and your journey.

Start a side hustle

Instead of simply saving money, how about making more money? Do you have a car? You can do Ubereats or deliver packages for Amazon. Maybe you can dog sit? Or maybe you have a talent or skills that you could sell online or in-person? Do a personal assessment and figure out how you could bring in some extra money.

Check your budget

Do a budget assessment. Calculate all money going in and all money going out. Is there anything that can be changed about your budget? You don’t need to necessarily sacrifice anything, but maybe there’s just some unnecessary spending that could be cut down. Take an assessment!


I bet you have some things lying around that you don’t use anymore, maybe you could put them online and get some extra money? Maybe have a whole garage sale? Clear out some spaces and make some money while you’re at it!

Run drills

Running emergency drills is a great way to stay prepared and make sure your emergency disaster plans are going to work even during peaceful times, let alone an actual emergency or disaster. Run a bug out drill, blackout drill, eat food storage for a few days, test out your communication options, etc.

Food bank

If you have absolutely no money for preps, then there’s no reason you shouldn’t be taking advantage of your local food bank to provide for your family. I’ve been there, there’s nothing to be ashamed of. Get the help you need.

Print everything

While this does require a printer or a source with a printer, like library (though some libraries charge a few cents per page), printing your own ‘library’ of information is a great way to be prepared. Find a good recipe or how-to? Print it! Having hard copies of everything is essential. Even if you think you won’t be using it right away, print it for later use.

There are so many more ways to be prepared with no money. While some gear can be helpful, there are plenty of ways to be prepared with no money. Do what works best for you and your situation.

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Morgan is the founder of Rogue Preparedness. She has been a prepper for over a decade. She's a wife, mother of two daughters and is homesteading off grid. She teaches people how to be prepared for emergencies and disasters.

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  1. Great suggestions! As the economy is getting tougher, these are great ways to keep prepping when money is tight.

    1. Totally agree. Thank you!

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