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I have noticed that a lot of times when reading other people questions regarding urban preparedness that there seems to be some good responses and ideas but most still do not answer the basic questions of "What can I get to start prepping on a low budget ?". A lot of people who want to get into prepping live in an urban setting or environment that does not lend itself to making prepping easy for beginners and thus it seems possibly overwhelming to them. A lot of times this may keep a newly interested individual from proceeding forward when combined with a family member who is "not onboard" with the idea. Sometimes these families or individuals simply do not have the extra money, space, or means to find or purchase a BOL, BOB, INCH, or any other acronym that we would normally advise for them. Of course we know to get out of dodge asap but some people simply don't own a car. Perhaps there is an elderly person or a disabled child in the family. Maybe they are young adults with two newborns. We can play the scenario game all day but the underlying problem remains so I ask "What items can we suggest that are acceptable for a family on a tight budget that are low key (bulk and cost) that they can really benefit from that will help get them started in prepping ?". I would like to start an on going list of suggestions from members on the forum in an effort to be able to have a specific place to send them for helpful information. I have not added a lot of firearms, food, or water in my list due to the overwhelming amount of information available on the net. Thank you for participating and feel free to add anything that you think that might be useful.

My suggestions: Things that are nice to have and are low cost/low key

1) Hydrogen peroxide : There are many uses including oral hygiene, washing clothes, first aid, and so much more. An extra bottle or two can go a long way and will usually cost lest than $5 to attain.

2) Vitamins : 120ct Multi-vitamins can be useful when your sick or suffering from a low nutritional diet post shtf.

3) Baby wipes- So many uses that are obvious...baby/personal hygiene being important and you can get the no name brand for $1/pack at times.

4) Big box of matches/Bic lighters : Fire starting is always an important issues that you will need post shtf. These are also very very tradable.

5) Coconut oil : Great for cooking and also there are many medicinal properties. Also tradable and a source of lantern fuel.

6) Iodized salt : A little goes a long way and you may eventually need the vitamin iodine. Great for swelling due to injuries. Usually under a dollar.

7) Duct tape : There are very few shtf situations that can't be helped with duct tape :D:

8) Plastic tote (clean) : Use this for catching rainwater on a balcony or roof

9) Single AA LED flashlight : Get the most use out of each battery. Buy a pack of 12 AA's "for the remote".

10) 100% Pure Baking Soda : Buy the big box "for washing clothes" or an extra small one "for the fridge". Great acid neutralizer, toothpaste, and so much more.

11) Water filter system : Very important to have in an urban environment where water may have to come from wherever you find it. If the budget allows a .002 micron Sawyer Water Purifier (about $125+) then I suggest it but the .01 Sawyer water filter ($30) will work well as will a lot of others at a reasonable price. Perhaps an adaptable faucet style water filter will work ?

12) 50ft 550 Cord : Useful for so many things and because you like it for "making boot strings and shoe laces".

13) P-58/P-38 Can Opener : You ca get these for a relatively low price. Highly tradable and just in case your electric one isn't working.

14) Mylar Blanket : It may be winter when the power goes out. Use it to reflect heat away from you in the summer. Collect rainwater by diverting it to your plastic tote.

15) Non Scented Trash Bags : For bio waste, trash, holding water, rain gear, NBC protection, etc...

16) Tea lights : It's the new way to heat canned food :D:
 

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I was just down at the flea market again this morning and scored 2 more working Coleman lanterns for $10. These and 1 gallon of fuel, which runs $10 - $15, give you enough light for your home to last a week or longer. And, according to Coleman, the fuel will last up to 7 years if the can remains unopened.

On Friday, I stopped by the local surplus store and picked up an Austrian military winter parka for $29.95. I've been looking at similar jackets since last winter and the average price was well over $100.

Water is cheap - even if you buy it at a retail store - and it can be stored for up to 2 years or longer.

Additional food purchases can practically go unnoticed in the budget if you're thrifty. Coupons and can sales are great incentives to add to the pantry.
 

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Household bleach for water purification / disinfecting laundry & surfaces
Canteens or water bottles for each person (with carrier of some sort)
Spare socks for all (bulk packs)
 
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Patient Zero
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For low cost items that will be useful to surviving in a urban environment.

