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There is absolutely no reason to break the bank with prepping. It is as cheap or as expensive as you want to make it. This post is just for entry level budget preppers and covers the essentials. Everyones has ideas about what should or should not be prepped.

Just as an example many people prep knives and have several expensive knives. I dont see the need. What am I going to use it for?

Self Defense-No thanks I will use a gun
Chopping wood- No thanks ill use an axe
Skinning a dear during SHTF-unlikely
Cutting Paracord- Gerber multi tool works just as good
Cutting down jungle to make a lean too shelter-I live in Texas
Opening a can- no I will use the cement rub method for less mess
So I can relive a Crocodile Dundee scene- Maybe

The point is all the knives I have owned very rarely get used.

Prep Smart
Prep to a plan
Prep specific
Prioritize your preps

Water:
The most important prep.

55 gallon food grade drums purchased from Craigs list. They cost $8-$20 each. Make sure former contents where safe for human consumption. Fill the barrells with the garden hose. This is usually treated water that will last for a year+. Add 1 cup of bleach after the first year.

Water Filters are also important. Buy used or get free 5 gallon food grade buckets. I get mine from a local sandwich shop and they had pickles in them. Take two buckets. Mount an inexpensive PCV spicket to the bottom approx $5of one bucket. Cut PCV pipe for a brace for the second bucket to sit on top of the first. Mount any water filter designed for integral water fridges in the bottom of the second bucket. cost $15-75. One filter will last you for a year if you strain the water through cloth first. Poor water into top bucket and have it drain through filter into bottom bucket. If you are handy you can make your own filters with sand and activated carbon. Search you tube for homemade fish tank filters. Usually made from 2 litre bottles.

Bleach, Iodine, Water purification tablets all fairly cheap.
Multiple methods for water prep is highly suggested.

Food:

Store long term food supply in five gallon buckets. These can be obtained for free. Use Mylar and oxygen absorbers following any of the methods outlined in other posts. Search 'Mylar'.

Pinto Beans .50 cents a pound if you scoop your own at some grocery stores.

Rice can be obtained from asian grocery stores in bulk and inexpensive.

Corn, I store local feed quality corn it is cheap and will do the job if it is ever needed.

Oats, Sugar,salt, buy from bulk grocery stores you can get 2 years of salt for under $10. Both salt and sugar can be stored in the bags they came in.


Wheat- I personally store only a small amount of wheat for sprouts. Corn IMO has more uses and better nutritional value.

First Aid-

Forget the bandaids, neosprin, aspirin and the regular junk in first aid kits. These are expensive for what they will be used for. What is a band aid really going to do? Aspirin? Maybe a heart attack. Neosporin? Overglorified vaseline.

Focus on a trauma kit. Look in the discount bins of grocery stores for Tampons and feminine pads. These are medically sterile and are perfect for trauma situations. I always see them on discount shelves.

Saline solution, disenfectant both can be obtained cheaply if you buy in larger quantities. Avoid CVS/walgreens and look for a local Vet or medical supply shop.

Wound care-Clean, disenfect, bandage, check and change dressing
Any cut that dirt can get into needs to be bandaged.

Duct Tape and super glue is a must for a first aid kit.

Self Defense-

Highpoint Handgun 9mm or .45, it is super cheap and will get the job done. The people who talk smack about High point dont own a high point. $179 or less.

Sigma Smith and Wesson handgun- 9mm or .40 see the highpoint statement above. $289

Mossberg Maverick 88 shotgun- My personal favorite. If I am going to shoot someone it will be with my 88. Why? because when the cops take it for evidence and I dont get it back I havnt lost much. I would never use an expensive firearm for home defense. Mine has never had an issue. $159

Buy all three for less than a Glock. .45 Highpoint, 9mm Sigma, Mossy 88. I would take three people armed with those guns over one guy with a Glock any day.

Water
Food
Security
First Aid


Are all you truly need to prep. You can reasonably prep all of them for less $1000. It just takes a bit of research, time and ingenuity.
 

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You mention grocery stores with scoop your own $.50/lb pinto beans. I am having trouble finding pinto beans that cheap. Does anyone know where I can find a good deal here in South Carolina on pinto beans or any other dried beans? Also looking for a good price on lentils and black-eyed peas.
 

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You mention grocery stores with scoop your own $.50/lb pinto beans. I am having trouble finding pinto beans that cheap. Does anyone know where I can find a good deal here in South Carolina on pinto beans or any other dried beans? Also looking for a good price on lentils and black-eyed peas.
Do you have any grocery stores that cater to the hispanic community? I'm talking cashiers-don't-speak-english kinda stores. You can often get black and pinto beans very cheaply at that type of store. If you have access to a similar store for middle eastern groceries, you may find the lentils there for a good price.
 

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Thanks for the tips; that sounds very promising! I will start searching those stores in the next few days. Thanks again!
 

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I disagree about the knife. I think a good quality knife or two are very important. I do not mean the Rambo type knife. I can field dress and butcher a deer, small game or fillet a fish with a 4 or 5 inch blade. A knife is very important. You say deer is not likely in a SHTF event. Why? We plan on supplementing with game as needed. Your not going to be able to go to the store to get meat.
I think the rest of your advise is right on. Please give me a better reason about knives.
As a woman I would have a good fixed blade on me some where as a final line of defense should it get to that point. Knives are useful tools.
 

