Sometimes we get too caught up on stocking up on this and stashing away that, all of which cost money. When money is tighter than tight, there are still ways to be better prepared. One of those is to learn practical skills.
Often a new skill is as close as your public library. No special training is required to learn about medicinal herbs, for example. Other skills can be learned by watching free videos on YouTube. That’s how I learned some of the trickier knitting stitches. Some of the videos I’ve watched recently are a treasure trove of preparedness knowledge and skills.
See what I mean? Free information is out there, everywhere.
One approach that works for many families is to find and learn a skill that involves everyone. Orienteering is a great life skill for kids and parents alike, and one that might save a life someday. Geocaching combines the great outdoors with navigation skills, and of course, target shooting doesn’t have to cost a ton of money and is a great sport. Our kids have trained using inexpensive .22 rifles whose ammo sells for less than $20 for 500 rounds. 4-H clubs teach kids, and families, important agricultural and homesteading skills and provide a new circle of friends with similar interests.
Grab a phone book and browse through the various government agencies in your area. They’re supported by your tax
dollars and many of them have free resources. The Game & Fish Department often has low-cost and free training available to would-be hunters and sharpshooters. Cooperative extension offices, run by the USDA, offer an amazing assortment of free information on everything from food safety to disaster preparedness. You’ll find them to be a source of hundreds of articles, perfect for your Survival Mom binder.
Another source of free training can be found in your circle of neighbors, relatives, friends, co-workers and their circles of friends and family. Just find someone who is completely nutty about their hobby or interest, and believe me, they’ll give you all the information and training you could ever want!
A few years ago I was a knitting maniac and started a homeschool knitting group, made friends with other knitters, and spent tons of money and a lot of time at the yarn store. I loved nothing better than to help someone learn how to knit. Now that I think of it, people began to avoid me when I took out my yarn and needles…hmmm. But my point is, by asking around you are sure to find hunters, fishermen, home canning experts, piano tuners, and experts in all sorts of areas who are passionate about their special talent and would love to mentor an enthusiastic learner.
Skills and Knowledge are an important area of preparedness. Your dollars might not be stretching as far as they used to, but in tough times, others may be willing to exchange food and other goods for what you can do or for what you can teach. The best thing is, you can develop many of these skills and gain massive amounts of knowledge without spending a dime!