By Chris Ruiz – The Bug Out Bag Guide
This article comes from Dave Steen, a survival expert with 30+ years in the field and multiple books published on a wide variety of preparedness topics. If you are looking for more money saving tricks to use while prepping, I suggest you check out Dave’s fantastic book, Prepping For Pennies (click here to see it).
Prepping For Pennies
One of the first things that hit most preppers starting out is fear. I’m not talking about fear of some disaster, although there are many who start out in prepping just because of such a fear; but rather, fear that they won’t be able to pay for it all. Granted, prepping looks pretty expensive when you first start figuring out what you’re going to need to do, especially if you’ve read some book that starts talking about alternative heat and energy, as well as building a survival retreat, over and above the cost of stockpiling supplies.
Before you get carried away in those plans, stop and think for a minute. Your prepping has to fit into your family’s budget, as well as your lifestyle. Oh sure, pretty much everyone has to make budgetary adjustments to pay for prepping, as well as some lifestyle changes to make themselves more self-sufficient. But that’s not the same as throwing your whole life away to focus purely on prepping.
There are a number of things you can do to save yourself a lot of money. Maybe they won’t be the ideal solution to a particular problem, but they are realistic solutions which will allow you to do your prepping, without breaking the bank. We’re talking survival here, so ideal isn’t really necessary. Nobody is awarding you style points for how your bug out bag looks or whether you have the latest and greatest gear. The only points to be awarded are for how well your family manages to survive a crisis.
With that in mind, start thinking about how to save money, before you start thinking about how to spend it. There are a lot of things you can do, which will ultimately save you a bundle, but still give you what you need, so that your family can survive.
Start out by looking at what you have and how you can repurpose it. Maybe you need a wheelbarrow for your garden, but don’t have the money for it right now. Okay, look around at what you have. What’s that? Is that a kid’s wagon and a pile of paint buckets? Looks to me like it’ll work for a wheelbarrow.
People in third-world and emerging countries have learned to do without a lot of things that you and I consider necessities. Part of this is that they use what they have, even if it’s not the right tool for the job. As I’ve traveled in Mexico and South America, I’ve been amazed by some of the ingenious uses I’ve seen for items. The old saw about “necessity is the mother of invention” is true, whether you believe so or not.
Ever hear that “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure”? Well, if you’re a prepper, start looking for that treasure. We live in a disposable society and people throw good things away all the time. Figure out the trash man’s schedule and drive around the neighborhoods before he can get there. Look to see what people have set out and think about how you can use it.