Can’t afford to prep? Think again.

I have received quite a few emails recently from people that are concerned about the future of this country as well as natural disasters, terrorist attacks, etc. One of the things that I am confronted with is….”I do not make much money and want to prep – but I just cannot afford it. What am I to do?”

Easy to ask – tough to answer.

I have long believed that when it comes to deciding what supplies to get first – food is the number one priority. Many households contain only days of food. In a disaster situation – food and water will become essential items to have. Often – these items become very scarce.

In an effort to show an example of what a small (not too small) amount of money can provide – I went to my local grocery store and spent $100. I know $100 is not a small amount of money – but for someone who really wants to get started in preparedness – it is a reasonable amount to come up with. If one does not have the money – the funds can be raised by selling a few things (yard sale, pawn shop) or possibly doing some odd jobs (mowing a lawn, fix a fence, etc.)  to raise the cash.

You can click on the picture and see what I bought. Most stuff was on sale. I think for $100 there is a decent amount of food there.

I was able to pick up:

  • cans of fruit
  • cans of vegetables
  • cans of Beef Stew
  • couple of jars of peanut butter
  • Ramen noodles
  • boxes of potato flakes
  • Mac & Cheese
  • spaghetti sauce
  • spaghetti noodles
  • 3 35-bottle cases of water
  • couple of bags of rice
  • cans of beans
Not too shabby.

Point being is if funds are tight – just keep at it and think outside the box. Preparedness is important and can be accomplished – even if small steps are required.

Take care all –



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16 thoughts on “Can’t afford to prep? Think again.”

  1. Great list!! I would add canned soups (variety), spices, and chicken broth.
    Also, toliet paper, female sanitary products, bar/liquid soap, shampoo, & toothpaste.

  2. Rourke,

    Good article… $100 is not that hard to come up with for most people, and as you’ve demonstrated, it can set aside a nice supply of food that will not only store well, but is perfectly suitable for rotation and day-to-day eating (of course the key is to restock what gets eaten).

    Keep up the good work!

  3. Hello I agree with you completely . We have been stoking up for some time adding about $20-30 a week . Some time back I ran across this book and it tells pretty much the same things you are telling except that it expands on it . It can be bought off e-bay for under $10 and is well worth the money . Good luck to all .

    Emergency Food Storage and Survival Handbook by Peggy Layton.

    Publisher’s Note Always Be Prepared
    What if your life was disrupted by a natural disaster, food or water supply contamination, or any other type of emergency? Do you have the essentials for you and your family? Do you have a plan in the event that your power, telephone, water and food supply are cut off for an extended amount of time? What if there were no medical or pharmaceutical services available for days, weeks, or months? How prepared are you?
    With this guide by your side, you and your family will learn how to plan, purchase, and store a three-month supply of all the necessities—food, water, fuel, first-aid supplies, clothing, bedding, and more—simply and economically. In other words, this book may be a lifesaver.
    Inside you’ll find 10 steps to an affordable food storage program plus how to:
    ·Prepare a home “grocery store” and “pharmacy”
    ·Use what you store and store what you use
    ·Store water safely and provide for sanitation needs
    ·Create a first-aid kit, car kit, and 72-hour emergency kit for the whole family
    ·And many more invaluable hints and tips
    “This clear, concise, step-by-step program is not only affordable and doable, it’s essential in these uncertain times. Now, everyone from apartment dwellers to basement owners can store a three-month supply of the essentials, including peace of mind!” — Joni Hilton, author of Once-a-Week Cooking Plan and Cooking Secrets My Mother Never Taught Me
    Outlines a practical six-step plan for storing a three-month reserve of food, water, and survival supplies, from securing a location for a home grocery and pharmacy to collecting the best basic survival products and equipment. Original. 15,000 first printing.

  4. hey rourke
    now that are newbie preppers spent their $100 bucks , maybe you could help them with ways to cook their food

  5. Remember our good friend – RAMEN NOODLES. I paid $1.98 (USD at Wal-Mart) for 12 packs. There is even a wbsite on making good food with Ramen Noodles.

  6. Don’t be afraid to go to stores like ALDI or Save-A-Lot. These stores offer store brand food at discount prices, and most of the food is just as good as the brand name stuff you can get from the major stores.


  7. Anything you can do in the name of prepping, no matter how much or how little, only serves to put you that much further ahead of the majority of folks. Some weeks I do absolutely nothing to prep; other weeks I probably go a bit overboard. Bottom line: remain consistent, and in less time than what you think possible you will have a fairly sizable inventory of necessities.

  8. While it is easy to prep foods for as little as $10 a week, you have to watch out that many of those low cost items are full of empty calories and little to NO protein – Ramen noodles is the best example. By adding a cut up slim jim or beef jerky, it raises the calorie intake also gives you some protein.

    Many camping food recipes are fantastic for preppers & their stored foods, especially check out lightweight camping websites where they give great ideas for high energy lightweight meals. Also, don’t forget instant breakfast items – oatmeal, grits, pancake mix even white rice with some sugar.

  9. A small investment in a vacuum sealer with mylar bags, a Fagor pressure cooker, and some mason jars with lids will allow you to significantly reduce the per serving cost of your food storage. Add in a dehydrator and all that left over venison becomes jerky treats for poker night.

    Of course, there is the issue of actually having to process the food and put it in the bags or jars. I see that as another opportunity to sample my latest home brew.

  10. My research has shown that you can buy between 10-30 % more food for the money when you buy the store brands . But on the flip side sometimes the store brands are not as good a tasting . For one thing the food lion macaroni and cheese is not as good and my 6 year old wont eat it .
    Just a thought

  11. Excellent post. It’s important to remember that it’s not all or nothing. Every little step a person makes towards stocking his coffers is a step in the right direction, whether it’s $100 or $10.

    Buying sale items and items that you have coupons for help a lot too. My wife has written about how we got started over on our blog site.

    She uses a site called and likes it. It’s a subscription site, but I think she more than makes up for the monthly cost.


  12. I like the idea of prepping on a budget. One thing to keep in mind. If you want your canned foods to last virtually forever you should buy “shelf stable” foods. Hormel cans all of their foods in that manner. Shelf stable canning methods have been tested and have been found to last as long as 80 years if the cans are not damaged. The texture and taste suffers, but the nutrient content does not diminish much.

    Spam, Dinty Moore etc, are Hormel products.

    No need to rotate as often if you don’t want to or maybe need to stock your remote hideaway.

    Hope this information was useful.


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