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I'll fix it
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Every prep item I have purchased since 2006 has been carefully researched to find the best quality and value.
Considering these prep items are what I'm counting on to protect and feed my family, I never cut corners and cheap out.
Unfortunately, folks who have been oblivious of the downward spiral all these years may not have the luxury of time.
That means unless they have considerable discretionary income they're under pressure to compromise.
Good luck with those cut rate, bottom of the barrel preps....hopefully you won't need them.
 

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sorry, but people on this site have experience with HighPoint ..... you definitely want to spend the extra $$$$ and go S & W Sigma or M&P ..... 9mm or .40

you also should mention total freebie activities ..... get some exercise thru some hiking ..... learn your Bug Out /BOL terrain ..... practice your bushcraft skills
 

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Super Gassy Moderator
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as for canned goods find a aldi ,selection is not broad but the prices are great
Poke around any and all ethnic markets. Many of them are treasure troves of survival foods. I buy a lot of my supplies at the hispanic and middle eastern markets. A lot of my spices at the indian market. But the asian markets are full of surprises. They have all sorts of dried veggies, seafoods, noodles, rice, seaweeds, chili threads, etc. But best of all, they have all sorts of dried bullion and broth mixes that are FAR superior to the salt-lick American brands. And they're cheap too.
 

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I think most folks have a good start to their preps right now, they just don't organize them as such.

Be thinking the basics.

Food, Water, Shelter, Com and Security you need them all at basically the same level of importantance.

Dig though the house for items in each catagory and organizing in a dedicated storage area. Canned goods and dried goods, water cans or recycled bottles for water, 'blue' tarp and cordage for shelter. Battery powered radio for com. What ever guns and extra ammo, flashlights you have right now for security.

I've helped a lot of folks basically start from scratch with what they had on hand and then go from there, filling in and in no time at all and they were good-to go.

Whatever you do, do just do nothing!

Perfection is the enemy of progress!
 

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Super Gassy Moderator
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There seems to be no cheap alternative for ammo. I just try to buy one box of 9mm ammo a week i've been doing it for at least 3 months.
Handloading. I've never known a truly serious shooter that didn't handload. It's an economic necessity, as well as a method of supplying higher quality ammo than the factories produce.
 

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sorry, but people on this site have experience with HighPoint ..... you definitely want to spend the extra $$$$ and go S & W Sigma or M&P ..... 9mm or .40
Playing devil's advocate here I guess, but based on many hours spent reading reviews and talking to experienced shooters while shopping for an inexpensive handgun myself, I got the opposite impression comparing the Hi-Point 9mm and S&W Sigma 9. I don't think a Hi-Point will ever win any points for good looks - they're almost universally ugly guns - but they tend to get good reviews for reliability, which the Sigma does not. The gang-banger stigma will probably never die, but based on the lifetime warranty, most Hi-Points will never die either.

As far as knives go, I think it's worth having at least one multi-purpose knife that could serve as a backup for other more specialized tools. A Becker would be nice, but the Ontario SP8 or some other less expensive version would be a must-have in my opinion.
 

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Playing devil's advocate here I guess, but based on many hours spent reading reviews and talking to experienced shooters while shopping for an inexpensive handgun myself, I got the opposite impression comparing the Hi-Point 9mm and S&W Sigma 9. I don't think a Hi-Point will ever win any points for good looks - they're almost universally ugly guns - but they tend to get good reviews for reliability, which the Sigma does not. The gang-banger stigma will probably never die, but based on the lifetime warranty, most Hi-Points will never die either.
I'd never own a Hi-Point pistol, but I've seen enough of them on the range to know that they're generally quite reliable. And like you, I've read many positive reviews of them too. Still, I think there are better options out there in the low dollar range.
 

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Go to your closest dollar store and shop shop shop!! That's how I got started. Then you look at all the crap you bought, and throw half of it out when you start to make your itemized lists. Then you REALLY start to shop!! Good luck! It's actually fun! Having a years worth of food in storage and being able to satisfy just about any 9pm snack craving buy shopping in your basement is pretty cool! And all the guns and ammo is even cooler! Lol
 

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All in all, you have some very good points. For a beginner strapped for cash, or just a frugal person, this will help quite a bit.

About Hi-Points...I have an old C9 given to me when I was 16-17(when they were $99). I have never had problems with it and I know several people who have not had problems with theirs. As I developed in firearms knowledge, I began buying more quality items. The Hi-Point isn't my go to gun because I have higher quality items available to use, but I know it will work if absolutely necessary.

I do like having several quality knives that take an edge and hold it well. I use knives very frequently, and it's so much nicer to have several good ones for different purposes than several stamped "china" on the tang with edge problems and balance problems.

Another key to all this is taking care of the things you buy, whether cheap or expensive, which many won't do.

mike
 

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this is a good thread. my wife and i are somewhat new to prepping and we are doing it on a budget, but this is gonna turn into a gun fight soon, high points vs glocks vs whatever. any gun you wanna use is fine as long as you the shooter are comfortable with it and trust its reliability. personally i would trust my life to a revolver over and automatic anyday. i think having a fixed blade knife doesnt hurt since you can get a somewhat decent one (4" blade or less) for 20 bucks or cheaper on sale, thats not really breaking the bank and it might come in handy. esp if you loose or break your gerber.
 
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