Things You Can Do For Prepping While Spending Little Money

Yes indeed, prepping can get mighty expensive if you let it. There is a seemingly endless array of products to acquire for preparedness – some of which are quite useful. That said, there are LOTS of other preparedness related products that sure are “nice to have’s”, while still others are merely gimmicks and not so useful or practical.

For those who don’t have much money or for those whose budget may be extremely unforgiving, the question is “What can you do for prepping and preparedness without spending any money, or spending very little money?”

I will begin with the following suggestion… Find a way to acquire extra money.

Lets face it, that’s how the system works. Money (currency) is the temporary storage medium of our work which is then used to exchange for goods and services. To get more of it, you must either work for more of it or trim the outflow from your existing budget. Don’t have a budget? Make one… Get out the knife. Look for areas to cut.

Now that ‘that’ is out of the way, let’s continue…

Not all preps need be expensive! While you might say “I don’t have any money”, you can still acquire things on the cheap which are geared towards prepping and preparedness!

How? Here are a few ideas:

Go to a garage sale or estate sale. You may be quite surprised to find out what you can get for pennies on the dollar. And some of these sales have some great old stuff that may be especially useful for preparedness.

A packet of seeds is cheap! You can literally grow a garden for a few bucks worth of seeds. Spend ten dollars and you’ll have quite a variety. Spend twenty and you will have the opportunity to harvest quite a crop indeed.

Educate yourself. We are living in amazing times with the wealth of information at our fingertips on the internet. Can you read? Then you can acquire knowledge for free. Go after your interests and figure out how those interests might crossover into prepping and preparedness.

Basic survival skills (e.g. bushcraft skills) can be fairly inexpensive to acquire. You might think that it’s easy to build a fire from scratch but have you actually ever done it?

Discount grocery stores dot the countryside. There’s one about 30 minutes from where we live that we visit from time to time looking for deals. It is not uncommon to find cans of vegetables for 49-cents or thereabouts. You’re telling me you don’t have a few extra dollars to start building up a food storage inventory? Do you know how cheap it is to buy a 10 pound bag of white rice? (Etc…)

Mindset. You might not have much or any extra money, but you sure can adjust your mindset towards preparedness – and it’s free. The more that you think about something, the more that it will come to you. It’s true…

Okay, your turn for continuing this list of advice.
What do you recommend for others to do who say they don’t have any money to prep?

UPDATE: Additional ideas from the comments below:

Save/sell scrap metal
Take advantage of coupons & sales
Use Libraries for their books and free internet
Give up a ‘want’ in order to save for the future
Go through what you do have, to see how it may apply to preparedness
Walk and Exercise for better health
Before purchasing, ask Is this a ‘luxury’ or necessity?
Eat at home, cook your own food
Beware of ‘latest technology’ trap
Learn food preservation, ‘canning’
Strict budgeting, designate weekly/monthly/annual expenditures
Smart grocery shopping, understand cost per unit
Dollar stores
Scrap the paper towels, use washable towels
Make your own laundry soap
Budgeting: Don’t get frustrated, take baby steps if need be
2nd hand stores for clothes, etc..
Learn to fix things yourself
Write down all your expenditures, it helps to know where it’s going
Learn from others who are already good at what they’re doing
Cut the electric use in your home, shut lights out, etc..
Wild food sources such as fishing, foraging
Barter & trade when you can
Make your trips count, consolidate your errands
Just get your butt in gear…

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  1. Save any metal (coat hangers, cans, hubcaps laying on the road, etc.) pull it from the trash, stack it until you have 25 lbs. I know a guy who has been tearing Bic lighters apart for years. He had 27 lbs. of brass & all the other metal & plastic.

    1. Dryer lint, toilet/paper towel rolls, and old candles. You can make fire starters out of trash.

  2. Gosh first again;

    We live on social security so it has been a challenge. We live in a 2100 ft manufactured house on 11 acres, but because our county has little to no services (our state doesn’t like our county because it is the only conservative one in the state), our real estate taxes are only $400-$500 a year. That does help by leaving cash for other things.

