Preparedness shouldn’t cost a lot
You’ll need some equipment to get going and meet your gardening, food preservation or other preparedness goals. The list of equipment needed may seem daunting. You may be tempted to spend a lot on supplies or (worse!) you may quit before beginning because the list is so overwhelming. Please don’t! Instead, shop for your equipment at rummage sales, thrift stores, auctions and Craigslist. (From here on out, I will simplify all these places to buy used goods as “rummage sales”.)
First: make a list of must-haves
Not everything is essential. Make a list of things that are essential. Here is my list of essential equipment for canning. These are the things that I’ve found most indispensable for canning. There are some other items that are helpful but not essential. This is my B List of canning/food preserving equipment. The things on my B List are very useful–I use them a LOT and they save me a lot of time and work. But they are not essential.
When it comes to gardening, here is my list of the 12 most important things to have.
And finally, 72-hour kits. Hopefully you will never need to use your 72-hour kits, so please don’t spend a lot of money on equipment for the kits. Look for camping equipment (e.g. mess kits, sleeping bags, backpacks, flashlights, even clothing) at rummage sales.
Note: Even though I give links to buy these items in these posts, you should first look for them at rummage sales. You’ll save so much money buying used.
Second: set a budget
Don’t break the bank! Decide how much you can afford to spend each week and set that money aside in an envelope. Take that envelope with you when you got rummage sale shopping. If you don’t find what you need this week, set it aside and use next week.
Third: make a strategy
Start making a routine to check all used outlets. Check Craigslist daily. Check a handful of rummage sales every weekend. Try to stop by your favorite thrift stores at least once a month to see what’s new. Here are some strategies for getting the most out of rummage sale shopping.
Take advantage of all the rummage sales and auctions going on this summer and get the best prices for the equipment you need for preparedness.