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Classic backpacking tent
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Budget - Penny Pinching Prepping
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How to be a prepper on a budget
Penny pinching and prepping on a budget

Become a penny-pinching prepper!
Is prepping draining your funds? Are you on a limited budget? If
you're wondering how you're going to afford all the things you
need for prepping,then this article is for you.

While it's true that many preppers concentrate on gathering
food, water and supplies, prepping is mostly about gaining
knowledge and
building skills, because a catastrophe can wipe
away everything in a few seconds.

Prepping is also about having stashes in several areas so you
will never have "nothing" if you've planned well. Preps cost
money, but the good news is that you can
get started prepping
for little or no money.

How to be a prepper on a budget...
First, realize that you are not alone. Unless you're a Gates, a
Trump, or a Zuckerberg, just about everyone is on a budget,
though they may not realize it. There's no shame! Budgeting is
all about knowing what to spend and where to draw the line on
your funds.

  • If you're married, then this article may just save your
    marriage! The most common reason for divorce is money.
    And if your spouse is not on board with your prepping, then
    this article will help as well. You can show financial
    discipline to satisfy his or her needs , too.

  • If you're tempted to blow your savings on prepping...
    It's never a good idea to blow your savings (and you don't
    need to blow it). This article will show you how to become
    a penny pinching prepper, so you can keep your savings

  • If you're in poverty and prepping, then you should feel
    This article will help you realize that there are things you
    can do to not only gain things for free, but to enhance or
    stretch your income to get more, which will put yourself in
    a better position for whatever comes your way tomorrow.

So let's get to it! Here's how to be a penny-pinching prepper...

Strategies for Prepping on a Budget
Just a few tweaks to your routine could save you money, big
time! Here are strategies for prepping on a budget so you can
get more preps and feel more confident in your survival plan.

Budget prepping strategy #1: Pay yourself first.
If you can pay yourself 10% of your income before you pay any
of your bills, you will come out a winner in the "survival of the
financial fittest" competition. This is difficult at first, so start
small and here's how...

  • Pay yourself first: Begin with your very next paycheck or
    other income and take out 5% in cash and put it in a jar.
    For every $1,000 in income you bring home, put $50 aside.
    This means you'll take out $60 from the ATM on payday,
    put $10 in your wallet and reserve the remaining money for
    your normal expenditures (or splurge and put the whole
    $60 in the jar). As you gain confidence in this method,
    you'll put $100 aside, which is 10% of your income.  It's
    that simple.
  • If you make $1,000... put aside 5% ($50); later try
    putting aside 10% ($100);
  • If you make $1,500...  put aside 5% now ($75): later
    your can put aside 10% ($150); or
  • If you make $2,000... put aside 5% now ($100); in
    subsequent months try 10% ($200), and so on...

  • Pay your bills second: The second part of the strategy is
    to live on cash to retrain your mind and gain financial
    discipline. You'll pay rent and other bills with a check or
    electronic funds transfer as you normally would. After you
    pay your bills, you'll use the remaining money and divvy it
    up as a daily cash allowance. See the next step to learn
    how to live on the money you just put aside.

  • Third and final step: live on the cash you just set aside:
  • How to live on cash. If you find you have $1,000 leftover
    from paying yourself first, and then paying your bills, you'll
    use the remaining funds for food and incidentals, this
    would translate to spending a maximum of $33 a day. In
    this way you will not overspend. Do not exceed your limit.
    Once the money is gone for the day you'll have to be
    creative! It may mean you'll eat a ramen meal, forgo a
    soda, visit mom or a friend for a home cooked meal, go on
    a diet, or head to the food bank. This is creative prepping
    at its finest. Make do, or do without!

Strategy #2: Shop with cash (instead of credit cards).
Credit cards and debit cards offer the convenience of easier
access to your money.The flip side to this convenience is that
you may overspend! If you're on a tight budget, shop with cash
and you'll save 18-20% from what you would have spent if you
put it on a debit or credit card.

There's something to be said for physically seeing money
disappear from your wallet that will make you hold a tighter grip
on your money. You may find yourself doing a bit of math in
your head to make sure you don't overspend your budget. You
may worry you don't have enough. Whatever the reason, here's
actually some science behind the strategy. Psychology Today
why we overspend with credit.

If you feel disciplined enough to use a credit card, then by all
means see how you can
shop on Amazon for free groceries and
prepping supplies using your cards. As long as you're good at
paying off your debt and not accumulating any finance charges,
you're golden to this method.

Strategy #3: Shop with Apps!
If you're on a budget, you can shop where you like, even Whole
Foods! The secret is using apps and knowing how things work.
The ladies from The Krazy Coupon Lady show you 15 reasons
you can afford to shop Whole Foods using apps:
Budget book
How to get free groceries on Amazon
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How to live in your car for fun, camping or survival
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Poverty Prepping
Strategy #4: Know the difference between needs
and wants.
Paying with cash is tough, but an even tougher concept for
many preppers is to distinguish the line between needs and
wants. Clarifying this with your family is essential when you're
on a budget. You'll need to question yourself and everyone: is it
a need or a want?

