How To Start Prepping on a Budget

While we only hear and see it in movies portraying the apocalypse, a dystopian world can actually be born from the ashes of a collapsed society. Of course, nobody wants to get caught off guard when all hell breaks loose. Sadly, not everyone is interested in doing so mainly because of the costs. Most people think that preparing for emergency situations is very expensive and is a waste of money but it’s not true at all. In this article, We’ll show you how to start prepping on a budget.

Thankfully, there are ways to mitigate the costs of prepping. Why not start budget prepping now?

Tip #1: Skill over Supply

Whether we admit it or not, the bulk majority of your prepping life will involve cash in one way or another. From stocking up supplies for the long term to preparing a bug out bag and ham radios, cash will always be a necessity. However, you can start prepping RIGHT NOW with zero budget. How? By preparing your knowledge of course. No matter how gigantic your stockpile of supplies and gear is, you won’t last long if you do not know how to.

Below is a list of skills you can hone to be prepared for the worst:


fishing for prepping on a budget

Not just because you have a colossal stock of food you can already last forever. The time will come that your supply will dwindle, hence the need to provide your own food. If you learn how to fish, you can sustain yourself as long as you have access to a fishing ground.

You will need to learn a bunch of skills including fishing with a rod, fishing without a rod, creating a DIY rod, scaling, spotting a good fishing area, reading the water to find a catch and many more. The more you learn, the more chances of survival.


gardening for prepping on a budget

By prepping, we mean being self-sufficient. By being self-sufficient, we mean having our own source of supply without having to forage resources. Gardening will be your best weapon here. Find out which crops are best to grow for prepping purposes.

You do not have to master the art of horticulture. All you have to do is understand basic concepts a gardener must know like reading a plant tag, identifying soil type, composting, mulching, defending from insects, crop rotation and many other.

Basic Electronics

basic electronics for prepping on a budget

During SHTF, there will be no such thing as the warranty from your devices’ manufacturer, let alone a local repairman you can ask to fix your stuff. You will have to rely on your own skill. Thankfully, you do not have to take an entire course in Physics or Electrical Engineering. A simple understanding of troubleshooting techniques, fault diagnosis, circuitry and basic digital electronics can help spell the difference between being stranded or being able to signal a rescue.

Tracking and Foraging

tracking and foraging for prepping on a budget

Tracking will help you find a game and spot if people have been around. While it is a skill that’s hard to learn, it will definitely help you survive longer. Tracking and foraging will help provide you with extra food if you can no longer rely on your own stash or your garden.


self defense for prepping on a budget

Chances are, law-and-order will become fairy tales during social collapse. You will have to learn to defend yourself  and your loved ones from looters, criminals and possibly an invading army. It’s very important to establish security when SHTF. 


first aid for prepping on a budget

Learn first aid to prepare for bad turn of events that will cause hospitals to no longer be accessible and even non-existent. Calamities can delay the arrival of medical professionals (if they will arrive at all). Hence, you need first aid to prevent death until you can access adequate treatment. Death can only be a CPR or tourniquet away. Don’t wait for an emergency to occur before you read the dusty first-aid manual in your kit.

Basic Survival Skills

starting a fire a basic survival skill for prepping on a budget

The menial tasks today can become very important ones when SHTF. Learn how to cook, start a fire, set up a tent, gather firewood, create tinder, and other basic survival stuff.

Preserving Food

preserving food for prepping on a budget

Depending on the season of your place, you will not consistent access to some game, plant foods and fishes. Thus, you will have to preserve the foods you will get during bountiful seasons. Imagine having to hunt during the extreme winter cold! There are also food that can last for a very long time so it’s good for storage reserve in case SHTF. 

Tip #2 Prioritize

prioritize for prepping on a budget

If you are budget prepping, you can not simultaneously build your projects because it will mean that your cash will be spread thin with you accomplishing nothing.

First, you will have to define all the projects you want to accomplish, then set the priority in which you will accomplish them. The following are the recommended projects:

  • Building a Stash of Supplies
  • Bug Out bag
  • Comprehensive First aid Kit
  • Bug Out Cache
  • Self-defense Gears
  • Ammunition Cache
  • Backyard Garden
  • Independent Power Source
  • Miscellaneous Projects (Faraday Cage, etc.)

Personally, the bug out bag is my preferred budget prepping priority mainly because a decent bug out bag will help you last for days even if you don’t stash a pile of supplies.

Next, I suggest that you build a comprehensive first aid kit since it will be useful even during non-apocalyptic scenarios. In addition, a bug out bag provides you with the flexibility and mobility that a huge pile of supplies won’t. Then, a backyard garden can come next if you have space because it is cheap and can be accomplished in a short period of time. Otherwise, you can opt for building a stash of supplies. You do not have to make your stash so big at this point. You can aim to make it last for a couple of weeks.

Then, move on to your next project and move back to building up your stash. Most preppers build a stash good for 2 weeks, but you can always settle for more as long as you have space.

Self-defense Gears

As for the self-defense gears, you can begin with simple tools like a taser or pepper spray. In fact, a home-made pepper spray will do. Then, gradually build your stash from that. A couple civilian grade firearm and a medium sized cache of ammunition will do.

Tip #3 Buy Items that You Will Need for Everyday Life Too

Some items can be used even during a normal day. If you are budget prepping, don’t refrain from using them for everyday purposes. These items include knives, multitools, some electronics and consumables such as most of the contents of a first aid kit. Take note, however, that you should properly clean non-consumables before you put them back to your stash or your bug out bag.

Tip #4 DIY Projects are OK

Cheap do-it-yourself projects are Ok when you’re prepping on a budget, as long as you’re sure that what you are doing is right. If you’re following some instructions from a blog or some Youtube video, make sure to double check the accuracy of their instructions. Most of the prepper websites I have seen present fairly accurate information.

On the contrary, most non-prepper DIY website or youtube channels occasionally post ridiculous instructions that can cost you your life. For instance, I once saw a DIY video of a homemade pepper spray which encouraged the use of depressurized bottles as spray. Seriously? Such a pepper spray is only good if you are face to face with your aggressor! It can potentially cause a false sense of security. Thankfully, there were veteran preppers who voiced the issue out.

In a nutshell, DIY projects are worth considering when budget prepping. Just remember to verify the facts first!

Tip #5 Only Stash Foods You Will Actually Eat

If you stockpile foods that you can stomach to eat, you can eat the food instead of throwing them away when rotating thus making them useful even in the absence of calamities. In addition, you can eat them during times that you are short on cash. After all, prepping is all about preparedness for the bad turn of events, loss of job and financial trouble included.

Tip #6 Quality Over Price

Make sure that the price of a product you buy for your stash is reasonable. It is ok to buy an expensive product as long as you know that it is worth the quality. One of the wisest things you can do to be sure of the quality is to research product reviews and what the specs actually mean. For instance, if you are buying a knife, knowing the difference between 440c stainless steel and 8Cr13MoV steel can help you determine which one is too expensive and which one is decently priced (8Cr13MoV is cheaper than 440c but 440c has better quality).

Low quality items either have high maintenance costs or low reliability, so they are ironically not your best choice when budget prepping.

One of the most unreasonably priced items we buy daily is bottled water. If you decide to utilize them for your long-term stash of water, then buying them in bulk can help you save money. However, keep in mind that the only advantage bottled water will give you is the fact that you don’t have to prepare them yourself so you are better off disinfecting your water.

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Written by James Bana


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