One of the most considerable barriers for beginner preppers is the financial aspect. Prepping on a budget is hard. We know that it can be challenging to allocate additional funds for prepping emergency supplies amongst the other expenses we pay for daily, weekly, and monthly living.
We hate to worry that some individuals and families might feel like they’re not able to afford to prep. But everyone should be able to be ready for a rainy day. That’s why we’re excited to deliver the good news: Prepping on a budget is possible and affordable for almost everyone.
Prepping does not have to break the bank. Budget prepping is the process of making small and strategic financial decisions to push you and your family in the direction of being more adequately prepared for emergencies.
If you are interested in how to start prepping on a budget, keep reading. The first few steps don’t require any money at all.
It’s easy to watch Youtube videos and read articles about million-dollar emergency bunkers filled to the brim with prepper supplies and think, “I can’t afford that.”
The reality is that that type of prepping is unrealistic for most people. Of the millions of self-reliant preppers in our community, only a tiny percentage can afford the million-dollar bunker. The rest of us are prepping our emergency food supply and other equipment on a budget.
To get started, we recommend devising a plan, creating a budget, and inventorying what you already have—all of which require no money whatsoever. You can also start reading up and watching some videos to learn a whole host of invaluable skills that also require no money to learn.
Devising an emergency preparedness plan is where every budget prepper should begin. The plan you create will be unique to you and your family. To do so, it’s a good idea to consider the following questions:
Creating a budget and allocating funds for prepping is the best way to remain fiscally responsible while prepping. When prepping on the cheap, you can determine which items are most essential and which items you might need to save for. If it’s within the budget, you can feel confident to invest. If it’s not, then move on and continue saving.
Most of us have started prepping without even knowing it. Chances are, in your fridge or pantry right now is a selection of food you’ve been saving for at least a couple of weeks. These items are included in the short-term food storage category.
Short-term food storage consists of fresh fruits, vegetables, meats, dairy products, bread products, and dried goods that you prepare and eat on a routine basis. Short-term food storage keeps you from going to the grocery store daily and eating out or ordering delivery. These foods can function as your three-day emergency stockpile.
In your pantry right now, you also probably have a selection, perhaps small, of certain processed foods. Cans or boxes of soup, pasta, bags of rice or quinoa, oatmeal, and cereal are all perfect examples. These foods are part of your medium-term food storage.
Your medium-term food storage consists of frozen, canned, boxed, dried, or processed foods with a longer shelf-life than short-term foods. Typically, these foods are the convenient building blocks for your larger meals. Sometimes, they are the meal themselves, when all energy and creativity for cooking goes out the window. Thank you, frozen pizza!
Between the short- and medium-term foods you usually keep on hand, you’ve been prepping without knowing it. To continue prepping, we recommend doing three things that stay within the budget you created.
You don’t have to buy a year’s worth of emergency food in one transaction! Very few of us have the extra cash to make that possible. Instead, you can wisely spend your money over time to build up a long-term emergency food supply without burning a hole in your wallet.
The third category for food prepping is long-term food storage. Long-term food storage consists of professionally prepared and packaged freeze-dried and dehydrated emergency food. Long-term foods can last over 25 years and provide the valuable nutrients that any sized family may require throughout an emergency.
Think of it this way—long-term food storage is equivalent to food insurance. By beginning to invest in long-term emergency food now, you are preparing for the inevitable unexpected worst-case scenario. You hope you never have to use your food insurance, but when you do, you will be glad you began investing all those years ago.
This product allows you to start prepping over time and helps you avoid lump sums. Investing in long-term emergency food with three incremental payments spread out over three months allows you to continue with your monthly income and expenses without much change.
After three manageable payments, you will have 30 days of emergency food for one person, also perfect for feeding your family during grocery store food shortages or natural disasters.
Similar to the 30-day build-over-time stockpile are food storage subscriptions that you simply plug into your regular monthly budget. Food storage subscriptions allow you to build up your emergency food stockpile over time until you meet your food storage goals.
Plus, by subscribing ahead of time to purchase emergency foods like freeze-dried fruits and entrees, you can save money with monthly discounts, as opposed to manually purchasing the items yourself each month.
All the food included in the 30-day stockpile and food subscription is non-GMO, easy to prepare, and comes with a 25-year shelf life. Plus, both of the products come with simple and recognizable ingredients; there is no added junk or ingredients that you cannot pronounce.
Prepping for an emergency or natural disaster does not need to put you or your family into debt. On the contrary, you can begin prepping on the cheap without spending any money.
Preparing a plan, building a budget, and taking inventory are the ideal steps for prepping on a budget. From there, with a better understanding of what supplies you already have in short- and medium-term food storage, what you need, and how much money you have budgeted, you can begin incrementally investing in long-term food storage.We hope you found this article helpful and that it dispelled the myth that you need to be a millionaire to start prepping. For more helpful articles like this, visit our Practical Prepper Blog, or join our prepper community. Or, if you are ready to start your budget-prepping journey, visit our website to make your first purchase.