Prepping On A Budget – Tips, Tricks, And Advice

Jeremy Bowyer
Written By Jeremy Bowyer

Jeremy Bower is a generational survivalist and expert outdoorsman.

The best way to stick to your budget is to start one. Most people think prepping for disasters is a luxury they can’t afford. In some cases, that might be true if you buy pre-packed bags and kits, the whole thing can add up to a few thousand dollars. But that’s why we are here to show you how to create an excellent prep on a budget.

There are so many ways to minimize your expenses when building your peppering, and that’s what this article is all about. First, let’s talk about the essential goods in categories you will need: water, food, sanitary items, emergency items or survival gear, and a first aid kit. No prepping stock is complete without them, so you just need to be creative in how you get your goods and store them. Prepping on a budget is easy, and we will prove that by showing you what you need, how to get it, and when to get it.

What Do I Need To Start Prepping?

Non perishable foods

There are so many options for prepping gear out there that it can be overwhelming to pick one. No matter what situation has led you to need prepping gear, you should be ready for any obstacle that might come your way, even zombies. We never know what can happen to the world at any given moment, and that’s why there are certain areas of prepping that are incredibly important. These items include water, food, hygiene products, protective equipment, and necessary tools.

Clean Water

Water Bottles

Clean water is one of the most important things for surviving a disaster. You need to have access to drinkable water, even if that means you have to purify it yourself. There are numerous ways to purify water if you don’t have a clean source. You can get yourself a water filter, purifying tablets, or even just keep some bleach around as a last resort.

Having Plenty Of Food

Budget Grains and Food

Food is next on our list. People have been using canned food for years, and they will continue to do so because of its long shelf life and accessible prices. Other options for prepping would be freeze-dried foods and MREs (Meal, Ready to Eat), which take less space to store, but might be pricey sometimes. For you to be able to survive if a disaster continues for a few months, your best bet is to have the ability to grow food yourself, which means having some gardening tools and seeds. Pick heirloom seeds since they yield disease-resistant crops that produce more seeds season after season.

Home Shelter Alternative

Survival shelter in the mountain

After providing ourselves with food and water, we need to make sure we have a shelter that will keep us safe from the elements. Since there is a possibility that you might not be able to stay in your home, you need to have other options. Your best option will be a bunker or cabin away from everything, even a tent will do the job. But if that’s not attainable, you need the knowledge and tools to build yourself a long-term survival shelter. That way, storing away a small axe to cut some sticks to make your shelter would be great, and if your budget covers it, a simple tarp will make it waterproof.

Bug-Out Bag or an INCH Bag

Bug-Out Bag

The overall contents of your doomsday supply list will be based on the area you live in and the number of people who use it. Survivalists recommend keeping a ‘bug-out bag’ on standby to get you through critical times. An alternative would be an INCH bag, similar to a bug-out. In addition to food and water, essential items to have in that doomsday duffel should include a first-aid kit, fire-starting items, a knife or a multi-tool, lights, a radio, preferably hand-cranked, and hygiene products. You can buy all of these separately to save yourself a fortune.

How Much Does It Cost To Start Prepping?

With so many things to consider and so many products to choose from, prepping can feel very overwhelming to someone who’s just getting started. Prepping won’t be the same for everyone, but there are some essentials that you need to have.  For most beginners, price is the most concerning part, which is understandable, considering you might never have to use it. Prepping kits can cost a few thousand, but they can also be a few hundred, especially if you are a savvy shopper.

If you do it smartly and pick the items separately and when on sale, you’ll get a pretty sweet deal. You don’t have to buy everything at once, buy a new item every week or month so it doesn’t hurt your pocket. Food, water, hygiene supplies, survival gear, and first-aid kits can be bought separately and on sale, which can add up. But if you purchase something little each week, you won’t feel the small sums you’ve spent. However, these few dollars every week can one day save your life.

Is Prepping A Good Idea?

In short – we’d say yes, it is a pretty good idea to stay prepared.
Or go all in – we’re not stopping you by any means!

