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Survival preparations do not need to be expensive. Many items can be found cheaply or for fee.

One of the biggest obstacles facing people who want to prepare for survival or an emergency is the cost. Many people spend thousands on expensive freeze dried meals, top of the line outdoor survival gear and expensive military style assault rifles. If I went with those ideas, I would still be sitting here dreaming about one day being prepared for an emergency, or worse an economic collapse or war. You do not need to be rich to be prepared. I do not have much extra spending money at all. But I am prepared.


Here are a few pointers.


Instead of buying freeze dried meals or military MREs at $7 – 8 per meal, buy canned foods at the grocery store when they are on sale. I watch for deals and then grab 4 or 6 cans at half price and then put them away. I use the stuff and keep it rotated as well. When oatmeal 10 packs are on sale buy a couple boxes. I prefer the single portion flavored packs for convenience as compared to the cheaper bulk 2 pounders. If you buy a larger container, then you should repackage them into smaller portions and seal them somehow to keep out bugs and air. I do not need to repackage the single portions for long term storage. Just toss them in a tupperware container or vacuum seal them and they should be good for a couple years.


Dehydrate your own foods and vacuum seal them. If you dry them to a crisp and seal them away, the shelf life can be years. I have even put away homemade beef jerky this way and eat it for a year with no problems. (It doesnt last longer because I eat it). Dry apples, pears, peaches, melons, veggies, meats. Vacuum seal everything for long term storage.


Shop at the dollar store for deals on your survival rations. You can find some very good deals there. Ramon noodles, although not the healthiest thing on the earth, is cheap at 6 packs for a dollar. I would rather have some of these around after an economic downfall than nothing at all. I have about 4-6 six packs put away. They last for years if kept dry and in a plastic box.


Shelter, emergency blankets, first aid, personal care supplies, toilet paper, cleaning supplies and more can all be found at the dollar store.


Ask around for free stuff. I got my survival camper, a slide in truck camper for free. My new 32 foot off grid living camper cost me only the towing fee to get it to my yard. My antique wood stove cost $10 from a friend. The list goes on. Ask family, friends, work colleagues. I even chat with customers at work sometimes and something comes up through conversation. One day I was told I could come over and harvest a car load of black walnuts from a customer’s back yard. They were happy to get them out of the grass and I was happy for free food. I just got a free lawn tractor with trailer and snow plow because I was looking asking around.


Buy surplus items rather than the newest, finest, most expensive on the market. Watch flea markets, garage sales and classified ads. The free section of the classifieds is an awesome tool for free survival and preparedness items. Most of my camping and survival gear is second hand and most of it is in like new condition.


Get free food grade storage containers at restaurants. They often get stuff in buckets that just get tossed out when they are empty. These make great grain storage containers for to keep bugs and mice out of your home dried foods.

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Troy Reid


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