Prepping On A Budget: 17 Smart Preps For Less Than $100 Total

Prepping On A Budget: 17 Smart Preps For Less Than $100 Total
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Prepping On A Budget

You want to be more prepared, but unfortunately prepping isn’t free. However, it also doesn’t need to break the bank.

You just need an intelligent easy to follow guide to prepping on a budget.

Here are 17 Mission Critical Preps You Can Do Right Now For Under $100:

Note: All pricing is based upon the day this post was written. As we know, prices can fluctuate but you can usually still find similar deals if you try.

First Impressions1 – Test Drive Some Survival Food For Free + (S&H) – $4.95

Are you just planning your food stockpile? Or are you interested in adding to your healthy food stockpile? Either way, you should add some long shelf live freeze dried food.

But how can you trust that the food is tasty and the mylar bag seals are as high quality as they claim?

You can’t, until now.

Open up a new window in your browser. Here, I’ll make this super simple, just Click Here.

Now you can see Valley Food Storage’s Free Sample Image on the right side of their site. Click on this image. Enter your basic information (i.e. name, shipping, etc.).

Valley Foood Storage Free Sample

All you have to do is pay shipping and handling. Then in a couple of days, you’ll receive your free freeze dried meal sample.

But don’t just stock this free food sample away. Check out the packaging, read the ingredients, follow the instructions and enjoy.

If you love their survival food as much as I did, you’ll want to invest a few dollars on this 25-year shelf life security blanket. Now you can sleep better at night.

Bug Out Location Self Reliance Property2 –Find A High-Quality Bug Out Location – Free

In my post Bug Out Locations: 7 Essential Qualities, I shared 2 detailed case studies on how to find bug out land to investigate further.

In the 1st case study, I found a piece of remote public land outside of Atlanta Georgia for 10k. Then I shared some examples on how you can reduce the costs to buy this bug out property.

In the 2nd case study, I show how to use free online topographical maps to look for good, bug out sites on public land.

Both of these case studies give you the tools to begin your search for high-quality bug out locations. The search is free, which is essential when prepping on a budget.

3 – Increase Your SHTF Survival Odds by Starting a Coalition – Free

If you’ve read my post on the subject of Survival Coalitions, then you know that I don’t recommend “Going It Alone”.

You need a team (even if it’s small) that you can 1) Trust and that adds 2) Value. No oxygen thieves need apply!

But, one of the biggest questions I receive from readers is “How do I find a local Survival Coalition?”.

Well, I’m about to show you how.

You have a couple of options here:

  • Option 1 – Join an established group (harder than it sounds)
  • Option 2 – Create your own (easier than it sounds)

Ok, let’s dive into Option 1 first.

Option 1: Find A Group To Join

Do some research. Start online, try Google, search survival forums, search social media.  If you’re lucky, you’ll find a local survival group just starting up and looking for new members.

Do you see any issues with that? I do.

First, the existing group needs to be local. Second, established groups don’t just add random strangers (you need to know someone who will vouch for you). Lastly, they need to be seeking out new members.

If you find all three of these then you won the lottery. Congrats.

So you see, it’s just harder than it sounds. If you’re having trouble finding a Survival Coalition to join, then I suggest you move on to Option 2.

Option 2: Create Your Own Group

This one seems scary to many people at first.

Not everyone is a leader and starting a survival group can seem intimidating. However, it’s much easier than you think. Plus, after you get a few members you might not even have to be the leader if you don’t want to be.

My recommended (free) tool for starting a local survival coalition is Craigslist.

That’s right, the tool you use to sell all your unwanted crap can help you start your own Survival Group.

Here’s the step by step process.

Go to and chose your local city/town (or the closest one you can find).

Craigslist Closest Cl

Click on the Post To Classifieds.

Post to Classifieds

Next, choose Community and then Groups.

Choose CommunityChoose groups

Next fill out the basic details and what you want your ad to say.

Fill Out Info

Here’s one that works pretty well.

“I’m looking to organize a new survival coalition in the [city/town]. If interested, please send me an email providing some details about yourself. Please include your current survival/prepping skill level and your survival goals.”

“If I get enough responses I will setup a time and date that we can all meet up and start a successful survival coalition.”

This ad pitch does a couple of things.

  • It’s local, which ensures that those interested will be from your general area.
  • It explains that you are interested in like-minded people who want to meet up to discuss survival strategies.
  • It allows you to vet the people who submit because you asked them to share some personal details and goals.
  • It also allows you to ignore anyone who seems off and you would prefer not to meet. It’s always a good idea to avoid crazy people in your survival coalition.

Then when the responses come in, review the ones that seem to fit what you’re looking for. Then go ahead and schedule a group meetup.

