When the need to prepare for an uncertain future becomes a pressing reality for the new prepper, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. There are so many things to buy and to do that it becomes almost paralyzing. “Where to start?” becomes the question at the forefront of their minds.
Frustrated and anxious, many preppers assume that it’s going to cost a ton of money to get started.
While it’s true, prepping will require an investment of both time and money, you can begin to make yourself more prepared by focusing on the time aspect first.
Here are 18 things you can do to begin prepping for very little, if any, cost.
- Make a Plan. The first and perhaps most critical step in becoming more prepared is to make a plan. Consider what you have and what you need. Then figure out a way to get from here to there. Prioritize your purchases. Plan your time and focus on the most pressing things first. Divid the effort with others in your family.
- Do Research. Prepping is not all about buying. There’s a lot more to it than just acquiring stuff. Go to the library or search online and learn new things, adopt new skills, that will help you during rough times.
- Make a Budget. Being intentional about our expenses, planning them out ahead of time rather than just going through the month spending wherever we think we have a need, will help us to find a little extra money each month. That money help you to prepare.
- Make an EDC. Making a small every day carry kit that you can carry with you at all times doesn’t cost much and will help you to be and feel more prepared. Household items such as a matches, cotton balls, band-aids, and safety-pins are probably lying around your house already.
- Make a Prepper Book. Information is critical and having it all readily available to you in one place (or better yet, having multiple copies of it) will help you during times of trials. Keep phone numbers and places to meet during an emergency as well as other plans in your prepper notebook. You can also put instructions that may come in handy later like how to purify water with Chlorine or how to field dress a squirrel.
- Fill’er Up. Make it a practice to fill your vehicle when the gas gauge reaches the 1/2 mark. Keeping a nearly full tank of fuel in your vehicle will help with life’s little emergencies (like running late to a dental appointment) as well as in a TEOTWAWKI style event.
- Tying Knots. Cordage can be so helpful during a survival experience. You can make snares, hang a shelter, or make a platform bed. The list is nearly endless. Knowing 5 or 10 basic knots will help you make the best use of your resources.
- Build a Simple Get-Home Bag. Do you have jumper cables in your car? Probably. But do you also have some other necessities that will help tie you over if you’re stranded for a day or two? What if you need to walk home? Do you have what you’d need? Putting together a simple Get-Home Kit for you car is worthwhile.
- Practice. Some skills are like riding a bike; once you’ve learned them you’ll never forget. However, you didn’t learn to ride a bike over night. You can read about it and intellectually know how to do something yet still not be able to actually do it. Practice your homesteading skills. Practice building a fire without matches. Practice cooking in a dutch oven.
- Start a Garden. Seeds are not very expensive, but knowing when and how to plant them, knowing how to nurture them and when to harvest them is priceless.
- Learn about Wild Edibles. Many of use walk past a smorgasbord of wild edibles each day without knowing. Plantain, dandelions, goosefoot, violets, and chickweed can all make a meal in trying times. Learn how to make pancakes from acorns.
- Get in Shape. Go for a walk or jog. Do some push ups or sit ups. You don’t have to be a body builder, but starting a survival experience in good shape will really give you an advantage.
- Collect Books. Go to the local used book store and look for reading materials that may help you in the future. Look for books on homesteading, gardening, animal husbandry, emergency first aid, hunting, and cooking to name a few.
- Become a Couponer. Look online or in the Sunday paper for coupons for things that you already buy. Got a coupon for spaghetti sauce? Buy an extra jar or two this month. Slowly you’ll begin to build your coffers.
- Read Blogs. You can learn a lot from others who have blazed the trail before you. Read blogs and participate in the online prepper community.
- Write Guest Posts. Better than being a consumer of information is to share the information you’ve learned. You don’t have to be an expert in the subject, just share your experiences. To really learn something, prepare to teach it to others.
- Stay Aware. Tune into the local and national news sources. Keep abreast of current events and the effect they may have on you. Everything from rough weather heading your way to heightened tensions in the Middle East to an outburst of solar activity can impact your life.
- Practice Home Repairs. Got a small appliance that’s broken? Go online and see if you can figure out how to repair it before call the service technician. Learning new skills like this could be valuable in the future and can save you some money in the short term.
Got some low-cost ways to begin prepping that you’d like to share? Leave a comment below and help the rest of learn from your creativity.