Skip to comments.Prepping for the Financially Challenged: A One Month Survival Plan For Under $300
Posted on 03/12/2012 11:27:17 PM PDT by blam
Prepping for the Financially Challenged: A One Month Survival Plan For Under $300
March 12th, 2012
The American Dream Lost
The following article has been generously contributed by Tom Chatham, author of the newly released book The American Dream Lost Economic Survival Strategy for a New Paradigm.
Many people are now waking up to the possibility that the future may not provide the great recovery we all expect it to be. They are begining to sense that something is wrong with the economy and it will not get better. Their first thought is the question, What do I do to protect myself and my family? They usually answer that question with the thought, maybe these preppers arent so crazy after all. How do you prep with very little money?
Many start answering this question with buy this and buy that but that is not the first step to prepping. Every situation is different so your preps need to reflect your situation. The first thing you need to do is get a legal pad or a note book to write in and answer these basic questions.
* Do you own or rent?
* Do you live in an apartment or a home with a yard?
* Is your home paid for or could you lose it if your income were cut off?
* Do you have some place else to go if things get too bad or you lose your home?
* Can you plant a garden or fruit trees in your yard? Can you own livestock or even a few chickens?
* How much can you afford per month to buy supplies?
These questions are just a start but they will determine what you will need to get by in a difficult situation.
An apartment dweller will have no need to get seeds and garden tools immediately while it might make perfect sense to someone in the country with a few acres of their own land. If you live in the suburbs and have a small yard you might be able to plant some fruit trees but what happens if you lose your home to foreclosure? Would the money for those trees have been spent better somewhere else? You need to decide what your emergency will involve and what your basic needs will be because of it.
Lets look at an apartment dweller for a minute. They depend on water from the city, food from the grocery store, power for heat, light and cooking and sanitation, all of which has to be brought into the city or pumped out of the city on a continuous basis. If all of these systems shut down for any length of time you are now stranded in a cave on a cliff with a long staircase to traverse each way. Assuming that everyone is in the same situation as you and you are not evicted from your home, what supplies will you need to shelter in place and how long will they last?
Being in an apartment you are limited to the types of supplies you may be able to store. For instance it would be a waste of money to invest in a generator if you know you cant store a 30 day supply of gas. The two primary supplies you need no matter where you are involve water and food. In a system wide failure water would be the first thing you would run out of. You can only live about three days without water so it is a critical storage item. The only problem with water is that its heavy and takes up a lot of room if you want a several month supply. For someone in an apartment this is out of the question so how do you get around this? The solution has to be to store a small supply and have a plan to resupply what you need. The cheapest way to go is to get a supply of five gallon plastic food grade buckets to store water in. As a secondary storage device get a few thirty gallon trash cans and some food grade liners for them. These can be filled just prior to an emergency if you have any warning. Another secondary storage medium would be your bath tub. This can hold fifty gallons or more to last you quite a while. In addition to storage containers you need to get a good water filter. A gravity fed system is good but a portable reverse osmosis system is better. You may need to forage for water during a long emergency and you dont want to contaminate your clean buckets with unfiltered water that you will have to carry home. Also you will need to filter water in your tub or other container that may not be completely clean. The reason to have some five gallon buckets is that you may need to carry water up to your apartment and more than five gallons is more than most people would be able to handle at one time.
The next thing you need to have on hand is a supply of food. The cheapest things to start off with that will keep you fed are the following items. You might want to get 3lbs of rice, 3lbs of dried beans, 5lbs of cornmeal, 42oz of oatmeal, 2lbs of powdered milk, 26oz of mash potato flakes, 30 packages of ramen noodles and 12 cans of vegetables. All of these things will cost you about $35.00 and provide one person with three meals a day for 30 days. This list is meant to prevent desperation on your part for the least amount of money not necessarily a perfectly balanced menu. A good multivitamin can fill in any shortfalls of this menu. This short list provides you with a reasonable amount of food for a very small investment and all of it will fit in two five gallon containers to allow for easy transport if you decide to relocate with it.
Another item you might want to get depending on your location is a good quality cold weather sleeping bag. This is a must if you are living in a cold climate without a dependable heat source. You can survive in a very cold place for a very long time if you have the means to stay warm and get a good nights sleep.
The next item you should have is a propane stove, at least a single burner unit, and at least a one pound canister of propane for each week for the duration you plan for. This will allow you the means to heat water and cook food and also provide heat on a limited basis. To make your fuel go as far as possible you also want to have a small pressure cooker so you can cook things like beans and rice quickly.
For light you can have a 100 hour liquid paraffin candle that will provide you with 3 hours of light every night for a month. You want to have a large box of strike anywhere matches and a disposable lighter to light your stove and candle. A hand crank LED light with a radio and cell phone charging port would be a good addition to this kit.
