Beginner preppers often feel overwhelmed when they first begin walking down that path of prepping and self-sufficiency. There is so much information out there and it’s hard to focus on what’s right for them or even how to get started.
1. Buy $5 worth of extra canned goods every time you go to the grocery store.
Building up a survival food supply can be a daunting experience if you try to do it all at once. Instead, each time you go to the grocery store, buy an extra $5 worth of canned goods and store them away. The average American family goes to the grocery store 2-3 times a month. Within a year, that extra $5 will average out to be over 300 extra cans of food. Although we don’t suggest ONLY using canned gods for your food stores, it should definitely be a part of it and this is a great way to build up that storage affordably.
2. Save all your plastic bottles for water storage.
The best way to build up 2-3 months of water storage is to simply use the containers and water that you already have access to. Within a few short months you could easily build up a 2-3 month water supply without spending any additional money.
3. Utilize garage sales and thrift shops
Garage sales and thrift shops are excellent places to find budget-friendly preps. Staples like flashlights, candles and even bugout bags can be found for dirt cheap at garage sales and thrift shops. It may take some time to dig through all the junk before finding something good, but the money you save will be more than worth it. – Useful tip – Avoid large, chain thrift shops like Goodwill or The Salvation Army. Although these used to be great places to find deals on all kinds of prepper gear, over the last few years they have significantly raised their prices on this type of gear.
4. Start building your Prepper Library NOW!
In a disaster scenario, knowledge is power. If the S really ever did hit the F, the people who know how to grow their own food, hunt and fish, repair generators and many other types of skills are going to have a huge leg up on everyone else.
5. Start saving money….NOW!
One of the biggest mistakes you can make as a prepper is to think that any disaster can be mitigated with money. Yes, money is important and most preps require a financial commitment. However, our suggestion is, before buying ANYTHING, do a comprehensive evaluation of your finances. Is it REALLY necessary to be paying $100+ a month for cable? Do you REALLY need to be spending $200 a month going to restaurants? $300 could buy you nearly 600 cans of food, a decent home defense firearm or a generator. If you find yourself thinking: ”I’d really like to get a _____, but we can’t really afford it” think about what you could cut back on each month. Chances are you CAN afford it if you cut back on the unnecessary spending.
6. Before doing anything, put together a documentation package
A documentation package is probably one of the most important preps you could ever have. A documentation package is simply a collection of the most important documents and records you have, stored in one place. Insurance Records, Social Security cards, bank account information, evacuation or bugout plans, it all goes into your documentation package. A documentation package will help you in nearly any disaster you’ll ever face.
7. Learn basic off-the-grid skills
MREs and firearms are great preps to have, but if you can’t build a basic fire to cook on or keep warm with, your preps are useless. Basic skills like Fire Starting, Off-grid cooking, food preservation, hunting and fishing will be very useful skills when the SHTF. Ready4itall has put together a great list of Skills You’ll Need When the SHTF.
8. Build up your prepper community
Many beginner preppers think that when the SHTF that they’ll just hunker down and become hermits until the disaster is over. In a long-term SHTF scenario, your preps are only going to last so long. In order to develop long-term self-reliance, it is crucial to find like-minded people to build your own community with. Start reaching out to your neighbors; try to talk to them about prepping and self-reliance. Remember, being a lone-wolf survivor will let your survive, but a prepper community can help you THRIVE!
9. Start growing your own food
Storing food for long-term disasters is a great idea. However in some disasters, outside aid or re-supply could be months or even years away. It is absolutely critical that you learn how to produce at least some of your family’s food on your own. If you’ve never cared for a garden before start small; build a simple 4ft x 4ft raised bed in your backyard, or if you’re an apartment dweller, put out a few planting pots on your balcony. Not only will you be providing your family with great home-grown food, but you’ll also be developing a useful skill in case the grocery store is ever closed long-term.
10. Build up your situation awareness every day
Situational Awareness is simply being aware of the world around you. It isn’t paranoia or constantly being on the lookout for raiders, but simply being more aware could be the difference between life or death in a disaster scenario. Practice becoming more situationally aware. Take a different route home or to the office and take note of things you may have not noticed before. Play a game where every day you find 1 or more things that you never noticed before on your daily drive. 90% of violent crimes could be prevented by simply being aware of your surroundings, if you get an uneasy feeling about somewhere, trust it and get out of there. Trust your senses and always be vigilant.
Got preps? Pray for the best. Prepare for the worst.