The 5 Most Expensive Preps I Own

There are varying degrees of preparedness, and preppers for that matter. Each of us live in different parts of the country, where diverse natural and man-made disasters influence our decisions to prepare. In all honesty, it doesn’t matter what part of America (or the world) we live in, we see a need to prepare and we are responsible enough to do what needs to be done.

Personally, my overall goal in being prepared is to be ready for a long-term grid down disaster. That being the case, my family is taking steps to acquire supplies and tools that involve a more all-emcompassing emergency supply in order to be self-reliant.

5 Most Expensive Preps

There are times in our quest for preparedness where each of us will see the need to invest in certain preparedness items that are expensive, but necessary for our survival. Before any monetary investment is made, my husband and I discuss the importance of the item, why we need the investment, if it is versatile, and how it can benefit us in an emergency. Our stored food supply is the largest investment we have made thus far, however, I believe that you are more interested in the other items we have invested in. So without further adieu, here are the 5 most expensive items we have purchased:

  1. Undisclosed – Firearms and ammunition
  2. $750 – Custom-made copper still made
  3. $429 + extra parts – Country Living Grain Mill
  4. $285 – Royal Berkey Water Filtration System
  5. $200 – 21 quart American Pressure Cooker.

5 Cheapest Preps 

To be clear, I need you to understand that I am not made of money. Like most of you, my family had to sacrifice a great deal to get the items we have stored away. We cannot always afford the “best of the best” so to speak and are always on the lookout for great deals. We typically go to stores such as the $1 store or to Big Lots to see if we can find some good deals or wait until the end of the season to sweep up on clearance deals. That being said, here are 5 of the cheapest preps we have found so far:

  1. $1-$5 – Homesteading and preparedness resources from discounted book stores.
  2. $5 – 2 cases of canning jars from Craigslist.
  3. $1 Emergency sewing kit for the bug out bags from a craft store.
  4. $.50 Macaroni and cheese  on clearance at a grocery store.
  5. Free fabric that someone was giving away.

5 Homemade Preps

One of the greatest gifts we can give ourselves is the knowledge of how to survive on our own. The end result is the satisfaction of knowing that I have learned skills to keep my family’s needs met.

  1. Survival bars
  2. Water proof matches – Re-purpose spent candles by melting  them down and dipping the matches into them.
  3. Fire starters
  4. Refrigeration
  5. Homemade stove

The Prepper's Blueprint

Tess Pennington is the author of The Prepper’s Blueprint, a comprehensive guide that uses real-life scenarios to help you prepare for any disaster. Because a crisis rarely stops with a triggering event the aftermath can spiral, having the capacity to cripple our normal ways of life. The well-rounded, multi-layered approach outlined in the Blueprint helps you make sense of a wide array of preparedness concepts through easily digestible action items and supply lists.

Tess is also the author of the highly rated Prepper’s Cookbook, which helps you to create a plan for stocking, organizing and maintaining a proper emergency food supply and includes over 300 recipes for nutritious, delicious, life-saving meals. 

Visit her web site at for an extensive compilation of free information on preparedness, homesteading, and healthy living.

This information has been made available by Ready Nutrition

Originally published February 14th, 2012
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  • Mike

    Good article Tess,
    I would rate my most expensive preps as:
    1 – reverse osmosis water maker
    2 – solar panel system
    3 – wind generator
    4 – firearms
    Cheapest are:
    1 – seed sprouting supplies
    2 – solar battery charger

  • Nice list, Mike. Once we get to our permanent homesteading location, solar panels are next on our list. 🙂

  • Jim

    #1  Plenty “o” booze when the SHTF first!

  • Renee

    I’m new to prepping and it would help me understand prepping more if you told me why you need everything on this list, what its purpose is, etc. I understand most of the list, but what do you need a ‘still’ for?

    • Hi Renee,

      With a still you have the ability to a few different things in a long-term emergency. You can: distill water, produce fuel-grade ethanol, alcohol for consumption, and make medical antiseptic. So, with all of it’s uses, it’s a pretty good deal. If any of you are interested, here is the website:

  • A great list. I am a fan of the distiller myself. Making some really amazing medicine. Hoping someday to utilize one of those units in the process. Shared with my groups. Please continue the Great data! Thank you! Kudo’s!

  • Creole

    If those are your 5 most expensive preps, then you will surely die or be enslaved.

  • Hi Creole –

    I think it’s safe to say that prepping is one of those things that is on going. Obviously, I am not finished in my prepping endeavors, there is still so much for to do before I would consider myself “self reliant.” However, I continue to educate myself and others so that as a collective whole, we will be prepared. I would also like to add that with the preparedness items I possess, I will be much better off than someone who isn’t prepared at all.


  • AJ


    Please explain what you mean by “If those are your 5 most expensive preps, then you will surely die or be enslaved.”  Thank you. 

  • countrygirl

    most expensive
    1. firearms, assorted and ammunition
    2. silver
    3. grain mill

    Least expensive
    1. lessons learned
    2. information from the internet
    3. all american pressure cooker, given to me to fix up, but didn’t need any fixing

    My biggest money sinks are probably, food, medical items and books

  •        A cheap resource I don’t see here is solar ovens.  My home town San Diego has a solar cooking club where I learned how to make my own solar oven.  Cost me $25 (mostly for reflective duct tape from Home Depot) plus 3 or 4 hours of time.  My small solar oven gets up to 300 to 350 degrees.  It takes me three hours to bake a small loaf of bread but I use zero resources doing it.  Excellent back up system.

  • Nice list.  Lists like these remind me of how much more I have to get done.

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