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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I'm fairly new in this forum and expect there is already a thread for this, but I haven't found it yet. Without getting too personal, I've had a difficult time prepping because of being out of work, on my own, and nobody within ears reach agreeing that prepping is necessary. Because I know what it is like to go hungry, I take prepping seriously. I've had to resort to turning to the community church the past several months for my groceries. When I first started, I used to give them back the food I didn't want (i.e. rice, beans, powdered milk, those dried potato flakes, dried oats etc). Then I started combing preparedness forums and learned the basic staples. So I started accepting all of it and putting it aside. I now have a ton of pasta, beans, rice, oats and a good start on potatoes and powdered milk... and working on things to balance out the diet and to make it more flavorful, enjoyable and healthful. Now that I at least know I won't have an empty stomach, it's easier to use what budget I do have to get the other stuff. Before, if I had only $5 to spend, it seemed like it would not make a difference. But now I can use $5 or $10 to stock up on sugar, veggies, fruit, and non-food items.
 

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a dude
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One of the minor ironies of preparedness, is the longer the prep time for much of the food, the cheaper it is. If you can plan ahead, you can do better not only in preps, but in day to day life...we get use to paying for time savings.

You've hit some basic concepts that are solid for Low Budget preps. Those exact foods you now value are the way to put aside long term storage foods. Another way of moving up in preps is to actually eat some of the beans, rice, pasta, grains, TVP and such, so you save more money instead of eating more expensive foods. This accomplishes two things, you get more efficient and use to eating those items, and you save money which can be used for other prep items. Having a few good flashlights, pepper spray ammunition, water filter, etc. over time are great steps.

As you're doing it on a budget, you'll benefit even more by plotting out what you need for your needs.

For example, in preparedness, you need to take care of the 3-S's no matter what the situation. You need to ensure Safety, Sustanance, and Shelter.

A safety item might be a good 1st Aid kit, beyond Bandaids, but actual bandages, burn kits, etc., and illuminatin is another common need for safety.

Sustanance includes primarily food and water, having some on hand, and coming up with means of securing more.

Shelter includes not only the place you live, tarps for repair or possible shelter, but even having something on your feet and clothing you wear.

A good Low Budge Prep step is to get to know the area where you live intimately, and what is available and going through your stuff and organizing what you have.

While many preppers hate the idea of becoming a refugee, as you develop a shelter in place strategy, it's also good to develop a bug out plan, making plans with some others in different areas, locally, in the region and out of it, for mutual agreed support if needed. It's possible to put together a bug out bag or kit inexpensively.
 

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a little knowledge goes a long way

Another way to prep on a budget is to educate ourselves. We obviously have the internet, and I've found libraries have more on prepping than I would have guessed!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thank you for the feedback and the wealth of information for beginners. Your suggestion to start eating some of the food--thus learning how to prepare an enjoyable meal--is something I had thought about, but have not yet done. I'm going to start finding some tasty recipes based on the staples. You're right--convenience foods are more expensive, plus they've prevented learning better cooking skills.
I had not thought of TVP, so now I know that is a goal, as well as flashlights, batteries, etc. Been stocking up on pet food and water too.
Yes, the internet is a great resource. I've been learning all this on my own and this forum (a few others too, but this is my favorite) has been a tremendous help.
 

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Prepping
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Thank you for the feedback and the wealth of information for beginners. Your suggestion to start eating some of the food--thus learning how to prepare an enjoyable meal--is something I had thought about, but have not yet done. I'm going to start finding some tasty recipes based on the staples. You're right--convenience foods are more expensive, plus they've prevented learning better cooking skills.
I had not thought of TVP, so now I know that is a goal, as well as flashlights, batteries, etc. Been stocking up on pet food and water too.
Yes, the internet is a great resource. I've been learning all this on my own and this forum (a few others too, but this is my favorite) has been a tremendous help.
There are a lot of 'survivalist' websites out there but this one is more directed towards realism and PREPPING rather than just all about crazy what if scenerios by people who just want to stir up a bunch of crazy scenerios. Many people on this site really prep, and are into self sufficiency and are very friendly. Glad you like the site and find some valuable stuff.

If you have room on your plot then maybe some spring vegetables are in the works? If not, there is also a way to make those simple meals into something better by adding just some simple herbs to the recipes. Growing herbs indoors is cheap and easy and makes a simple addition to base meals. When I was overseas we ate soo many rations that we had our families send over fresh dried herbs to flavour our meals. Man did they ever make a BIIIIG difference. So just another suggestion.
 

