Building a stockpile of preps should be your first goal as a prepper. Without some items put up for an emergency you’re no better off than everyone else.
When a big old stinking pile of Sh*t Hits The Fan you want to at least be on top of that pile!
As the global economy continues to tumble many people across this great country are just now seeing the light and beginning to prepare.
Ideas that just 10 years ago would have classified you as a crazy hoarder, a nut, or a tin foil hat conspiracy theorist are on the front pages of major magazines. It seems people are finally beginning to wake up.
For many of these new preppers the question of where to begin and how to afford all these new expenses keeps them up at night. At first it really does seem impossible, but I assure you it is not. Everyone can prep!
The solution is to start small, as small as $2.75 a day. $2.75 can’t do much…in fact it’s hard to even buy a cup of coffee for $2.75 now!
So how can you buy expensive gear and equipment for so little? I’m here to tell you a BIG SECRET your grandparents from the great depression knew all about…. you save your dang money!
You would be surprised how fast it adds up, and before you know it you can have a nice wad of cash to spend on your preps with only $2.75 a day saved.
$2.75 A Day
Let’s assume you save just $2.75 a day, or less than $20 a week. In a year you will have over $1,000 to put into your preps!
$1,003.75 to be exact. So what can you do with your newly saved $1,000? Here’s a list that I’ve compiled from my own preps, the advice of others, and the combined knowledge of the prepper community.
Remember you can adjust this list to fit your situation, and in fact you should definitely adjust it to you individual needs. For example if you already have a gun, then spend that money somewhere else. If you live in the desert buy more water and less heaters. You get the picture.
Ready to prep? Here we go!
Water ($50)– Minimum 1 gallon per day
You want at least one gallon of water per day per person. This is a minimum and won’t give you much extra for cooking, cleaning, and sanitation. The more water you can store the better, even 10 gallons per person per day wouldn’t be extreme.
Store your water in bulk. Gallons of water are easy to buy, but at $1 – $3 per gallon they can add up quickly. They will also take up a lot of room.
- Buy several 55 gallon plastic drums off craigslist or facebook yardsale groups (about $15 each in my area) and fill them up from the hose. Don’t forget to buy a simple but reliable water hand pump!
- Alternative – Save soft drink containers and milk jugs, rinse them out and fill with tap water, add 3-4 drops of unscented bleach, swirl them around and write the date on them.
Food ($270)– 2,500 calories per day
Your goal should be 2,500 calories per day per person. You can live on 1,500 calories but you will lose weight, have no energy, and be hungry at first. Your body will reach an equilibrium and level off but the first couple of weeks will not be fun and that is a time when you need to be at 110%.
For $270 you should be able to buy 3-6 weeks of food preps depending on your family size. Remember we’re skipping meats, frozen foods, and fresh vegetables here. These are usually the most expensive foods so your budget should really stretch.
If you have bought everything on the list and can afford more food then by all means go for it, but don’t sacrifice other items for extra food just yet. And for goodness sake, don’t forget to buy a very good manual can opener!
When it comes to food stores you have a couple of options. I recommend option B unless you’re packing a Bug Out Bag.
Buy food bars. Portable, tasty enough to eat, and cheap per calorie. Food bars can get you through for a few weeks but boy oh boy are you going to be sick of them after a while.
They’re great for a few days if you’re living out of a Bug Out Bag but not so much for long term use. If you have the space skip the food bars and buy real food.
Purchase in bulk what you normally eat. Focus on canned and boxed foods and consider the nutritional value of the food you buy (i.e. a can of chicken noodle soup is a lot better than a box of mac-n-cheese).
A good idea would be to sit down with a notepad and pen and make a meal plan for a week. Take off anything that has to be in a refrigerator or freezer and turn your meal plan into a shopping list.
Why no perishable foods you ask? Remember that there may be no electricity when it comes time to use your preps so you should plan your meals without frozen or refrigerated foods and meats now instead of watching it all go to waste and running out of food later.
- Buy cooking oil (essential fats) that you will need to complete your meal. Don’t forget about spices, herbs, and condiments. They make the meal and are a vital part of any small stockpile.
- Ramen soup, rice, lintels, and beans are cheap and easy bulk foods. Go to your local asian supermarket or Costco for the best prices. Powered milk, honey, and salt should also be on the must-have list.
- Wheat and cereal grains require a mill, can be harder to find in bulk, and are usually more expensive. Their advantage is they are more nutritious and can be made into several foods such as breads.
- Consider shelf life (aim for at least 1 year out). Things like canned food or properly stored dried foods are best.
- Buy store brands, use coupons, and buy on sale to maximize your available funds.