The first item I would look at is a water bob. for 20 bucks you can store 100 gallons of water in your bath tub. With a little bit of notice you can fill up your tub and have potable water on demand. This right here is going to be a life savior that you can use to extend your supply of bottled water . Granted you loose the use of your tub but it worth it to have that much clean water on hand. Next I would recommend getting some simple tools to use around the house. Claw hammer, pliers, hand drill , drill bits, hacksaw and some blades to go with it. Keeping your shelter in good repair is always a good idea. The ability to throw a board across your windows to keep people from breaking in or extra insulation is a good idea. Flashlights with rechargeable batteries. Due to the popularity of electronic cigarettes and vaping, certain items that were considered high end or tactical in nature are no longer have the negative labels attached to them like that. High mah batteries in the 18 series are popular for vaping. These high drain quick charging batteries used in a LED light cheaper then the disposible batteries for the same amount of output. For example an CR123a battery is the same size as an 18350 battery. The rechargeable will give you a longer lasting charge for less then the cost of a disposable plus you can get multiple uses out of the battery for non-SHTF times as well. Most flashlight companies will use a wider tube to accommodate the 18mm size vs the 16mm of the CR123a's knowing that they will be used in this fashion. The next item I will recommend is Matches or Bic lighters. If you have a gas range you will have a fuel source to cook on and depending on your water situation boiling a pot of water will heat a house quite nicely while adding some humidity as well. My last items are going to be some 16oz aluminum beer bottles ( Budweiser makes some that are a little thicker ) and some high proof alcohol to burn in it. All relatively cheap items that are low key and will not raise eyes to anyone.
 

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I have noticed that a lot of times when reading other people questions regarding urban preparedness that there seems to be some good responses and ideas but most still do not answer the basic questions of "What can I get to start prepping on a low budget ?". A lot of people who want to get into prepping live in an urban setting or environment that does not lend itself to making prepping easy for beginners and thus it seems possibly overwhelming to them. A lot of times this may keep a newly interested individual from proceeding forward when combined with a family member who is "not onboard" with the idea. Sometimes these families or individuals simply do not have the extra money, space, or means to find or purchase a BOL, BOB, INCH, or any other acronym that we would normally advise for them. Of course we know to get out of dodge asap but some people simply don't own a car. Perhaps there is an elderly person or a disabled child in the family. Maybe they are young adults with two newborns. We can play the scenario game all day but the underlying problem remains so I ask "What items can we suggest that are acceptable for a family on a tight budget that are low key (bulk and cost) that they can really benefit from that will help get them started in prepping ?". I would like to start an on going list of suggestions from members on the forum in an effort to be able to have a specific place to send them for helpful information. I have not added a lot of firearms, food, or water in my list due to the overwhelming amount of information available on the net. Thank you for participating and feel free to add anything that you think that might be useful.

My suggestions: Things that are nice to have and are low cost/low key

1) Hydrogen peroxide : There are many uses including oral hygiene, washing clothes, first aid, and so much more. An extra bottle or two can go a long way and will usually cost lest than $5 to attain.

2) Vitamins : 120ct Multi-vitamins can be useful when your sick or suffering from a low nutritional diet post shtf.

3) Baby wipes- So many uses that are obvious...baby/personal hygiene being important and you can get the no name brand for $1/pack at times.

4) Big box of matches/Bic lighters : Fire starting is always an important issues that you will need post shtf. These are also very very tradable.

5) Coconut oil : Great for cooking and also there are many medicinal properties. Also tradable and a source of lantern fuel.

6) Iodized salt : A little goes a long way and you may eventually need the vitamin iodine. Great for swelling due to injuries. Usually under a dollar.

7) Duct tape : There are very few shtf situations that can't be helped with duct tape :D:

8) Plastic tote (clean) : Use this for catching rainwater on a balcony or roof

9) Single AA LED flashlight : Get the most use out of each battery. Buy a pack of 12 AA's "for the remote".

10) 100% Pure Baking Soda : Buy the big box "for washing clothes" or an extra small one "for the fridge". Great acid neutralizer, toothpaste, and so much more.

11) Water filter system : Very important to have in an urban environment where water may have to come from wherever you find it. If the budget allows a .002 micron Sawyer Water Purifier (about $125+) then I suggest it but the .01 Sawyer water filter ($30) will work well as will a lot of others at a reasonable price. Perhaps an adaptable faucet style water filter will work ?

12) 50ft 550 Cord : Useful for so many things and because you like it for "making boot strings and shoe laces".

13) P-58/P-38 Can Opener : You ca get these for a relatively low price. Highly tradable and just in case your electric one isn't working.

14) Mylar Blanket : It may be winter when the power goes out. Use it to reflect heat away from you in the summer. Collect rainwater by diverting it to your plastic tote.

15) Non Scented Trash Bags : For bio waste, trash, holding water, rain gear, NBC protection, etc...

16) Tea lights : It's the new way to heat canned food :D:
Good list. I was just wondering about the bolded part, how long does peroxide last?

Someone also suggested bleach and be aware it is only good for about 6 months.
 

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Super Gassy Moderator
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For low cost items that will be useful to surviving in a urban environment.

The first item I would look at is a water bob. for 20 bucks you can store 100 gallons of water in your bath tub.
You can store 100 gallons only if you have a 100 gallon tub. The water bob can't hold any more than the tub itself will hold. And most don't hold nearly that amount.
 

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One of the items I neglected for far too long in my preparations was first aid. Start with a decent 'bag' to hold your first aid kit, include smaller zip lock bags for specific purposes... pain relief, and bleeding make up the bulk of my kits. If you buy first aid supplies in bulk you can make multiple kits for what you would have spent on 1 decent one. I stay away from the pre-packaged kits, they are really far from ideal on so many levels.

