How Would you Spend Two Grand on Prepping?

storage foods in buckets
Five-gallon buckets and six-gallon superpails of long term storage foods.

If someone gave you a Visa gift card with $2,000 and said you had to spend it on prepping before it expires in 30 days, what would you do with it? Here are some possibilities:

Buy Lon-Term Storage Food

Being prepared requires having food and water. I don’t see much sense in buying $2,000 worth of water, so unless you have a well and invest in manual pump or you spend it building a rain catchment system with a very large tank, I would recommend beginning preppers buy long-term storage food.

If I already had at least three months of canned and dry food in my prepper pantry, I would go to or a similar supplier and buy super pails of dried or dehydrated food. (For those not in the know, a super pail is 6-gallon plastic bucket.  The food inside it is stored in a large mylar bag with oxygen absorbers to extend the shelf life.)

Here’s my recommendation:

  • 1 ABC Soup Mix                               
  • 8 Hard Red Wheat
  • 2 Quick Oats
  • 4 White Rice
  • 1 Spaghetti
  • 1 Black beans
  • 1 Split Peas
  • 1 Great Northern Beans
  • 2 Sixteen Bean Mix

That’s 21 super pails for $1,685. The other $315 of your $2,000 should cover the cost of shipping. The above combination provides more than 1 million calories, or 2,865 calories per day for a year. That’s an adequate supply for the average male between 16 and 45. But feel free to mix and match different buckets. Just try to buy about twice as many grains as beans.

If you have food in your prepper pantry and a garden, you could probably stretch this food to feed two people for one year. It depends how large the people are, how active they are, the extent of your other food preps, and the productivity of your garden. But any way you look at it, your long term storage plan would be off to a good start with these 21 buckets.

Arm Yourselves

After you have a good stock of food, I think every prepper should have an AR15 and a decent pistol, and every prepper household should also have a shotgun and a .22 rifle like the Ruger 10/22. If you shop with care and you avoid high-end brands, you could buy all of these and have money left over for some ammunition. You may be better off buying just the pistol and the AR15, and spending the rest on ammo and training.

If you already have sufficient weapons, you could spend the $2,000 on more ammo and a multi-day training class for you and your spouse.


A couple grand could buy a huge amount of gear and check off multiple boxes on your prepper wish list. This is an area where I would not let perfect be the enemy of good enough Buy decent gear from good brands, but don’t buy top of the line equipment. I’d rather have two or three decent knives from a company like CRKT than one Benchmade knife. Why? Because when I lose one, I’ll have a back-up. The same goes for flashlights, radios, etc. (Save the high-end purchases for when you get $20,000.)

One area where it’s important to buy high-quality equipment is web gear. I would avoid Condor and no-name brands made in china from polyester and concentrate on U.S. made gear constructed out of nylon. I am a fan of High Speed Gear and use their tacos, but there are other high-quality lines out there. You just have to search for them. I also recommend getting top-quality footwear.

Of course, to make this investment pay off, you have to wear your gear and your boots. If you don’t intend to train, then you might as well get the cheap stuff on Amazon. While it might fail in the field, chances are the seams won’t rip out and the zipper will hold while it sits in your closet.

Precious Metals

If you are well along in your prepping journey, this might be an opportunity to buy a 1-ounce gold coin. One source I just checked, has the 1 ounce Gold Canadian Maple Leaf for $2007. (The U.S. Gold eagle is about $40 more because the premium is higher on the U.S. coins.)

Personally, I would not buy a gold coin. I would buy silver. In this case, I would buy two rolls of Silver Canadian Maple Leaf coins (50 coins) and fill in the rest junk with constitutional silver. The maple leaf coins would cost about $1,565 and, with the remaining funds, I would buy $10 in pre-1965 quarters and $10 in pre-65 dimes.

So why the silver and not gold? Because the silver gives you options. When all you have is a $2,000 gold coin, it’s difficult to buy something worth $50. When you have a mix of silver coins, you can give “exact change” pretty easily. Even before the SHTF, silver gives you options. If you need to make an emergency care repair, you can sell one tube of silver coins and still have silver in your stash. If you sell the gold coin, you’ve got excess cash, and if you are undisciplined, it may burn a hole in your pocket.

From an investment standpoint, I like the current gold/silver ratio. Right now, it would take about 84 ounces of silver to buy an ounce of gold. In the past century, that ratio has been as high as 100 and as low as 17. The most common range is between 60 and 75. I expect the ratio will drop in the future, meaning a silver coin will be more valuable in relation to a gold coin.

The biggest downside to silver is its weight. If you already have 1,000 ounces (62.5 pounds) of silver, then by all means, buy a gold coin. If you are just starting out, buy silver.

What Would you Buy?

This is just a thought exercise to get you thinking. Hopefully, it will help you think about where the holes are in your planning. Keep in mind, you don’t have to have $2,000 to start plugging holes. If you only have $200, you can still buy a couple of food buckets, some ammunition, or some silver.

Let me know in the comments what you’d buy. And remember, in a year, this $2,00 will buy less. Less food, less ammo, less gear and less precious metals.


  1. I would get my portable generator hooked into the electrical system and then buy an extra NiMH battery for the solar panels.

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