inflation proof prepping

Inflation Proof Prepping: How to Balance Building Your Emergency Stockpile With Your Regular Bills

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inflation proof prepping

It’s no secret that the cost of everything is up, and that can make many of us reevaluate how we’re spending our money. Are you trying to justify spending money on emergency preps while also trying to afford your weekly grocery bill? Making a mistake like spending too much on bulking up your food storage out of fear can lead to overspending or, even worse, putting yourself into debt. Trust me, there is a way to inflation proof prepping!

I’ve personally experienced this fear. When we started prepping, we were living paycheck-to-paycheck during the 2008 recession. It was really stressful because we knew we needed to prep and have a good food storage stockpile, especially in case of job loss. But it was tough because we were just trying to manage paying our regular bills and getting our normal weekly groceries. Even that was a struggle. We felt like it was one or the other, that we couldn’t possibly do both. During those years, we really had to reevaluate our priorities and look at prepping in a completely new way. We learned a few tricks and strategies to make prepping possible even during our leanest years.

Understanding Inflation and Prepping

inflation prices on food

Inflation can pack a punch, driving up the costs of vital items, especially those needed for emergencies. These price hikes can feel like hurdles in our quest to build a reliable emergency stash. It’s not just about being prepared; it’s about ensuring our families have what they need in challenging times. And it feels almost impossible to build up a stockpile of excess anything when you’re trying to afford your regular purchases.

How can you build your emergency stockpile without overspending, especially in times of inflation? It’s like trying to pay for insurance when money is tight—it feels necessary, but the financial stress can be overwhelming. However, there’s a shift in mindset that can make all the difference. And I want to show you how you can build your prepper insurance without ‘borrowing from Peter to pay Paul,’ as it were.

Assessing Priorities and Budgeting

Anyone who has been poor understands what it means to cut-costs and re evaluate priorities. And average folks seem to have the hardest time understanding what “necessary costs” are. I can say this because I have been on both sides of this situation. Cutting expenses starts with evaluating your bills, finding low priority items, and then setting a prep budget. Prepping is not just for SHTF scenarios. It can be a lifeline if you lose your job, a natural disaster happens, or God forbid another lockdown.

tight budgeting
  1. Evaluate Your Bills: Start by reviewing your monthly expenses. Identify where your money is going and categorize your bills based on priority.
  2. Identify Low Priority Items: Once you have a clear picture of your expenses, pinpoint items that are not essential for your basic needs or long-term goals.
  3. Set a Prep Budget: Allocate a specific amount of money from your budget towards emergency preparedness. This budget should be realistic and considerate of your overall financial situation. You also need to have a goal in mind for how many preparedness supplies you need. Are you shooting for a 2-week, 2-month, or year food storage? How many emergency bags? First-aid supplies?
  4. Prioritize Essentials: Focus on purchasing essential items for your emergency stockpile first. This includes food, water, medical supplies, and other necessities that are crucial for survival.
  5. Cut Costs Strategically: Look for opportunities to cut costs without sacrificing quality or safety. This may involve finding alternative sources for certain products, buying in bulk during sales, or exploring DIY solutions.
  6. Reevaluate Regular Expenses: Periodically review your expenses and adjust your budget as needed. Stay flexible and be willing to make changes to ensure you’re staying within your prep budget while meeting your other financial obligations.
  7. Build Incrementally: Start small and gradually build up your emergency stockpile over time. Focus on acquiring what you need most urgently and expand from there as your budget allows.

By following these steps, you can effectively cut costs, prioritize essentials, and establish a prep budget that aligns with your financial situation and preparedness goals. Remember to be honest about priorities; do you really need to go out to dinner every week, buy that Starbucks, or have 4 streaming service subscriptions? Think of your prep budget as another insurance bill, because that’s how important it should be.

