10 Tips to Save Money to Buy Prepping Supplies

baby steps week 2 priceMost preppers are not people with loads of cash in the bank. Preppers tend to be a frugal group of people who are doing what they can to prepare to survive an apocalypse of some sort. These are the people who won’t have the luxury of jetting off to some safe place or building an elaborate bunker system. Preppers are the folks like you and me who live simple lives and are just doing the best we can in this often unstable, crazy world.

If you want to get more serious about prepping, but are not quite sure how you can budget the money to buy what you need, these tips will help you make it work. Stocking up a year’s worth of food, water and other important gear doesn’t happen overnight. It is a process that is done over a period of time. It may take years to get what you need. The idea is to keep adding—never stop.

1. Cut out at least one coffee trip to Starbucks or Dutch Brothers. If you can, skip the coffee shops all week and make your own at home. Invest in a $100 machine so you can make delicious coffee in seconds. You will save time and money.
2. Skip the freezer meals and spend a few hours each week preparing meals from scratch. You can make casseroles and other meals on a Sunday, pop them in the freezer and heat during the week. This will save you money on your grocery bill.
3. Shop at thrift stores or buy second hand things like clothing, shoes and other necessities. You can find name brand, high quality items if you are willing to put in the time and effort to look.
4. Buy in the off season. Be ready to shop the clearance shelves after holidays. You can get winter gear in April for a fraction of the cost and use it the following year.
5. Cut out the cable or other television service. Really, TV is garbage anyways and you could be doing so much more with your time. If you need something, spend $15 a month and buy a Netflix or Hulu subscription.money challenge jar
6. Make a serious effort to cut your utility bills. Turn off lights, shorten showers, air dry your laundry and so on. Every $10 you save on your electric bill can go to prepping.
7. Make an effort to grow a garden. It can be container gardening. This gets you in the practice of growing your own food and can help save money on your grocery bill.
8. Pack your lunches. This is going to save you a small fortune every week. If you must, treat yourself to one lunch out per week.
9. Carpool or consider riding a bike to work or to run errands. Public transportation is another option. No, it isn’t always convenient, but if you can save $25 a week on gas, just think of how much food you could put on your shelves.
10. Use coupons. Most stores are moving to digital coupons, which makes it so much easier to use at checkout. You don’t have to worry about clipping coupons, printing or forgetting them at home. Before you make any purchase, do a quick Google search to see if there are any coupon codes available.

Every penny you save counts. Just remember, the extra money you have at the end of the week should go to your prepping. Don’t splurge and go shopping!

10 Skills to Learn in 2017 to Survive SHTF

farmer-1367104_1280Preparing to live after a major economic collapse or some horrible disaster isn’t just about putting food and water on the shelves. You need to be prepared to live without machinery and tools that are a daily part of life right now. You need to be ready to live like the pioneers did. You will be getting your hands dirty and you will be forced to do a lot of manual labor. Life will be a little more physical and hands on. It is important you learn some of the skills our grandparents and their parents used on a daily basis. The following skills will ensure you will thrive after SHTF.

      1. Learn how to work with leather. You will be making your own shoes and clothing once yours are ruined or fall apart.
      2. Learn how to cook from scratch. You won’t have any microwave meals or boxes that only require you to add water.
      3. Learn how to sew. Repairing the clothing you have and making other necessities will be the norm.tandoor-1532331_1280
      4. Learn how to raise animals. You will want to know how to take care of any livestock you will be relying on to feed your family. Know what it takes to keep them alive and healthy. You will also need to know about breeding animals to keep up a continual supply of food.
      5. Know the ins and outs of organic gardening. You won’t get to use pesticides, fertilizers or herbicides when they are all gone.
      6. Read up on herbal medicine. When there are no doctors or Western medicine you will have to treat yourself with homemade concoctions.
      7. Know the basics of construction. You will need to make repairs to your own house or build a new one from the ground up. You may need to build fences, barns and other outbuildings.
      8. You will need to know the basics of home food preservation. It is best if you learn some ways to preserve food that do not require electricity.
      9. Self-defense is going to be a big deal. Learn how to use a weapon and feel comfortable using it.
      10. Hunting is going to be one way you put food on the table. Learn how the basics now so you have a clue as to what you are doing when you have no other food options.

These skills will ensure you can live off the land without the benefits of technology and machinery. Life is going to be different, but it is manageable. Many of these skills have been lost over the years in favor of the easy way. Do what you can to learn them and teach them to your children. In a hands-on world, it will be knowledge that saves you, not a shelf full of food.

