Prepping On A Budget
One of the first lessons I learned when I moved to Florida was that I had to get prepared for hurricane season.
Right after that, I learned that hurricane prep can be expensive.
But thanks to some of my penny-pinching friends and neighbors, I figured out how to assemble some emergency necessities without breaking the bank.
With inflation out of control, I thought this is a perfect time to share some of the tips I've picked up over the last year.
After all, disasters are coming, whether there's inflation or not.
When should you get started?
But don't plan to get everything all at once.
Pick up stuff throughout the year, as different stores offer different items on sale or clearance.
Like when 4Patriots offers their FREE 72-Hours kits. That's a great way to stock up.
That way, you're not trying to get what you need when a disaster is on its way – and everyone else is in a panic due to the empty store shelves.
And, as you're getting items, look at off-brand merchandise to save a few bucks.
Off-brand stuff, like bandages, bleach, and ointments are often much less than the more popular brands and are sure to trim your emergency stash fund.
You probably know that getting items in bulk can help you set aside some dollars on a per item basis, but if you're a family of 4 or less, or have little space to store stuff, getting things in bulk might not be appealing.
That's when your neighbors can help.
A few families on our block will go in together to get some essentials in bulk and then split them.
We get the low rates without having to stash 50 jars of something. And helping others prepare as well.
You already know that clean drinking water is a must to have on hand in case of an emergency.
Rather than getting a bunch of water jugs at the store, I collect and store my own water in 2-liter bottles.
Since I'm not a soda drinker, I rely on neighbors (and their trash) for the bottles.
One quick ask and I usually have 10 empty bottles at my front door within a few hours.
Keep in mind that water that has not been commercially bottled needs to be replaced every 6 months, so refresh your water supply throughout the year to keep it fresh.
Also, don't use containers that once had milk or juice in them, as milk protein and fruit sugars are difficult to remove. As a result, bacteria can begin to grow in your water bottles.
One of the biggest expenses I've found in building up my emergency stash is batteries.
Because so many survival items like flashlights and radios require them.
And they all seem to use different sizes.
Rather than relying on battery-operated gadgets, I look for ones that use the free power source God provides us... the sun.
I've got solar-powered flashlights, radios, even phone chargers.
And now I don't have to worry about replacing batteries, ever.
The last few months have shown us that even if you don't live in a hurricane zone, you need to be prepared for a disaster.
Try some of these tricks so you can be ready, without busting your budget.