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a dude
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One I have the kit for but never tried is bean sprouting...it can fall under inexpensive preps and it's a skill that you don't hear much about.

Years ago, it might have been ASG or another magazine and it mentioned some guy isolated in some place, not having much more than beans through a winter. He set up sprouting and it helped him. It provided some fresher vegetation and cut just a bit of the tedium and he'd picked up something to do as well.



I'm picking up some neat tips among the comments from consumers at one of the dehydrated food suppliers, how they prep and what you can eat straight out. One of the interesting things I'm learning is some folks can use some of what most of us might consider expensive items economically, and some are shut ins and can't get fresh fruit and veggies as often as they like, but the dehydrated stuff helps them. To me this is great news, because instead of simply buying stuff I'll put on the shelf with extensive shelf lives, where I'd seldom if ever rotate them, they can be integrated into regular cooking. Tossing a handful of dehydrated corn, carrots or pepper flakes into a soup or stew instead of buying the fresh stuff all the time is helpful, 'beefing' up some dishes with TVP might work as well. It's actually cost effective if done right and might keep me buying and storing the stuff.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Indoor herb garden and bean sprouting are both marvelous suggestions. Looking forward to my reading tonight on these two topics.
Even if the S does not HTF (although I don't currently see how it could be avoided) there's something very appealing about self-sufficiency.
 

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I'm fairly new in this forum and expect there is already a thread for this, but I haven't found it yet. Without getting too personal, I've had a difficult time prepping because of being out of work, on my own, and nobody within ears reach agreeing that prepping is necessary. Because I know what it is like to go hungry, I take prepping seriously. I've had to result to turning to the community church the past several months for my groceries. When I first started, I used to give them back the food I didn't want (i.e. rice, beans, powdered milk, those dried potato flakes, dried oats etc). Then I started combing preparedness forums and learned the basic staples. So I started accepting all of it and putting it aside. I now have a ton of pasta, beans, rice, oats and a good start on potatoes and powdered milk... and working on things to balance out the diet and to make it more flavorful, enjoyable and healthful. Now that I at least know I won't have an empty stomach, it's easier to use what budget I do have to get the other stuff. Before, if I had only $5 to spend, it seemed like it would not make a difference. But now I can use $5 or $10 to stock up on sugar, veggies, fruit, and non-food items.
We had a rough year in 2008...so we've been there...we have been blessed for two years..just making ends meet at times is a blessing for me..

Now, knowing where you're coming from, I can say this...I don't go out hunting bargains, but save some money and then hit Aldi's, Sav-a-lot or Dollar General, or something like these. I actually have little things I do to save--rooms not heated, sheets covering the openings to many rooms, laundry in cold water, you get the idea..so, I care where I spend $$ for food...
You can't do better than some of these stores..and if I'm out, I find cake mixes for 88 cents, or Libby's vegetables 3/$1??? I get what I can.

I started 2 years ago, and can seriously say, we did without, other than what we give to the church..we have not had much of a life.

Having peace of mind about the future is something to be proud of..not cowing to those bastards when they come to the door with their rations...oh, yes, by all means, take them...share with family, friends, but be careful letting others know you don't really need them.
Trust noone with knowledge of your stored supplies and foods...:ignore:

God bless.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
We had a rough year in 2008...so we've been there...we have been blessed for two years..just making ends meet at times is a blessing for me..

Now, knowing where you're coming from, I can say this...I don't go out hunting bargains, but save some money and then hit Aldi's, Sav-a-lot or Dollar General, or something like these. I actually have little things I do to save--rooms not heated, sheets covering the openings to many rooms, laundry in cold water, you get the idea..so, I care where I spend $$ for food...
You can't do better than some of these stores..and if I'm out, I find cake mixes for 88 cents, or Libby's vegetables 3/$1??? I get what I can.

I started 2 years ago, and can seriously say, we did without, other than what we give to the church..we have not had much of a life.