The final thing you would need is a sanitation system. With the power off, you might be able to flush your toilet with your water stores but the pumps that carry the sewage away will not be working so the sewer lines will eventually back up. To avoid this you need to have a portable toilet with disposable linings that you can utilize until the power returns or you relocate. A simple totable toilet and a few liners can be had for under thirty dollars. You can also get disposable liners that fit your regular toilet bowl that you can use.
Depending on how much you spend on your sleeping bag and pressure cooker, you can get everything listed here for around three hundred dollars. For that price you would be able to shelter in place for a month. If you increase the amount of food, propane and candles you get, you could shelter in place for months.
Security is not covered here because it is something that could fill an article of its own. These are the basic things you should have for an apartment if you plan to stay in place for any length of time. These limited supplies can be the difference between remaining safe and healthy and becoming desperate. The small quantity of supplies listed here would be easy to relocate with even if you had to travel on foot. In the next article well talk about expanded preps for apartments and things for single family homes.
There are always interesting comments at the end of the article. I encourage you to click over there and read them...participate if you like.
Thanks for posting!
I have just been informed that I have a $100 budget to provide snacks all day for 80 volunteers. Any ideas??
Get more money.
His teeth were knocked out by a chain saw. That must have been messy, eh?
Very affordable, rugged firearms:
Add: leaving America,
I started international traveling in 1999, and moved out for good in 2004, living first in central Europe, and now in the Philippines.
I am retired, and I do know that leaving is not an easy option for younger FReepers with family, but there are a number of options even for you.
InternationalLiving.com is a pretty good site to be tuned into.
There are also a number of other expat living web sites that you can sign up for to get notices and emails of new articles and ideas.
I’m not moving anywhere that I have to leave the 2nd Ammendment behind. Move out of America, and you chunk your chunk your 2nd Ammendment rights.
I’m not moving anywhere that I have to leave the 2nd Ammendment behind. Move out of America, and you chunk your 2nd Ammendment rights.
What kind of snacks?
Fruit, cookies, pastry, Hors d’oeuvres, sandwiches, salty snacks?
Eggs are cheap. Deviled eggs, egg salad sandwiches. Cookies are cheap. Potatoes and pasta are very cheap. Make potato and pasta salad. If you can deep fry, try frying your own potato chips.
“Im not moving anywhere that I have to leave the 2nd Ammendment behind. Move out of America, and you chunk your 2nd Ammendment rights.”
Well, that certainly depends on the country.
Since I have no interest in owning a gun, I can not
advise on various countries, but in the Philippines, I understand that the laws here are much more lax then in the USSA.
When I lived in the formerly Communist Slovakia, I knew hunters and other gun owners.
Do you really think that America is the only country where you can own a gun???
When America takes the final bow, your silly gun will, for any practical purpose of defending the country from the Communist, be worthless.
Peanut butter and crackers or vanilla wafers.
Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. Chicken or tuna salad sandwiches Popcorn
Red beans and rice.
Hot dogs and french fries...
The list needs to include some vegetable oil, flour, baking soda, salt and an iron skillet or all that corn bread is gonna be mush!
It wont be the same without eggs but doable.
The above items wont wreck the budget.
bump for later read
Apples oranges bananas and string cheese sticks. couple bags of potato chips and tortilla chips.
That’s just stoopid.
Chunk a chunk a junk your chunk a junk
“I high-lighted the propane gas and the pressure cooker. I think you should get more propane gas. And, the pressure cooker will let you use less gas to accomplish the same work.”
Agree on the propane gas. I still remember exhausting half a bottle (or close to half a bottle) just boiling a few quarts of water for noodles. That was decades ago, and I still remember it like yesterday. I would say figure on one bottle per day if you do any boiling. After that experience, I added gasoline stoves to my mix (I have both). Gasoline goes much further, and is much cheaper, than propane - and will likely be easier to find.
But having said that, unless really well ventilated, I would not mess around with gasoline indoors. Propane is good, but treat it with respect. Assuming small tanks without built-in shut-offs, NEVER leave them connected to anything, as stoves will not necessarily shut off the bottle (and the seal may not be good). But I’ve also had bottles leak, so it doesn’t hurt to put the top of them next to your ear if you need to store the propane indoors. If you can keep it outdoors (and secured) than always store outdoors.
>>your silly gun will, for any practical purpose of defending the country from the Communist, be worthless <<
My silly gun will keep me and mine alive and well fed by not only defending our stores, but acquiring wild game.
It's nice that you can afford to run away from an unpleasant situation, but many of us cannot and even a few choose not to.
Last year I gave away several survival food chests to friends and relatives. I filled a small ice chest with cans of barley, rolled oats, potato flakes, rice, beans, honey, etc. All were packed for long term, 20+ year storage by www.waltonfeed.com Love those guys.
I have been thinking of creating a very small survival kit that everyone can carry easily in a wallet. I’m thinking fishhooks, monofilament line, a razor blade, snare wire, a sewing needle and thread. It will not suffice for every situation, but it’s better than nothing.