Preparing to Bug In

food pantry-1Survivalists and preppers like to talk a lot about bugging out. It is exciting to think about running away and leaving everything behind, including whatever trouble forced you to flee in the first place. Exciting and scary at the same time can be invigorating. It gets your blood pumping and you get a little bit of an adrenaline high just thinking about it. Unfortunately, bugging out isn’t quite as glamorous as you would hope it to be.

If you had the choice to stay home, with your own bed, blankets and all of your stockpiles of food, water and other basic supplies or flee with whatever you can carry on your back, which would you choose? Sleeping under the stars is great in peaceful times and warm weather. Sleeping under the stars when it is raining or snowing—not so fun.

While it makes sense to have a bug out plan in place, it also makes sense to plan to bug in if at all possible. In fact, it is often better to shelter in place while you wait for the immediate danger to pass and then move. There are things you can do that will allow you to hide without anybody suspecting you are there.bug out bag

Bugging in will give you time to plan your escape a little better and avoid the mass exodus that is sure to happen when everyone else runs for the hills. If you have small children or are physically incapable of walking more than 10 miles, bugging in may be your only option. Don’t simply roll over and accept defeat. Prepare and plan and then move when you can secure transportation whether that is a bike, a vehicle or even a wagon.

Don’t automatically assume you have to grab your bug out bags and go when SHTF. It doesn’t make sense to have a year’s worth of food in the basement if you are going to leave it all behind. You certainly can’t carry it all.

Run drills with the family about what they will do to bug in when it is time. Practice what each family member is responsible for when it is time to shelter in place. Cover the windows, lock the doors and put heavy furniture in front and prepare to go dark while you hideout in your home. Be prepared and you can help lessen the fear.

9 Tips for Riding Out a Winter Storm

snowFor many parts of the country, the heavy snowfall has started. Snow is beautiful, when it isn’t 2 feet deep and making life difficult or dangerous. A little snow on the ground is gorgeous and really helps to get you in the holiday spirit. If you live in an area where heavy snow is common, you are probably prepared to deal with the side effects. For those that are not used to dealing with the aftermath of a winter storm, these tips will help you prepare for some of the chaos that ensues and help you get through without any real trouble.

1. Go shopping before the snow starts to fall. In fact, go shopping in August if you can. You don’t want to be one of the last people to the store to get what you need to ride out winter. Things to add to your shopping list include; snow shovel (metal are best, flimsy plastic will snap), roof rake, ice scrapers, rock salt and sandbags.
2. If you have the cash and you live in an area where snow is going to be a part of your life, invest in a snow thrower (snow blower). People never realize how brutal snow shoveling is until they have to get out and do it several times a day, every day for a month.
3. If you have livestock, chickens, goats or whatever, you have twice as much work. You will want a path cleared for you to get to their food and shelters and maybe a little area for them to walk around in. They need exercise to stay healthy.
4. Use your roof rake everyday if you are in one of those storm patterns that brings snow daily. You will need to pull the snow off your home’s roof, the barn, garage and any outbuildings. Don’t wait until it is a foot deep.
5. Shovel the areas you need before the snow is too deep. Snow is very heavy and it gets tough to push after just a few inches on the ground.snow WV
6. Most importantly, be prepared to go without power. This is almost a given anytime there is a snowstorm. You need to have a back up heat source. If you don’t have a fireplace or a woodstove, you need to have a generator that can either run your furnace or a space heater. Your life depends on it. You may not be able to get out to get to a friend’s house or a hotel.
7. Have chains for your vehicle. Ideally 4wd rigs are best if you live in areas where snow is common, but front wheel drive vehicles are often just as good. Chains will help you get up hills or out of your driveway if needed.
8. Have plenty of food, water, flashlights and toilet paper on hand. If you can’t get out to get to the store, you are going to be sheltering in place. Always be prepared.
9. Have winter gear. Again, buy this stuff in August. Shop the thrift stores and have extras on hand. You absolutely need boots, coats and gloves to take care of all your outside snow duties.

These are just some of the things you can expect to deal with. Snow can be a great thing if you are prepared to deal with. Enjoy the beauty of it and stay warm and safe.

5 Quick Prepping Tips to Do This Weekend

food pantry-1Before the holidays soak up all of your time, spend about 10 minutes this weekend taking care of some tasks that will ensure you are prepped and ready to go should SHTF tomorrow. While we all hope we could see the signs and have a little time to prepare, that isn’t always the case. The best thing you can do is to always be ready. When the warning is sounded or an alert is given, the millions of other people who are not prepared are going to be rushing to take care of all the stuff they put off. You will find the shelves empty and you will be out of luck.

Check out the 5 things you can do this weekend.