Having peace of mind about the future is something to be proud of..not cowing to those bastards when they come to the door with their rations...oh, yes, by all means, take them...share with family, friends, but be careful letting others know you don't really need them.
Trust noone with knowledge of your stored supplies and foods...:ignore:

God bless.
Hi JayJay,
Thank you for your suggestions and advice. I did recently discover a decent dollar store and have been carefully choosing items of quality with long expiration dates. It's given a good start in gathering more of a variety.
One thing I've noticed, in my case anyway, is the financial difficulties of this past year have been a blessing in disguise. I had never thought of survival before, nor the necessity to prepare. Now I'm more prepared physically and mentally than I would have been if it hadn't happened. And giving up and/or cutting back (pretty much have nothing more to cut back on now LOL!) has greatly assisted as well, because now I've adjusted and am learning how to succeed under difficult circumstances. I have to say that has turned out to be a huge advantage. I think sometimes that which seems to be a tough break can actually be what helps us most.
And thank you everyone who has responded. It's been very fruitful! :2thumb:
 

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...the financial difficulties of this past year have been a blessing in disguise. I had never thought of survival before, nor the necessity to prepare. Now I'm more prepared physically and mentally than I would have been if it hadn't happened.
Amen!!! We're in a similar boat, and I think the challenges we're facing have really helped us shape our priorities.

Something I read on another forum - a woman wrote that even those weeks when you can't put something aside (because there are some weeks when it's really not possible to get a couple extra cans of veggies, no matter how great the bargain), anyways, this woman wrote that even if you can't get something to prep, you can do something. Learn a skill. Make a plan. Research. Organize. She wrote that so often we think of prepping as acquiring supplies, but there's really a lot more to prepping than that. So even those weeks when we can't put something aside, we can still be working on our preparedness. That really helped me a lot.
 

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The Kentucky Lairkeeper
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SolarDeco, sharing what you have learned is also something we can do.

Being on limited finances myself I wanted my books cheap, but good. Those skills are mandatory. The price of some that I wanted was obscene.
Here's a link:

Modern Pioneer

Click show all. Go down the page to I think 84 or 85. There are .pdf copies of some the Foxfire books and some others. Everything I could collect that might help to be prepared that I could get onto a site is there and right click is not disabled. Save what you want.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Amen!!! We're in a similar boat, and I think the challenges we're facing have really helped us shape our priorities.

Something I read on another forum - a woman wrote that even those weeks when you can't put something aside (because there are some weeks when it's really not possible to get a couple extra cans of veggies, no matter how great the bargain), anyways, this woman wrote that even if you can't get something to prep, you can do something. Learn a skill. Make a plan. Research. Organize. She wrote that so often we think of prepping as acquiring supplies, but there's really a lot more to prepping than that. So even those weeks when we can't put something aside, we can still be working on our preparedness. That really helped me a lot.
What a wonderful philosophy! Realizing the importance of thinking things through, beyond just having the supplies, is so true and right on. Thank you for sharing that :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
SolarDeco, sharing what you have learned is also something we can do.

Being on limited finances myself I wanted my books cheap, but good. Those skills are mandatory. The price of some that I wanted was obscene.
Here's a link:

Modern Pioneer

Click show all. Go down the page to I think 84 or 85. There are .pdf copies of some the Foxfire books and some others. Everything I could collect that might help to be prepared that I could get onto a site is there and right click is not disabled. Save what you want.
A Fabulous and eye-opening resource. Wow, so much to learn. I'm so glad you posted that here. I downloaded those 2 so far, and combing through the rest of the site. Thank you so much!
 

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The Kentucky Lairkeeper
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You are quite welcome. If I come up with anything else I can get into an upload, it will be added.

The fact there is so much to learn is the issue. People have become millions of "hermits" living right next door to a person for years and knowing nothing about them. There is no trust among neighbors after times changed and needing a neighbor no longer happened. What you don't "know" you are usually suspicious of.

If humanity is returned to "village" life, no one person is expected to know it all. That was NOT the way it was done. There were blacksmiths, weavers, bakers, butchers, even a town brewer. The dairyman had the milk cows, but someone else handled the cheesemaking. Me? I'm an herb person. Not some expert mind you, but a grow it and us it myself type. The legal kinds by the way, like Echinacea and Ginkgo. Ginkgo Biloba is a tree, the young leaves are used as a super blood thinner as well as to help boost circulation. Echinacea comes from the Purple Coneflower and is anti-viral, anti-bacterial, and anti-fungal. Most light infections can be cured early if you start it quickly when you first begin to feel bad. BUT, it must not be taken over 10 to 14 days as the cure is hard on your liver. Sorry, didn't mean to start on the "soap box." My whole family is at risk of being "herbaled" by me.

