Whether you’ve just started to learn about preparing or you’ve been interested for a while, everyday expenses can sometimes make it difficult to really start getting prepared the way you would like to. One easy way to get started is to use your tax refund to either seriously get started with preparing or to make a larger purchase that supplements the preparations that you do have.
I did this! Several years ago, I used my little tax refund to buy a bunch of emergency preparedness supplies. Back then, I didn’t really know what I should buy, so I just got stuff that sounded like it would be useful in an emergency. I got a pre-made 72-hour kit, a car emergency kit, a tiny tent, a sleeping bag, a portable “emergency” shower and a backpacking backpack. That was all I had for emergencies! If I were starting again, I would do things a little differently.
Have you had the same great idea? Are you thinking of spending your tax refund to either start getting prepared or improve your preparations? If I were starting again, this is how I would use a tax refund to prepare myself.
There are a few things you’ll want to think about as you read my recommendations.
How many people are you preparing for? Start with the smallest number that makes sense. So, for example, if you are married and you have two kids, I would probably start with the number “four” for some things, while there may be some items that you don’t initially purchase for everyone. If you already have enough stuff for the people depending on you, you may choose to prepare for other people who are not always under your charge, but could be in an emergency.
How prepared are you now? If you’ve already started preparing, you will likely be able to skip some items.
What quality of preparedness items do you want? Most needs can be met in a variety of different ways. I would rather have a flashlight and batteries from a dollar store than no flashlight and batteries, but if I can, I’m going to splurge a little and get a good flashlight and some better batteries that claim they will keep their charge for longer.
All right, here we go!
1 – Water always comes first.
(Download our free eBook: Storing Water: The Ultimate Guide.) The seven-gallon Reliance brand jugs for water storage are a great choice and are usually about $17 each. Plan on one gallon of water per day per person and work up to at least three gallons per person (or three days of water) before you move on to any other preparedness item. Although 55 gallon barrels seem like a great preparedness item, it is more difficult to store, rotate and use water stored in such large containers. Very seriously consider buying a Berkey water filter. My family use ours daily and the water is delicious; we are also happy to know that we will be able to clean water in the event of an emergency.
2 – Food always comes second.
Start with three days of food and then work up to a week, a month, three months, and then a year.
3 – Have a 72-hour kit for each person.
You can find pre-made 72-hour kits for about $30-40 per person or you can make your own 72-hour kit for less money. Be sure to include food and water, a first aid kit, a flashlight and batteries, a whistle to signal for help, a dust mask, plastic sheeting and duct tape (for sheltering-in-place), moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties (for personal sanitation), and a wrench or pliers to turn off utilities.
So if you’re new to prepping but want to get started, here are some recommendations based on the size of your tax return.
√ 2 water storage jugs – $34
√ 2-Week Family Grab-N-Go – $449.95 Now on Sale for $359.96!!!
√ Air-Aid Emergency Masks – $29.95
√ 6-Month Food Supply (Individual) – $999.95 Now on Sale for $799.97!!!
√ Berkey Light® water filter – $261.95
√ 3-Month Family Food Pack – $1999.95
√ 1-Year Food Supply (Individual) – $1999.95 Now on Sale for $1599.96!!!
√ Liberty Unit/Soy Free Liberty Unit(s) – $1799.95
√ 6-Month Family Food Pack – $3899.95 Now on Sale for $3119.96!!!
√ 1-Year Family Food Pack – $7499.95 Now on Sale for $5999.96!!!
If you’ve already got the basics, you might consider adding solar power to your preps:
√ Humless Lion Energy L-1500 Solar Energy Package $3499.95 Now on Sale for $2799.96!!!
Or, you might enhance your existing preps with grain and an electric grain mill:
√ 444 Pounds of Wheat ($559.95)
√ Family Grain Mill with Motor ($278.95)
Not a bad investment, if you consider that not only is it a form of insurance, but it is also a delicious option for dinner!
For more suggestions on how to save and prepare, read What to Buy in April to Save Money and be Prepared.