Question From A Reader: How Would You Spend $100?

Our friend Kim writes with the question…

“My dad is giving us a belated Christmas gift of $100 and I would like to use it to purchase something for our family.  My question is what would you or your readers purchase with an extra $100 or so?  I can always add to our pantry stock but I was thinking more along the lines of  purchasing an oil lamp, batteries, thermal undies, books, ammo, etc.  I just know if I don’t have a set purchase plan, the money will be nickel and dimed until it’s gone!  Any input would be greatly appreciated!”

Hi, Kim! Great question. Okay, so since I don’t know your exact situation and what you do have and don’t have, I’ll just list a few ideas in order of importance.

1. It sounds like you already have some food storage put away. That’s great! If you are pretty set in this area and are lacking in other preparedness means, definitely put the money elsewhere.

2. Do you have an emergency water backup in case you can’t access fresh water? A rain barrel? Do you have a water filter? If you don’t have one,  I’d highly recommend that you order the parts to make a homemade water filter. It will cost just a little over $100 to make. No, it’s not a fun splurge, but your family’s lives may depend upon it one day! This would definitely be top priority on my list.

3. Do you have a good library of survival type books? Make sure you have literature covering topics such as organic gardening, herbal & natural healing, wild foraging, basic wilderness survival, first aid, making soap, amish style cookbooks, and canning books. If you are lacking in any of these areas, don’t take for granted that the internet will be available forever! Check out, or Amazon’s used books to see if you can find any of these for a deeply discounted price.

4. Ammo. Definitely ammo. If you are set in the food and water department, and have a nice stash of resourceful reading materials, I’d highly recommend a good stockpile of ammunition.

5. Non-Electric Living Supplies. Do you have a canner? Wheat grinder? Canning jars and lids? I’d say get them before oil lamps and thermal undies. Have a good solar flashlight on hand until you do get some oil lamps and oil. Thermal undies and warm clothing are important, but not as practical for most of the year unless you live somewhere with very long cold spells.

6. If I were set in all preparedness areas, I would put the money toward seeds and edible plants. Garden produce, berry bushes, fruit trees, medicinal and culinary herbs… you can never have too many!

These are just my suggestions, of course. But Kim wants to hear from all of us! What would you do with it if you were blessed with an extra $100?

About Kendra 1103 Articles
A city girl learning to homestead on an acre of land in the country. Wife and homeschooling mother of four. Enjoying life, and everything that has to do with self sufficient living.


  1. Years ago my daughter’s house burned and a local church gave her family. They told her to buy something for the house that would remind her of them. She purchased a Thomas Kincade painting that still hangs on her living room wall and has increased in value. Other than that I would invest in something that helps in being self-reliant like a grain mill or fruit tree or such.

  2. since the dollar continues to decline and the economy seems to worsen, i would take the $100 and buy about 3 or 4 ounces of silver. not only will you probably make money (not the point) but you will have a commodity that can always be used and traded as money no matter what happens to the green back. i bought several ounces at $10 and was worried i’d lose, then it went to $20 and thought i better sell, then $30 and i thought no way and it just continues to climb. precious metals will always be worth something no matter what our dollar does.

    • Sylvia,

      I totally agree. If there is nothing that she can use right now as far as necessary survival items, silver is the way to go. We bought some at $15 earlier last year, and by Dec. we’d doubled our savings. That’s what I call investing! I know it won’t continue like that forever, but for now it’s definitely safer than keeping it in the dollar.

  3. I encourage you to pray and ask God what is the best use of this money.

    Last year I took my Christmas cash and did something special with it.
    (No, I did not go to Zales for microscopic sized diamond stud ear rings). I bought two used 10 pound ABC fire extinguishers and got instruction on how to use them. If you were to do the same, that should eat up your $100. I called my local fire dept. for the contact person in our area who sells such items. They are refillable where the ones from a big box store are single use only.