Drug companies are not acting in their own best business interests if they cure you; so why should they? Truth is, they don't. If they did, then who would buy their drugs? They keep you alive, but feeling like $#!^^ so you buy more. Old "bats" like me with bottles of green stuff, berries, and bark were once burned at the stake by the same people they cured for witchcraft. Mainly because we can't fix everything. That's where GOOD doctors came in. Too bad there aren't enough of those any more. I truly miss them, the ones who had a "calling" not just chose it for budgeted numbers of potential earnings. Oh well, things will change, they always do.

If you have anything in particular you are looking into, I'll see what I can find. I'm in winter break and classes don't start till mid-January so I have some "surf" time. Just leave a message or email me from the site so I know it's about being Prepared.
 

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I feel your pain. One valuable lesson this tough economy has taught me is that prepping begins with being prepared for common emergencies like unemployment. You have to seek education, professional development opportunities, and the skills you need to secure and hold employment. Then, you have to squirrel away a reserve fund to live on in case you ever lose your employment.

After that, you can prep for other common survival scenarios. You've got to prep to avoid and survive car accidents. You've got to prep to maintain your health and avoid heart disease and cancer. You've got to prep to handle common household emergencies like fire, kitchen burns, and cuts.

Then, you can start prepping for the most likely manmade and natural disasters that might affect you: crime, tornadoes, hurricanes, earthquakes, etc.

Finally, you can prep for hopefully less likely but more catastrophic events that might end our civilization: nuclear war, pandemic, economic collapse, etc.

Building an Emergency Supply Kit for $10 a Week
 

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Prepping on a very tight budget, I believe, is better than prepping with unlimited funds as it makes one think about what is truly needed instead of what is wanted. I have been unemployed for over a year now (over-qualified to eat, lol), and my husband's income is now a third of what it was only three years ago. I have gone to food banks twice now in the last year, helped out at an LDS cannery for groceries, and try to buy two of everything when I grocery shop (one for immediate use, and one for the prep pantry). In a little less than a year I had enough food in the prep pantry for a year's worth of food, and now have about 2 1/2 years worth of food. I bought seeds in the fall when they went on sale (even things I don't have a clue how to cook, but I can learn). I watched craigslist and freecycle for anything others wanted to give away for free or really cheap. I picked up solar powered christmas lights when they went on sale real cheap, shopped the Goodwill's and Salvation Army stores for cheap sturdy clothes, and garage sales for candle holders. I contacted places that were having luminarie events and asked for their spent candle pieces (now have over 300 pounds of wax). Picked up a bunch of cheap shoestrings for wicks in the candles. I am also going to use the wax for deoderant sticks, and lip balms. Picked up herbal healing books from used book stores. I also picked up a bunch of suture kits from a vet store online, and researched how to suture minor cuts that would need more than a bandaid. Stocked up on tampons (as they are a good means of packing a deep wound). We picked up a small travel trailer which we could easily haul around, but have parked it on a friends 80+ acre farm where she is starting a SHTF community. We are moving out there in January to help her get things ready for others who wish to move off-the-grid or can't leave until SHTF.
When we started planning and prepping we were very stressed and concerned that we wouldn't be able to get everything together soon enough, or have enough money to be truly prepared, but slowly and surely we are now at the point that we are relaxed and confident. It isn't money that helps one get prepared, but a different mindset. Once you truly start prepping, and think about what you truly need to live (not survive, but live), it becomes much easier. You start to think about what you need, what you know, and what you don't know, then obtain what you need, free yourself from what you do not need, expand on what you know, and research and learn what you don't know.
I wish everyone the best, and wish everyone a safe, and happy holiday season.
 

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BucketHunter
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Ms. Kathryn -- that helps more than you know. Thank you!
 

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performing monkey
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wow, you sound like a woman after my own heart Kathryn! too bad you're not 20 years younger... AND single! :lolsmash: :D
 

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a dude
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:scratchI'm still trying to imagine 300 lbs. worth of wax! Man, there's gotta be a neat project that can be done with all that. I wonder how big a candle and how thick a wick is possible!:confused:

Geez, it'd be like a LOG.:D
 

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Prepping on a very tight budget, I believe, is better than prepping with unlimited funds as it makes one think about what is truly needed instead of what is wanted.
Yes!!!

I find myself making much better purchasing decisions now. Hardships are so often a blessing in disguise... I really hate to call the financial difficulties we're going through now a hardship, because we've gained in so many other ways.
 
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