    After retiring our savings mostly went for the well, a road in (everything is dirt, no pavement) and out buildings. Over the years we have been able to build up a good prep supply. No cheap grocery stores, but when we have to go into town (70 miles or 160 to Costco) we take advantage of sales and coupons. We also have a monthly food pantry put on by a food bank that we used to go to, but stopped as mostly it is now leftover snack foods and refrozen meat 3 or 4 times from the grocery stores.

    I can and have been given lots of canning jars from old, old timers who have quit the process. I also have a big garden which isn’t easy and in an area full of juniper and pine- our soil has 0 nutrients. Our population is on the old side, and as people move closer to the big cities for health, the sell out, which is a big help.

    When you use a can of something, buy 1 or 2 on your next trip to replace it. Also this is ranching country- and we buy 1/2 cow every couple of years from the ranchers. Find an LDS church as they always have the means to buy good food at cheaper prices. We get raw honey every year – 4 different kinds, from a beekeeper who just makes honey for the church. $12 a quart. And then there are always sales from the big companies like Emergency Essential (we have a group here and get better prices) or Augason Farms etc.

  3. Libraries. Most now will have free access to computers to cruise the Internet. And they will have books on plant ID, gardening, homesteading, etc.

  4. We live in a blessed country. Rich beyond the hopes and dreams of the majority of the world’s population. Our “poor” are measured by the number and age of their automobiles, iPhones and big screen TV’s. Materialistic? Yep. Buying something that won’t be used immediately for self gratification is alien thought for many in our society. Giving up something now in order to have something in an uncertain future goes against the teachings of the advertisements we have been bombarded with our entire lives.

    I know there are some truly poor people. People going through rough times due to illness, job loss, etc., but mindsets have to change if one wants to prepare for the inevitable hard times so many are expecting. At no time in my life did I fail to sacrifice something I wanted in order to obtain something My family truly needed. Don’t complain about not being able to buy a couple of extra cans of food to put back for hard times, all the while eating a “Little Debbie” snack cake and drinking a Coke.

  5. For me, budgeting money is like playing 4th dimensional Tetris. I am self-employed and there are periods of time when the money is pouring in and times when little or no money is coming in. So when we have money, we set some aside for the lean times. Also, we receive deposits now for events in the future, so we have to plan for those upcoming expenses. It’s all about managing cash flow and not falling into the trap of robbing Peter to pay Paul. I very often have to tell myself that money is tight even though there is plenty in the bank so I don’t get into trouble down the road.

    Right now I am doing a lot of physical and mental organizing, which is free. I am going through my things and evaluating how they could be put to use. I am going through my plans for various scenarios, evaluating how prepared I am for each, and what goals I should set to become better prepared.

  6. Walking and exercise to lose the extra weight, feel better, and hopefully get off of prescription drugs like high blood pressure medicine.

    1. Yes, that is a VERY GOOD suggestion, and one that is often overlooked. Health is priority and is something that ‘most’ can control if they really want to…

    2. Treat and prevent high blood pressure naturally with garlic

      natural news dot com/garlic_hypertension_food_cures

    3. Steve, garlic alicin capsules the high doses work great to reduce high blood pressure. Tried and tested.

  7. Ask yourself ” is this a luxury or a necessity? ” If health allows, cut back from 3 meals to 2 a day for a while. If health allows ( often recommended to check with your physician) fast one day a week, which may not only help lose unnecessary weight, but I have read is supposed to aid in the regeneration of stem cells. If safety is not an issue, and time allows, walk or ride a bicycle. Ask your insurance agent if you can get a better deal. Libraries have books on ways to save money. Go online at the library and search for ideas to save money. Read ” Poor Richard’s Almanac ” written by Benjamin Franklin. Read the book of Proverbs in the Bible. Just a few suggestions. :)

  8. Step one: Eat as many meals as possible at your OWN table. You’re paying rent on every restaurant table you sit at. You’re paying for someone else to cook and someone else to fetch it to that table and someone to wash those dishes.