Stated simply, prepping is preparing oneself to survive possible catastrophic disasters or emergencies without an elaborate infrastructure like the one in modern society. To prep means to be ready for an apocalyptic event by stockpiling food, ammunition, and other supplies to be able to survive on your own. Some people think prepping isn’t necessary and a waste of money, but what those people don’t understand is that if a critical situation occurs, they won’t be ready to endure it and provide for themselves.

When you’re prepping, you don’t have to spend thousands and thousands of dollars. You can only get the essentials to have better chances of survival. Just like we save money in our bank accounts and fill the tank of a car before we go on an adventure, we should prep for possible disasters. Why wouldn’t you spend some money to improve your outcome in an apocalyptic situation? Prepping is not only a good idea but also a great opportunity to protect and provide for yourself and your loved ones in case of an emergency.

What pitfalls to avoid?

What pitfalls to avoid

Just like packing for a holiday, people tend to pack a lot more than they need but somehow still forget the essentials. This also happens with prepping, and that’s why we’ll show you the most common mistakes that need to be avoided while you’re prepping yours.

1. Not Stocking Enough Water

Stocking up on water

We all need water to survive, so it should always be one of our priorities. A good water ratio to food is essential for everyone’s survival and should never be overlooked. Since you don’t know what lies ahead for yourself and your loved ones, the possibility of not having water to drink or a clean source to use shouldn’t be an option. If you can’t carry much water, have a filter or some filtration tablets.

No Variety In Your Food Section

Food variety

When it comes down to storing food, making sure it’s non-perishable is a must. Put simply, if a disaster occurs, you need food with nutritional value because it’s not that easy for your body to adapt to eating only rice and beans. Don’t make the mistake of not having variety in your food storage so that you can switch up what you consume so that your body doesn’t get used to only one type of food since that will prevent you from receiving enough energy to go on with your day.

Not Following Expiry Dates

Always keep track of the food you have in storage and consume it before it expires. If an apocalyptic event occurs, you don’t know how long it can last, and that’s why you shouldn’t waste even a spoonful of food. You can also get a small cookbook and learn how to prepare meals during an emergency.

Focusing Solely On Food And Water

Canned food

We all know that food and water are essential for our well-being and survival. But sometimes people mistake relying only on their food provisions and forget all the other necessary items they need to prep.

While prepping for a disaster, you should remember that first aid kits, clothes, and health supplies are just as important.

Not Consuming Enough Vitamins

Since the food you’ll be eating might be very different from what you usually consume, taking vitamins is vital so that your body adapts easier and stay healthier. Putting your body through the stress of an apocalyptic event can take a toll on your immune system, which is why you need a daily intake of vitamins to avoid getting sick.

Not Improving Your Survival Skills

Having survival books isn’t the same as knowing how to survive. Don’t rely solely on survival books because you might not be able to get to them, learn how to take care of yourself and your family during a disaster, to avoid being unprepared and putting someone in danger. 

Don’t forget about your pets


If you have a pet, make sure that you’ve prepped for them as well. Get the needed food and water, have the necessary medication, and even a toy or two, if possible. Don’t neglect your animals during a crisis

Relying Solely On Weapons

Many preppers think that having a gun and ammo is enough to keep them and their family protected, but that’s not always true. Other elements, like food, water, and long-term shelter, are way more important than a weapon in some cases. We understand that self-defense is crucial, but it’s not always enough to survive.

How Do I Start?

No matter if you’re new at prepping or ready for the end of the world, there are a few basic things no one should ignore. You can start by building yourself a food supply, preferably having some variety, storing water, and having a way to filter it. Next, you should consider packing a bug-out/INCH bag and creating a bug-out plan. Make sure that you have the necessary medical supplies and survival gear as well.

Those are the most important categories with which you should start your prepping. You can’t always know what happens next, but you can at least be prepared for most catastrophic events so that you and your family can have a better chance of survival. 

What Are The Best Foods To Stockpile?

No matter the situation, disasters come with little or no warning, so stockpiling nonperishable food items will help you be prepared for anything. Food is the body’s fuel, and that’s why it’s essential for your survival.