Along the same lines, there are cheap / free first aid training courses available all over the country from the Red Cross or from an organization that is involved in CERT training... Here in my city, our local mass transit authority will train you for FREE and give you a backpack with some basic supplies. You really can't beat that.
 

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Psalm 91
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Considering that household vinegar is a disinfectant strong enough to kill ebola and more or less lasts indefinitely, I'm going to buy some vinegar.
Maybe a bucket of pool chlorine as well.
 

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accipere rubrum pilula
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Start with the mindset that you won't have any utilities or access to a sewer and plan from there. If you are lucky enough to have any or all utility/sewer hookups than its a bonus.

Camping gear at Salvation Army/Goodwill stores are cheap and get the job done, just check them out well before buying. Same goes for stout clothing, wool blankets, etc..

I bought a brand new Carhart jacket from Goodwill for $15, brand new at the store its an easy $100 bill. I also picked up three wool US Navy blankets for $5.00 each. Last year my wife scored a camping toilet new in the box for $7.00, it came with chemicals and everything.

You can pick up food and supplies cheap using coupons. Just think outside the box you'd be surprised with what you'll come up with.
 

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Once upon a time we had a waterbed and we slept in it with no ill effects. I wonder if that water is/can be drinkable?

A waterbed is something I haven't thought of in years and I don't have any idea how many gallons of water it holds.
 

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Patient Zero
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Once upon a time we had a waterbed and we slept in it with no ill effects. I wonder if that water is/can be drinkable?

A waterbed is something I haven't thought of in years and I don't have any idea how many gallons of water it holds.
Most of the time your going to be adding chemicals to keep mold and other nastiness from taking hold. I would suspect that the chemicals in the bed its self would be full of heavy metals and things that will kill you as well as anything else in the water. My thought is that anything you would have to do to make that water potable would be more then taking it from any other questionable source. YMMV on that.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I'm not suggesting the storage of bleach but rather having an extra bottle or two on hand. If you use it in a normal fashion for daily use then I can see no reason why it wouldn't last a long time. I mainly mentioned it because like hydrogen peroxide it can be very useful when you simply can't run to the store and having extra isn't a bad thing or very noticeable.

A water bob is a good idea. I had assumed that the individual would simply fill the tub full. I don't advise anyone to drink water from a water bed in it's stored capacity. I imagine that all sorts of nasty's lie in that stuff and the liner is most likely not approved for water storage and may leak chemicals into it.

I would like to add a bottle of povidone-iodine/betadine because staff infection can be very bad if not treated. Also, a larger bottle of hand sanitizer may be beneficial because personal hygiene may not be on par with what your used to.

Lastly, to answer your question Tiffy I googled 3% Hydrogen Peroxide and found this "The 3% hydrogen peroxide solution you can buy for use as a disinfectant typically has a shelf life of at least a year if the bottle is unopened, but only lasts 30-45 days once the seal has been broken. As soon as you expose the peroxide solution to air, it starts to react to form water. Also, if you contaminate the bottle (e.g., by dipping a swab or finger into the bottle), you can expect the effectiveness of the remaining liquid to be compromised."
 

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I make sure that stuff I buy for the house is always bought with prepping in mind even if it appears to be unrelated.

When I buy a tool like shovel or such, I make sure to buy a good one and buy two. I like to make sure I have lots of different yard work and such tools, like fencing pliers, post hole diggers, etc.

I like to buy flashlights every storm season. No one even bats an eye when I buy a pack of flashlights and lots of batteries when storm season is coming, and if someone does ask I tell them "Last year we lost power three times. I am not sitting in the dark this year."

I buy our staples in bulk, then can/jar the "excess" for use later. That way the pantry is always full and more.

I also like to use the comment "I rent rooms" (which I actually do, to members of my MAG for the most part) as an excuse when I do stuff like buy lots of TP, spices, cooling oil or the like.

Stuff like that. Seems totally normal to an outsider.
 

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N95 masks are a relatively low cost prep. With all the hype about Ebola and the various flu strains out probably a good idea to have some on hand. Plastic sheeting too (goes well with the duct tape)
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Another low cost idea would be to use a small alcohol burning stove. There are lots of videos on youtube showing how to make one for about a dollar. It would allow you to store cheap fuel that won't go bad quickly and in quantity. It will also generate no smoke and that is a major plus indoors and when you have neighbors who would otherwise become curious at a fire. Lastly, the fuel can be used for first aid situations and so much more.
 

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Molon Labe
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I recently bought 1/2 inch diameter 2ft long pieces of rebar at my local lowes for 1.80 each. I keep them in my car for a type of self defense weapon if ever needed. Plus they can be used for many other purposes as well. Everything I've read in here are giving me tons of ideas.
 

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Simple, calorie-rich food that you'd actually want to eat. Google "Hudson Bay bread" then make a bunch. Seal it and store. Make more than you need because some of it will not survive the sealing process (it's tasty!). Boy Scouts live on this stuff on canoe trips in Minnesota.
 
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