Hi Ferfal, I have been following your posts since the Frugal board eons ago and would like to thank you for your dedication and insightful contributions you've made over the years. IMHO no one can truly speculate what the future will hold but only by learning from someone's own experience can we truly educate ourselves and ultimately prepare.
On that note I must ask your advice on how best to prepare on an extremely limited budget. I am currently employed but make just enough to pay the bills, am living pay check to pay check and have a child on the way. I, like everyone else following your blog, know the value of protecting yourself and your family. Though being in tough times financially makes it difficult to save and maintain a sufficient cache of supplies.
Are there any alternative ways that I can start building a nest egg of supplies without going completely broke in the process? I currently have a months worth of freeze dried food (for one person) a .380 with 500 rds, a various minor emergency "tools" in case SHTF. I had to recently sell my .40 Taurus and collection of junk silver in order to pay the bills. I feel that if SHTF today i would be OK if it where just myself, but with a child on the way, I fear it is not enough. Being a family man I'm sure you can relate. Any advise would be much appreciated.
Thank you for your dedication,
Seems like you’ve been into survival and preparedness for some time now. The knowledge you’ve acquired is in itself pretty important.
Truth be told, other than some basic supplies you don’t really need much more. Food isn’t that expensive and even on a limited budget you can slowly work up towards a good food cache. Buying bulk on discount and using coupons even saves money compared to just going once a week or so and buying what you need for just a few days. I assure you that if you organize your purchases you’ll soon start saving money at the same time you stock up. Food is never wasted money, you’ll eat it anyway. Water is pretty cheap and you can use pop soda bottles, if you don’t drink much of those many food chain stores usually have perfectly fine food grade containers that they just throw away. Ask around and see if a manager will let you know when you can come by and pick them up. Some of the food grade containers these stores throw away have good lids and can be used for staple food storage as well.
While its important to work towards making more money or finding other sources of income you can still do a lot. Check out this post I wrote some time ago, Free Prepping http://ferfal.blogspot.com/2008/12/free-prepping.html
There’s lots of free stuff you can do.
Working out can be free, running or riding a bike is something you simply can do for no money at all, and getting into shape and staying healthy is one of the often overlooked aspects of survival and preparedness, yet so often neglected.
Improving your interpersonal relationship with your wife/kids/family/friends/ neighbors? Smiling and being nice to people is free last time I checked and SHTF or not you’ll be glad you’ve improved the relationships with the people in your life. Remember that a lot of living during tough times is coping with stress, its mostly a mental game, not a “how many tons of guns and ammo you have” game.
You’d be better off if you have just bought a Glock 9mm instead. First, its just the best gun money can buy, shoots cheap big bore ammo, and finally something that is of interest when in a tight budget: You can dry fire a Glock all day without problems. Not all guns are this reliable. If you can I’d sell the gun and ammo and buy a trade in Glock. 380 ACP is expensive so a gunstore or someone in a gunshow or pawn shop may be interested in trading. I’d much rather have a Glock and a box of good ammo that any 380 ACP and 500 rounds.
For some extra emergency cash, try looking around the house for stuff you simply don’t need and start selling it. Yard sale, ebay or pawshops, most houses have a good amount of stuff that simply isn’t getting used, and even if you don’t have much lying around I bet you could make a few extra hundred bucks.
A baby isn’t cheap, so it sounds like making more money is one of your priorities.
You can avoid a lot of spending by asking friends or family that have kids for some of the baby stuff they aren’t using any more. Its usually left in an attic in perfectly good shape just collecting dust and most folks will be glad to help out.
Baby clothes cost money, they need a lot of it and since they grow up so fast used baby clothes are in most cases in very good shape.
When it comes to stocking up food, work towards foodstuffs that can be eaten by the baby as well when he gets older. I’m thinking mostly porridge oats, powdered milk, cornmeal, wheat, canned vegetables, etc. Food that is adequate for babies is often very nutritious for adults as well. Fish and strawberries, those are usually the foods that the doctor allows when the baby gets older.
When we got married and had our first son, we where indeed in a tough budget and we did many of these things. I also remember that for some time meat was just too expensive for us, so my wife ate it when she was pregnant and I ate something else. Tough times.
Hope this helps some, take care and good luck!