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12/17/2018 / By Mary Miller
Prepping often isn’t easy. Neither is it easy on the wallet, but if you’re smart enough to prepare, your initial investment will be well worth it when SHTF. Still, there are effective ways to cut down on prepping costs. Here are a few quick ways to save money when prepping on a budget. (h/t to TheSurvivalMom.com.)
Survival supplies don’t come cheap, especially if you plan to stockpile supplies that will last for years. Of course, you are likely to save more money in the long run, but at present, you will need to save up money to get those supplies in the first place. It’s not impossible. It just requires you to develop better money habits. (Related: How to prep even if you don’t have a lot of money to spare.)
Vehicle maintenance can be a drain on the pocket. You can save a lot of money by changing the oil and oil filter yourself. Learn how to replace break pads, rotate tires, change out windshield wiper blades, and do all of your own repairs. You can start by asking a friend to teach you or by watching tutorial videos. Once you’ve gotten good enough, you can even repair the vehicles of other people for a small fee. You could also offer your services in exchange for learning different services from others. You might not gain any money, but you will gain knowledge that you can put to good use later on. Simply put, if you can learn how to do something, then you won’t need to pay someone else to do it for you. Even taking care of your own yard shouldn’t require landscapers or gardeners to look presentable.
If you are fond of eating out on a regular basis, your fancy meals might be cutting a hole in your wallet. You don’t have to stop eating out entirely, you just don’t need to do it all the time. An occasional treat once a month should be fine. Instead, try to plan a week’s worth of meals in advance using frugal recipes. Pack everyone’s lunches if you can. Each week should have at least one meal with beans and one meal with eggs. If you still do plan to eat out anyway, use coupons or order from the dollar menu. You can save even more money by eating out at lunch, instead of dinner, sharing an entree, and by not taking any appetizers or desserts. For beverages, choose water as much as you can rather than buying expensive soda or fancy coffee. It’ll keep you healthier, too. You can also make a habit of drinking more water in your entire family. If you still want to have some coffee or juice, learn how to make them yourself by buying powdered drink mixes. Use twice as much water if you can.
As much as possible, try to do all of your shopping at flea markets, thrift stores, secondhand stores, and yard sales. You can find a lot of items that are in good condition, or even almost brand new, at significantly lower prices. Try to buy in bulk as well. At the same time, establish a “cooling off period” of 24 hours every time you or your family members make large purchases. Before buying something new to replace a damaged or broken object, try to repair the item first. Fixing things will probably be cheaper than having to buy a whole new version. It can also help you gain more useful skills. Additionally, coupons are truly meant to be used if you plan to buy a product anyway. They aren’t meant for impulse purchases. If you really do have plans to buy expensive products, always use coupons or wait for a sale. You can even compare prices from different stores to see which one is cheaper.
Learn more tricks on prepping while on a budget at Preparedness.news.
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