It’s one thing to recognize the wisdom of setting supplies by for a potential disaster, another entirely to spend so much of your hard earned cash on items you may not use frequently or on food that sits in a box for most of the year uneaten. Thankfully, there are some strategies you can use to reduce that burden on your pocketbook, ranging from finding good deals to adding a few small income streams to fill in the gaps.
Let’s take a look at some options you have and how you can implement them.
Lowering the cost without sacrificing quality
When it comes to prepping quality goods are often too valuable for you to go cheaper if you have the means to acquire high quality equipment or long-lasting food sources. As such, you’ll need to employ a few of these methods in order to find lower prices on valuable and durable goods:
- Buy in Bulk! Costco and Sam’s Club are both obvious places for this, but you can also find some online retailers that offer discounts when you order full cases of food and other items. When buying bulk packages over smaller individual ones, always be sure to check the price per unit, since some of the largest sizes are priced to charge you more per lb or oz than the “middle”-sized packages.
- Buy needed items in more durable forms. Salt made for human consumption tends to be in a powdered or grain form (think the stuff that comes out of the shaker) animal salt licks are basically hardened bricks of salt that are much more durable and easy to carry. Be aware though that they are not marked for human consumption so you will be eating at your own risk!
- Use auctions, garage/yard sales, and other opportunities to your advantage. I recently acquired a brand new hardly worn set of cold weather coveralls for under $20 by purchasing them from a garage sale. At another sale that same day, for under $15 I purchased several high-quality adjustable wrenches that are likely to outlive my grandchildren. Tools and equipment can be had very cheaply if you know what you’re about.
Justify expense by using your tools for secondary income streams
Want to buy a chainsaw for a future event? Run a side business cutting up wood and fallen trees for people. Buy a manual grain mill and make some bread to sell. Almost any tool can at least pay for itself by being used for an odd job or two, particularly when you take the value of learning how to use your new tools properly into account. You can even expand on this concept by truly starting a home business to add some additional money into your budget. If it doesn’t have to pay all the bills you can be more flexible in which jobs you take and the hours you work so long as what you’re punctual and do quality work. This has the additional benefit of putting you in contact with lots of people in your community, including some who might be valuable friends in the future.
Make a point of buying quality stuff
For some people this isn’t going to be an option owing to a very small amount of disposable income, but the grand majority of preppers should make every effort to purchase durable, functional, repairable gear. Make sure your survival toolkit is setup with tools that can survive being wrenched about, dropped, run over, and whatever other abuse you can imagine. If additional funds are available, you might even purchase spare wearable parts or essential and difficult to fabricate pieces (springs for example) to ensure that you can repair them easily.
Do it yourself!
Everything from solar ovens to storage sheds could be built out of a prepackaged system and setup by trained professionals if you have the money. Alternatively, you could be the untrained unprofessional and build these yourself. Not only does this give you a chance to learn how to work with your hands, but you’ll also have an intimate understanding of how your gear and structures function. Plus, you’ll be able to customize everything to your liking!
Preps can be expensive, but there is much that you can do to reduce the cost. Try these steps out and see what you think!
Share your methods for cutting prepping costs in the comments below!