Many people get scared off the idea of prepping by the sheer cost of stockpiling and buying equipment. When you first look at it, the idea of stockpiling food and other items can be scary, especially when you consider buying enough to last you for any length of time. Some people just give up at this point, deciding that they can’t afford to be preppers.
But wait, it is possible to become more prepared, without having to spend a fortune. Granted, doing everything at once to prepare for a long-term crisis is a major financial commitment. But that doesn’t mean you have to do everything at once, or that you have to spend a fortune. Every step you take towards self-sufficiency is to your benefit, even if it’s a small step. Those steps are still worth taking, because they will ultimately put you in a position of being ready for everything.
Let’s say that you can only afford to invest $15 per week on prepping. Then that’s what you spend. Take that money out of your wallet and put it into an envelope as your prepping fund. That $15 per week adds up to $780 in a year, a considerable investment.
So, let’s look at the types of things you can do with your $15 per week, all of which will move you closer to self-sufficiency, either in a crisis situation or in everyday life.
1. Buy Some Food
While $15 doesn’t seem like much in the grocery store these days, you can buy quite a bit, if you are careful about your choices. Most of the food you’ll need to stockpile for an emergency won’t be the expensive food, but rather canned and dried foods. Most of that can be bought pretty inexpensively.
Of course, it will take a while to build a good stockpile of food, but at $15 per week, you should be able to build a couple of months’ supply of food within a year, if you shop carefully.
2. Go to the Dollar Store
You’d be surprised at how many things which are useful for survival in your local dollar store. While it may not be a survival super-store, you can actually gather enough together to make a fairly good survival kit or everyday carry bag. Some examples include:
- First-aid supplies
- Duct tape
- Plastic storage bins
- Antibacterial hand cleaner
- Warm, sturdy clothing
- Disposable phone
3. Buy Some Seeds
In any long-term survival situation, you’re going to want to plant a garden and grow your own vegetables. This will help your food stockpile last longer, as well as giving you some variety for your diet. A good vegetable garden is an essential part of becoming self-sufficient.
When looking at seeds, only buy those which are labeled as being “heirloom” seeds. These are the naturally pollinated (called open pollinated) varieties, which have been around for a long time. These are the only varieties which can reproduce; providing you with seeds to grow more of the plant the next year. Hybrid and GMO seeds may provide a bigger crop, but you can’t harvest the seeds and use them for the next year’s crop. Here is a very good list of 25 seeds from Ready Nutrition based on their ease in growing, yield quantities and nutritional benefits.
4. Stock up on Water
There’s no such thing as having too much water in a survival situation. Most survival instructors tell you to have 1 gallon of water per person, per day, just for drinking and cooking. You’ll actually need more for that, as you’ll need water for bathing, washing clothes and watering your garden.
Fifteen dollars will fill up a 55 gallon plastic drum with purified water, if you buy the water from one of the corner water stations. At 25 cents per gallon, you can actually get 60 gallons of water for that $15 investment. Make sure your plastic barrel is clean before filling it with water, so that you don’t have any risk of contamination.
5. Go to the Shooting Range
Your ability to protect yourself and your family is an important part of preparing for an emergency. Having a gun is one thing, being proficient in its use is something else. Go to the range and get in some practice on a regular basis, so that when the time comes, you can be sure of hitting your target.
Most ranges offer memberships, which are more than $15. But they are cheaper than paying the range fees, assuming you go at least once per week. So, it’s actually worth it to save up the money and buy a membership, if you are planning on shooting regularly.
6. Increase Your Security
There are a number of things you can do to your home for $15, which will make it harder for thieves to break in. Considering that the front door is the most likely entry point used by criminals, that’s a good place to start. You can add a deadbolt to your door for under $15, or add a security striker plate. Actually, if you’re going to put in a deadbolt, you should also put in a security striker plate, as the door frame isn’t anywhere near as strong as the deadbolt is.
On the other side of the door, you can replace your standard hinges with security hinges, these have a tab on one leaf, which fits into a hole on the other leaf, when the hinge is closed. That works like a mini-deadbolt, making the door stronger. Mounting the door’s hinges and striker plate with 3 1/2″ long screws is another cheap way to make it harder for criminals to break in.
7. Plant a Tree
In addition to a vegetable garden, trees can provide you with fruit. You can buy tree saplings for about $15 each. While they will take a while to grow, they will provide you with fruit to augment your diet, after a couple of years.
In order to help your trees grow, make sure that you water them regularly, as well as fertilizing them. New trees should be fertilized three to four times per year, in order to ensure that they have the nutrients necessary to grow.