I’ve been there. There was a long period of time in my life in which I lived on very low income. I wasn’t heavy into preparedness then, but I sure did learn how to live on very little. Being without truly teaches you how to pinch pennies and the value of a dollar. It reshapes your mind to find alternative ways of doing things.
When you’re a prepper wanting to build your stockpile with little to no money, it can be even more frustrating because you feel like you’re ‘behind’ and like you’ll never be ‘as prepared’ as anyone else.
Don’t compare your preparedness to others
This is your journey and you’re the only one who is living it and gets to decide what you do and don’t do.
If you have $5 a week for preps, that’s more than $0.
Find the positives, because they’re everywhere!
How to be prepared and stockpile for $5 a week
- Focus on your needs. When you have minimal money to spend, it’s a good idea to try to focus your spending on your everyday needs. You need to eat, you need water, you need warmth, cooling and security. Accomplish those needs first then move onto your other needs. Of course, these needs can span quite a few categories. Food and water are always good places to start.
- Set goals. Once you’ve reached a specific goal, say, 1 weeks worth of food and water, then you can focus your attention on something else. Like security, for instance. Or blackout supplies. Set specific goals. You could still continue to purchase food and water if you can, but you’re also focusing on another goal to build up other supplies. This will also help you to decide if you need to save money.
- Shop thrift stores and dollars stores. You can get a ton of great preps from the dollar store and thrift stores. Blankets, candles, lighters, first aid supplies, food, water, containers/bags, shower curtains, toilet paper, cotton cloth, gardening supplies, holiday items, party items and much, much more. Take a gander every now and then to see if there’s anything you might need for your life or preps.
- Math it out. When you’re looking for the best deal for your buck, math it out. Look at the name brand and off brand. Look at how much you get in each box/can. Compare the prices. You may want to consider spending a little extra on one big bulk item one week and then next week buy $5 worth of canned goods. The following week you might get a bag of rice with some gallons of water. Compare and math it all out.
- Buy supplies to make things. Buying the supplies to make things for yourself might actually help stretch your dollar even further. Instead of buying 1 loaf of bread, you’d buy the flour and other supplies to make multiple loaves of bread. While it may seem more expensive at the time, if you math it out, you’ll notice that by buying the supplies to make things, you can make much more of it than buying 1 or 2 individual items. Buy a couple pounds of beeswax and some wicks to make your own candles. You’re also building up your skills!
How to make more money for preps and life
- Sell plasma. I know this is such a ‘taboo’ topic, but there’s really nothing wrong with selling your plasma and it can save lives. Depending on where you live, you can make anywhere from $200-400 a month.
- Sells things. Have a garage sale. Sell items on eBay or Etsy. Get rid of clutter from your home. You could also make things to sell online. People buy a lot of things.
- Rent out stuff. Do you have tools, a trailer or other items that people may want to rent? I know this is high risk as they might ruin it, but it might also be high reward, too.
- Deliver. Delivery is huge right now and is only getting bigger. Delivery groceries, food and more. If you have a car you could use it to deliver or even drive.
- Look for ‘remote’ jobs. There are a lot of remote/work from home jobs available these days and many of them will require training. Search the internet for work from home opportunities and start applying! Many of them will allow you to work your own hours, as well. Just depends on the gig.
No matter what’s going on with your life, get creative with ways to make money and spend your money wisely. When you don’t have much to spend, it becomes even more important to spend it on things that will improve your life in one way or another.
In general, be frugal with your time and money. Reuse things. Repurpose things. Continue to live your life and have fun, but also prioritize preparedness. There should be a good balance.
Don’t forget to invest in yourself and your preparedness. You may need to invest in a dehydrator or canning supplies. These are investments that will continue to give back to you throughout the years.
This is what preparedness is all about, investing in your future.
Remember, this is your journey. Don’t compare yourself to others. Do your best and just get prepared.