Most of us don’t have the luxury of going out and spending thousands of dollars on a ready to go disaster survival kit. For most of us, prepping is a way of life, but life does come first. That means eating day-to-day, fuel bills, vehicles and the kids activities.
We get what we can when we can. Be it a couple of extra cans with the weekly shop or a once-per-month prepping specific shopping trip.
In this post, we will take a look at how to prep on a budget, covering various ideas in the top areas of preparedness. many of these items can be picked up from the dollar store or your local food store. Some are specialist items that can be found on Amazon and other good online retailers.
- Foil Survival Blanket ($1) – One of these for each family member is a great budget prep. Sure they are a little flimsy but add a bit of duct tape to your preps and you can sure up the edges. Great if the power goes out or even to use in a solar oven. Plenty of uses.
- Heavy Duty Tarp ($5 – $10) – These come in handy for a number of uses, primarily keeping your dry if you need to bug out in an emergency. But also other things such as keeping your wood store dry or even caching items for later.
- Empty 2L Soda Bottles (free!) – If you buy these then wash and refill with water. You don’t need to mess around with bleach etc, just add water and screw on the cap. be sure to store them in a dark place, like the basement or a cupboard and replace every 3-6 months.
- Sawyer Mini Water Filter ($16.13 1 time purchase) – I use these mini filters on my backpacking trips and they are awesome. They can be had for as little as $16.99 on Amazon and are good for removing 99.9999% of all water born bacteria. A must have prep and will literally last a lifetime.
- Store Bought 5 Gallon Jugs (approx $0.25 per gallon) – The large jugs of water you get from the store with the carry handle are great for storing away in the basement or an outbuilding. They stack well and can be marked with a pen so you can easily rotate them and or refill when needed.
Check out our article on water purification in a survival situation.
- Pre-packed dehydrated meals (varies) – you can find in the store, such as pasta with cheddar and broccoli or chicken and rice. These pack down super small, take up almost zero space and are usually on offer for $1 or so each (2 servings).
- Empty 2L Soda Bottles (free!) – As above, saving these bottles can also come in handy for storing dried goods. When washed and dried we can add rice, lentils, beans and peas or any dried food that will fit!
- Salt ($0.50 – $1 per lb) – You can get a lot of salt for your money and it goes a long way. A couple of pounds will last a long time.
- Dried Milk Powder ($1-$2) – This stuff rehydrates with water and to me tastes like the real thing. Great to have for drinking and baking with.
- Dehydrated Potato Flakes ($2) – Potato has a lot of carbs and can provide a good amount of energy, not to mention really bulking up a meal so you feel full. They rehydrate well and can be spiced up with a number of different things.
You can also check out our complete guide to survival foods.
- Fast Food Restaurant Freebies – You can get lots of freebies to add to yourpreps from fast food restaurants, even if you don’t visit them yourself, ask friends and other family members to grab a few bits for you. Let’s take a look at some of the items:
- Napkins & Tissues
- Knife, Fork & Spoons
- Sugar, Salt 7 pepper sachets
- Mayonnaise, Mustard, ketchup, Relish
- Drinking Straws (to make your fire starters)
- Hot Sauce
- Tealight Candles ($1) – You can grab a large bag from the dollar store for…you guessed it $1!
- Cotton Rounds ($1) – The type that removes make-up etc are great for making char cloth fire starter and other medical uses
- Super Glue ($1) – Great for fixing things and stitching things together – even wounds like they did in WW2.
- Disposable Lighters ($1) – Great for quick fire lighting and they last a long time
- Petroleum Jelly ($1) – A number of uses, fire starters, lip and skin protection and the obvious lubrication of tools etc.
- Homemade Pepper Spray – Check out the instructable video below:
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Even more great budget prepping ideas can be found in the following videos:
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Got tips to share for prepping on a budget? Let us know in the comments