Prepping on $50 a paycheck - Period 1

I know I am going to be assuming that we all get paid every 2 weeks, and I know some are on a monthly schedule, and some on a weekly schedule.  Simply adjust your budgeting accordingly (examples later)

Setting aside $50 every 2 weeks for prepping might be a bit of a struggle for some of us, but it is something we need to do.  If you can't do $50 each pay period, then do $25.  It simply means you will take twice the amount of time to cover all that we'll be talking about here.

If you can't do $25 per period, then do what you can - and adjust the timing accordingly.

Also, if you are paid once a week, or once a month, simply adjust the amounts.  Once a week, would be $25 per period... and you simply wait until you've accumulated the $50 for the item that we're talking about.  If it's once a month, simply take the $50 multiply by 26 (26 periods in a year) and divide by 12 (12 month in a year).  that's the amount that you want to budget every month for this project.  Yes, it actually comes to over $100 per month.  Trust me on this.  This is the way it will work.

For our first purchases, we are going to buy some page protectors, a 3 ring binder, and a Sharpie (or generic felt tip marker).  We'll get to why and what to do with them in a bit.  A total expense of about $10.

What, pray tell, are we going to spend the left over $40 on?

Well, we're going to put it into our prepping cash envelope for the next period.  This is because what is coming up is going to require more than $40.  So save that until the next paycheck.

As for our page protectors and binder...  Your homework assignment for the next two weeks is to inventory your pantry, writing down everything you can on sheets of paper divided into 3 columns.

At the top of the first column put the label "Description", the second column, "Expires", and the third column, "Quantity."

Yes, I know you might have multiples of the same item that expire on different dates - the idea here is to order them so that the ones that have the earliest expiration dates are first in the list, and later ones follow it.  That way you can mark them differently if you'd like.

This works really well if you take list, in no particular order, and then enter it into a spreadsheet, like Excel.  Then you can sort them based on the item Description, and secondarily on the Expires column.  Once that's done you can print it out, which means it's very readable, and place it in page protectors in the binder.  When you use one of the items, be sure to adjust the "Quantity" on the sheet.

When you go shopping, you can use this to determine what you used (and need to replace) and what you want to add to your pantry of supplies.  Also, enter it back into the spreadsheet (if that's how you're doing it) and re-print and replace the ones you have.

Yes, you'll use more paper this way, but it does make keeping your list updated a bit easier. If you REALLY want to go all out, use the spreadsheet for "marking off" the items you've used (adjusting quantities), but, the hard copy will be handy in a grid down, power lost scenario.

The other item to put in the binder during this period is your emergency plan.

I work on ours using a word processor (like Word), so that as I think of things I can add them or update the document with some additional info, and then reprint, if needed.  It took me about a week to get mine to the point that I felt it wasn't going to change every other day and I could print it out.

This document covers things like, what the plan is if you are apart from your loved ones when "The Event" happens (do you all head for the BOL? or they stay put and you try to get to them, and then bug out?, etc...).  It also covers other scenarios, and has things like who to contact outside of the emergency area, if need be; what things are absolutely necessary in the event you need to get out of dodge, etc...

This way, when the SHTF happens, and everyone is running around in a panic, fogetting what to do, all you have to remember is "go look at the binder"

Last modified on 2012-08-16 by jhasz