1. Check your stock for signs of spoilage. Bulging cans or dripping jars are bad news and need to get disposed of quickly. If you have wood shelves, the leaks can rot the wood and cause serious problems.
2. If you have a shelf full of empty canning jars that won’t be used this season, fill them with water. Put clean lids and bands and you will have extra water, just in case.
3. Do a quick inventory and organize your food into like categories. Putting like foods together helps you do a quick visual to see what you need to balance out the food groups. If you have a lot, take it a step further and put canned corn together, canned beans and so on.meal planning
4. Jot down items that you need or want to add. Put the list in the car so you have it handy. A copy of the list in your wallet or purse will give you a quick reference when you are at the store. Use the memo section on your smartphone to list the items you need.
5. Put together a go bag. This doesn’t have to necessarily be your bug out bag. Something small that includes matches or some kind of fire starter, an emergency blanket, water purification and a multi-tool. This can be stashed in a small ziploc bag or some other small zippered bag. This bag can be quickly packed into a suitcase or tossed in a purse if you have to leave home for a short trip.

These quick tasks will pay off in an emergency. They won’t take more than 10 minutes. Revisiting your storage and tidying up will help you stay on top of things and know where everything is, what you have and what you don’t. The goal is to keep your prepping top of mind. Carve out some time this weekend and get it done!

Planning for Prepping in 2017

illuminated-1479168_1280As we roll through the next 6 weeks that will likely have us all so busy spending time with family and friends, shopping and enjoying the holidays in general, our prepping can get put on the back burner. Any extra cash in the budget is likely allotted to gifts and holiday parties. Although prepping should always be a priority, it isn’t out of the normal to focus on living today and worrying about tomorrow, later.

The holidays may take up a lot of your time, but when you are asking for gifts or giving gifts, cool gadgets that aid in survival would be the gift that will keep on giving. You will also want to think about those holiday sales on certain foods. You can get some great deals on canned soups, baking items and some spices. Don’t forget to shop the clearance aisles once the holidays have passed. Learn how to get the longest shelf lives from the foods you do buy. Mylar bags are your friend!food storage

Once the new year kicks off, put prepping at the top of the list. Truly commit to making room in the budget for food and other supplies. You don’t have to fall into the trap of making a New Year’s Resolution, make it a way of life. Stockpiling items should be a habit. When you walk by a garage sale or check the free items on Craig’s List, think about things you can use to rebuild and really help your family survive and thrive when there are no more stores. When you can’t run to Home Depot or Wal-Mart to pick up garbage bags or a box of nails.

Find the room in your house and make it happen. Don’t just think about it. Do it. The times they are a changing and you better be ready to roll with it all. You can soften the blow of a job loss, sluggish economy, aftermath of a natural disaster or civil unrest by committing making your stockpile a priority in the coming year.

Practice Makes Almost Perfect Survival Skills

mountain-man-205306_640The old adage, “practice makes perfect” is rarely accurate in the true sense of the word, but it can make any skill pretty close to perfect. Survival skills deserve the same kind of attention you would give to a professional sport. Athletes practice quite a bit to be the best they can be at whatever it is they do, as do hobbyists. The more you practice, the better you get. Don’t you want to be the best you can be at starting a fire, building a shelter or hunting when your life depends on it?

Schedule some time to get outside doing the things you will likely have to do in a true survival situation. Don’t just get out when the weather is nice and warm. Get out when there is three feet of snow on the ground. Get out when the wind is howling and the rain is pouring. This is the only way you are going to prepare yourself for real life situations that are more likely to occur. When you think about it, what are the chances of you being forced to flee for the wilderness when it is a nice 70 degrees out? Not likely. In fact, not probable at all considering a natural disaster is what very well may send you running.camping food

Get the feel for what it is like to feel the rain on your face or what it feels like when you have to walk a mile in deep snow. Every discomfort you feel or problem you face is an opportunity to learn. Learn from those problems and grow your skills. This is how you get better, just like a star football player practices twice a day for years.

Block out some time this month and go for a hike. Go in the backyard and practice making tinder bundles. Practice using your flint to spark a fire. Do some studying about edible plants in your area. Sign up for classes and learn from experts. The more practice you do, you will get pretty close to perfect.

The Importance of Concealing Your Preps

food pantry-1With more and more people realizing the danger the world is in, it has become very normal for people to start prepping. People are stockpiling food, water and weapons in the anticipation of a major fallout. We all know we are on a speeding train headed for disaster, with no way off. The only option is to prepare for the impending train wreck we are headed for.

With so many people prepping, you wouldn’t think it was necessary to be too worried about hiding your supplies. If everyone has enough, who would need yours? Well, sadly, the majority of the population isn’t prepping. They are not ready to deal with a total collapse. This is bad news for those that are prepping. When the non-preppers run out of food and water, they are coming for yours. It is important you take the time to disguise and hide your preps.