    Step two: Cook every thing you can from as close to the raw as you can get. I’ve only bought one loaf of bread in the past two years. Now I’m coming close to not buying commercial flour by milling my own. I cure my own Canadian bacon instead of paying a ridiculous price for the store bought that is just pieces of ham glued together. Learn to can. I don’t buy jams, jellies, pickles, chutney, canned peaches, canned chicken, canned pork, canned pork and beans, canned green beans….the list goes on and the flavor and quality of mine is premium.

    Step three: Grow whatever you can grow. KJ is right seeds are cheap and if you go with heirloom varieties you’ll only have to buy your first packet.

    Step four: Don’t get trapped chasing your technological tail. Look for tools and appliances with technologies that have endured not the newest thing. My coffee grinder is about 100 years old I have hand cranked it while watching the utility guys try to replace power lines, transformers, poles, etc.

    Step four: If you can do it then do it. If you can’t then learn to do it.

    1. @JustAnOldGuy

      You propose such a simple formula yet it’s so difficult for most people to understand. I admit that getting started can be daunting but once you start, there’s no going back. You can’t beat homegrown vegetables and dinners made from scratch whether its from fresh garden vegetables or home canned items.

      We haven’t bought canned food or commercial bread products in over 20 years. We can everything ourselves which, like you mentioned, includes jellies, jams, pickles, sauces, dips, juices, meats and mixtures like stews and soups. Likewise we make our own pork and beans and just about any other kind of canned bean you can buy from the grocery store. Like, red beans, white beans, pinto beans, chili and beans and all kinds of mixtures. I love to eat home canned red beans or white beans right out of the jar or heat it up and mix it with rice.

      I bought a few cases of quart and pint canning jars over the years but the bulk of my canning jars were given to me by people who didn’t know what to do with them after their parents or grand parents passed away. Apparently they just weren’t into canning and figured it was easier to go to the grocery store and buy their canned food.

      The first seven cases of jars I got, 24 years ago, I dug up out of the dirt from inside an old barn. The owner was going to throw them all away. Those jars probably had been sitting there for 20 plus years since all the cardboard from the boxes had rotted away. There were even several old blue glass Mason jars in the mix (those are sitting on my bookcase as a collectors item). Man… I still remember that feeling of like I just found a chest full of treasure!! I couldn’t believe people would just throw it away.

      Since most of my canning jars came from people who obviously came from families that canned back in the day, it makes me wonder why they are unable or unwilling to continue that way of life. That’s ok with me though, since I’ve acquired nearly 50 cases of quart canning jars over the years for free.

      Water bath canners are cheap. A newbie could probably pick up a couple from a garage sale really cheap. On the other hand, a good All-American pressure canner is costly but it will pay for itself many times over… ours certainly has. Take care of it and it will last a life time.

  9. Our budget is very strict and detailed. We have three bank accounts, annual, monthly, and weekly.

    Annual: firewood,vehicles, presents, medical, taxes and projects.

    Monthly: property tax, insurances, car payment, electric and phone.

    Weekly: food, gas and sundry. All shopping is done on one day and no money is spent the rest of the week.

    Each payday money is allotted to each of these accounts. Remember that some payments are bi-weekly and some are monthly. When totalling up how much money you need in each account be sure to check whether you are dividing by 12 monthly payments, 26 or 24 payments.

    Always carry a calculator when you shop. It is the only way to determine how many ounces or pounds you get for the price.

    Dollar stores etc. can be a good buy. However, sometimes goods are very close to their due date. I bought handsoap at a great price only to find that it was old and had no scent. That may not be important to you, but I keep ivory soap in my bed to stop the leg cramps.

