There are many other ways to save money and spend nothing on prepping.
FORAGING is huge among many, especially those wishing to not spend much money. OK, I can hear you all now - "We live in the city - nowhere to forage". WRONG! There are many ways to forage in the city as well as the country.
First when foraging you might want to educate yourself on edible plants either by reading articles on the web, watching videos, or reading books from the library. Check you area, as there may be FREE classes offered at parks or your county extension office. Maybe find a mentor!
There isn't a lot of calories in most foraged foods, except nuts. They should be considered supplemental foods and most are full of vitamins.
If you start foraging to save money or to simply help feed your hungry family - you will never look at a weed the same way. There are many that a very high in vitamins.
Dandelions, plantain, clover, roses, wild onion and chives, wild mustard, and even thistle are just a few of the plants you can eat and use for medicinal means.
Also consider nasturtiums, violets, squash blooms, etc. DO RESEARCH!
Rose flowers and petals are edible and they are pretty in a salad. Rose hips (part left after flower falls off) is full of vitamin C. Clover can be eaten in salad and the very bottom end of flower has a bit of honey like sweetness (would be wonderful if no sugar). All parts of dandelions is usable. Golly the list goes on and on.
Fruit and nut trees are a wonderful find. Notice if neighbors have trees and do not use the fruits. ASK! They may just say take it. Check you parks and very wild areas for nut trees (pick off the ground) and even wild berry plants. You can use fruit for sauces, jelly and jams, or for canning or freezing or dehydrating.
It is almost wild mushroom time in our area. That is HUGE in the Midwest. You do need to know what to look for - you don't want to kill someone! I am not trying to scare anyone - but you DO need to be EDUCATED!! Mushrooms can be froze, canned, or dehydrated for later use.
Learn to fish and hunt. Fishing is a rather inexpensive hobby and can be a lot of family fun. Free meat is always a plus. Hunting takes a bit more but if you already have a rifle or shotgun or bow, you can follow the seasons. I know this isn't for everyone (I'd have to be awful hungry to kill something), but many do it and it has been a way of life throughout history. There is also trapping, which I have only seen on TV - so read up on your options.
Blackberries and wild grapes grow in lots of woody areas.
If you have access to wild berries or nuts and you can get them in abundance - you might consider selling them at farm markets (using money for other items) or using them to barter for other goods.
At the end of growing seasons check with local farmers and see if you can glean from their fields. Gleaning is picking up and using all the 'falls' that the farmer doesn't want or can't sell. Yes, you may have to trim it up or even throw some away - but FREE is FREE.
Many times farmers that grow pumpkins and tomatoes have lots of product left in the field. ALWAYS ASK - never just take anything.
Check with farmers after they have harvested field corn. Leftovers can be ground and used as a meal.
Check with orchards - as many of them let you have the dropped apples for a very cheap price.
Always check farmer markets at the end of the selling day. Many farmers don't want to take items back and will sell cheaply.
Save rain water if possible. Figure out a way - even if you simply put barrels or buckets under downspouts (place screening over hole to use as a filter). Rain water can water your plants - water your animals and can even be filtered and used for human consumption. (You do have to spend a bit on a good filter system if drinking). It can be used for laundry, flushing, and cleaning as well. You just need to be prepared for ANYTHING in these times.
It just takes a little looking outside the proverbial BOX! If we all educate ourselves and start using what we can now - we will be fine if the bottom falls out. There are so many ways to supplement your food pantry for free!
Never give up if you have no money to prep - there is ALWAYS a way!!!!!
Give foraging and gleaning a try. You will love free food.
FREE IS MY FAVORITE 4 LETTER F WORD!!!!!!!!!!!!!