Could You Use a Little Advice About Prepping on a Budget from a Master Scrounger?

Who couldn’t use a little advice about prepping on a budget? For new preppers especially, the whole prepping thing can become overwhelming and seem outrageously expensive.

But it doesn’t have to be. To talk about that with me on DestinySurvival Radio this week was Dennis Evers. Dennis has been on a couple of times before.

You may recall he’s the author of How to Handle a Crisis. He’s also a former police chief with a lengthy record of public service credentials. In addition, he has over thirty years of emergency planning experience.

By the way, he’s also the father of 11 children. So he knows something about the need for cutting corners on costs.

Like a couple of my other guests, Dennis feels a sense of urgency about pprepping. Anybody who’s thinking about it at all shouldn’t hesitate.

With the economy going as it is, Dennis says we’re in the midst of the storm now. It’s not something way out there in the future. If we measured unemployment as we used to in the past, the rate would be about 22%. The price of food and fuel are high and going higher.

Dennis lives about 25 miles from the big wildfires in Colorado that were happening at the time of this writing, and he could see massive plumes of smoke out his window. Surely, that’s a reminder of the need for preparedness, at least for those who are paying attention.

I asked Dennis his thoughts on a scenario I proposed. What should a prepping mom buy at Wal-Mart and the Dollar Store if she were given a check for $100.

Start with food. Buy in bulk, not the small cans or containers. That’s how you get more bang for your buck. Food on the shelf is like money in the bank.

Flour, rice, salt and beans are still cheap. Get tea, Kool-Aid and Tang to drink and maybe some hard candy for comfort food. Buy bottled water, too.

Rotate your purchases into your meals. Practice now for what might come later.

Buy soap, shampoo and toilet paper in bulk, too. Garbage bags are another versatile item to have.

Get a dehydrator and vacuum sealer to help preserve and store food you buy or prepare at home. If you can’t find what you’re looking for, several companies on this site have those items. Check out the Prep Mart.

Concerning medications, buy items like generic brand antibiotic and antifungal creams at the dollar store. The same thing sells for much more when prescribed by your doctor. Talk to your doctor about storing up an extra 30 day supply of your prescription medications.

If you’re looking for five gallon buckets for storing food and supplies, check with bakeries and restaurants. You might get some for free.

Dennis says he’s a master scrounger. His wife hates to see him go by dumpsters. He says he got steel piping for making fences from a business that would have had to pay someone to haul it off if he hadn’t taken it.

We also touched on back up power, batteries and lighting. Having light offers comfort and can take off the edge of fear.

As Dennis sees it, we need to get away from the mentality of using something once and throwing it away. Use it, rethink it and retask it.

Prepping doesn’t have to be terrifying. Dennis says this is the golden era of prepping. If you’re on the fence about doing it, jump off.

I had a fun time visiting with Dennis, and I invite you to listen to the whole interview with him on DestinySurvival Radio for June 21, 2012. He blogs at and He’ll answer your questions if you e-mail him at prepperpro(at) Replace (at) with @ when you type the e-mail address.


Author: John Wesley Smith

John Wesley Smith writes and podcasts from his home in Central Missouri. His goal is to help preppers as he continues along his own preparedness journey.

2 thoughts on “Could You Use a Little Advice About Prepping on a Budget from a Master Scrounger?”

  1. I would suggest that you buy fruit juice. The juice provides, calories, liquids, and vitamins. The empty containers are excellent for water storage. They don’t deteriorate like milk containers or like the cheap plastic that most purchased water comes in. You can also use the containers to store dry foods; beans, rice etc. It is better than leaving them in plastic or paper bags.

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