The Zombie Apocalypse Guide To Saving Money

Confession: I miss The Walking Dead (the new season doesn’t start until October).  We don’t watch that much television, but my Friday night treat used to be catching up on the show while drinking a little bit of wine.  It’s probably better to have nothing to watch during the summer, as there are plenty of outdoor activities to enjoy like bonfires.  Abigail from I Pick Up Pennies recently did a fun post about money lessons from Buffy The Vampire Slayer.  If Buffy can teach us about money, then why not a show about the zombie apocalypse?  As I recently found myself wondering (again) about who ended up getting the bat in that crazy season finale, I thought of some lessons we can learn from Rick, his friends, and the walkers . . . about saving money.



Safety and weapons will only go so far in a zombie apocalypse.  You need to eat in order to survive.  I remember one scene in which the whole group is huddled around a solitary can of dog food.  While I won’t advocate for eating your pet’s food (some of it can actually be pretty expensive), try to keep the purpose of food in mind.  It is the fuel we need to survive.  I’m not saying to eat Ramen noodles either, because that’s not going to give you the energy you need to get through your day.  But, can you imagine what Rick’s crew would do if they discovered someone assembling a Bento box for their kids?


The clothing in highest demand during a zombie apocalypse would definitely be comfortable and durable items.  A good pair of hiking boots would be invaluable.  A little black dress?  Not so much.  There is definitely no point in having a closet full of clothing, because odds are that you’ll be travelling on foot and won’t have room to bring much with you.  I remember the one scene when Beth found a golf shop with shelves of new clothing.  She seemed to enjoy “shopping” and picked out a light-colored polo shirt and sweater.  You know what happened to that clothing almost immediately after she put it on?  Yep, blood and zombie guts everywhere.


There are far too many places for brain-munchers to hide in a McMansion.  The prison was a good find by Rick and his friends.  It was not pretty and I would venture to guess that prison mattresses are not very comfortable, but it was a sturdy shelter.  You definitely want something on high ground to keep watch.  There should be access to fresh water.  You might even try to raise a garden, although there could be issues with it being trampled.  The one group of survivors dug a trench around their camp.  Mr. Smith and I have discussed how living on an island might be the best idea, if you could find a boat.  Security and sustainability are key.  Who cares whether it’s got the latest decor or is regularly dusted?


Rick and his friends never get to have any fun.  They are always far too busy fighting both zombies and other people.  What if they were able to take a break from all of the battles?  The zombie apocalypse has taken away any ability to go to on exotic vacations or even high-priced amusement parks (those places are crawling with the undead).  You can’t buy your kids an iPad to keep them entertained because there is no electricity.  Children would be forced to play with the things around them, be it sticks or rocks.  Maybe they would luck out and find a doll or a ball.  As for adults, I would try to score a simple deck of playing cards and a good book or two.


If you’re lucky enough to find a car in working condition and with some gas in the tank, then you’ve pretty much won the zombie apocalypse lottery.  Gas is hard to come by, so if you were ever able to choose between two vehicles, definitely take the one with better gas mileage.  Daryl had the right idea with his motorcycle, although there’s not a lot of space for carrying supplies or much protection from close encounters with the walkers.

Miscellaneous Stuff

A zombie apocalypse would force you to adopt minimalist ways.  At any moment you could need to run for your life.  You’re only going to hold on to your most treasured possessions and essential supplies.  The rest is superfluous crap.

Watch out - ZOMBIE!!!
Watch out – ZOMBIE!!!

The Most-Important Lessons

If you’re in a bad financial situation and need to save money, start by reevaluating the choices you make everyday.  It’s time to get serious about focusing on what is actually necessary for your survival.  When you’re about to spend money on something, ask yourself about the purpose served by that purchase.  How is it going to help you on your journey – whether you’re escaping from zombies or debt?