    Scrap the paper towels. Everything should be reusable. Buy the commercial sized rolls of TP. Use cold water to rinse dishes. Buy a fifteen dollar gadget Kwik Sip for your shower and start taking Navy showers. Remember when President Nixon set a 55 mile per hour on the freeway? Drive slower. It will save you money. Want to lower your electric bill? Buy some Microsolar Shed lights. At 60 LED bulbs it will give you plenty of light. Too white a light? Spray paint it with gold paint, cover it with tissue paper or make an elasticized lamp shade for it. Make your own laundry detergent. I am averaging fifteen dollars a year with an accurate account coming in March.

    Great article, Ken. Hope we get a lot of money saving ideas from it. I am always looking for more.

    Stay frosty.

    1. Oh, Pieface. I have a tried and true relief for leg cramps–and I cried they were so bad early in the morning.

      Black Cohosh. When I threw away my hormone prescription, I started taking these. A few weeks later, I came to the realization that my leg cramps AND acid reflux(so bad my ears burned)had stopped.

      I tried a couple weeks to test if it was true–yep–acid reflux and leg cramps returned upon not taking these.

      It is a simple, inexpensive solution for both ailments.

    2. Pieface,

      Two things to help leg cramps…

      unsulphured black strap molasses take a spoonful or two before bed

      Also magnesium citrate 100% pure powder take 1/2 tsp before bed mixed in juice…. (I like NOW brand on Amazon)

      look up magnesium and leg cramps, restless legs

      Has worked for DH and me….

      May your health propser Pieface~

    3. Pieface

      I have read many times, and talked to a couple who tried this, and all swear it works a wonder.

      Plain, yellow, table mustard. Take a teaspoon upon getting a cramp. Or, if you wake up regular with cramps, take a tsp before bed.

      Have read that runners will often carry those restaurant packets with them, to take while racing. Keep some packets, or mustard bottle beside your bed/in your car, etc..

      Let us know if anything works.

  10. Check out the clearance aisle at retail stores. Make your own laundry soap and toothpaste as per YouTube. Tons of ideas on how to do things on the cheap on YouTube.

    1. Laundry soap is so easily made.

      Grated Fels Naptha, Arm & Hammer crystals, and Borax crystals. Stir well; I use 1/8 cup each load and I too made enough for a year.

  11. Possibly regurgitation of previous items stated, if so apology in advance.
    The budget Ken stated is critical in my view, money comes in, money goes out, until you can see it, you can’t control or improve it. Debt and spending will run you hard, instead of you in control. Start simple, pencil and paper it will grow from there as you see the picture.

    Then figure out if, or where, the current lifestyle has to change due to the current financial condition. Pick the path that goes where you want to be, that you want to do, and follow it. It’s not overnight, the discipline to get into control and stay in control is the hard part. But, it’s better than being stuck in neutral and stressed.

    Any amount of progress is a positive by moving forward on a path, feeding motivation which leads to additional resulting in stress bleeding off. To me, every other decision branches off from the finance picture and chosen path; like obtaining new skill(s), living location/abode, fun times and of course improving you peace of mind being “better” prepared which varies for everyone.

    1. Well said about the budget, Grey.

      I got out of debt by using two spreadsheets. One had items that came up monthly, divided into when paychecks arrive. So one table covers 1-15, second for 16-31. Listed all anticipated recurring expenses. As I would pay each of those, I’d color code it so I could see what’s still needed to get through next paycheck.

      Second spreadsheet showed what was still due on each credit card and forecasted amount to pay each paycheck. When a payment was made, change the color so I know it’s done. HAd formulae built in to keep running tab. Handled 4 credit cards this way and avoided all finance charges.

      If y’all want to see it, maybe I could send it to Ken and he send on to you.


  12. Through a good chunk of my life money has been thin & therefore we had to learn to make do, priorize, repurpose etc. Today we are better off but still old ways die hard. Eg. When I went back teaching & money was easier I still felt guilty if I thought of buying new clothes when I could buy a perfectly good $150 suit jacket for $20 at the 2nd hand store.