Note: Always schedule a meet up in a  public place…Just In Case.

You have just started your very own Survival Coalition. Congrats…I’ll let you take it from here.
4 – Never Be Forced To Drink Dirty Contaminated Water – $19.95

Hopefully, you already have at least one of these (ideally you have several). If you don’t, then you get to cross this one off your list right now.

If you haven’t, then you need to buy one today.

Clean water is just too important for survival, especially after SHTF. In my opinion, this is the cheapest SHTF insurance policy you can make.

At only $19.97, it’s a no-brainer (price listed at the time this post was written).

Best Bug Out Bag List Contains The Following Items

5 – Plan Your Bug Out Bag – Free

If you’re planning your bug out, then you need to plan your bug out bag.

Just click this link.

Then enter your best email address and the bug out checklist will be on its way to your inbox shortly.

Now, you have your master plan to finally get your bug out bag ready and organized.

Find Out Who Is Jim Rickards6 – Get Your Financial House in Order Before The Next Big Drop – Free + (S&H) – $4.95

Worried about the US Financial System? You should be.

Have you ever heard of Jim Rickards?

Well, he worked on several high profile government projects with the CIA. He helped develop financial analysis tools to root out terrorist money flows. He is one of the smartest financial guys I listen to.

He has a new book out that is eye-opening, to say the least.

You should read it.

It’s only 14.99 if you buy if for a kindle. Read it and you’ll understand where we are at financially as a country. Where we are headed and how to position your finances to protect your family.

That way you can begin to prepare to survive The Next Big Drop, even if you’re prepping on a budget.

Hand Crank Radio7 – Know What’s Going On, Even If The World Goes Silent – $19.99

Communication is an underrated survival skill. 2-way long range survival communication is best. Being able to broadcast and have a conversation is ideal, but those setups take a lot of time and money.

For today, you can get 50% of the communication for a whole lot less money, time and energy.

What makes a hand crank radio so perfect for SHTF is that it doesn’t depend on grid power electricity to work.

Just crank it and it recharges itself.

Maybe it’s a nuclear attack where you are hunkering down and need critical emergency information. Or maybe the electrical grid is down for the long haul. This survival radio might be the only way to receive critical emergency mass communication.

It’s an easy win at only $19.99 on Amazon (price listed at the time this post was written).

paracord monkey fist key chain8 – Have 550 Survival Paracord With You At All Times – Free

If you have some paracord lying around then, it’s free to make it into something useful.

If not, buy some quality survival paracord and make something useful out of it.

Here are 17 great paracord project ideas for your weekend.

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9 – Never Be Without Heat and Warmth – FREE + $3.95

Have you ever used a mylar blanket? When used properly, it will keep you warm even in the coldest of conditions.

When you are wrapped in a mylar blanket, it will reflect your body heat and trap that heat. This trapped heat will warm you up using just your own body heat.

You should have one for each family member and have a few in each vehicle.

If you have one of these, your odds of freezing to death are significantly reduced. Plus, they’re free + $3.95 S&H (cheap insurance!).

10 – Create a Formal Family Communication and Rally Point Plan – Free

We all talk about being prepared, but have you developed a rally meetup plan with your loved ones yet?  SHTF can happen while you are away at work or traveling. Who’s to say you can get home quickly to meet up with your family.

So everyone needs a family SHTF rally point plan in case SHTF happens when you’re separated.

Read This – Survival Preparation: SHTF Family Communication Plan.

11 – Map Your Bug Out Bag Route – Free

Go to your favorite online mapping program. I use Google maps.

Now find your home by entering your address.

Google Maps Enter Your Address

Now, choose the directions button and then enter in your bug out location (you have one right?).

Google Maps Click Directions

Google Maps Enter BOL

What you get is the most motorized direct route by default.

But we can’t assume you’ll be able to drive so you need to map a hiking route. Choose the walking option.

Google Maps Change To Walking

Now you can zoom in and start dragging and dropping to a route that seems on the map to be best.

Google Maps - Zoom In

You’ll want to look for parks and public land that you can transverse quickly and quietly.

Once you’re done mapping your bug out route, the real fun begins. It’s time to practice this route and find out if it’s really feasible or if you run into unpassable obstacles.

Take this practice run information, go back to your map and tweak your route.

Keep doing this until you have the best route for you and your family to make it to safety.

edible plants in USA12 – Know How To Find Free Food From Nature – Free

Can you find a meal on your next hike? You could if you knew what you were looking at.

There are  hundreds of naturally growing plants, fruits, and vegetables growing throughout the USA.

The best way to learn which ones are available in your area is to get out there and find them. It’s free, it’s fun and you’ll be honing your survival skills. Both perfect for those of us who are prepping on a budget.

