For the last 18 years, I have supported a family of 6 to 10 people on under $18,000 a year, an extremely small budget, but through it all I have managed to be a prepper. Until the last couple of years, I did not know I was a prepper, it has always been a way of life for me. My prepping has always been a means to feed my family in case of job loss or natural disaster or just for day to day life. Recently my oldest daughter, now the mother of 2, asked me how I was able to always have plenty of food. This is what I told her.
The main thing is to start small. Just $5.00 a week will buy a lot. There are three stores within 10 miles of my home, I shop at all three on a weekly basis so I know the prices of most of the things I buy on a regular basis. This is the first thing to know so you can shop for deals. Most things are much higher at my local store, the only store in a small tourist town, but they have very good sales on a weekly basis. The nearest store outside of our town is HEB, a chain store here in Texas, their prices are comparable to Walmart, the other store I shop at, but HEB has several items that are lower priced than Walmart and they have better sales.
So here is a short list of what $5.00 will buy you.
- 15 7oz bags of pasta @ 3 for 1.00
- 4-5 1lb bags of beans @ .88 to 1.29 each
- 10 lb of rice @ 5# for 2.42
- 5 cans of Chef Boy-Ar-Dee pasta or ravioli @ .86 each
- 3 Jars of Pasta Sauce @ 1.69 each
- 7-8 cans of vegetables @ .62 to .66 each
This is just a small list of the items that $5.00 will buy in my area. I am sure that anyone who wants to prep food on a budget can find similar deals in their own area. By prepping in this way, I have enough food now for a good 6 months, maybe more. My daughter has followed my advice and is well on her way to being just as prepared.
Don't think that food is the only item that I prep. I also keep an eye out for deals on other daily items like personal hygiene, laundry, household and other items. I recently picked up 20, 9 LED flashlights for .99 each. Last year, after hurricane season, I picked up 15 oil lamps on clearance at my local store for $1.00 each. A couple weeks ago when bad storms came through the area and the power was out for 5 hours, I was glad I spent the money. This is why I prep for every day, you never know what might come up and what may be needed. At the present time, I have 8 alternate means of cooking, three grills, a large homemade solar cooker, two rocket stoves, one homemade, the other bought and two parabolic cookers, one homemade and one bought. I have many alternate means of doing almost anything that needs doing, from laundry, large tubs and clothes lines, to getting water, three shallow wells, without pumps, on the property. We dug the wells ourselves, luckily we have sand to dig through and water starting at 4 feet. We use a Waterboy or a manual slide pump to extract the water.
The point of all of this is to show everyone who says "I can't do it!"...Yes you can!
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Fortunately, we have some very gracious sponsors who are willing to sponsor this fun contest. Please visit their sites and review the products being donating as they are certainly good people doing good things for our community. Here's the prizes...
|CampingSurvival.com is donating an Exotac nanoSTRIKER XL Ferrocerium Fire Starter in Olive Drab.The description says "We created an evolutionary derivative of the original nanoSTRIKER with a larger rod and striker handle. It utilizes the same innovative design as the original, but with just enough extra size and heft to improve its ease of use without making it too big or bulky for key chain carry. The striker handle is 46% bigger, making it easier to grip. The XL version also sports a 33% larger ferrocerium rod, which improves the durability and lifespan of the rod even beyond that of the original nanoSTIKERs. Slowly scrape shavings off the rod into a small pile. Use these shavings on top of your tinder bundle for even better sparks! Use the nanoSTRIKER? to light gas stoves, alcohol stoves, fuel tablets, BBQ grills, etc."|
|MayflowerTrading.com is donating an The Guardian First Aid Fanny Pack. Contents include: 1 - Fanny Pack, 1 - Eye Wash, 2 - Instant Ice Packs, 1 - 3" ACE Bandage, 1 - Bandage Scissors, 1 - First Aid Guide, 1 - CPR Mouthpiece, 3 - Iodine Prep Pads, 6 - Pair Nitrile Gloves, 3 - 2 x 2 Gauze Pads, 4 - 4 x 4 Gauze Pads 1 - Tissue Pack, 6 - Alcohol Prep Pads, 2 - Water Gels, 1 - 1 x10 yds Adhesive Tape, 1 - Bio-Hazard Waste Bag, 1 - Box 3/4 x 3 Bandages, 1 - Tweezers1 - 4 ounce Hand Sanitizer, 2 - Eye Pads, 6 - Wet Naps, 1 - Hydrogen Peroxide, 1 - 5 x 9 Combine Dressing Bandages|
|OzarkMountainPreparedness.com is donating $100 Gift Certificate to any of their wonderful survival courses."Our mission is to provide the highest quality instructional courses to people who desire to pursue a self-reliant lifestyle; whether in the wilds or right at home. By blending both modern and primitive methods into our curriculum, we offer a comprehensive and practical view of survival and preparedness. Our course topics include wilderness and urban survival, fur trapping, bushcraft, primitive skills, long-term wilderness living, land navigation, home disaster preparation, outdoor cooking, food procurement and storage, foraging, wild edibles, and others."|
|RifleStock.com is donating a set of five Self-Watering Grow Buckets. I recently got a set and will review them soon. What is a grow bucket? "It is a 4, 5 or 6 gallon bucket altered to grow vegetables and flowers using a water reservoir in the base. Growing plants in self-watering buckets has been around for quite a while now, but our design has improved on the old method of using two buckets, one inside of the other, to create the water reservoir."|
|I figured my sponsors shouldn't do all the work, so I'm throwing in a McNett Tactical Aquamira Frontier Pro Ultralight Water Filter:
•Military edition portable water filter system with straw-style design
•Attaches directly to water bottles, cups, or bladders
•Removes 99.9 percent of Giardia, Cryptosporidium, and other contaminants
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•Filters up to 50 gallons; removable bite valve doubles as hanging drip filter