    Single ladies a word of advice. Check out potential husbands carefully. Just because he is cute & the life of the party does not mean he will make a good husband in SHTF times. Make sure he has at least a few good skills that can take care of a family if jobs, groc. etc. become scarce. Partly through discernment & partly luck I got a guy who someone wrote on a job reference for him, “Jack of all trades, master of many.”

    Learn to fix things yourself. Start small & work up. Why pay someone $100/hr. when you could do it yourself. Besides you not only have to raise the $100 but also the income taxes on that money.

  13. A year or so ago I started keeping track of ‘where the money went’. Yep- paper and pencil. Write down everything! I keep receipts until I can get it noted and have my bank account set to notify me when anything over $20 is charged to the debit card. Have that burger while you were out? Write it down. With everything written down I can look at if am I slipping in the want -v- need department.

  14. Great article Ken.

    I have noticed that the magazine articles I have written that obtained the best reviews were hints on how to do something at low cost/reusable and effective. We are all into finding an effective solution to fix things that are inexpensive. Writing is a fun hobby for me and some magazines will pay a small stipend for each article they publish($45 per article).

    My hobbies are being whittled down to those that I can afford. If I can afford it, I will do it. If I cannot afford it, I try not to think about it. Gardening has become about raising plants that are not only pretty but edible too. Our yard is small and we have enough grass for the dog to run on but the raised beds were increasingly being used to raise herbs and vegetables.

    My wife is getting rid of her stationary bike and I spend a small sum on walking shoes and poop bags because we have a dog that needs walking. Walking our dog has become our exercise and our social outlet within our community. All of us with dogs know each other and we stop and talk frequently when it is not snowing or pouring rain.

    When I lived in an apartment, I used to go to the community garden. There I can work and learn from others, talk to the master gardener and share what I knew from working on farms as a child. It is a different crowd than the ones I meet and know on the shooting range and in the hunting fields. One cannot live but hunting alone. It is fun to learn new things and learning from others is inexpensive much of the time.

  15. When I had a huge debt to pay and lost work and much of my income due to the recession, I made drastic cuts to my budget so I could pay off the loans, save money to buy 25 year food storage for 6 months, and pay my household bills for 3 1/2 years. In that time I paid off the loans, bought 6 months of food preps, had $5,000 in savings, and produced a renewable food source on a “poverty income.” These are all part of prepping.

    I cut electric power use to 200kw a month and monitored it every day. That saved me $50 a month. I cut TV use, electric dryer, electric stove use, and hot water heater. I had a one light rule in the house w/40 watt bulbs.
    I ended my $40 month long distance bills with a penny a minute.

    I bought a wood stove as a supplement heat source which saved me 50% of my heat bill including propane. I harvested half the wood from my forest and timber cutting scrap no one wanted. The wood stove paid for itself in a little over a year. The rest of the savings went to preps.

    I looked to wild food sources as fishing, and edible plants by foraging. Saved a lot by supplementing my meals this way. All my meals cost about a $1 a day.

    I canned and froze a lot of my foraging extras. I was too poor to buy new Ball jars, but I saved my pickle jars with pop-up lids that worked as good sealing. I learned to pickle cattail stems and northern pike I caught. The rest of my food and regular items were from store sales, rummage sales, and Goodwill. I saved gas with only going once a month to town.

    I increased my garden productivity with year-old seeds sold cheap (10 for $1)I took struggling wild blueberry plants and transplanted them to be productive, and seeded more raspberry, blackberry, juneberry and wild cherry seedlings for longer term use. I am backed by a National forest and planted a lot along the trails and open hidden areas–my private stash. All free of course.

    And as Canadagirl said, learn to fix things yourself. I installed a new circuit breaker that went out in my electric box instead of hiring an electrician for $120 hr. from a drawing. I replaced a leaky kitchen faucet, fixed a hole in my roof, installed a ceiling fan, a chandelier, cut down the tree on my roof, I replaced the furnace fan motor, and now I know how to fix the fan regulator, I will be doing it myself if it happens again…and I am a girl.

