I know many people who are worried about being unprepared in the event of a hurricane or civil unrest, but since they make less than $30,000 a year (like half of Americans) and have rent, credit card debt, and kids to take care of, they feel like prepping is too costly so they don’t even try.
In this article, I’m going to make the case that in the long run, prepping could actually save you money. You’ll still need to come up with some money to get started, which means you’ll have to find ways to lower your bills and be more frugal. This is so you can purchase things like chickens, solar panels, or a membership to a warehouse store.
But once you’ve been at it for several years, if you keep track of your expenses, you’ll find that you’ve actually saved thousands of dollars. Here’s how…
1. Buying In Bulk
The first way prepping will save you money is one of the oldest prepping tricks of all: buying items in bulk. When you buy in bulk, even though you are paying more money up front, you are also paying significantly less money per item, so you will ultimately end up saving money over the long term.
This stands true for practically everything, from water to food to medicines to ammunition and so on. Buy more at once, and you pay less for each item. This is a frugal living tip that doesn’t just apply to prepping; it applies to your everyday life as well!
Many ordinary folks who don’t prep buy items in bulk for the purpose of saving money. If you haven’t been to a warehouse store in a while (or ever), check out the things you can get.
2. Buying Raw Ingredients
Another frugal prepping strategy that can save you money is purchasing raw ingredients. Why is this a prepping strategy? Because raw ingredients almost always last longer than processed ingredients, which make them far more suitable for long-term storage.
Furthermore, raw ingredients are often less expensive than their processed counterparts. Here’s a simple rule of thumb: the more stages a food item or ingredient has to go through before it is sold on the market, the more it is going to cost. This holds true for everything from meat to a cheap can of soup.
Not only do raw ingredients last longer and cost less, they’re healthier and more nutritious since they haven’t been processed. Considering these three things, you’d be crazy not to buy more raw ingredients.
3. Buying Less Food To Begin With By Gardening
The more fruits, herbs, and vegetables that you are able to grow on your own, the less of them that you have to buy at the grocery store. It really is that simple.
Furthermore, you can store your fruits and vegetables that you grow in your own garden for the long term by canning and preserving them. They’ll still be perfectly edible and nutritious many months if not years from the date you store them, so when disaster strikes you’ll still have a full stomach.
And as with raw ingredients, homegrown food is much healthier since it won’t be coated with pesticides, and it’s much more nutritious since it’s garden to table (the nutritional value of crops goes down the longer they’re in storage).
4. Raising Livestock To Buy Less Meat
Just as growing your own crops in your garden means less money to spend on buying crops from the supermarket, the same is true for meat as well. Examples of livestock that you can grow on your own include chickens, rabbits, sheep, pigs, and cows.
Out of those, chickens and rabbits are by far the easiest to raise because they can be raised with little space, little expenses, and sometimes even in an urban area if the local laws allow it.
All you really need to raise chicken and rabbits is warmth, feed, water, a closed pen, and shelter. Two mating pairs of rabbits will, eventually, provide you with at least one rabbit to eat a week. Meanwhile, with enough chickens, you’ll have fresh eggs each and every day.
5. Catching Rainwater to Lower your Water Bill
The same principle with the two examples applies to water as well. By setting up a rainwater harvesting system to collect water, you will lower your water bill each month.
A basic rain gutter system on your roof, where water runs down the gutters and into a clean barrel, is a very simple and yet highly efficient method for collecting rainwater. All you need to do is make sure your gutters are always clean.
And it’s not necessarily just for drinking. You could use it to flush your toilets (which takes around 5 gallons), and if you filter out the larger particles and treat the water with some bleach, you could use it to wash your dishes or take showers. Just make sure it’s legal in your area.
6. Using Solar Power to Lower Your Electric Bill
You can also dramatically lower your electric bill each month by simply installing solar panels on your roof for solar power. The primary alternative to solar panels is wind turbines to gain wind power, but in all honesty, solar panels are far cheaper and easier to install.
Again, make sure you follow your local laws and regulations, as a hefty fine would completely defeat the purpose.
Keep in mind that solar panels aren’t the only way to harness solar energy. For example, instead of electric lights, you could use solar air lanterns in the evening. And instead of using your electric oven, you could use this portable solar oven. In the long run, these items will pay for themselves and then some.
7. Learning DIY Hacks To Save You Time and Money
Last but not least, learning simple DIY survival hacks is another great way to save you time and money. Survival hacks simply consist of you finding everyday random objects around your home that you take for granted each day and applying those items to your survival.
If you’re not sure what I’m talking about, check out this list of things preppers shouldn’t throw away.
This will enable you to become much more resourceful, and you will see renewed value in items before throwing them away. For example, instead of throwing away an empty soda can, you could turn it into a stove or a lantern or something else. Learning how to repurpose and upcycle things can save you a lot and give you a sense of pride.
As you can see, there are many ways that being a prepper can save you money in the long run. What are some other ways prepping can save you money?