If you were to write out a list of everything you wanted to become better prepared, the odds are the total cost would make you literally laugh out loud…and then possibly cry. This makes prepping on a budget a challenge.
The good thing about prepping is that it doesn’t have to be done all at once, and there are some no cost & no cost prepping ideas.
I haven’t done it (because I have no desire to know what the actual number is) but if I were to total up what I’ve spent of preparedness, that number could be closing in on 5 figures. This didn’t happen over-night though, it took several years, and a lot of trial and error.
The truth is, when you first begin prepping, there is no reason to go out and break the bank. By taking some time and learning about preparedness before you go out and buy a bunch of “stuff”, you actually learn what “stuff” is going to help you, and what “stuff” can wait until later.
Below is a list of 8 tips for becoming better prepared that costs little or nothing. These may also be some of the most important steps you take in becoming better prepared. There are far more than 8, so if you have any thing to add, let us know in the comments section.
PRACTICING & LEARNING SKILLS
The longer you research preparedness the more likely you are to hear about skills, probably over and over again. This is because practicing new skills and honing existing skills is not only free, it’s very important. Even if your prepping on a budget, there is no excuse not to work on your skills.
It’s great to have all these new gadgets and tools, but our goal should be being able to function without them. If we find ourselves in a situation where these tools are not available, we need to be ready to handle it. If we do have these tools available, well that just makes the job easier.
Learning new skills and improving our existing skills also give us a better idea of the what and why about that subject. Take building a survival shelter for example. Most of us can follow the instructions and put up a tent, but how many of us can use the resources around us and build a survival shelter?
We may never find ourselves in a situation where we need to build a lean-to shelter, but if we learn how, we learn about tying knots, geography, security, and everything else that goes into a shelter and its location. By learning how to build shelter, you have learned a few other skills that are important in preparedness.
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One aspect of preparedness that sometimes get’s overlooked is planning. Lets face it, there are just so many other “cool” things you can do and buy, that planning sometimes gets put on the back burner.
Making sure your family understands how they need to respond in a disaster scenario is crucial if you want everything to go according to plan. Start with the most basic disaster scenarios that are likely in your area like earthquakes, hurricanes, tornadoes or floods. Then work your way up to the bigger scenarios.
Another aspect of planning is your personal planning. Some people (most people) are the lone prepper in the family, meaning they are the ones that need to do all the planning.
This could mean planning on how you are going to get the family together if they are separated, what routes you can take if you need to bug out, and what you are going to need from everyone (what’s their job) when something happens.
As we get older, our engines don’t quite run like they used to, and unfortunately most of us don’t become interested in preparedness until we get older and start families. Our health and our physical ability will be key in any good preparedness plan.
We can have all the latest and greatest prepping supplies, and the best bug out bag on the planet, but if we can’t walk more than a mile with it, it becomes worthless. Worthless might be the wrong word, because when you cant carry it, and you leave it behind, someone will find it useful.
My whole point is, we are not invincible like we thought we were in our 20’s. We need to pay attention to our diets, get enough exercise, and actually get out and hike around with our bug out bags on. Going through these situations in our heads doesn’t take any energy at all, but real life will be much different.
While there are some downsides to having unlimited access to information because of the internet, it’s never been easier to learn about something from the comfort of your home. The downside is that we need to be careful where we are getting that information.
A lot of the information on the internet these days has been regurgitated so much, that whether it’s true or not, it’s become “fact”. Make sure you are getting your information from a trusted source, and just like the doctor, make sure and get a second opinion.
This goes hand in hand with preparedness skills, because regardless what your prepping budget is, all you need is internet access, and the will to learn.
OPSEC & SITUATIONAL AWARENESS
Regardless whether you are trying to save money or not, operational security and situational awareness are one of the most important aspects of preparedness. The more we can stay out of dangerous situations, or limit the affects they may have, the better off we will be.
Situational awareness start with the things we do on a daily basis. Paying attention while driving to work, going to the store, and just keeping our heads up will make you less likely to get blindsided by something.
Operational security is a fine line sometimes. We don’t want to give out too much information, but at the same time, the more people we have on our team, the better our chances. Just remember to be deliberate about the information you give out, and who your giving it out to.
CHANGING YOUR HABITS
Changing the way you go about your daily life is not only free, it also help you become better prepared, and more self reliant. How much you need to change your habits, totally depends on your starting point.
Just by following the suggestions in this post, you will be well on your way to changing your habits. When you watch someone walking into a store, staring down at their cellphone and say to yourself “They are totally oblivious!” you are well on your way to changing your mindset.
Changing your habits also includes things like what you eat, and how often you go to the store. Most people these days don’t have more than a couple days worth of food in their homes, because they just stop by the fast food joint on the way home.
Doing a personal assessment will give you a really good idea about what habits you can change, and what habits you have that help your preparedness.
GROW YOUR OWN
Another easy way to learn more about preparedness and not breaking the bank is gardening and growing your own food. The amount of space you have will be a big factor on how much you can do, but growing food can be done in an apartment, or a 10 acre plot of land.
If you live in an apartment or your just starting out with preparedness, your goal shouldn’t be the amount you can grow, it should be actually successfully growing something. As time goes on you will learn new techniques, and more importantly, learn the process.
I love doing DIY projects because they teach me why something works like it does. If done correctly, a DIY project can be done for a fraction of the cost the actual product would be.
In the past I’ve put together a food dehydrator, a solar generator, and I’ve even made an under the bed slider to increase my storage space. While these DIY projects are not free, they can save you quite a bit of money.
YOUR MONEY SAVING TIPS?
This article lists just a few ideas for saving money and extending your prepping budget, but there are quite a few more. If you have any ideas or thought, we’d love to hear them! Just leave a comment below.
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