    Did all this on a $12k yr budget with a mortgage, taxes, and 5 dogs I had at that time. woo-hoo!

    PS. I am still on dial-up for savings and I believe there is only two people in the county on it.

    1. Stardust

      MUCH impressed.

      Thank you for sharing your success. I have to say, it gives me (and others I suspect) hope, that we can “get there”…

      I thought you were especially “tricky” to plant along public trails. Great idea.

      1. Anon, I’m glad to share my “Secret Garden”. Last year I planted 3 potato eye wedges along the forest tree line, camouflaged with ferns and daisies with 5 hours of sun and harvested about 17 potatoes. It was on my land but this spring I am expanding it beyond my land and along those 3 miles of trails.

        1. Stardust

          well done.

          myself, I have often wondered about a somewhat smaller/similar effort. Tossing handfuls of Sunflower seeds, under a bit of dirt along park paths.

          might give it a try this spring.

  16. On the topic of growing your own food. Some years ago I kept track of everything I spent on a garden. I mean everything, gas for tiller, gas to get seed, seeds, straw and anything else. Total cost was less than $40.00. Then kept track of all the produce, using potatoes as an example, I grow reds but if white potatoes were on sale. That was the price I used. In the end we got more than $500.00 worth.

  17. All really good advise! Money, ARG! I would rather barter for everything.

    Twenty years ago when my husband and I were both working with kids in the house we struggled financially. We had to pay people to fix things for us. We had to pay daycare, quick meals out after work between sports and activities.

    I wasn’t doing what I loved to do. I didn’t have time for my gardens, my animals or my children.
    I was stuck on the hamster wheel. I felt like I had to work to make money.
    That was silly and stupid.

    My husband practically had to hit me over the head with a skillet to get me to understand that it was costing us money for me to work. For some reason it was in my head that I must do it ALL to make it, in this money driven world.

    He made more money and had a job with room for advancement, so we decided to buckle down, pay off some stupid debt and get ready for me to quit for good.

    I put my notice in and was home for the kids when they were sick, no more stupid huge day care costs, no more costs to get to work. No more stupid lunches out, or stupid work expenses. I burned every pair of stupid panty hose.
    I sold the stupid car (with payments) I bought, to get to work and back. I started driving the paid off old farm truck.

    I grow most (80%) of our food and meat. I sell extra produce and eggs. I sell to the hospital and the schools.
    I am home to jump on excellent bargains, auctions, yard sales and freebees. For awhile I was reselling my extraordinary deals I was getting. I started doing (running) estate sales to get the first pick of antique items for our self sufficiency journey. Old hand tools, sewing machines, cream separators, you name it.

    I fix our stuff, do plumbing. electrical, construction, farm, animal husbandry, etc.
    I drive a tractor, plow snow, till gardens, cut and split firewood, I loved learning to do what I didn’t know already.
    They know me by my first name at the hardware/lumber store, I even have my own account there. Also, at the sale barn and farmers market.

    Knowledge is money in the bank.

    I am a bookkeeper by trade and I still use Quick books for all of our expenses to track everything. I took in side work. I run my husbands business from home.
    By staying home I save and make $20,000.00 a year more than when I worked for someone else.

    Being with your kids is priceless.

    By learning to work smart, not hard and we are living the dream. Sometimes I feel bad that I am having so much fun. Even when I am cussing a hog for eating my pony tail while trying to get my boot out of the knee deep mud. Sweating my arse off or freezing half to death. Busting my knuckles turning a wrench, wacking my shin for the 10 thousanth time on a drop hitch. I love every second.

    My husband loves his job and doesn’t mind being gone a lot, working really hard for his family. Because he didn’t have to take off work to watch a sick kid or family obligations, he was fully vested in his job and it paid off for us.
    He loves having a wife that can handle everything while he is away. We have hard working kids too.
    We all work as a team to make this farmstead work for us.

    This is something that families need to look at when deciding when they should jump off their hamster wheel and get down to the life they really want to live, still have the money to love it and to prep at the same time.

