Prepping on a budget: 5 Affordable preps to try when you’re low on cash
By Grace Olson // Oct 21, 2019

Low funds shouldn’t stop you from being prepared. With a little bit of creativity and smart planning, you can stock up as much as the next person, and even more.


Check out these five tips for prepping on a budget. (h/t to

1. Collect food over time

Preppers are infamous for buying food supplies in one go. The main reason is that foods are generally cheaper when bought in bulk.

If you have limited funds however, you can simply collect food over time. Buy a couple of canned food or a small pack of powdered milk while grocery shopping. There’s no hard rule that you have to buy everything in one visit to the store. (Related: Food storage tips: Considerations for making the most out of your food prepping budget.)

Here are some things to remember while buying foods:

  • Choose the dried or powdered version of food. These include powdered milk and dried fruits. Not only do they last longer, they are also easier to allocate into meals.
  • Stock up on baking materials. You can bake a wide variety of breads and pastries with the same ingredients.
  • Make an inventory. Keep track of your supplies by listing the foods that you buy each time. Make sure to list the expiration date beside them.

2. Recycle plastic for water storage

It’s ideal to have a water tank, but there are simpler, cheaper ways to store water.

Collect the two-liter soda bottles after pizza parties and other events. Clean them afterward. Fill them up with water and store them somewhere dry and cool, like the bottom of a closet or behind books in a shelf.

Compared to gallon milk jugs, plastic soda bottles are better alternatives for water storage. Gallon milk jugs are biodegradable, so they will break down over time. On the other hand, plastic soda bottles work well for long-term storage. Just expect that the water may taste a bit like soda.

Make sure to replace the water once a year to ensure potability.

3. Cheap filtering methods

Water filters are great assets for any prepper. Having a water filter translates to an almost unlimited supply of water. In an SHTF situation, they become crucial to your survival.

There are a lot of commercial water filters available in the market. If you’re on a budget, however, there are cheaper methods to filter and purify water.

The easiest one to do is the boil and bleach method. Follow the instructions below:

  1. Filter the water first through a cloth. This will remove large sediments, insects, and other materials.
  2. Place the water inside a pot and bring it to a complete boil.
  3. Transfer the boiled water into a new container. Do not use the water at the bottom of the pot.
  4. Once the water is cool, add 1/8 teaspoon of bleach per gallon of boiled water.
  5. Wait for at least 30 minutes before drinking the water.

4. Learn skills anywhere

When SHTF, your skillset becomes your most important tool for survival.

The Internet is filled with instructions, guides, and hacks on prepping. Make the most of it by visiting websites, and jotting ideas down on a handy notebook.

Aside from the Internet, you can learn from fellow preppers as well. If you know someone who bakes, ask them to give you a lesson. A friend who has a camping background can be a valuable source of information.

Overall, don’t be afraid to ask for help and take the time to learn some new skills.

5. Try gardening

Gardening is one of the most important things that you can learn as a prepper. A garden will provide you with fresh food, boosting the nutritional value of your meals.

You don’t need a backyard to start a garden. Build one by your windowsill, using old containers, soil, and seeds. With the right conditions, you’ll have crops to harvest in no time.

Before starting, make sure to do your homework. Find out what the plant needs to grow; apply it to your planting. When in doubt, ask for advice from other gardeners or the local nursery.

Prepping on a budget may be a bit difficult, but very doable. Learn more tips at

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