  • Fancy a tent? For example, you need shelter, and you
    want a tent, but you don't really need a fancy tent, when
    the two-person tent, right may suffice. It's under $30 and
    with the shipping included, so just about anyone can afford
    it. If you're a family of four, get two! If you're on the
    poverty line, perhaps you could suffice with a tarp and
    some rope. It depends on your budget.  

  • Sipping Soda? In another example, you need to drink, and
    you want something besides ordinary water, but you don't
    need to drink alcohol, soda or other sugary drinks. You can
    give up some of these "wants" temporarily to get some
    "needs" in your survival plan.  

  • Try this: give up 12-26 bottles of soda pop in a
    month. This seems odd, but it's cogent advice. If you
    forgo something that's bad for your health, and that
    costs you $1-2 a "pop", then you've now freed up
    some money to buy the tent or a good water filtration
    system! You don't have to give up the soda forever,
    just for a couple of weeks or so until you have the
    money. Perhaps you'll quit for good! If you really want
    to save money, you'll give up the soda entirely. You're
    paying too much for sugar water with questionable
    ingredients. Learn to make your own fresh lemonade
    or iced tea instead.

  • Thirsting for water filtration? In a final example, you
    need a water filtration system, but you don't really need a
    Katadyn, though this is the backpackers favorite and an
    excellent choice for long term survival needs. There is no
    substitute for a quality hydration system; however, having
    a water filtration system in place is better than nothing at
    all. You could do with a collection of AquaMira Frontier
    system, pictured left to filter 30 gallons of water. They're
    under $7 each and with included shipping. The immediate
    need is to get water, you can put the Katadyn on your wish
    list. The AquaMira water filters will be great for the bugout
    bags, your vehicles and for unexpected members of your
    group. They are not a waste of money even if you plan on
    upgrading to the best water filtration system, including a
    Big Berkey!

Budget Prepping Strategy #4: Rethink your strategy
You may think you can't afford any preps at all and that it's
impossible on your budget to even think of prepping; however,
the famous actress Audrey Hepburn once said, "Nothing is
impossible: the word itself says I'm possible!" There's no doubt
you can afford to prep if you rethink your survival strategy!

  • Open up the possibilities. Ask yourself, "how can I get
    that?" This very question opens the possibilities. It forces
    you to rethink your needs and wants. You may be surprised
    at what transpires:

  • If you put yourself to task to find a four-person tent
    you may find that REI has a sale featuring returned
    items. You can fix the broken tent pole!

  • If you look around online, you may find someone in
    your neighborhood posted what you need on Craigslist
    dirt cheap or freecycle, and they're giving it away for
    free, or

  • The score of a lifetime could be waiting for you at a
    garage sale or flea market.

    Concentrate your energies on the prep you want. Ask and
    ye just might receive!

  • Your strategy needs a strategy! There's no one-size-fits-
    all strategy of survival. You will need to tailor your
    response to the circumstances at hand. This means that
    you shouldn't concentrate on just one survival situation.
    Have a plan of action that covers most of them and be
    prepared to adapt. In other words, get your priorities
    straight. It may be cool to own a gas mask, radiological
    equipment, or a haz mat suit, but more practical to prepare
    for an economic down turn, such as a job loss and to stock
    the pantry. Setting priorities is essential to prepping
    because you can't prep in a day!

Many survival Web sites tell you to pick a catastrophe and then
work your budget around the goal. Really, however, it's much
more practical to handle the issue of food and water shortages
before you start trying to tackle a specific catastrophe the way
they did on Doomsday Preppers. Once you have some basics in
place you can prepare for
Avian Flu, an F5 Tornado, or the New
Madrid Earthquake, otherwise it's overwhelming on a tight

Strategy #5: Declutter.
Increase your purchasing power by getting rid of things! When
you sell stuff you don't need, you not only will make more room
in your closets for your preps, but you'll now have more
treasured items in your preps. An empty closet is a great place
to store your extra freeze dried foods and bulk dried goods that
you've repackaged.

Take a visual inventory of everything in your home and begin to
classify them in three categories:
  1. Keepers - treasured items (valuable, heirloom and
    sentimental), used with the last year.
  2. Salers - Gather up anything you can re-sell! If you
    haven't used them in a year, and they still have value
    to someone else, you can sell them to make money
    for more preps. These include things the kids have
    grown out of, toys they are no longer interested in,
    books you've read and have no interest in reading
    again. You'll not want to get rid of your little red
    wagon as this is a useful item in prepping.
  3. Tossers - Stuff that really needs to go. They will have
    no value to someone else. These include the items
    that are worn out, have holes, are broken, and have
    no re-purpose.