Light ($60) – Your light in shining darkness
Only buy flashlights and lanterns with LED bulbs and look for ways to power them without batteries, such as hand crank or solar.
NOTE: If you opt for a propane lantern make sure it can be supported without a 1lb bottle (you should use an adapter hose to a 20lb bottle instead. See why here). You can make a simple metal hook from a clothes hanger, or get a special stand (big, in the way, and expensive) or just use a propane tree instead.
- Pick up a quality hand crank LED flashlight.
- Buy a bunch of candles at the dollar store or local discount store, as well as some matches and lighters
- Choose your favorite and buy one or two – hand crank LED lantern, oil lamp, or propane lantern
- Get extra alkaline batteries for your old flashlights, but if the bulbs are not LED I wouldn’t bother.
Medical/First Aid ($50)– Don’t forget the band-aids
First and foremost, make sure you are up to date on all prescriptions, then…
- Get a decent first aid kit – usually around $30.
- Pick up extra supplies like extra band-aids, burn ointment, diarrhea medicine, laxatives, pain killers, triple antibiotic, cold medicine, etc.
Household Supplies ($60)– For cleaning and sanitation
Get all of your usual basics. Think about what you use over a months time and make a list. You may be tempted to grab the $1 travel sizes but unless you’re packing specifically for a Bug Out Bag you should get cheap store brands in regular sizes. You’ll get much more bang for your buck.
Some items not to forget:
- Dish soap. Water it down to make it last. You can cut it half and half with water and it will clean just as well.
- Toilet paper, lots of it. This will become a luxury very quickly.
- Bleach for cleaning and water purification. Get regular plain bleach with nothing else added.
- Toiletries such as deodorant, shampoo, bar soap, hand sanitizer, shaving cream, and razors. These will go a long way to making you feel civilized.
- Don’t forget to get feminine hygiene products if you need them. They also make good first-aid bandages.
Self-Defense ($270)– Just as important as your supplies
This is going to be your biggest budget stretch and, unless you’re incredibly lucky, you’ll need to spend some time looking for a good deal. Think self defense and hunting when it comes to guns. For the novice a 12 gauge shotgun and a .22 rifle are ideal. Check out the used gun selection at your local pawn and gun shops. Gun shows are a great place to shop too.
- You can find a used 12 gauge shotgun for around $140-$150.
- Buy a box of 12 gauge shells, about $25.
- if you look around you will find a decent rimfire like the Ruger 10/22 along with a brick of ammunition for about $100. The cheaper models can be purchased new at this price if you wait for a sale.
- Alternative – spend the extra $100 on 12 gauge ammo and accessories.
Fuel ($90)– Extra gas & propane
You will need fuel for cars, starting fires, and cooking (with propane). Stock up and set some aside, and don’t forget to rotate your gas into your vehicles and store fresh gas + sta-bil in the cans every 8-10 months (6 months is better).
- Stock up on 10 gallons of gas + sta-bil treatment.
- Buy an extra 20lb propane tank. About $50
- Buy a 20lb to 1lb adapter hose. They can be had for $15.
Heating & Cooking ($150) – Indoor & outdoor flame
Having the choice to cook from propane or a campfire outside will make the difference for you. You can’t always start a fire outside for a variety of reasons so having a simple “push button” way to cook with propane gives you an edge.
When it comes to keeping warm during the winter months I recommend you read 98.6 Degrees: The Art of Keeping Your Ass Alive by Cody Lundin, of Dual Survival fame. It’s also one of the best general survival books out there.
Heating indoors with propane can be tricky and dangerous. You need proper ventilation and even so called “indoor safe” propane heaters are not truly safe. Don’t think you can stick one in your bedroom and be ok, YOU MUST HAVE VENTILATION.
Keep in mind that using propane indoors is dangerous, ventilate it and follow proper procedures and use common sense. It WILL kill you! A carbon monoxide detector can save your life. Do not ever take it for granted. Please spend the extra $18 for this life saving device if you ever plan to use propane indoors…
- Buy a portable propane heater for warmth.
- Get a propane stove burner for cooking.
- Buy a heavy duty camp grill if you have access to wood.
- Blankets, blankets…….and more blankets. Emergency thermal blankets too!
- Thermal clothing, warm socks, and good gloves can make all the difference.
Again, a simple carbon monoxide detector can save your life. Do not ever take it for granted. Please spend the extra $18 for this life saving device if you ever plan to use propane indoors.
Well – that’s our $1,000.00 dollars.
Start saving your $2.75 a day and soon you’ll have your very own stockpile to fall back on during tough times. You don’t have to wait until you have the full $1,000 saved obviously, so start today and buy your first preps next week.
You’re literally this close to getting started prepping, don’t put it off. Don’t say you’ll do it later. Do it today.