Smart Shopping Strategies for Inflation Proof Prepping

Over the years I’ve learned some creative strategies to save money when shopping. As they say, “Necessity is the mother of invention”. Here are some great tips I have utilized when money was really tight.

bulk food buying
  • Take Advantage of Seasonal Sales: Look for seasonal sales and promotions, especially during holidays like Black Friday or back-to-school events. Many retailers offer significant discounts on essential items during these times.
  • Utilize Cashback and Rewards Programs: Sign up for cashback and rewards programs offered by credit cards or shopping platforms. Earn rewards or cashback on your prepping purchases to save money over time.
  • Take Advantage of Your FSA/HSA: Did you know you can use your FSA/HSA to buy medical related preps online and in store? This is a great way to use pre-taxed dollars to bulk up your emergency preps. And your employer is helping you foot the bill. Get all the details on how to do this in my last blog post.
  • Shop in Bulk: Buying in bulk can often lead to lower per-unit costs. Look for bulk buying opportunities for non-perishable items like canned goods, grains, and toiletries.
  • Compare Prices: Before making a purchase, compare prices across different retailers or online platforms. Use price comparison websites or browser extensions to find the best deals. One of my new favorite apps for this is called Flipp.
  • Subscribe and Save: Take advantage of subscription services that offer discounts for recurring purchases. This can be particularly beneficial for items you regularly use, such as emergency food supplies or household essentials. Amazon Subscribe & Save Program is a great option for this.
  • Shop Clearance and Discount Sections: Explore clearance racks, discount sections, and outlet stores for discounted emergency supplies. You can often find quality items at lower prices.
  • Shop at Discount Stores: One of my favorite ways to bulk up my preps is to shop discount stores like Winco, Grocery Outlet, Aldi, Dollar Tree, or Ollies. I have often found great deals on amazing prep items that I didn’t even think these stores would carry. Go check them out, you might be surprised at what you find!
  • Consider Secondhand and Thrift Stores: Don’t overlook secondhand stores, thrift shops, or online marketplaces for gently used emergency supplies. You can find affordable items that are still in good condition.
  • Use Coupons and Promo Codes: Look for coupons and promo codes that offer discounts on emergency supplies. Websites like RetailMeNot or Honey can help you find available discounts.
costco buying in bulk

By implementing these smart shopping strategies and leveraging available resources, you can maximize your purchasing power and build an inflation-proof emergency stockpile without paying inflated prices.

DIY Solutions and Cost-Effective Prepping

In times of economic uncertainty and rising costs, DIY solutions and cost-effective prepping strategies become invaluable. They not only save money but also empower us to customize our prepping supplies to suit our specific needs. From homemade cleaning products to creative storage solutions, there’s a wealth of possibilities waiting to be explored.

Cost-Effective Prepping Ideas:

diy rain barrels
  • Homemade Cleaning Products: Create your own cleaning solutions using simple ingredients like vinegar, baking soda, and essential oils. Not only are these DIY cleaners effective, but they’re also eco-friendly and budget-friendly.
  • DIY Emergency Kits: Instead of purchasing pre-made emergency kits, assemble your own customized kits based on your family’s needs. Include essentials like first aid supplies, non-perishable food items, water purification tablets, and emergency communication devices.
  • Upcycled Containers: Repurpose old containers and jars for storing bulk food items, seeds, spices, and other prepping supplies. Label them clearly for easy organization and inventory management.
  • Garden and Forage: Grow your own food by starting a small garden or participating in community gardens. Learn about foraging edible plants in your area to supplement your food supply sustainably.
  • Water Harvesting: Install rain barrels or a DIY water harvesting system to collect rainwater for non-potable uses like gardening, cleaning, and flushing toilets during emergencies.
  • DIY Personal Care Products: Make your own personal care items such as soap, toothpaste, and lotion using natural ingredients. Not only does this save money, but it also allows you to control the ingredients in your products.
  • Emergency Cooking Alternatives: Explore alternative cooking methods that don’t rely solely on electricity or gas. Build a solar cooker, learn how to use a rocket stove, or practice cooking over an open fire for emergency situations.

By embracing these DIY solutions and cost-effective prepping ideas, you not only can save money but also gain valuable skills and self-sufficiency in preparing for whatever challenges may come your way.

Building Resilience Without Overspending

In today’s uncertain world, building resilience is not just about stockpiling supplies; it’s about finding a balance between preparedness and financial responsibility. Here are key strategies to help you achieve resilience without breaking the bank:

1. Focus on Essentials: Prioritize building a stockpile of essential items that cover your basic needs during emergencies. This includes:

  • Food: Stock up on non-perishable food items with long shelf lives. Consider items like canned goods, grains, dried fruits, and nuts that provide nutrition and sustenance.
  • Water: Ensure you have an ample supply of clean drinking water for each family member. Explore water purification methods and storage options to maintain a reliable water source.
  • Medical Supplies: Gather first aid supplies, prescription medications, and basic medical equipment to handle common health issues and injuries.
  • Emergency Communication Tools: Invest in communication devices such as a battery-powered radio, solar-powered chargers, and emergency radios to stay informed during disruptions.
emergency stockpile

By focusing on these essentials, you build a strong foundation for resilience without overspending on non-essential items.