Note: Just don’t eat anything you are not 100% positive is safe to eat.

Here’s a resource to get you started: 11 Best Wild Edible Plants Found In The USA

Figure out which ones are commonly available in your area and then go hiking and see if you can find them.

RainWater Collection System DIY13 – Have Access To Water Even If The Taps Go Dry – Free

What are you plans if the grid goes down and the taps go dry? What if they go dry and are not coming back on?

You better have a water collection system in place. It’s both easy and free to get one in place by this weekend.

Most people have some sort of barrel laying around their home. Or get creative, maybe you can use a cleaned out trash can or old buckets if necessary. If not, then sometimes you can find barrels on Craigslist by typing in “Free Barrel”.

If you want to be able to divert the gutter to the barrel easily you can get this diverter from Amazon for cheap.

Cut your downspout for your barrel, slide the barrel underneath, and you’ll start collecting free water the next time it rains.

Now you’ll be ready to collect rainwater today, tomorrow and for when SHTF.

2 packs of water purification tablets14 – Never Be Forced To Drink Questionable Water, Get Some Tablets – $8.57

Want to ensure your water is safe? You need to filter it AND purify it. We already discussed filtration in Step 4, but we haven’t talked about purification.

Yes, boiling water will purify it, but what happens if you want to purify water without starting a fire.  Remember, fires can attract unwanted attention so purifying your water without a fire can be a huge advantage.

That’s why you want to have some purification tablets handy. They are cheap and easy to use. It’s a no-brainer to have these stocked for your home and bug out bag.

Click here to grab 50 from Amazon for $8.57 (price listed at the time this post was written).

15 – Get your Preps Organized by Taking Stock of The Gear You Already Own- Free

If you’re a disorganized prepper then you’ve got some work to do. You know you should be keeping meticulous track of every item and where it’s stored. So it’s time to finally get started.

If you’re disorganized, you’re wasting your money and time. When you prepping on a budget the last thing you can afford is any waste.

Money gets wasted on spoiled perishables, and time will be wasted looking for that critical pieces of gear you know you have, but can’t seem to find. For perishable items (food / water / seeds), you need to rotate them out before they go bad.

Here’s how to get organized.

Label everything.

Label the perishables with the date purchased. Label the bin/shelf where items are supposed to go.

You can do this for nearly free with a pen, paper, and some tape. Or you can splurge for a good labeler like this one.

Bottom-line: If it’s part of your preps, it needs to have a dedicated location and you should put a label on it.

You can also keep a master list of everything in a notebook to help keep track of where everything is located.  This is especially important if you are stashing items in lots of secret hidden locations.

16 – Survival Seeds – $29.95

When our food system is compromised, you need to begin growing your own. Even better you should begin growing your own food today before SHTF.

What’s the difference between survival seeds (heirloom) and regular seeds? Heirloom seeds grow garden produce with seeds you can save for the next season. Regular seeds do not produce savable seeds; they are essentially one and done.

So grab a Survival Seed Vault or 2, and you’ll have the heirloom seeds you need to grow your own food into perpetuity. It’s a perfect solution when you’re prepping on a budget.

EDC Flashlight17 – Have The Power Of Illumination In Your Pocket

You need to have immediate access to light at all times. Not being able to illuminate your world whenever you need to could end up getting you killed.

Most of us take the power of instant illumination for granted. But when SHTF if you don’t have the proper tools for illumination you’re going to be at a huge disadvantage.

So here is a detailed review of my favorite EDC flashlight.

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Time To Take Preparedness Actions

Prepping on a budget doesn’t mean you can’t get a lot of the mission critical items checked off your list. It just means you need to be smart about your $’s.

I realize that for some even $100 might take some time to save up and that’s totally fine. What’s more important is how far $100 can go once you do get it.

I hope that I showed to you today that prepping on a budget doesn’t mean not being prepared. It just means making wise choices to make your dollars go even further.

Do you know of any other mission critical preps that can help those of us prepping on a budget? If so please share with everyone in the comments below.

Remember: Prepare, Adapt and Overcome,

Just In Case Jack


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  1. Rinny says

    There us a new app for smart phones called Geek. It’s a green icon with a lower case g. There are survival items on the site for very cheap.. some things are only $1.00 compared to $8.00 for the same item at Walmart. It takes about 1-2 weeks to come in the mail and the shipping is usually $1.00. I have ordered from the site and have not been disappointed yet. If you’re on a tight budget like me, it worth the wait to get the items.

  2. Jonathan D Jeffries says

    There is an entire section on the website that lists all kinds of survival guides. Of course, you will have to weed through the ones that offer absolutely no help, but there are some useful ideas on there. You can even print out directions to your favorite projects to do yourself.

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