Any suggestions on other things that can easily fit into a wallet?
They would make nice gifts next year.
Build a rocket stove cheap and stop worrying so much about fuel; they burn anything:
“Build a rocket stove cheap and stop worrying so much about fuel; they burn anything:”
Yes, but gasoline stores very nicely, and packs a HUGE punch relative to having to forage for 10 lbs. of wood to equal 2 ounces of gas.
I like to think this through and have contingencies in mind.
(1) a single burner, single-unit propane stove represents a critical single point of failure.
(2) From a meal prep standpoint, a pressure cooker is a great idea as they require less total energy ‘burned’ to cook a given amount of food - particularly important with hard grains and beans where the plant starches and proteins need to be converted to animal-edible starches/ sugars/proteins via heat and hydrolysis (aka cooking).
(3) a single cooking pot can be problematic as rice cooks a lot faster than beans and you dont want to ruin the food value. I think the minimum should be two ‘pots’ one of which is a sturdy ‘dutch oven’ or cast iron deep frying pan - with a lid.
(4) NEVER leave out the important staples to make the foods more palatable: salt, sugar, veg. oil, baking soda/powder. You only need a little to make a big difference.
ALL of the above have ‘dual use’ and none represent a ‘waste’ of money or a single-use sunk cost.
You want variety for a number of reasons, but those with substantially more than a week or so of food might want to keep track of how many 2,000 calorie days of food they have, since that's about what an average person needs. A pound of spaghetti (1600 calories) plus one 15 ounce can of sauce is about 2,000 calories. Similarly, a pound of rice and something such as canned soup and tuna to stir into it adds up to 2,000 calories. I have lots of canned meats and fish for the complete protein (and it's the stuff we eat a couple of times a week, so we're used to it and we like it), but a little over half of our emergency food calories comes from grain. The 20 pound sack of rice I just got for $6 will, with 20 additions of 400 calories each (averaging $1 per can), provide food for one person for 20 days or for a family of four for five days. If nothing goes wrong, we'll eat that rice late next year or early the following year, and replace it with another sack of rice, but in an emergency, my family will not go hungry.
Matches - strike anywhere type with the heads dipped in wax. Add in a small square of sandpaper.
A sterilizing tablet - the ones they use for baby bottles are fine, and one of those will final clean 10 gallons of water without tasting too terrible.
A 40 denier nylon woman’s knee sock - makes a good filter and folds up really small.
Two aspirin - very effective painkillers.
An unlubricated condom - they are surprisingly good as emergency water carriers.
A strip of magnesium ribbon - for starting fires no matter how wet the wood is.
Those, plus the fishhooks, monofilament, needle and thread and a scalpel blade are what is carried in the handle of my survival knife, but could easily be fitted in a wallet.
I have a dupe set of that in a small tin (Altoids tin) which moves from coat pocket to coat pocket as the seasons change.
I have 15-20 of the 20 pound propane tanks. I also have the capability of refilling the small one pound tanks from them. I have both types of Coleman camper stoves, gasoline and propane.
“I have 15-20 of the 20 pound propane tanks. I also have the capability of refilling the small one pound tanks from them. I have both types of Coleman camper stoves, gasoline and propane.”
I have everything that you mention, but only 5 of the large propane tanks. I have failed.
Thanks! Great suggestions.
I already carry a Heart Attack First Aid Kit in my wallet. You never know when someone around you is gonna keel over.
It contains 4 adult, 325 mg, aspirins and a 100 mg. Viagra tab. The aspirin thins your blood and the Viagra opens up the blood vessels in the heart to let blood flow more freely.
Don’t laugh. Viagra was originally created as a heart med and is still used as such. The cool side effects were an unexpected bonus.
Good response. I was going to wait until this evening to respond to what looks to me to be a leftist trolling here.
where are your children?...grandchildren?..nieces?...nephews?....where are your brothers or sisters?....
there is NO one you care enough for to stay and fight?....
there's a word....either you're a person with no family nor friends to care about and love or you're something else...
don't understand why you keep posting if you have no skin in the game....
and your silly govt pension will pretty much dry up as well as your health benefits.....those with armaments will at least die as patriots....
anyone know which is the best to buy?.....there are several varieties...
he’s not a troller...he’s been here plenty....but I don’t understand why....LOL
Depends to a certain extent on whether the chain saw was running at the time.
There are a lot of people (including myself, unfortunately) who would be able to get along well on much less than 2,000 calories per day for an extended period of time, if need be.
True. The 2,000 calorie day is still a useful unit for counting how much food you have. I could go on short rations if necessary, but I don't think I would take my family down that road in the first 30 days of an TEOTWAWKI event. I'd rather be at full strength and maximum energy until things stabilize. After that, losing 5-10 pounds of body weight and conserving rations for the first year sounds like a good plan. If you eat less and prefer 1,500 or 1,200 calories per day for figuring, that makes sense too.
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