    Then I took the rest of my Christmas money and bought an emergency escape ladder for my “kids” whose bedrooms are on the second floor.
    The cats have their own bedroom as well and this way we can help them escape in case of a fire.

    Glamorous? Of course not! Neither was saving for the Berkey to filter the water, or the hand well pump, or the water bath canner, or the Mirro 12 qt. pressure canner, or the wood cookstove (what I spent my inheritance on) or extra heirloom seeds, or hand wringer and wash tubs and clothesline, or the dehydrators, or fruit/nut trees, etc.

    Doing the right thing is rarely glamorous…but I can’t begin to tell you the satisfaction that comes after you’ve acquired what you need.
    (Our society does not understand the difference between Needs versus Wants). Keep acquiring what you need, and over time you will look back and see that it really did all come to fruition.

    It’s not about acquiring stuff is it? It’s living a lifestyle that looks different from what the rest of society is doing.

    We live in tornado alley, and when a tornado comes, people go outside and watch it and even take pictures…only running into the cellar at the last minute. Instead, I’m grabbing cats and kids and headed underground as soon as I’m aware trouble is in the area. Society would say that I’m AFRAID. Not at all…I’m prudent and I want to mitigate risks. You don’t sound like the type to wait until the last minute to seek safety.

    Even if everyone around you splurges with their Christmas cash, buying stuff they don’t need, I encourage you to mitigate your risks and prepare in the good times (which I believe you are doing). In the long run, you’ll be hunkered down all safe while others scurry to find what they need…if they still can.

  4. Maybe a canner and food dehydrator? Both of these store food in such a way that the storage does not require electric, such as freezing.

    I would also look thru Lehmans catalog. It will give you tons of ideas.

    Or, you could spend it in a way to save money, such as replace a leaking window, or add a storm door…

  5. There are so many things that you COULD purchase it gets overwhelming! I suggest brainstorming and making a list of everything you’re needing and then go back and prioritize them so that you purchase with a plan in mind. That way you feel you are making progress that really fits your family and your needs. $100 can go toward several smaller items or it could be saved to make a large purchase – but you won’t know which is best if you don’t have a plan.

    One thing I’m really wanting to invest in is some quality soap molds that will last a lifetime and a good quantity of supplies to get me going. I need to hit the thrift stores to buy some stainless steel or glass pots that will be dedicated to just soap making. The other thing I’m wanting to do is the concealed gun course that Andrea mentioned. I thought it would make for a great “date night” with my husband! 🙂

  6. I like Andrea’s suggestion about a concealed carry course. Here in IN we have an indoor range/store that you can get a year’s membership to for $175. It gives you unlimited access to practice time on the range and significant discounts on the various classes they offer, as well as half-price pistol/rifle rental during your practice time if you are still trying out models and deciding what to get. It also includes a discount if you decided to buy a gun from them. You can also take along a guest for free every time you use the range for practice. It’s worth checking into seeing if there’s something like that where you live.

  7. I would either save the $100.00 dollars.

    Or if your pretty set on purchasing something. If it were me honestly
    I would splurge on the “Homestead Blessings” DVD set!! Oh my gosh that would benefit you in soo many ways but would still be a super fun gift!for the whole family! (well to me it would be way fun!)

    Let us know what you decided!!


  8. How about a concealed carry course? They run about $100, give or take, in our area.

    How about camping equipment? It’s fun and would lend itself to survival as well. Like maybe a Coleman stove, sleeping bags or a tent?

    How about raised beds for the garden? Sometimes that lumber can get expensive, and $100 would go a long way toward a couple really nice, really big raised beds with some lovely garden-blend soil.

    Fishing gear? A solar-powered radio? A crank lantern? Cast-iron cookwear and a good cookbook to go along with it?

    Wow is it easy to spend other people’s money!!


    PS—Watch yardsales this summer and you’ll be able to pick up those oil lamps for a song!

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