  18. As for stocking groceries, we have in our small town a store that is one from a small grocery company that offers good deals and has weekly specials on canned goods. Also on rice and beans almost all of the time. This is where I go to stock up for the pantry, prices are better than the big box stores.

    Also reload my own ammo, I will not hesitate to use my reloads for defense if the SHTF.

    We have an area we use for gardening that we replenish with cow manure every year to build it back up. Get to know someone your neighbors to network with if they are of the same frame of mind. The garage sale idea is a good one. I have come across firearms fishing supplies and other items to use. Be prepared and ready. Keep your powder dry.

  19. We get five Sunday papers each week from our local newspaper. This gives us FIVE times the coupons, and while it “costs” us $22.00 per month, we save hundreds of dollars per month on our food storage(We store what we normally eat).

    We spend less than one hour per week cutting and sorting coupons into the baseball card collection book sleeves, by category. My job as DH, is to tote the “Book”, and to hold the coupons so when we get the items on our coupon shopping list, we have an accurate count.

    Our average bill at Walmart, between coupons and ad matching(yes, I AM an ad match ho’ and proud of it, on a $200.00 total bill, our actual cost out the door is between $40-50.00 without any effort at all. So, we are getting paid to use those coupons.

    Pain in the butt, lots of time? Nope, not at all, if you go about it with a plan. We plan everything out, since we know the general layout of where everything is already, it makes it even more efficient.
    Why should we be at the mercy of the retailers? We fight back every way we can.

    1. TPSnodgrass,

      I’m speaking from total ignorance on this subject, but my daughter who is also a coupon queen once told me that you can get all the same coupons off the internet. Would that not eliminate the $22.00 a month for newspapers?

      1. I don’t know about you, I get the free shopper in my mailbox and the store has stacks of the free shopper filled with their coupons when entering the door.

  20. To save money years ago, I quit working outside the home and we decided we would have more money if I stayed home with the kids.

    We had a huge garden every year. Saves about $1,000 a year. I raise pigs for ourselves. Approx. $1.50 per pound. When’s the last time you bought bacon for $1.50 per pound?

    Get beef when we need it. About 1/2 beef for 18 months, Cost approx. 2.50 per pound, including TBONEs!!!

    We have chickens, free eggs. They run around the yard, and eat our veggie and fruit scraps. They pay for themselves. We have goats, I sell them for meat or 4h projects.

    For household items, such as tp, soap, etc..,I coupon. Today my total was $50 but I paid around $20 at the dollar store, came home with 2 big packs of tp, 3 big bottles of shampoo, 3 boxes of cereal, 2 big boxes of trash bags, 4 air fresheners, and $5 off coupon for my next trip!

    Saved $100 at pharmacy with a coupon also today! Also got a $5 off coupon for next months refills.

    Make your trips count. If you live 20 minutes from town, like we do. I make sure I have several errands to run before I can justify the trip.

    Our biggest thing we can tell you is, don’t wait till you need something to buy it. We have 10 packages of tp in the closet, we didn’t need the 2 packs I got today. But it was on sale and I paired the coupon with the sale. Same with the shampoo and trash bags.

    If I don’t have a coupon and need something I first go to the bent and dent store. Get things for penny’s on the dollar.

    If I had a job, I would not be able to do all of this. Thank God my DH still has a job, even with the recent explosion a the power facility he works at. But if a day came where he had no work for a few month’s, with the prepping I do and the money we save daily, we will be okay. And we will smell good!! LOL

    Hope someone can learn something from this post, take care.

  21. Being from Canada I love to shop at the Dollar Store or Buck or Two. You can get some great stuff on a budget for either your BOB, GHB or EDC. I like to use the dollar store water bottles, They are cheap and we all know that you need lots of water. Also I like to get the chem lights or glow sticks from there. They aren’t military quality but do the job for over 12 hrs.

