Prepping On A Budget: 17 Super Affordable Ways To Prepare

By "Just In Case" Jack | Updated: 08/21/2023

17 Unique Ways To Prep On A Budget

Prepping On A Budget

Everyone wants to be more prepared, but prepping isn’t free.

However, it also doesn’t need to break the bank.

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

Here are 17 Mission Critical Preps You Can Do Right Now For Under $200:

↓ 19 Affordable High-Quality Survival Gifts ↓

1. Test Drive Some Survival Food For Free + (S&H) – $7.95

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-life 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.

I’ll make this super simple; click here to claim your FREE 3-pack of survival food (+S&H).

*Note: This deal is no longer available…

All you have to do is pay for shipping and handling.

Then, you’ll receive your free freeze-dried meal sample in a couple of days.

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 in this 25-year shelf-life security blanket.

Now you can sleep better at night.

Click here to get a FREE 3-pack of survival food (+S&H)

NOTE: Supplies of these FREE 3-packs of survival food (+S&H) are limited, and once they’re gone… they’re gone.

Click here to claim your FREE 3-pack of survival food now (+S&H).

Here’s a video review I did of Valley Food Storage:

↓ Valley Food Storage Review & Unboxing (Long-Term Survival Food) ↓

2. Research A Quality Bug Out Location – Free

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

In the 1st case study, I found a piece of remote public land outside of Atlanta, Georgia, for 10k.

Then I shared examples of how to reduce the costs to buy this property.

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

Both of these case studies give you the tools to begin your search.

The search is free, which is essential when prepping on a budget.

3. Increase Your SHTF 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!

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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, and search social media.

f 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, 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 choose 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 Community

Choose 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 set up a time and date to meet and start a successful survival coalition.”

This ad pitch does a couple of things:

  • It’s local, ensuring those interested will be from your general area.
  • This pitch 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.

Of course, you’re always welcome to join my online survival coalition, The Resilient Life.

It’s 100% worth it and comes with a 60-day money-back guarantee.

You can learn more about Resilient Life by watching this video on how to get prepared.

Prepper Checklist eBook Cover - with gas mask on a SHTF scenery background

Want a free 78 item prepper checklist?

Click here to instantly download this Complete Checklist PDF. No purchase necessary.

4. Never Drink Contaminated Water – $20.87

Hopefully, you already have at least one of these (ideally you have several).

If you don’t, you get to cross this 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 this price, it’s a no-brainer (price listed at the time this post was written).

5. Plan Your Bug Out Bag – Free

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

Click the link inside the yellow box below and enter your best email address.

And the bug out checklist will be on its way to your inbox shortly.

Want a Downloadable and Printable Version Of This Bug Out Bag Checklist? Click Here To Get Your FREE Copy Of It.

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

6. Learn How To Put Financial House in Order – $15.95

Find Out Who Is Jim RickardsWorried 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 and is one of the smartest financial guys I have listened 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 it 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 Radio

7. Know What’s Going On, Even If The World Goes Silent – $17.90

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.

Today, you can get 50% of the communication for much less money, time, and energy.

A hand crank radio is perfect for SHTF because 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 for a very reasonable price.

↓ Hand Crank Radio Review ↓

Prepper Checklist eBook Cover - with gas mask on a SHTF scenery background

Want a free 78 item prepper checklist?

Click here to instantly download this Complete Checklist PDF. No purchase necessary.

8. Have 550 Survival Paracord With You At All Times – Free

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

If not, buy some quality survival paracord and make something useful out of it, like a survival bracelet or monkey fist.

Here are 17 great paracord project ideas for your weekend.

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.

*Note: This deal is no longer available…

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. Plan Your Get Home Bag – Free

We all talk about being prepared, but have you developed a get home plan with your loved ones yet?

SHTF can happen while you are away from work or traveling?

Who’s to say you can get home quickly to meet up with your family?

So everyone needs a get-home bag in case SHTF happens when you’re separated.

This option is free if you have a suitable bag to use as your get home bag already.

If you don’t then I recommend you check out this EVATAC Assault Bag that you can get for FREE, plus the cost of shipping.

The Assault Bag is the little brother of EVATAC’s Combat Bag, which is my bug out bag of choice.

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 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 can drive, so you must map a hiking route, so 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.

12. Know How To Find Food From Nature – Free

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

Hundreds of naturally growing plants, fruits, and vegetables are grown throughout the USA.

The best way to learn which ones are available in your area is to find them out there.

It’s free, it’s fun, and you’ll be honing your survival skills.

Both are perfect for those of us who are prepping on a budget.

Note: 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 – $23.64

What are your 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 rainwater collection system in place.

Getting one in place by this weekend is easy and free.

Most people have some barrels lying around their homes.

Or get creative; maybe you can use a cleaned-out trash can or old buckets if necessary.

If not, you can sometimes find barrels on Craigslist by typing in “Free Barrel.”

If you want to be able to divert the gutter to the barrel, you can easily 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 when SHTF.

14. Get Some Purification Tablets – $7.70

Want to ensure your water is safe? You need to filter it AND purify it.

We already discussed filtration in Step 4 but haven’t discussed 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 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 for cheap (the price listed when this post was written).

15. Get your Preps Organized – Free

If you’re a disorganized prepper, you have some work to do.

You know you should meticulously track every item and where it’s stored.

So it’s time to 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 piece 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 and the shelves where items should 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.

Prepper Checklist eBook Cover - with gas mask on a SHTF scenery background

Want a free 78 item prepper checklist?

Click here to instantly download this Complete Checklist PDF. No purchase necessary.

16. Prepping On A Budget Survival Seeds – $29.99

When our food system is compromised, you must begin growing your own.

Even better, you should begin growing your own food today before SHTF.

What’s the difference between survival seeds (heirlooms) 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.

17. Have The Power Of Illumination In Your Pocket – $6.95

You need to have immediate access to light at all times.

Most of us take the power of instant illumination for granted.

But when SHTF, you will be at a huge disadvantage if you don’t have the proper illumination tools.

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

Click Here To Get 2 For 1 FireHawk Flashlights
For A Limited Time Only: Get a FREE FireHawk Tactical Flashlight For Visiting Skilled Survival! Just pay s&h. Click Here To Learn More.

Prepping On a Budget Action Plan

Prepping on a budget doesn’t mean you can’t get some 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 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.

Prepare, Adapt & Overcome,

  • Cofounder Of &
  • Born & Raised On A Rural Farm In The Midwest
  • Mechanical Engineering Grad From A Major University
  • Engineer With A Major Food Manufacturing Company
  • 10+ Years Researching, Writing, & Teaching Preparedness
  • Mission: Help Folks Stop Living A Life Fragile To The Future
  • P.s. Do You Live In A 'Danger Zone' County?

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