When one decides to begin the journey into “prepping,” that doesn’t necessarily mean they have a lot of money at their disposal. That’s why it’s important to do the things that cost nothing first before you start buying things to store for when the SHTF.

This list is in no particular order, nor is it a complete list of all the possible things you can or should do after you decide to start prepping that doesn’t cost any money.  But this is a great guide for those just getting their feet wet and on a strict budget.

  1. Inventory Your Items

Take an inventory of everything you have already that you can or might need if the SHTF.  Put your first aid items together and organize your food. Doing this will help you get an idea of what you already have, what medications or ointments have expired, and what you may need to replace.

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2. Write Out A Wish List

After you’ve gotten an inventory of everything you already own that you will need for your prepping gear, write out the things that are missing.  Do you need to replace some expired medications? What foods are you missing to make hearty, wholesome, and filling meals quickly, cheaply, and without power? Cross-check your inventory list.

3. Make a Space for all Your Items

Organize your gear in a central location so you know where it is.  In an emergency, such as a medical one, you’ll want quick easy access to your first aid kit. Keeping all your food together also allows you to more easily see what you’ve acquired and what you still need.  Organize your food by groups, such as spices, vegetables, meats, sauces, etc.  Keep the oldest food toward the front of your supply so you will use it first.

4. Practice Skills

Take the time to practice the things that you can already do. Practice building a fire. Make it a challenge and practice during the rain. If you can sew, take the time to repair a worn-out item by hand. Watch self-defense videos on YouTube and practice with your family. A free skill you can begin to learn is getting around your house in the dark.  Practice with the whole family. Learn to move quietly and safely and know how to evacuate if need be. Practice situational awareness and make it a habit.

5. Make a Family Plan

Come up with an emergency plan as a family.  What do the children need to do if the SHTF when they are at school? Where is the rendezvous point where everyone is to meet in the aftermath of a disaster? If it’s home, who is responsible for staying put to make sure everyone arrives? Come up with a few plans and rank them. If plan A fails, then everyone moves on to plan B.  You can write these out or just have family meetings to discuss your plans and brainstorm ideas with each other.

*A failure to plan is a plan to fail.

Prepping doesn’t necessarily have to be complicated or expensive. The goal is to get you and your family in the preparedness mindset so you can take the reigns on your own. Knowing what you need for your particular situation will be invaluable as you begin your prepping journey!

If you have any suggestions for readers that are free and that they can begin at any time, share them in comments!

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