We all want to be better prepared for emergencies, but putting together an emergency supply that covers all the bases can put a real strain on your budget, especially if you try to do it all at once. However, with desire and discipline you can make some lifestyle changes that will effectively free up extra funds that can be directed into your emergency preparedness program. Here’s a look at 5 ways to eliminate some of the things you don’t really need to live, in order to make sure that, should an emergency occur, you have the things that you can’t live without.
1) Do without eating out

Doing Without to Get What You Can’t Live Without
People eat out for all kinds of reasons such as boredom, feeling too tired to cook, forgetting to go to the grocery store, or simply that it’s more convenient than preparing a meal at home. On an average, people who buy lunch instead of bringing their lunch to work easily drop from $5-$7 a day. The average family can run up a restaurant tab between $30 and $50 for dinner, and it’s often even more. Families that avoid restaurants in favor of fast food can still spend $15-$20 a trip with no problem. Now, imagine the food and supplies you could buy with the money you will save by eating at home. You don’t have to go “cold turkey.” An occasional meal out is fine. The point is that you probably eat out more than you need to, and you can save several hundred dollars a month—money that could be used for a much more important purpose—depending on how much you’re willing to cut down.
2) Do without cable

Doing Without to Get What You Can’t Live Without
In today’s world, technology offers entertainment everywhere you turn, especially in the home. But a lot of that technology is bundled into expensive packages that offer more entertainment options than there are hours in the day. Canceling your cable or Satellite package could save you substantially each month. And seriously, who has time to watch live or rigidly scheduled TV programs anymore anyway? That’s what’s so great about using the internet for entertainment. On the internet you can find just about all of your favorite TV shows, most of which are available the day after they air on the network websites and through other sites like hulu. Netflix also has a ton of good stuff you can watch on your computer or better yet, by hooking your computer up to your TV. If you have a gaming console like Playstation or XBOX, you already have what you need to stream TV shows and movies. And by staying away from the movie theater you’ll save even more.
3) Do without comfort foods and treats
When it comes to food, we all need to indulge ourselves with treats and so-called comfort foods once in a while. The key is to do so in moderation, as the costs of overindulging in pleasure foods can really add up. Again, you don’t have to swear off treats for good, but if you cut out the ice cream or soda each shopping trip, you can save a lot over time. Then you could get a few food storage items instead. A little each time adds up. Instead of reaching for the Ben & Jerry’s, reach for the rice and beans, and replace that case of soda with a case of water.
4) Do without extra stuff
If you’re like the rest of us, you’ve got more than a few material items that are taking up space in your closet and garage. By selling off some of that surplus stuff at a garage sale or on Craigslist or eBay, you could make extra space and some extra money too. Use the space to store emergency supplies and foods, and use the money to buy them. A good rule to follow is to liquidate those things that you have not used or missed for 6 months. If you’re averse to selling your unneeded things, you can always donate items and write the donation off on your taxes, which could help you get a better refund.
5) Do without brand loyalty
Thanks to some very effective advertising techniques used to create “brand awareness”, many manufacturers have us thinking that we should buy only products associated with a certain logo. After all, aren’t brand name items better than generic products? Although this might be true in certain instances, more often than not the less expensive alternatives work just as well. Items sold under a generic name are very similar, and in some cases pretty much identical to brand name items, except that they can cost considerably less. By purchasing both generic items and branded products on sale, you’ll free up extra funds you can use to make sure you have what you really need in the event of an emergency.

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