For most people, purchasing enough food, water and supplies to get through a major disaster can be very difficult financially. The average person doesn’t have a lot of extra cash to put toward such a big investment. If you’re like most people, paying the bills and keeping a roof over your head is hard enough as it is.
Fortunately, there are things you can do to help save a little money to put toward your prepping needs and we’ll discuss some of those things here. Every dollar you can save on household utilities, the grocery bill and so on can be put into your prepping.
Be a MacGyver and become a fix-it guru. Before sending that broken appliance to the garbage heap and replacing it with something new, try to fix it yourself. There are many web sites (www.fixya.com, http://www.instructables.com) that offer lots of how-to’s for fixing everything from your laser printer to your espresso machine. In addition, you can find service manuals for many products on line at the manufacturer’s web site.
Another thing you can do is call the manufacturer’s customer service number. Often the company will guide you through troubleshooting steps or even send you free parts. I have found that this works especially well with plumbing issues.
Move fashion to the bottom of your priorities list. Choose function over fashion. This is difficult, I know. But think about the item you intend to purchase and how it is going to be used. A fancy, Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer may look great on your counter, but if you only cook the basics and bake only simple items, a $15 hand mixer may be all that you need. This same concept applies to lots of things: clothing, TVs, jewelry, you name it. Yes, this even applies to cars.
Do it yourself. Mow your own lawn, clean your own house, give yourself a manicure, wash your own dog. Now if you truly hate to do something, don’t do it if you can afford to hire it out. Or better yet, trade a chore you detest with a chore that someone else dislikes. You both get the job done without spending a dime.
Take advantage of freebies. Use public beaches, parks and trail systems for recreational activities. Use your public library. Go online and download geographically specific recreational guides and even preparedness manuals from your state and county web sites. None of these are technically free because your taxes have paid for them, but they are free in the sense you have no additional out of pocket costs.
Speaking of libraries, have you checked yours out lately? Most libraries now have a robust collection of eBooks, audio books, audio book players, music CDs, DVDs and more. If you don’t have a library with downloadable materials, there are many that will let you purchase an annual non-resident library card. You can do a web search or start here to find a library with a large collection of downloadable materials.
Get out of debt. This is obvious. Sure, you may have a mortgage payment and possibly a car payment. But credit card debt? I hope not, but, if you are saddled with credit card debt, come up with a one or two- year plan to pay them off then toss them in a drawer, never to see daylight again unless there is a dire emergency. The old mantra “use your credit card . . .it is the same as cash” simply does not work anymore. It never did.
Always Safe, Always Prepared