Preparation is always the key to surviving whatever life throws at you. Some people try to be prepared for short term situations because they usually think along the lines that life will go back to normal quickly.
If you’re prepared to rough it without electricity or being able to run down to the store to buy food for only a day or two, you’re probably woefully unprepared. If you’re like most people, you don’t have a lot of money to spend on things that you don’t need to use right now.
That’s why it can be all too easy to push survival preparations to the backburner. But you can take care of your survival needs even if you’re on a budget. You just have to do it piecemeal, and follow through with your plans.
Make a Plan So You Don’t Buy Haphazardly
Not being familiar with how survival prepping should be handled can lead you to make mistakes with the items that you should have on hand for you and your family.
If you think that prepping means making sure you have enough supplies to make it in the event of a crisis that disrupts the ordinary way of life, you’d be right. But that doesn’t mean that you run out to the huge food store warehouse and start throwing cans of tuna in the cart.
Not knowing for sure what you need to get is a fast way to end up short on supplies, not to mention it’s a way to waste the money you have. Having a successful survival method means that you have to plan it.
You can’t run to the store and just haphazardly buy whatever looks like it’ll keep for awhile. You need to have a checklist of what you should get. This checklist should always start with the items that you must have first.
Not every item for prepping is needed right away. You always want to start with the most important things first. These will be items that your survival will depend on.
Usually what this means is that you plan to buy the basics. You should start with a basic food and water supply, since you can’t survive without either of these for very long.
If that makes you nervous, just remember that you can start short term with the plan to build toward a long term supply. So your first step would be to aim to stock up a three day supply of food and water.
You’ll need to do this for every member of your family – including your pets. For your water supply, you’ll want to look for ones labeled emergency water pouches or survival water pouches.
These come in packets for easy storage and you can get them in a 3 day supply. That’s your first goal. Keep your plan focused to setting aside supplies for 72 hours, then move on from there.
Once you have your water supply set aside, then you’ll want to move to your food supply. Just like with the water, you’ll want to make sure that you have a three day supply of food on hand.
Figure this for each person. What you’ll want to look for are the emergency food bars that offer around 400 calories a bar and come in different food flavors.
Be Picky About What You Splurge On
When it comes to planning for your survival, it can be easy to get caught up in what you think you have to have. This can lead to unnecessary splurging, which will then eat into the money you have to spend on what you really do need.
As you start to prepare, you’ll find that you’re faced with a lot of different choices on what you need. Some of these items are going to be worth you spending more money on, but some of the items aren’t.
If you’re faced with a situation and you need to get out your house, you’re going to need a way to carry a 3 day supply of food and water. You should have these items already set aside and waiting for you to just to grab and go.
These are often referred to as bug out bags or BOBs. These bags are ones that should be made of durable material, should be strong and should be water resistant.
Buying cheap bug out bags has the potential to ruin your supplies – so in this case, it’s a good idea to splurge on a good bag. What you want to look for are the bags that have good load bearing ability.
You’re going to also want to make sure that you have a good dependable communication system. This system could be your only link to knowing what’s going on and it can be invaluable for helping you to be able to reach your loved ones.
What you’ll want to splurge on are communication devices such as ham radio or world band radio. You might also want to consider a short wave radio. Splurge on a decent antenna and a solar charging system.
What you don’t want to splurge on are items that have a lot of features, can’t be carried along if you need to get out fast or don’t have a lot of bang for the buck. For example, you’ll need a camp stove.
You’ll want to splurge on a good one, but you don’t have to get one that has a ton of extras. A camp stove for $20 works just as well as the ones you can find for almost $100.
When it comes to your eating supplies, you do want to splurge on heirloom seeds. This will be the foundation of your survival once you have your short term supplies in place.
This is what you’ll use to create your long term survival garden as well as keep you and your family fed for the future.
Buying in Bulk to Cut Costs
It makes sense when you’re buying the way that you normally buy your supplies to buy what you need until you can replenish your supplies. But buying supplies for survival prepping works better when you buy them in bulk.
Retail stores and online stores will always offer a better deal on supplies when you purchase more of them. You can easily pay around $15 for a month’s supply of emergency survival food bars – but if you buy them in bulk, you can often get a deal where you only pay $60 for a six month supply, so you end up saving $30.
The best areas to look for savings on bulk items are going to be in all your basics. You can save money by buying your water in bulk. You’ll save if you do the same for your food or seed supply, too.
It’s cheaper to buy sees for a year than it is for a few months. Since you’ll need these items anyway, it makes sense to buy them in bigger quantities. If you know you want to buy a bulk item, set aside a little money at a time for a larger purchase.
Also watch for sales where you can buy items in bulk. Many stores will offer double coupons or bulk purchase deals on items you’ll need. Follow the lead of couponers who do strictly to save money.
You’ll need a checklist when you’re buying in bulk so that you don’t forget how much of each item that you have. Staples are where you’ll begin. Start by buying bulk packages of rice.
You’ll often find these in 50 pound bags. Make sure that you buy your sugar in bulk, too. You can find these in 25 pound bags and often, they’ll be plastic wrapped together enabling you to buy them in twin packs or more.
