Emergency preparedness from a Counterintelligence Agent

Prepping on a Budget: How To Save Money This Holiday Season

(Guest Post)

It’s almost Christmas time, and we all know what that means:

Spending LOTS of money.

Between Christmas gifts, special events, and hosting your entire family, expenses add up faster than you can say “Happy Holidays.” So how do you keep on prepping amid a holiday spending spree? Read on for some tried and true methods to prep, even on a budget.

Figure Out Your Budget

The first step in prepping on a budget is to figure out exactly how much money you’re dealing with. The steps you take to continue prepping during the holidays are going to look different if you’re dealing with $5 vs. $50 vs. $150.

Figuring out how much money you’re planning to use specifically for prepping during the holidays is an essential part of the process. Having a budget will help you spend wisely and avoid those frivolous, but oh-so-fun purchases. Once you have a budget, move on to the next step: prioritizing.


Unless you’ve been saving up for a while, you probably won’t be able to get all of the items below. But that’s okay. You’re not supposed to go out and purchase every item in the next two months. The point is to maximize your budget as much as possible by finding ways to do so with the items on this list.

So prioritize your needs to figure out what things you’ll plan to pick up amidst the holiday rush. If your priority is saving on big-ticket items like a 6.5 creedmoor scope, then be on the lookout for optic sales. If you want to focus on everyday things like food and hygiene products, watch for deals and coupons. The idea isn’t to buy extra just because you’re in the store. You’ll want to take advantage of sales that maximize your budget during the holidays.

Food Supplies

Increasing your food supplies is probably the simplest thing to do over the holidays. You’re already in the store, shopping bargain-food deals. While you’re there, add extras of the sale items you’re going to purchase anyway. Here’s your food prep hit-list for while you’re out grocery shopping:

Water Supplies

Don’t forget the water! Food is great, but you won’t be able to survive that long without water. Stock up on gallon-sized jugs and add them to your stash. Watch for Black Friday or exclusive holiday sales for deals on long-term water containers. You’ll need these eventually. Purchasing them on a sale will save you more in the long-run.

Hygiene Supplies

Hygiene often gets forgotten when prepping, but it’s an essential part of your list. If you’re stuck in one location and can’t get to the store, you’ll need hygiene essentials. While these items don’t often go on sale, be on the lookout for brand name coupons during the holidays. Coupons are a great way to save a few extra dollars on products you’d purchase anyway. Here’s your hygiene hit-list when couponing during the holidays:

First Aid Supplies

In an emergency, you never want to be lacking in first aid supplies. You could end up being your own doctor for a while, so be sure you have supplies to seal up cuts, cool burns, and treat allergies. You can usually find these items sold in kits, and if you’re careful, you can score a good deal on one during holiday sales. This isn’t something you go to Walmart for. Check prepping and outdoor supply websites for the best holiday deals available. If you’re assembling your own kit, here’s what you’ll need:

  • Tylenol
  • Ibuprofen
  • Benadryl
  • Sterile patches
  • Alcohol wipes
  • Disinfectant
  • Assorted bandaids
  • Tweezers
  • Gauze
  • Sling
  • Compression bandages
  • Tourniquet
  • Splints
  • Mylar blankets

Cooking, Heating, and Light

At this point, you have your food, but you’ll need something to cook it in. You also want to stay warm and see what you’re doing. This category is where you can hit some of the best deals and sales during the holidays. Check prepping sites and outdoor gear stores for the best deals on these items:

Personal and Home Protection Supplies

If you’ve been waiting to purchase that Glock 19, now might be the time to do it. While it’s going to be a higher-ticket item on your list, you could save a couple of hundred dollars purchasing your self-defense protection now. Black Friday sales are going to net you your most significant savings, but pre and post-holiday sales can help you save a bundle as well.

Miscellaneous Items

While the above list certainly covers most of the essentials, there are plenty of other supplies that are important but often forgotten. These items are great to shop for during the holiday because they’re usually on sale.

Final Note

By planning out your budget and prioritizing the items you want to pick up during the holidays, you’ll be able to save a bundle while increasing your stash. No matter how much or little you have to work with, you’ll be able to do something this season. And if you’ve been prepping for any length of time, you know that something is always better than nothing.

Author Bio:

Richard Douglas is survivalist and firearms nut. He’s work has appeared on large publications like The National Interest, Daily Caller, American Shooting Journal, and more. He’s also the founder of Scopes Field, a blog where he reviews various firearms and optics.

Graywolf: Here are a couple additional things you might not have thought of that I just got:

  • GooseFeet Gear goose down socks. I call them booties but they’re apparently socks. If you do any cold weather camping – especially in a hammock – these things are wonderful. I spent a year on a sailboat and the winter got to 17 degrees. A pair of these made a huge difference. Much better than any wool socks I’ve tried.

  • Skeeter-Beater magnetic mosquito screen for your vehicle (I have one of these for my 4runner – it’s great for car camping).

  • Camping Hammock (I have one of these Blue Ridge camping hammocks. It can be used as a tent as well and it even has a bathtub bottom).

About graywolfsurvival.com

I am a former federal agent and military veteran who has deployed to combat theaters in Africa, Iraq and Afghanistan and have almost three decades of military and military contracting experience.

My goal is to help families to understand how to intelligently protect their family and their way of life against real threats, without all the end-of-the-world doomsday crap.

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