“This article was first published at reThinkSurvival.com.”
A buddy of mine sent me a link to this article on how a family of four lives on 14K a year and said I should write a post about it because apparently I’m cheap or maybe just broke (FYI, he’s always been much more frugal than I). Likewise, I’ve been seeing a lot of posts on other blogs lately that suggest ways to save money on preps, be more frugal, DIY products and so on and I thought I would throw in my 2 cents.
In my opinion, you don’t have to pay retail for everything you buy nor do you have to live life like everyday Americans (in debt up to their eyeballs from huge house payments, car payments, college loans, maxed out credit cards, etc). I won’t try to mention all of the DIY projects that are out there, tell you how to live on pennies a day, or even give personal financial advice but I will suggest a few ways–most of which should be obvious–as to how you can be smarter about your preps without breaking the bank (in no particular order)…
- Buy bulk foods (and use them!) – Look at your local Sam’s Club or COSTCO and if you have a nearby LDS cannery visit them and start buying bulk foods. Then, learn how to use them. Not only will you be better prepared for when times get tough but you will learn to save yourself money day-in and day-out when cooking meals. It’s a win-win.
- Shop garage sales, thrift stores – I know it’s the wrong time of year for garage sales but both thrift shops and garage sales are great ways to get good gear at great prices, you just have to be patient. So, with the coming spring make a concerted effort to hit a handful of garage sales this year and come back with a heap of supplies.
- Use Google Shopping – Although I’m a huge fan of shopping for my survival gear on Amazon (and occasionally eBay) Google Shopping searches not only these sites but hundreds of other as well… and sometimes finds better prices on specific equipment. Often it’s a long shot but if I can save a few bucks then it’s worth the effort.
- Buy Kindle books (instead of hard copy) – I just recently reviewed my first Kindle book and I think I’m hooked. While I know there are obvious reasons to want hard copy books I also see how electronic books will soon become the easiest way for preppers to stockpile information. And because they’re always cheaper than hard copy books (sometimes at a fraction of the cost) you can add to your survival library that much faster.
- Create bug out kits that double as vehicle kits – A while back I wrote a post about saving money by combining your bug out bag and vehicle kits that is a way to skip duplicating efforts. I’ve kept both bug out and vehicle kits for many years and eventually I’m going to stop fussing with both and just combine them because it makes economical sense.
- Go in on expensive preps with trusted family/friends – I’m sure there are plenty of reasons why this can be a BAD idea but in some cases it might make sense such as going in on a large generator, food co-ops, a desalinator, or whatever else is rather expensive but potentially useful. Of course, then there’s the question of who gets to keep it but I’m expecting that you’ll be able to talk them into your home as being the best option.
- Coupon, coupon, coupon – I’m really beginning to be a huge fan of HealthyPrepper on YouTube. Though, I don’t post the majority of her videos, I do rather enjoy watching about her most recent couponing hauls from CVS or wherever she’s been recently. If there’s a way to directly save money on your preps, this is it.
- Use technology – We live in a technologically-drive society and, in my opinion, you should take full advantage. I’ve written in the past about how you can use an iPad to download and view hundreds of PDF files that can later be used as a survival library. I’ve mentioned that there are plenty of smartphone disaster apps but there are plenty that can be used to help you save money. I also recently showed how you can download YouTube videos for free using Real Player that can also be used as a part of your survival library.
The point is that there are plenty of ways to save yourself money when prepping. What about your suggestions? What did I miss?
- Extreme couponing for survival what you need to know to keep your pantry full (thesurvivalistblog.net)
- Weekly Circular: Best Printable Coupons This Week (dailysavings.allyou.com)
- Tough Love: You DO Have Enough Money to Prep (thedailysheeple.com)