Single mother here and a public school system victim LOL...
Money? What money?
I scrounge. My packs are second hand and cost next to nothing. I am very careful about quality though. I don;'t have the money to continually replace
cheap items so I save and buy better quality. in a pinch you'd be surprised what may be useful in a situation X.
I don;t have a lot of room either. I am an apartment dweller and have the luxury of one spare closet and in my kitchen I have a lot of base cabinets
that can't really be used for anything...so I store water and first aid as well as extra odds and ends I may need.
Being broke is a great lesson in improvising.
Buying used has no drawbacks provided you inspect items carefully for wear and tear and other issues.
Over the course of several years I've built up a good set of emergency packs. Things with shelf life get rotated and used. The foodstuffs are things
we normally eat anyway so when they get close to expiry I bring 'em out and replace them in the next grocery run or two.
It is a bit frustrating having gear sitting around that's not being used but I'm thankful that it's there if and when it's needed.
I have smaller packs and general first aid kits that get used and restocked on a regular basis. The stored ones do not. Kind of an irritant having
spent the money for the supplies...but again...I have to look at the non-situation X emergencies that my area is prone to. Flooding, wind storms,
rain, snow and hail storms, earthquakes and Tsunamis as well as. Better safe than sorry, and I have a kid to think about as well (albeit a grown kid
still living at home).
If you take stock of what's in your larder, your clothes closets and your tool box (if you have one) you can make a mental list of items that may
prove handy in an emergency if you don;t want to build up an emergency kit and store it.
best thing to do is to keep your daily staples up to snuff (extra food for at least a few days - stuff that doesn't require water or electric to
Keep your laundry and dishes done.
LOL...nothing worse than needing that pair of pants in an emergency only to find them dirty and sitting under wet towels in the laundry basket...or
the pot you need to boil water is sitting on the counter with dried mac and cheese inside it...
Invest in a multi tool...they can be bought relatively cheaply second hand or hint like mad that it's what you want for Xmas or birthday LOL. Most
things you will find useful don;t actually take up a lot of room and can be used as you go along...just make sure you replace items as they are used,
or as they wear out.
The stuff you use everyday should be regularly replaced and it wouldn't hurt to add a few items to each shopping list just to have on hand.
Tinfoil, Plastic wrap, bleach, baggies, matches or lighters, large garbage bags and small garbage bags, wire, string,elastic bands, safety pins...that
kind of thing (if you don;t already have them...)
Just about anything you have already can be used in a pinch if you're resourceful and have some basic idea of survival needs for your area.
The uses for basic household stuffs are too many to go into a slough of examples.
There are those who will plan in advance and those who will plan as needed and those who will wait for someone else to do it for them LOL.
google " household items for survival" and you'll get quite a lot of info and tips for on the fly survival.
As one who is generally one step or less ahead of living in a cardboard box LOL...I can definitely see the frustration in spending money on items that
won;t be used for immediate survival - like day to day life.
For me I had to really struggle to make the commitment to the idea and then struggle to make allowances in the budget to accommodate the plan. Still
Once the money is spent though it's spent and us broke folks make do.
Would be nice to have a disposable income but that's just not the case for many.
best advice I can offer if you don;t want to commit to making an emergency pack is just to make sure your basic needs will be covered for up to a
week. Know what you have and what it might be good for, learn a few skills for survival (they cost nothing and require no storage space