  22. Hi y-all
    Wish I had a little more time to comment, but spending quality time with my mom.
    Only one real thing to say on this GREAT article and greater comments……
    Just get yar butt in gear and start the “adventure”

  23. A twenty dollar investment in the book “Foraging Texas” has paid remarkable dividends via nature’s free food basket. Highly recommend foraging books be part of every prepper’s library. thx

  24. After reading these comments, I can only say they reflect the continued state of denial always so prevalent in Western societies. When the fall comes…and it will, the only thing you will be able to do is scratch for whatever you can find, and fight over scraps. Do you seriously think people will just leave you alone? Since there will be no way to enforce laws, there will be no protection given by the government. If you are lucky, you will only lose your possessions, not your life.
    You can hope for the best, but prepare for the worst. There is going to be a major adjustment in the American lifestyle before long. I for one am not hanging around here to wait for it.

    1. After reading your comment, I can only say it reflects the continued state of denial always so prevalent in all societies. Do you really think that you’ll be safe in another country if the US falls to that level?

  25. Health of the body and health of the pocketbook comes to mind.

    I recently broke my foot checking for eggs in the chicken coop when there was ice on the ground. So getting around has been challenging. But the cast is coming off this week and I can get back to the work needed around the house. The wife has done great with carrying the extra weight of the task I would normally do. We were not prepared for this but we made up for it by overcoming and conquering my setback. Relearned to drive with a cast on. (Good thing the clutch is on the left). Used the office chair as a wheelchair. Taught the dog to bring me my socks.

    I managed to trailer our sailboat home with the cast on. Only yesterday I managed to climb the ladder to get aboard to begin prepping her for spring. This is our practice BOV. We are mastering sailing together and living in confined spaces on summer weekends. This is practice for retiring on a much bigger boat on the coast of Florida in not too many years. There are so many post here where people have prepared a great place of their own or, are on their way to self-sustained living. I admire that. I spent most of my life raising kids on a large ranch or farm with horses and chickens. But I’ve always had one foot in the ocean. So our preps take on in a different direction heading for retirement but shares the commonality of self-sufficient living. Living off the grid or by your own means as much as possible.

    Living within a budget to be debt free is my biggest challenge. My worse trait. Had a friend who always said, “It’s not what you make, it’s what you spend”. He always lived well and always had cash. I on the other hand, lived paycheck to paycheck. But I had a different philosophy. If you want something then work hard and pay for it. So overtime and contracting extra jobs paid my way to get me where I am today. Which is in debt with a lot of toys and no savings. So I believe there is a balance which I will now change direction. Most of you inspired me with the back to roots spirit and ideas for living well on so little. For the years to come, I hope to practice the discipline you all show so much of. One simple goal, debt freedom.

  26. The timing on this couldn’t be more perfect since we are having some setbacks. We will be ok though. Just have to cut a few more coupons and cut a few more corners. Always looking for great ideas to save some money. Thanks Ken!

  27. If you can, ride a motorcycle or scooter for quick errands if you don’t need too large of a ‘trunk’. The bigger the motorcycle, the more fuel it uses.
    Street/Trail (Dual sport) 250’s of any maker are decent on fuel mileage. If you’re handy, you can make your own brackets and put a basket on the rear and do a bit of shopping. Take the bracket off, and go for a ride in the woods… It makes for a great BOB as well. Bicycles are indeed handy and can also have bags or a cart fixed to the rear frame for hauling light items.
    Inner tubes are easy to fix on bicycles and motorcycles (Dual sports). Bikes are easy to maintain, and generally quiet except for when you are coasting with a multi-speed bike. If you have a fixie (single speed) you’ll never be heard coasting by.
    Motorcycles are not hard to maintain. Read the owners manual, they are a wealth of information.
    Old Dual Sport motorcycles may have a carb instead of fuel injection/computer (ECM) If you can land a motorcycle with a carburetor, you’re hopefully EMP Proof to a degree. (So they all claim) … Who is the “They” anyway?
    I guess the point is… less fuel means more cash in your pocket.

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