My $200 Prepper Shopping Spree

November 3rd, 2013 . by Felix

$200 Worth of Prepping Supplies

Last week I sold a few things on Ebay. If you are looking to raise extra cash for your preps selling your stuff on ebay and Cragislist is a great way. After paying the bills I still had some cash left over so I thought I would put it towards my preps. My budget was around $200 and I wanted to get as much bang for the buck as possible. My goal was not to buy absolutely everything I need because the world is ending tomorrow but to add to preps I already had and fill in a few gaps of items I was missing. Some people reading this may wonder why didn’t you buy this or that. It was probably because I already have it or that will be on another shopping trip or it doesn’t fit my needs. What you choose to buy will fit your needs and prepping goals. You might spend $200 totally different than I did.

Whether you have been prepping for some time or decided you should be better prepared after watching American Blackout the biggest question on everyone’s mind is always what do I buy and how much? For any new prepper it can be very overwhelming and if you are on a tight budget it makes buying decisions even more difficult. I thought a budget of $200 was doable for most people. Even if your budget is only $50 or maybe you have an extra $500 the following should give you some ideas.

With that in mind I chose to shop at the following stores since they were all in close proximity to each other. They are Fleet Farm, Gander Mt., Costco, Menards, and Aldi. I also stopped at a couple of thrift stores but didn’t find anything worth buying. I was looking at some cheap candles to melt down for the wax to make fire starters but decided to pass at this time. In the back of my mind I had specific things I was looking for at each store but was open to whatever I found. Here is what my $200 bought:

Fleet Farm

My first stop was Fleet Farm. I like Fleet Farm because they carry items other stores don’t have especially hunting and fishing equipment. This time of year hunting ammo is in pretty good supply but everything else is still missing from the shelves.

2 boxes of 30-30 ammo (on sale for $14.39)
Gun Cleaning kit (on sale for $6.99)
4.5-gallon water container (on sale for $4.99)
1 jar of peanut butter
2 packages of dry soup
Don’t usually buy grocery items at Fleet Farm but they were on sale. Sometimes you can find great deals in unusual locations.

Gander Mountain

I don’t shop this store that much since their prices seem a bit high but I do like to go look and check things out. After wandering around a bit I found some 00 buck 12 gauge shotgun shells on sale.

2 boxes 00 buck 12 gauge shotgun shells (on sale for $14.99, reg. $19.99)

As I continued to walk around looking at stuff I remembered I had a gift card in my wallet. Thought I had already used most of it but there was still enough to cover the $32.12 cost


This is a store where preppers love to buy in bulk. This trip I wasn’t as interested in buying large quantities because it would of blown my budget pretty quick. Too often it is easy to fill up your cart and then get hit with sticker shock at the register. Also I prefer to buy smaller quantities for reasons I outlined in my previous articles How Much Survival Food Do You Need and Prepping and Survival Food Storage Tips for Singles, Couples and Small Families. Know your prices, the warehouse clubs may not always offer the best deal. If your family size supports larger quantities then it may be a good value. A couple of things I was looking for they no longer carry but here is what I bought:

2 cases of water $3.49 each
12 pack of Annie’s Mac and Cheese. I know you can buy mac and cheese for .39¢ a box but with Annie’s you don’t get all the artificial flavors and colors of other products. $11.99 for 12 boxes
2 pack Ibuprofen 500 tablets each (on sale for $6.59)
14 pack D size batteries (On Sale for $11.89)
2 pack Duracell High Intensity Led Flashlights ($24.99)


Menards often has good sales but their rebates are a pain so watch the prices. Menards isn’t a place you think for buying food but they do stock it. As soon as I walked in the door they had a display of products so I had to buy them because the prices were decent.

Hunts Hickory BBQ sauce .75¢
2 cans Chunk Chicken $1.75 each
1 large can Chunk Chicken $2.25
When buying food at stores other than grocery stores always check the expiration dates, you don’t want to buy stuff that has been sitting around forever.
3 packages Cheddar Cheese Sauce mix. $1.19 each Seems like Menards is the only place I can find this.
5 gallon gas can (on sale for $8.99)
20 pack of N95 respirators (On clearance for $7.99)


If you have an Aldi store near you this is a great store for prepping on a budget. Most all items are their own brand and package sizes are generally smaller but the prices reflect that. Aldi is a great store for stocking up on the basics.

Saltines (just because I was out)
Instant Mashed Potato
Stuffing mix
Pure Maple Syrup
Old Fashion Oats
Beef Stew
3 cans Chunk Tuna
All purpose Flour
Peanut Butter
2 cans Mushroom soup
Strawberry Jam
4 cans mushrooms
2 cans Roast Beef and Gravy
Elbow Macaroni
Nonfat Dry Milk
Diced Tomatoes
2 Iodized table salt
2 cans Mandarin Oranges
Cooked Can Ham
Organic Pasta Sauce
Alfredo Sauce
Vegetable Oil
4lbs Sugar
3lbs Rice

Total $60.24

You will notice I didn’t buy too many multiples of items. I was adding to what I already have, not really stocking up.

In Conclusion

I actually came in under $200 at $197.36. Since I had a gift card for Gander Mountain my out of pocket costs were under $200. If I had to pay cash for the 12 gauge shells then I would have gone over by around $30. I think I picked up some good deals, filled in some gaps and added to my overall prepping goals. As you can see you can actually get a lot by shopping around and looking for items on sale. That is probably the best way to approach prepping. Don’t try and buy everything at once. Buy a few extra items every week, every month and before long you will have what you need. It would be very easy to go to any of these stores and drop several hundred dollars; the real challenge is sticking to your budget and not get carried away. When I was at Gander Mountain I saw a flashlight for $399. Now I am sure it is a high quality product but a purchase like that could blow anyone’s budget in a hurry and not leave anything left over for other prepping supplies. The other thing I was doing as I was wandering the aisles was making a mental note of ideas for future purchases and also comparing prices. If you have a good idea on what things cost it would allow you to know when you are really getting the best price.

So put together a list of what you need, the stores to shop at and a budget and then stick to it. The good news is Black Friday is only a few weeks away. That will be the time to score some great deals for your preps.

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