|When I talk to people about prepping for pan-flu I almost always get-"But I can't afford to prep"-no matter what that individual's income or financial situation is. I'm here to bust the myth that folks can't afford to prep. True, it takes a little more work and ingenuity, to do it on the cheap. To quote a tv ad-"you can do it, we can help!
My dearest, wildest fantasy right now (that I can type on an open forum) is to be able to rent a semi,back it up to a Sam's Club, fill it full of prep items, and have a professional moving crew organize and pack it all into my basement-price no object. sigh.
What I have is an ancient station wagon, a tight budget and two teenagers. Kind of a big gap there- wouldn't you say? And yet, I have been able to get us to where we can SIP for three months. My goal is a year, and I feel it is achievable.
This is what I've done, and I hope it helps someone.
First- do as much research as you can on pan-flu and what you might need to SIP.
Second-make your list and make a plan-prioritize your list-what you have to have, and then what would really be a great thing to have and work your way down the comfort list.
Then start working on acquiring the items you need. And this is, for me, the tricky part! :-)
An example: My biggest concern right now is food. Ive worked out shelter,heat, water. I already have shake lights and NOAA radios and a lot of those things. My best and cheapest solution is gardening and I'm working on year-round gardening. I had the offer of free horse manure-if I could come pick it up. Even though my station wagon is ancient, I still don't wish to fill it full of manure. Really didn't have cash to rent a truck. But I knew someone with a farm pick-up that was going to be out of town for a week. So-I offered to house-sit for the week-(really tough, that-I picked up mail and newspapers, and watered some plants!) in exchange for use of the truck. So I got the free manure, plus I used the truck to move all sorts of things-mostly tree limbs, and mulch and compost, that sort of thing from here to there. (It always has to be moved-its never where you want it to be.) Its much cheaper to get a pick-up load of sand from the cement plant, than to buy it in individual bags from the hardware store, its also much cheaper to get bark mulch from the saw-mill instead bagged at the store. Lesson here- call around for best buys and buy in bulk! Another lesson-make a plan. I had a truck available, I needed to plan my time to make the best use of this resource. Fortunately, the weather co-operated and I got tons of things moved around that needed to be moved around. The garden beds are in great shape and it cost very little in cash. (Sweat equity was fairly high) Unfortunately, the inside of my house now looks like Godzilla has been crashing here, because I put housework on hold for the week.
Another great use of the truck-I helped an older couple move. And in return for that, I got three dozen canning jars, a metal trash can (I will use this to store pet food) a half dozen bed pads, a bag of mis-matched sheets and two comforters(which are great sick-room preps to have) a set of shelves, and a Fooze-ball table-this will be a great thing to keep the teens occupied during a SIP, especially if the grid goes down. The jars, the can and the shelves were all close to the top of my list of things to get, so I was very happy.
These are just a couple of ideas for cheap prepping. I'll post more as I have more time.