Considering you will most likely be wasting more energy than you usually would, you will have to consume food with higher calorie percentages and lots of proteins. Don’t forget that your food supply is limited, no matter how prepared, so choose foods that will help your body.

Check Out The Best Foods To Stockpile

Even in a disaster, you can still cook tasty meals and have nutritional food. You want to have a wide variety of provisions so that it doesn’t get boring and your body doesn’t get used to one specific meal, decreasing your energy. Get yourself some peanut butter because who doesn’t love it? Grab some whole wheat crackers, which you can vacuum to prolong their freshness.

Other nutritional options can be nuts, cereal, protein bars, and dried fruit. Canned provisions are also essential, you can buy some canned meat such as tuna, salmon, and chicken or get yourself some delicious soups. Don’t forget to pack a can opener so that you can eat them without having a headache or trying to figure out ways to open it. Everyone wants tasty food, so remember the sugar, salt, and pepper.

What Are The Best Items To stockpile?


Everyone needs food and water to survive a disaster, but those are not the only things you need to stockpile.

First Aid / Emergency Kit

One of the necessities is a first-aid kit that should consist of bandages, plastic gloves, painkillers, antiseptic wipes, antibiotics, ointment, fever reducers, tweezers, medical scissors, a thermometer, cotton, and isopropyl alcohol. We strongly advise you to learn a skillset with which you’ll know how to do CPR, dress a wound, understand which medication is needed, etc. 

Sanitary And Hygiene Items

Next on our list are hygiene items, which should never be undermined because they do not just smell nice. If you don’t have the proper products, you can put your health at risk. It would help if you stockpiled toilet paper, trash bags, and buckets to be able to make yourself a toilet. Other essentials are female hygiene items, soap, shampoo, hand sanitizer, razors, toothbrushes, and toothpaste. Having diapers and wipes is also important if you have a child. 

Survival Gear

Survival Gear

After that, it’s time to discuss other survival necessities, such as duct tape, gas masks, ropes, cords, candles, and flashlights. You’ll also need tools like a screwdriver, a hammer, an axe, and a multi-tool. For repairs, you might want to get some nails and screws. No one wants to be left in the cold, so getting an emergency blanket and a tarp is a great idea.


Batteries, a radio, and some fire starts are also crucial to your survival. Water is something everyone needs, that’s why you have to have a way to purify it. Many options, such as water filters, tablets, and even bleach, will get the job done. Pack some clothes just in case the ones you’re wearing get wet or dirty. If you’re a gun owner, you might want to stock up on ammo as well. 

How do you stockpile food on a budget?

When you’re stockpiling on a budget, you should choose only foods you and your loved one will eventually eat and not throw away. Try to be practical and save money by buying only what you need, but don’t forget to have options, variety is important. Always check the expiration dates on your provisions before you buy them. Look for deals and save money by picking something that is on sale.

Think about the money you’re willing to pay per item and know your price points. Using coupons is also very smart, especially if you combine them with an item on sale. If you want less expensive products to stockpile, choose the store brand instead of the name brand since they always have a higher price. Many places offer great deals when you buy in bulk, which is a huge money saver. Another sweet deal that you can get is when you buy meats and vegetables right before they are about to expire. However, you must process them immediately by canning, smoking, or freezing them.

Keep the big picture in mind and stock up on foods while they are inexpensive, even if your stash isn’t perfectly balanced. With time you will figure out what products are missing in your stash and balance it out.

Final words

Prepping On A Budget - Preserves

We hope that you’ve got a good understanding of how to start prepping a budget by now. Prepping doesn’t have to be hard and overwhelming, all you have to do is follow the advice we gave you, and you’ll be just fine. If you’re starting from scratch, you’ll need the essentials first, but if you aren’t, think about what you already have and need.

You can find excellent deals on items if you know how and where to look. Staying focused on the most impactful products of survival gear will help keep costs low as well. We understand that surviving is crucial, and we know why you might be worried, but with everything in this guide, your chances of survival are better than most. If you want to share some information about the subject or have any questions about how to approach this process, we would gladly help you in the comments below.