One of the most underrated survival skills is salvaging / scavenging. Prepping can be expensive. One of the ways to reduce the cost of this is to scavenge what you need to build certain systems such as garden boxes or raised beds. There are a lot of resources thrown away out there every day. This skill will become more and more useful if things get tough, but can be useful even today by reducing your costs.
Some things to look for:
Wood. Look for lumber being given away or thrown away as well as wood for firewood. Wood pallets are a great source of oak for fires or for building projects. Try asking lumber yards for deals on wood they might not be able to sell (just make sure you don’t bring home beetles or termites). Check craigslist free section for people getting rid of building materials like wood.
Cinder blocks / bricks. Also check construction projects and craigslist. These could be used for building projects such as raised bed gardens.
Chicken wire. Could be used to… build a chicken coop! Or to fence out small animals from a garden or other area that needs securing.
Random stuff. Again check sites like craigslist or freecycle. Also look up your local municipality bulk trash pickup (if applicable). You can look around the neighborhoods when its scheduled since they usually let people put stuff out a day or two before they pick it up. My friend and I have found lots of great finds from “junk piles” such as these. Backpacks, ammo cans, scrap metal, lawn equipment, and even a generator.
Resources to find these things: