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Discussion Starter #1
A the cost of everything rises, how do you manage to prep on a budget?

When it comes to weapons, I have that area covered. Ammo is a never ending battle, because it's gotten harder to find. If I can't get boxes of ammo, I buy muzzleloading supplies. I'm fixing to start restocking arrows and tips as well.

It seems I get frustrated, there are so many things to prep the list seems endless. You can't just prep food, there's medicine, sanitation products; from cleaning supplies to personal hygiene supplies, sewing/quick fix staples, and it goes on....

How do you cover all your bases and not leave something undone?
 

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We are for sure on a budget at home, its a little stressful but do what you can when you can and only worry about the things you Can control. I am still fairly new to the game and was overwelmed at first. Just took the first step and keeping at it. little buy little we will get there. unless you have a endless suply of money laying around, its just going to take time. We all have to start somewhere.
 

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Spend your limited resources on sustainability more then just preps. My first step was to reduce a stupid food cost budget from a time when money flowed to when it did not. A transformation from restaurants to rice, beans, home grown veggies, and hunted meats. My wife and I averaged $650 a month in food costs in 2007 while times were good. It's now less then $75 and that includes treats.
 

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I go to dollar stores for sanitation and some first aid and otc medicines.for food i stock up on dry grains and can goods when they're on sale plus i use coupons. i have to agree that water,food and protection are first priority the rest i can deal with it when it happens.
 

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As with my job my weapons situation is fairly good right now, I grew up hunting so I have several types of weapons. My wife and I made a list of items needed, no way a complete list, to decide on what to stock up on. We budget an amount monthly to do this. It's not a lot at one time but slowly builds up. We started out with gardening a few years ago and now have a decent food storage, we also have built up several other stores of items. So after all this that would be my advice as well as others have mentioned.
 

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Sales and coupons rock. If you save a few dollars here and there and apply it to ammo then you'll soon have plenty.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Makes sense, that's what I'm doing. Little bit by little bit. I guess I want instant gratification, when I start something, I want it finished..this is dragging on. But would rather it drag on, than need it all by in the morning!

I've already cut the cost of food. I just finished cooking a meal for 6 for around $7.00 (Thats Spaghetti, Italian Bread, and Dessert)

When I can save money that way, I try to buy the other essentials. There's just so much of it to consider..LOL
 

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Just keep working at it as you can. i been doing this for years, and still working on it. I buy when I can.
 

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basic accounting. Opportunity Cost. Every penny you spend no madder how wisely cost you the Opportunity to do something else. keep that in mind when preparing to part with cash or other assets to acquire what you think you need.
What do I need to survive a week of no.........
what do I need to survive a month......
keep going on week at a time until you have it covered.
 
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I prep little by little. I keep adding to my preps and have priorities in what I need over other items. But Ill never pass up a great deal I can afford. The startegy I use is the 1 week/3 week/ 3 month/ 1 year startegy.

Where basically I assemble all the preps I need to last one week. Food/Water/Shelter/Defense....Once Im comfortable with that level of prep. Then I move on to the next tier. 3weeks. Go about it the same assembling all I would need to be self sufficient for 3 weeks. By doing it this way I am prepping for a set amount of time and know what my preps will last me come SHTF. Im also on a tight budget.
 

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I check out dollar stores. You can find great deals. I try to pick up $5-$10 worth of prep stuff every time Im out shopping. Sometimes it is a few bags of rice, pasta. Sometimes cans of soup, veggies. Yesterday, I picked up some cheap candles and rope/cordage.
 

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First of all understand it will be a couple of decades before your truly well prepped unless you are rich and shameless and got more money that you got brains which is cool if you do, but most dont.

The first thing I started doing is reducing my debt liability! This puts you in a much better position to weather any storm that might arise. It takes a heck of a lot of stress off you too. In this uncertian economy where most are just a heart beat away from loosing their job or ending up under employed I think this is imperitive to do. Its also easier said than done as well. But the more you can achieve to this end the better off your going to be no matter what happens. I got two credit cards left and I am debt free. Everything else was paid off post haste well ahead of scheduled pay off dates. Almost as important is the fact as I paid off each one it was like giving myself a pay raise which means "mo money" for prepping and doing the things I wanna do. Once my two credi cards are paid off I can easily libve off the retirement I get from the military each month and I wont have to work if I dont want too or I can at least have more options to do what I want to do and I am passionate about. Think about the possibilities I have there for just a few and put things in perspective.

Ripon is right I think! Think sustainability more than shear bulk in supplies laid back. Supplies are consumables and when they are gone they are gone and you might not be able to replace them for any price! Im a full time RVer and on a 28 x 100 foot lot. Yet I have two good sized raised beds for a "Victory Garden". I typically grow the things in my gardens that are expensive to buy or that produce a butt load in a small amount of space since I have limited resources space wise and have to make the most of what is available. I also have several fruit trees in large containers going, 1 x Pear, 4 x Tangerine, 1 x Mexican Lemon, 1 x Loring Peach and 2 x Plum. I kind of use the Bonsia approach with them and yes I get quiet a bit of fruit from them despite their demenutive size of 6-8 foot. Since I am in the city live stock is pretty much out of the question, my neighbors are also in pretty close proximity. But i can get away with Rabbits which I have a few, Florida Whites, and I can also get away with about 6 ducks which would be Khaki Campbells for their egg laying reputation. I cant tell you how much I have cut off my grocery bill...at least 50-60%! Its been one of the most cost effective moves I have made. Im eating a hell of a lot better too! The other aspect of this is I am building a skill at the same time. I am learning to grow my own food. There is a lot more to gardening than just throwing some seeds in the dirt and watering it and then expecting success. Further more I am so much more less dependent on the shelfs at the Grocery store being stocked or having the money to buy stuff if they are. Plus it serves me well in the good times and even better in the hard times if they should come. Its a resource that keeps on giving so to speak. I can buy about 4 cans of canned goods or I can buy a pack of heirloom seeds, which one has the potential to feed me the most for my hard earned dollar?

I do a lot of buying in the off seasons. This saves me a bundle! After Dove Season at wally world shotgun shells and Dove decoys go on sale for a fraction of what it was during the season as the store struggles to reduce its stock. After I have shot some practice at the range I now have quality hulls available for reloading 00 buck and slugs and what ever else I want to load for. So they serve a dual purpose. Something with hunting clothing and accessories. Perhaps the size selection is a bit limited but I can usually find something in my size and get it at at least 50% off to boot. Same thing with fishing gear and same thing with clothes. I hit Academy in the late fall and watch for sales on fishing tackle I use and when they got a killer deal for a steal of a deal I buy everything on the shelf they got! Christmas time and especially after Christmas they usually run some pretty damn good sales on guns too. I saw a 257 Weatherby, 243, 25-06 and 7mm Rem Mag Vangard II's guarenteed 1 inch or less MOA for a paltry 319.00 out the door! You just cant beat that! I recently picked up a Mossberg 535 Turkey gun, camo dipped, interchangable chokes, fiber optic sights with a 5 plus 1 capacity for 199.00...thats plain jane Maverick pump shot gun price on a good day. Shop around and shop often and watch for those sales. If your the early bird - you get the worm and you save a gang of fun dollars in the process.

I also cut my food cost by cooking from scratch! Cooking like Grandma used to cook not only taste damn good, its usually healtheir for you too. There are less chemicals, perservatives and your body deals with it much better than processed foods. Its cheaper too as you can see based on your speghetti meal you mentioned earlier. As such I normally shop the perimeter of the store where the "real" food is...fresh veggies, dairy products and meats. Stuff down the middle ailse excepting staples like sugar and flour are junk and "food like stuff" as I like to call it. Instead of snacking on chips anad dip which is pricey and less filling not to mention less healthy I get some fruit or yogart instead. Taste better, more filling, healthier and less costly. Some other tips I use at the grocery store is instead of buying the peeled baby carrots I by the large bag of raw un processed carrots. I get twice as much for the same price and it only takes a minute to break out the cutting board and julian a few up for a stirfry or a steamed veggie dish. If they got a killer sale on something I buy a crap load of it and dehydrate it or freeze it. In the summer Brisket is often on sale as a loss leader type item. I will buy a half dozen of them. I will then cube it up for stew meat, Fajita strips or Stirfry strips and freeze. Additionally if they actually have a butcher unlike wally world they will often grind it up into hamburger meat for you and package it up in 1 or 2 lbs trays and wrap it for you for just 10 cents a lbs additonal cost giving you the equivilent of Ground Round for less than 70/30 ground beef prices! Think for a minute how much that alone can save you especially when your feeding a family of 4 plus! There are a lot more little savy tricks like that you can use when shopping in addition to cuepons! Shop at places that price match. I watch a couple at wally world walk out with two shopping carts of food and fliers from every grocery store in town. They got about 376.00 worth of food for about 170!!! I had to wait for ever behind them at the check out line but I High Fived them in the parking lot when I left...and I thought I was a tightwad!

I rarely buy a thing unless it will serve more than one purpose. Canning jars are just one. First I can use them for what they were designed for. Second they are cheaper than plastic storage containers and I put my bulk spices in them, store rice in them, store beans in them and just about everything else. They usually get called upon for storing my dehydrated veggies from the garden too. I remember a time when growing up with those canning jars that were no longer suitable for canning were relegated to drinking Ice Tea...I still do that today! I have a lot of cast iron cook ware. Its not at modern or sleak as todays high tech cook ware but not only does it work just fine in the kitchen...I can cook over the BBQ Grill or a camp fire with it too. Try that with a lot of todays cook ware. Since I do a lot of camping I spent some extra fun dollars on a good extra large sleeping bag in fat boy size. Not only can I take it camping in the winter and be snug as a bug bt if the power goes out or I run out of propane in the middle of the night I can unzip it throw it over the bed and I have extra thick heavy blanket/comforter to keep me toasty warm and I still have my "prep gear" too.

There really is no end to prepping. Its a life style and a life journey. You wont get there tomorrow but the journey of a thousand miles starts by taking one step at a time. Before you know it, you will almost be there. Rome wasnt built in a day and your not going to be fully prepped in a day if ever, but you can chip away at it a little bit at a time and one day look up and notice that you have created quiet the master piece of art work.
 

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YES--set up a plan,budget a certain amount and stick to it. Sound advice
Oswegoscott is right and so are you. Its a wise person who thinks in such a manor.

I reload ammo and I still when the oppertunity is there take advantage of the situation and buy more ammo, guns etc...I mean lets face it there are somethings I cant really reload and save money or much money on, such as 5.56, 7.62x39 and 22 rim fire just to name a few. I buy a few boxes of something every payday and I also buy a little in the way of reloading components every pay day as well. Its a small amount but after a few years of doing this it has really added up. It has especially proven to be a wise move on my part too during this latest shortage of ammo. While everyone else is scrabbling to find anything at any price, I am sitting here pretty fat, dumb and happy in a holding pattern waiting for it to ease by which time I will have a gang of cash saved up to make several big purchases and get back to my game plan of buying a little every payday again. I have always subscribed to the Tortise vs the Hare approach as being the best approach in the long haul.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I appreciate all the good advice, I don't seem to be to off track like I though I might be. This hit me a couple of years ago to start prepping, but I let other things take presidence over good thinking and put it off.

I am going to have to look at it differently, and break it down like someone mentioned 3 days, 3 weeks, 3 months..a year...and just keep adding and replacing, before long I will feel a little more comfortable about what I do have vs. what I don't have.

This may be a bit cocky, but even at the level of preparedness I'm at now, if we were to have to deal with a disaster I feel pretty good even at this standpoint. What's funny, I never considered our "hobbies" as a means of survival, and Thank God everyday that we had the time and patiences to take our children and teach them about the great outdoors, how to hunt and trap, etc. This momma has always been one to get out and do, and be apart of it. I was raised up that way, and also Thank God for giving me a husband that was into doing things like that, we made a pretty good team.

As far as cooking/food goes. I'm also one to cook from scratch, I learned a long time ago that to get your moneys worth it was better off to either grow it, buy it fresh or kill it. I've always got something growing, something cooking...or something to process. I tend to get tired of processing meat though. lol Our state allowed for 4 deer each this year, and I spent several good Sundays this past season that I could've been hunting...instead I was processing deer. I am frugile to the point my boys tell me I'm cheap. I'm so frugile that last week I had a bag of apples that were just about past time to eat, so I cooked them down into Carmel Apple Butter and canned it.

As far as reloading goes, we used to do that YEARS ago, but stopped. I really don't remember why we stopped, probably lack of funds at the time and just never got back into it. We have talked about getting back into that and have the perfect place to set up to do so...so that's something we are probably going to look into in the near future. I used to enjoy reloading shotgun shells when I was a kid. That is the one thing we have not done with our boys yet....

And I do garden come Spring time...it may not be much of a garden, but this past winter we got started on a greenhouse, a rather large one that needs to be finished, but due to illness and troublesome shoulder problems it got put on hold for the moment till everyone is healed up.

I feel a little bit better..I'm going to get there...Thank y'all...
 

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Makes sense, that's what I'm doing. Little bit by little bit. I guess I want instant gratification, when I start something, I want it finished..this is dragging on. But would rather it drag on, than need it all by in the morning!

I've already cut the cost of food. I just finished cooking a meal for 6 for around $7.00 (Thats Spaghetti, Italian Bread, and Dessert)

When I can save money that way, I try to buy the other essentials. There's just so much of it to consider..LOL
It sounds like you have a very good start. You do what you can, when you can. I have been working on this for years and have made many mistakes along the way. I have a little long term storage dehydrated stuff but I have learned to buy what food you normally use. Get a little extra each time and cycle through it. Focus on what your family normally needs and consider the extra as backup. Always get just a little extra and you will be surprised how soon you have a week, then 2 weeks of stored food and other essentials. You just keep building on that.
 

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My wife finally said enough. I have probably 24 maybe 30 of those rubbermaid type 18 gallon containers. Fill one with water and it takes a hand truck to move it. I use to shop at Wal Mart a lot, mainly because it was 24 hours and close. I could go there at 6 AM and the crazies weren't up yet. Only probably was getting a sporting goods manager to open the ammo container. I use to grab a cart and first thing I'd put in it was the 4.99 18 gallon rubbermaid then I'd fill it up with what I was buying. When "SHTF" and we have to move in the vehicle quick she'll be glad most of our stores are stocked in them and they are easy to pack up in the vehicle quickly. I asked her to do a drill with me on Christmas Day to see how long it'd take us to pack up and be ready for the road. Dogs were in at 41 minutes and we were behind the wheel ready to roll. I'd like to get that down to 30.

We have these "Dollar General" stores here. I don't go much any more but last year when they opened they'd send out these get $5.00 off any ticket over $20. So I'd get $25 worth of meds, TP, a few canned goods and such for $20 there. You'd be surprised how much you can accumulate and they have some really decent first aid material - cheap.

Also garage sales are great for non food items. I've gotten a good load of tools and equipment at garage sales. Picked up 3 propane tanks for a BBQ at one for $30 and they all had a decent supply in them - not full but not empty at all.

I like using 18 gal rubbermaid containers, I put a variety of food items and other stuff like TP, a qt of Bleach, soap, a couple garbage bags, gallon size ziploc bags, coffee filters, plastic food containers, salt, and whatever else I feel I may need...once full I will drill 8 holes around container through top and bottom lip and use zip ties to secure so if I have to move in a hurry everything will stay in container, and write date on when it was packed...
 

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That would be a good kit to get. I didn't know there was such a thing. Off to google I go
 

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A the cost of everything rises, how do you manage to prep on a budget? When it comes to weapons, I have that area covered. Ammo is a never ending battle.......It seems I get frustrated, there are so many things to prep the list seems endless. You can't just prep food, there's medicine, sanitation products; from cleaning supplies to personal hygiene supplies, sewing/quick fix staples, and it goes on....How do you cover all your bases and not leave something undone?
You have to do what you can when you can. The below quote is from a lady on a survival thread on a Bersa forum to which I have belonged for several years. I was several months from the tail end of a three year plan of getting DW and I out of debt except for day to day expenses so I was struggling with doing anything towards. Her post then, and then a post recently by preppermom have been people who have inspired me whe I've been a little down about getting it together and funds and areas of my stocking weren't growing like I wanted.

I do not have much money to go towards my stores but I have done ok with what I have this week....I have stocked up on 750 22LR CCI mini mags, one small can of chicken breast, 2 small deodorants, 30 9mm rounds that I made (Last of my bullets for 9mm),Large Box of powdered milk.

Ok now I am broke LOL but I was happy with what I was able to do....So what have you guys done to go towards your prepping this week? (Quoted from BersaChat.com)
Just as an additional note, completed that three year plan last week. Right now, no more major debt.
 
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Discussion Starter #20
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Just as an additional note, completed that three year plan last week. Right now, no more major debt.
That's wonderful! Congrats! We have stayed away from the credit cards, but have other debts. We just added the 18 year old to our insurance and lord help me, it's as much as the house payment. :shock:

Originally Posted by XXXX
I do not have much money to go towards my stores but I have done ok with what I have this week....I have stocked up on 750 22LR CCI mini mags, one small can of chicken breast, 2 small deodorants, 30 9mm rounds that I made (Last of my bullets for 9mm),Large Box of powdered milk.

Ok now I am broke LOL but I was happy with what I was able to do....So what have you guys done to go towards your prepping this week? (Quoted from BersaChat.com)
Sounds like me at times, tickled to death with what I did last week.
It amounted to;

2 boxes 410 Slugs
2 boxes 12 Gauge Buckshot
10 Pack Ivory Bar Soap
2 packs Baby Wipes
1 bottle Wine
Large File Box w/lid for all sewing items
Craft Needles
8 can of veggies (extras)
1 box of med.

That was a good week, some weeks it less. I been trying to go with the flow...I figure it don't matter if it's just an extra jug of salt, and some candles..its something.
 
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