The Phaserl


How To Be Prepared When You’re Dead Broke

by Ken Jorgustin, Modern Survival Blog:

f you’re ‘broke’, but breathing, while you may be strapped for cash – you’re still eating – because you’re not dead 😉

If you wish to become better prepared (for disaster, SHTF, etc..), although you’re short on cash, there are some things that you can do to help yourself for your preparedness:

(UPDATED and re-posted for your further comments and help towards others in this situation)

First, it’s not always about having the extra cash to buy preps, it’s often about your own awareness, ingenuity, creativeness, and adaptability to offset risks that come your way and/or to find unique solutions to problems (e.g. while being short of cash).

You will be better prepared (in general) by simply recognizing and understanding the risks – since most other people have little or no clue. Research, learn, look around, listen, be observant, have situational awareness, and think – critical thinking. It’s all free. Having knowledge of the risks around you, puts you a step ahead of the rest and will steer you in the right direction for making a plan to mitigate those risks.

Having the mindset to adapt and change to SHTF circumstances is extremely important to stay steps ahead of the rest – many of whom will be stuck in indecision or disbelief for awhile. Become comfortable with change. Mind over matter. It’s free.

Learn skills which support the notion of being prepared. Focus on practical skills and/or hands-on skills which enable you to ‘do it yourself’ and things that help sustain your life. You don’t always need money to learn new things. Seek out others with the skills you desire and learn from them (volunteer your time to help them, show interest, apprentice, etc.)

Are you trying to build a food storage, but you don’t have the extra cash? Think again… Adjust your eating habits and food-purchase habits so that you can build a food storage. It’s easier than you may think, but it will require some changes to your current diet and grocery shopping behavior.

Chances are that you could significantly increase your food-cash-savings or the quantity of food that you’re bringing home by being smart and practical about what you buy.

You may not like it, but you can learn to like it – eat foods that cost less – enabling you to store more of it. For example, an article titled Cheap Breakfast For Surviving Hard Times describes one way how you could eat a breakfast (serving) for just 10 cents! (or thereabouts). If you were to adopt this breakfast for say, 3 months, and if your ‘typical’ breakfast had been costing you $3.00, you would save $260. You can buy a lot of food storage with that money, and that’s just using a breakfast substitute!

You could switch to a powdered milk alternative and potentially cut your milk costs in half. You could eat more rice and beans, which have seemingly endless possibilities of variations with other spices and add-ons. Eat less processed foods (which almost always costs more), and learn to cook more from scratch. Use coupons. Buy on sale. Buy in bulk. Buy store brands.

Besides shopping food smart, learn how to be frugal in everything that you do. Always question every purchase that you’re about to make. Do you ‘need’ it? Are there less expensive alternatives? Is there a ‘dollar store’ near you? Ever considered buying clothes at the Good Will center or a thrift store? You will be amazed at the bargains. Get over your desire to dress with the newest of clothes and styles – don’t fall for the marketing BS.

These are just some of the ways that you could enable yourself, even if you’re ‘broke’.

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2 comments to How To Be Prepared When You’re Dead Broke

  • Craig Escaped Detroit

    “Dumpster diving” behind grocery markets, “Farmer’s markets”, and Bakeries will often yield LOTS of things to eat, and for the food that is either TOO old, contaminated, rotted, you can gather those “inedible” things to gather the SEEDS from them for PLANTING in your garden, AND you can throw all the dozens of pounds of rotted food, onto your COMPOST pile to make your garden grow.

    I have actually gone dumpster diving quite a number of time, also, those big COMMERCIAL containers used at demolition sites, and I’ve found things like this:
    25 pound sack of turnips (some still very good, others soft or bad, but what was not edible, was either plantable or compostible.

    At the bakery, I was amazed at all the breads, cakes and doughnuts (and YELLOW JACKETS & bird droppings, etc). But I was able to find some uncontaminated good things, and the bad pastry products and bread are GREAT for the compost pile (or to feed to some pigs).

    Behind RESTAURANTS you can find un-eaten scraps of dinner items, rolls, salads, etc, but this is much more risky because everything has been touched or slobbered on, but hey, if you are starving, then your very life may depend upon eating out of garbage cans.

    In many dumpsters, I’ve found useful materials for around the house. I’ve found LUMBER scraps, partial sheets of sheetrock, some wiring, outlet boxes, scrap metal, and the 5 gallon buckets with left over sheetrock MUD (joint compound).

    There are any number of stories of people who built their homes mostly using scavenged materials from town dumps, dumpsters and demolition discards. Door, window, appliances, tools, screws, nails, working (old) TV’s, vacuum cleaners, repairable lawn mowers, etc.

    Surviving is always MUCH more possible when you get MORE creative & desperate. Never stop thinking or inventing. How can I “re=-purpose” this or that.

    Oh, and when rental houses or abandoned homes, etc, get “cleaned out”, you’d be amazed at finding plenty of clothing, often finding still “fresh” CANNED goods, cooking pans. I was able to find (clean and save) about 100 Mason jars, and 2 pressure canners in about 18 months of scavenging.

    At least half a dozen times, I’ve seen “curb shopping” opportunities (rental home cleanout), with a dozen or more unopened CASES of adult diapers. Each case has 12 retail packs of diapers/pads (and in the Drug stores, each pack sells for about $15-$20.) SO each “CASE” has a retail value of $150-$200.

    Baby strollers, child car seats, etc.

    Adult diapers? Anybody who plans on living past 65, might be a good idea to have some of them “in stock” because if you really throw your back out, break a leg, hip, pelvis, operations, or get the super flu… WHAT EVER REASON makes NO difference, because if YOU or somebody you LOVE is laid up in bed for a month, then you’ll really need those adult pads until you are well enough to walk around.

    You can always DONATE them to charity, 2nd hand shop, or needy person, or SELL them at a discount and use the money for OTHER PREPS.

    Discarded bikes, are good for spare parts, or you can use the parts to make a “bike trailer” or garden cart.

    Old Washing machines & Driers, you can use the round TUB as a COMPOST BIN, or, if it has a STEEL TUB, it will make a good FIRE PIT.

    I use an old steel tub, as storage for my garden hoses and INVERT it to keep the sunshine-UV rays from killing the vinyl, and preventing wild animals from chewing on it.

    Old satellite dish, cover it with reflective mylar etc, and you’ve got a SOLAR fire starter or a cooker for a can of beans, etc.

    Old CAR tires make great POTATO TOWERS (Google it and be amazed!!!) Vertical gardening AND because they are black, they get warm in the sun (and the dirt gets warmed) and extends your growing season.

    OK, now get out there and SURVIVE.

    • Ed_B

      “… you can gather those “inedible” things to gather the SEEDS from them for PLANTING in your garden…”

      Yes, you can. But understand that many of these foods are from hybrid seeds that are not fertile and won’t grow. I suggest recovering the seeds and then trying to sprout them to see if they will grow if planted. If they sprout, there is a good chance that they will grow when planted.

      Potatoes… planted in a trash can filled with compost works great. Just plant in layers. As one layer sprouts and starts to show some leaves, add another layer of compost. Do this all the way to the top of the trash can. Once the barrel is full, just water occasionally. When the tops collapse and dry out, tip the barrel over and out will come several dozen lbs of nice potatoes… and all with no digging! 😉

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