Hiding your supplies will ensure the average looter doesn’t find them. It ensures you will have food to feed your family. There is an old saying, “Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.” That is the case with your preps as well. Don’t put them all in one place. You need to not only hide them, but you also need to have several caches hidden around.a stocked pantry is disaster insurance

Get creative with how you hide preps. You can hide them in plain sight. Fill boxes with food and supplies and label them with things like “winter clothes” or “Christmas decorations.” People who are in a hurry are not going to waste a lot of time searching boxes that are not going to yield them anything good.

Root cellars that have been concealed are also great options. Dig the cellar a little away from the home or secondary location. Looters are going for the obvious and are not going to spend a lot of time searching around the grounds for a root cellar.

Never, put all of your food and supplies in one place. Having a main storage room is great, but have some backups as well. A good prepper has a backup for their backup. Get creative and think out of the box a bit so you can make sure your preps are there when you need them.

Are You Ready for Hunting?

sniper-1194303_1280Tis the season hunters all across the country are gearing up and heading off into the forest or wilderness to do a little hunting. Hunting for ducks, elk, deer and so on is a family tradition for many. It is a way to bond with friends and family as you skulk through the woods, looking for an animal to take. In today’s world, you need a license and a tag to take your catch home. You spend a lot of money gearing up for your hunting expedition. You only have a small window and it is important you take advantage of the fancy gear and equipment to make sure you don’t go home empty handed.

Hunting in today’s world is cushy compared to what it will be like when hunting is how you put food on the table. When there are no grocery stores to pick up the slack, you have to be prepared to take an animal every time. You will be hunting more than once a year and while it may still be a sport, it is going to be very serious business.

You need to have supplies tucked away for hunting. Sure, you can rough it and you can hunt without a lot of the little luxuries that are available today, but why should you have to if you don’t need to? Plus, if you have never hunted the old-fashioned way, you are going to struggle without your gadgets.hunter-67002_1280

Some things you can add to your stockpile that will make hunting a little easier and possibly successful (depending on who you ask).

*Camouflage—waterproof is best

*Hunting knife

*Bone saw for processing what you harvest

*Dragging gear—makes it a lot easier to get large animals back to camp

*Hunting pack

*Gun with plenty of ammunitionrifles tend to be the weapon of choice

*Bow and arrows

*Calls—duck, deer or whatever you are hunting

You may be a hunter that really depends on the scents used to lure in animals or the descenting products that are meant to mask your smell. If you use these things and have had success, it would be a good idea to add some to your stockpile. Hunting is a lot like cooking. Everyone has their own style and personal preferences. It doesn’t matter what you do or don’t do. All that matters is that you are successful. Don’t worry about other hunters shaming you for using various tools. If they work, that is what counts and your family will be fed.

Preparing for High Winds

tree-14340_1280Strong winds can be a nuisance as well as a life-threatening, potentially devastating situation for many. For people who live in rural areas, a strong windstorm can disrupt their lives for days, weeks and in some situations, months after the storm blows through. Downed power lines are obviously a major issue, but it can be so much more than that. For those who have homesteads, your entire life gets tossed around when those winds tear through. Barns, gardens and even livestock can be severely impacted after a windstorm.

Strong winds are unlike any other seasonal storms. You can get a windstorm any season. Usually, the winds are accompanied by either snow, rain, hail or even lightning. In any scenario, it is a recipe for disaster. The winds can destroy buildings by blowing off roofs or dropping trees and other debris on top of the structures. There is little you can do in the moment, which means a home being flooded and all of the supplies and furnishings inside being damaged or destroyed.key-west-86025_1280

As part of your preparations, it is important to prepare for strong winds, no matter where you live. It is a fact the weather is getting more extreme. New records are being established all around the world. It is best to prepare for anything and hope for the best.

Fortunately, our weather forecasters can give us an idea of when a windstorm is headed our way, which gives you hours, if not days to prepare. The following list includes some of the things you will want to do to get ready for a serious windstorm.

*Take a walk around your property and cut down any dead tree limbs that will likely turn into missiles in a windstorm. Cut heavy branches that could fall and hit your home or any other outbuildings.

*Take a few minutes to inspect your roof. Tighten down loose shingles now. If you have a metal roof, make sure it is all secure.

*Put lawn furniture in the garage or tie it down. It takes very little to blow chairs and tables across the patio and possibly right through glass windows and doors.

*Secure any livestock fencing. A downed fence could spell disaster if your animals get out.

*Prepare for an extended power outage. Have flashlights, generator and water on standby.

*Close the blinds or curtains on the windows if you don’t have shutters. This can help prevent glass from being blown inside if the windows are struck by flying debris.

Don’t let the next windstorm take you by surprise. Be ready, just in case the storm turns into a record-setting event.