The only reason we are finally making progress on our debt is because we adopted new priorities for our money and our life.  Consumerism is like wandering into a store filled with zombies for some shiny trinket that you don’t need.  You know what’s going to happen . . . you’re going to get bit, and fall in line with the stumbling, mindless horde.  Don’t do that to yourself.  You can escape.  Just turn around and walk away.

Finally, it’s also important to be thankful and appreciative for the simple things that are often taken for granted.  You never know when it can all be taken away – from a zombie popping out from behind a corner, to an ordinary car accident.  Even if the world seems to be falling apart, you can and should still take time for the people and experiences that make you genuinely happy (not stuff).

Any Walking Dead fans have anything to add?  Did you know that although they use a lot of different names for the monsters in the show, the characters have never ever referred to them as zombies?


    1. Thanks Latoya! The show can be intense and shocking. I almost walked away from it after a certain episode involving two young girls – it seriously haunted me for weeks. For some reason I feel really “invested” in the fate of the characters, and they do a pretty good job with suspense and surprises.

  1. I suppose it’s a good argument for stocking up at grocery sales. Keeps you from the dog food longer!

    And for the love of [deity] people, don’t go to big box stores! I keep hearing about people who say they’ll go to Walmart, get a gun and wait it out. Um… do you know how many people are in a Walmart at any given time?! It’ll be riddled with bite-y undead hiding around all the many, many corners!

    Also, zombie apocalypse is a good reminder to use mail-order pharmacies. you get the best prices, but it also means less need for raiding stores (where, again, bite-y zombies) in order to survive. You can go without certain meds, but I don’t want to be without my mental health meds — and more importantly, Tim can’t survive without his inhalers.
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    1. Haha – Thank you for these great points! Heading into a giant Walmart just seems like a really bad idea . . . just like whatever new mission the Walking Dead crew decides to go on, in pretty much every episode. Medicine should definitely be a top priority. I have wondered (because I spend way too much time pondering silly things) about what you would do for long-term survival if you need certain medicine. Doesn’t it expire? What happens when it all runs out? Do you have to learn how to DIY prescription medicine?

      1. Oooh excellent point about expirations. Though most meds are good longer than they say — and if it’s life-saving meds I guess you don’t have a big choice. So one of the biggest deals for us when the dead rise would be to slowly hit every pharmacy we can. Very carefully, naturally. But clean them out of every inhaler and Dulera each one has. And grab as much foodstuffs as possible too. If the world is ending, might as well eat what you want. You might need the fat reserves later! So it’s all like, “Zombies are coming! Grab the Red Vines!!!!”
        Abigail @ipickuppennies recently posted…What financial health means to meMy Profile

  2. Oh my gosh, I love this so much. “Don’t buy new clothes, because: zombie guts.” And “Don’t bother dusting, because: zombies.” These are priceless life lessons! 😉 I’m big on disaster preparedness, not because of zombies but because of natural disasters, and so I think we could hole up in our house for a while, but we’d run out of water at some point and have to figure that out. I suppose we’d be glad we live in a smaller place where there are fewer people per square mile to get turned into zombies! 🙂
    Our Next Life recently posted…Our Biggest Lesson from the Financial Crisis // Don’t Bank on Going Back to WorkMy Profile

  3. People laughed when I told them that part of my emergency planning is being a marathon runner. I don’t have a car, but I can run to my brother’s house before he leaves for whatever disaster is happening. If his or his girlfriend’s car are not gassed, I’ll keep running until I find a space. I know that I can run for 6 hours without stopping, and that’s without the threat of fire or zombies.
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    1. Wow, 6 hours is really, really impressive! I go for jogs a couple of nights per week. I used to listen to this app that made you a character in a story about zombies. It tracked your speed. Every so often you would get attacked and have to run faster to escape from the zombies. So yeah, it took me a while to be internally motivated to run, but now I enjoy it. Thankfully, I’m in much better shape these days to escape from any real zombies that might come after me.

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