2. Adopt a Long-Term Mindset: View prepping as a long-term investment in your safety and well-being. Rather than trying to do everything at once, take a gradual approach and make incremental progress over time. Set realistic goals and prioritize prepping tasks based on their importance and urgency.

3. Avoid Debt: One of the biggest pitfalls in prepping is falling into the trap of overspending or going into debt. Resist the temptation to purchase unnecessary or extravagant prepping gear that exceeds your budget. Instead, explore cost-effective alternatives, DIY solutions, and secondhand options to meet your preparedness needs without compromising your financial stability.

By adopting a strategic approach, focusing on essentials, maintaining a long-term mindset, and avoiding debt, you can build resilience effectively without overspending. I learned this firsthand back in those first days of our prepping journey. We had to carefully balance our budget while prioritizing essential prepping supplies. I realized that resilience isn’t just about stockpiling items; it’s about being prepared mentally and financially. Remember, resilience is about preparation, adaptability, and resourcefulness, not extravagant purchases.

Community Resources and Collaboration

“Inflation Proof Prepping” emphasizes the strength of tight-knit community networks, where collaboration and mutual support thrive. These close connections with friends, neighbors, family, and church members can be invaluable in building resilience without excessive spending. Here are some examples of how personal exchanges and shared resources within these networks can contribute to your preparedness:

sharing harvest by helping pick berries
  • Shared Equipment: We loaned our friend our portable sawmill, and in return, they gave us some of the extra boards produced. This exchange not only saved us money on purchasing lumber but also benefited both our families.
  • Harvest Traditions: We had a tradition of helping my grandma pick her berries every year. In return, she always shared some of the berries and homemade jam with us. This tradition was such a fond memory and we learned how to nuture our garden and make yummy raspberry freezer jam. (It’s still one of my favorite recipes to this day!)
  • Skill Swaps: In tight-knit communities, skill swaps are common. For example, a neighbor skilled in carpentry might exchange lessons for help with gardening. This fosters learning, self-sufficiency, and community bonds without extra costs.
  • Emergency Preparedness Barter: During times of need, such as power outages or natural disasters, our tight-knit community comes together to share resources. Whether it’s lending tools, sharing food supplies, or offering assistance, we rely on each other for support and resilience.
  • Community Potlucks: Organizing community potlucks or gatherings where everyone contributes a dish fosters camaraderie and allows us to share resources and culinary skills. It also strengthens friendships which can be crucial in times of emergencies.

These personal exchanges and tight-knit relationships within our community play a crucial role in our preparedness journey. By leveraging shared resources, skills, and traditions, you too can strengthen your resilience while maintaining strong bonds with those around you.

Don’t Panic Prep

In the midst of our prepping efforts, it’s easy to get hyper-focused, especially when it comes to essentials like food. However, this can lead to overspending and financial strain.

Reflecting on my own experiences, I’ve learned that ‘Inflation Proof Prepping’ isn’t about “buying all the things”; it’s about making strategic choices, fostering community ties, and being mindful of our resources.

I know what it’s like to panic and think you have to get it all done right now. But that mindset will have you prepping out of fear or worse, put you in debt. You can easily end up with food and prep items that are useless or something your family won’t need or use in an emergency.

Follow my tips, and you will be prepared without going broke in the process:

  1. Prioritize Essentials: Focus on acquiring essential items while being mindful of your budget.
  2. Community Collaboration: Engage with your community for skill-sharing, resource exchange, and mutual support.
  3. Budget Wisely: Adopt a long-term mindset, avoid unnecessary expenses, and explore cost-effective options.
  4. Resilience Mindset: Shift your perspective to see prepping as an investment in safety and adaptability.

By applying these principles, we not only build a resilient stockpile but also safeguard our financial well-being. Let’s thrive through preparedness, together.

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