Make room for your preps. Get rid of junk, so that you can resell.

  • Declutter books. Turn in your used books to Amazon in
    exchange for Amazon Gift cards.

  • Hold a garage sale or yard sale. Read prepping tips for
    how to have a garage sale.

Strategy #7: Don't be too proud to ask.
Asking is something that will help you gain much. What do we
mean by this? Well, here's an idea of things you can ask:

  • Ask your landlord how you might do some work to
    reduce your rent. Who knows, perhaps your landlord
    would need to pay for gardening work and you could do the
    job. Perhaps your landlord has other properties that need
    handiwork, such as painting. Asking may well get you a
    reduction of rent in exchange for bartering your time. It's a

  • Ask your neighbor for the fruit. There may be fruit on the
    trees that would otherwise fall to the ground. Ask if you
    can have it!

  • Ask another parent to look after your child, and offer in
    exchange to look after theirs on another day, so you don't
    have to pay for child care.

  • Tag along with or ask a friend to share a Costco or
    Sam's Club membership. Many clubs offer two IDs per
    household. Share with a family member or friend to cut

Strategy #8: Buy something used.
Preppers are a thrifty bunch and buy used whenever possible.
When you  buy something used not only do you give new life to
something useful, but you help keep yourself out of debt. What
kinds of things should you buy used for your home and
homestead? You can buy stuff used even on Amazon!
  1. second hand clothes - have fun, especially with kids
  2. books on homesteading (used books are available on
  3. gardening equipment that's not rusted or that you can
  4. kitchen and household items
  5. home decor you can re-purpose

    Give a second look to yard sales and see what you can
    find, but think before you buy used:
  • Buyer beware if it smells like smoke. You'll never get the
    smoke out.
  • Inspect carefully for stains, broken parts, cracks to see
    whether its worth buying and fixing.
  • Reconsider the purchase! Just because it's cheap, doesn't
    mean it's for you.
  • Don't end up with a pile of junk.

More quick tips for saving money

  • Save up loose coins! Collect loose change into a jar. Soon
    you can dump those coins into a Coinstar machine to get
    an Amazon gift card. The transaction is free, so you'll get
    100% of your money that you can use on Amazon. (It
    otherwise costs 10% if you want the cash in bills).

  • Find new transportation. Walk or bike to work or school
    to save money on gas, or hitch a ride with a trusted friend
    or neighbor. It all adds up when gas is expensive.

  • Buy generic food instead of name-brand groceries. One
    of the biggest secrets about store brand groceries is that it
    is sometimes the exact same product as the name brand.
    The manufacturer offers the grocery store chain a private
    label on their product. It's just a marketing tactic with a
    win-win situation. The bottom line is that you can do
    without name brand groceries. Learn more about Grocery
    store stuff you can do without.

    Look up and down. Name brands are

  • Economize dinner. Dinner is the most expensive meal of
    the day and you can tweak your routine. For example:
  • Make a large casserole for dinner that can last for a
    couple of nights, instead of fixing a meat and two
    sides each night.
  • Serve panini-pressed sandwiches with a soup or salad
    instead of the traditional fare.
  • Have "breakfast for dinner" every now and again to

  • Go on the cheap at work:
  • Bring a Berkey home-bottled water instead of buying
    water from the vending machine,
  • Pack a lunch and skip the expensive restaurants.
  • Buy office snacks in bulk, and stash them in a drawer
    at work, instead of buying at the vending machine.

How to save money with kids!
Another easy way to budget is to involve the family. Even minor
money-saving opportunities can add up, especially if you have
kids, and here are some examples:

  • Turn off the lights. You can make a game of turning down
    the lights and get out the flashlights. Involving your kids
    will make money saving more fun for everyone. Why not
    play "off grid" for an evening, and eat dinner by candle
    light and tell ghost stories? After your off grid dinner, use
    flash lights to make shadows on the wall, or you turn on
    the solar light and play board games instead of turning on
    the television.

  • See movies before 4:00 p.m. Head to the mattinee,
    instead of the evening movie and you'll save an incredible
    amount of money.

So there are our frugal tips for preppers. We hope you will write
us on Facebook, Twitter and Google + to let us know your
money-saving tips or easy ways to budget.

Happy endings...
When you budget you'll truly have peace of mind because you'll
have enough of what you need, when you need it.

Consider that the most important thing  you can do as a
prepper is to gain knowledge. If everything is gone, and you've
studied survival, then you'll have a starting point. For example,
you can
scavenge in an apocalypse in clever ways if need be, or
forage the wilderness. Best of all, the
prepper knowledge and
skills you gain won't cost you anything, but your time. With
help from the happiest preppers on the planet, you can leverage
your time to the fullest.

Please read some of our other popular articles on the subject of
being on a budget (or bookmark them and come back to read
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