Get your flour in bulk as well, but make sure before you buy, that you have proper storage containers in place to prevent pests from getting into your food items.
Buying coffee and tea in bulk will also cut your costs. Create a store of powdered milk as well. Stock up on different types of beans, too. Buy your canned goods by the case.
You can find these in 12 to 24 can packs. Any food that you normally eat that comes in a can you’ll want to stock up on. These canned foods are often good for many years from the date when you purchase them.
What you’ll want to do is keep an eye on the expiration date and rotate them into your normal meal planning if you have to. Then just replace your stock with a new batch that has a later expiration date.
Besides making sure that you buy water and food in bulk, you’ll want to get your hygiene items this way as well. Stock up on supplies like shampoo and soap, razors, toilet paper, feminine products, diapers, deodorant, toothpaste and lotion for dry skin.
Stock up on detergent and bleach – especially bleach – because it can be used to disinfect. Getting your medical supplies in bulk will save you money, too. You’ll need to create a store of bandages, gauze, medical tape, disposable gloves, compress, thermometer, antibiotic ointments, a first aid kit, wraps, medication to treat sickness or injuries, tweezers, eye drops, sunburn cream, insect bite and poison ivy treatments.
Adding to Your Arsenal of Supplies a Little at a Time
It’s true that we often have an all or nothing mentality. When it comes to making sure our needs or the needs of our loved ones are met, we want to go all out. With survival prepping, being fully prepared can be expensive.
But fortunately, you really don’t have to buy every one of the supplies that you’ll eventually need all at once. Buying what you would need to survive for the first 72 hours is a good start and you don’t even have to buy all that at once.
You can start by focusing your spending power on getting enough water and food for everyone in your household for one day. Then stock for the second day and so on.
Once you’ve reached your store of three days’ worth of supplies, then you can start adding to your arsenal – hoarding enough for a week, a month, three months, and finally, a year and more.
As you start your supply, look at it like you’re going grocery shopping and get the items that you would normally buy at the store but buy them in bulk. If you don’t have a food warehouse membership, that’s not a problem, you can just buy what you need online.
And you don’t have to stick with one supply at a time, such as buying several bags of 25 pounds of rice until you have a supply. You want to concentrate on getting some of each category of the supplies and then rotate back through it again.
So you would buy your staples one week, making sure you get a large bag of rice. Then the next week, you would buy the flour, then after that the sugar and within weeks, you would have your staples knocked off your list.
That’s the way that you would handle every category. It’s probably wiser to buy your hygiene items while you’re buying your staples, because you’ll need those things.
When you write your list of supplies, put a heading for each area you’ll need to cover for your survival. After food and water, you should have areas marked as tools, shelter, communication, purification, heat and so on.
Under the heading of tools, you’d want to start stocking up on items like knives, self-defense weapons, multi-tools, an axe, binoculars, shovel, paracord, flashlights, fishing gear, fire starter, manual can opener, cast iron pan and more.
For shelter, you would want to make sure you have a supply of Mylar emergency thermal blankets, sleeping bags, a good tarp and tents. Weather gear can go into that category as well.
This would be items like a poncho, rain boots, etc. Purification methods are needed because if you find water you can use that if needed. Some of the methods used are filters or water purification tablets.
Buying at Certain Times to Save You Money
It’s a well known fact that when a crisis is raging, there’s often panic among the masses. One of these reasons is because the media will often hype up situations in order to drive up the ratings.
This works because what it does is it whips people into a frenzy and they make a run on supplies. You’ve probably seen empty grocery store shelves during times of uncertain weather.
When this is going on, it will often create a state where the demand will exceed the supply, which in turn only fuels more panic. What retailers do in response to this panic is they will jack up the prices.
While it’s wrong of them to feed on people’s fears, it’s simply what they do and it’s been done time and time again everywhere. So while you do want to make sure that you get all the supplies that you need to have your survival preparation supplies on hand, you want to be careful as far as the timing goes.
By paying attention to certain times and what’s going on in the world around you, you can save money. When the news is all about doom, gloom and panic, you shouldn’t buy any of your prepper supplies.
You’ll only end up being overcharged. The time to purchase supplies for your survival prepping is when life is business as usual. This way, you won’t pay more than you should.
However, there’s also another time that you should buy your necessary supplies and that’s during times when there are sales. Throughout the years, various retailers will hold sales.
You’ll see sales on holidays like Black Friday, Cyber Monday and other days. Watch for the supplies you need to go on sale then, especially if they’re the more expensive items.
Pay attention to in-store sales, discount sales and bulk buying sales. You can usually find something on sale in every one of the categories on your list. Keep it handy (and updated) and carry it with you at all times just in case.
Survival and prepping is something every household should be doing, regardless of their level of income. Dire situations don’t discriminate when it comes to wreaking havoc on society, and you want to be just as ready as your neighbors (if not more so) when anything causes you to go into bug out mode.
No amount of prepping is too little. If all you can buy is an extra 3 pound bag of rice, then do it. A couple of cans of soup here and there is also a start. Don’t wait until you have plenty of extra money to buy everything all at once.