Generous loyal minions sent contributions and I've been counting my chickens before the check cleared thinking what doodads I wanted. I ordered a few ski masks and a 12v charge controller from www.sportsmansguide.com because I didn't have multiples of either one. Anytime the temperature gets into the teens I put on a ski mask which fits right over my eyeglasses and not only does my melon stay much warmer, my face doesn't freeze into a snot dripping frost bitten grotesque veneer. I got the charge controller because a guy that used to work here gave me his solar panel. Just gave it to me. Sucker. 45 watts, and the old style panel that will last a lot longer. So for the cost of a controller, $25, I've doubled my solar capacity. When I talked to him a second time he mentioned it was draining his battery and that he kept disconnecting it each night. So I guess that's why I got it. I'm thinking I can hook it up in the van to avoid dust and potential theft. Which will also serve as a back up "generator" if I stop driving into town ( currently my other panels charge the batteries I only use for lighting and the second truck battery is my entertainment/computer electricity ). I also ordered another water filter from www.lehmans.com , for $55. It used to be just a smidgen above $50 but they've increased their shipping charges ( I think Sportsman's did too, actually ).
So, having ordered another 13k gallon filter I was naturally thinking about water and how all my loyal minions didn't write as a second job so they didn't get paid the $1.50 an hour I do and thus couldn't afford a filter of their own ( seriously, this job pays spit which is why it is a labor of love first and only then when you're damn good and have paid your dues does it secondly start to pay ). So, always caring about other people I figured we could do a water purification recap, starting at the cheapest way of getting safe water and moving up to a super deluxe $50 generic Berky filter. To start with, fire. Fire is free almost everywhere. A few skinny women might be trying to scrounge for the same wood as you after the collapse, complaining how they have so many children to cook for but you can safely write that off as female manipulation. Just knock her down and take your wood. Maybe you can burn your SUV for cooking, Yuppie Scum! Okay, boil your water. But don't waste the wood. You don't need to let it stay at a rolling boil. Take all the past advice about boiling extra minutes per thousand feet of elevation and forget it. When bubbles start to rise, the water has stayed hot enough to pasteurize the water. I've written an article about this before ( it's a recap, right? ) but as usual with my piss poor organizational skills I have no idea when. Look for it if you want the full info ( and just to let you know, even though none of you have ordered Chicken Little #6, I've already put out #7. I still have my loyal sucker chained to his computer churning out new compilations for me which proves someone still loves me even if you don't- order at www.bisonpress.com ).
Next up the frugal scale we have the clay pot. Take an unglazed flower pot ( if it has a hole in the bottom you must cover it up- minions have suggested silicon caulking and a saucer ) and fill it up with water. Let drain. Do that three times as a way to clean. Now, the next batch is ready to drink. Poor bastards in tropical countries use this method. If it can clean water buffalo crap and Tropical Super Mold it can clean your water. Periodically you take clean water and scour the pot to clean off the accumulated crud. About the same money or a little more, you have the Water Pasteurization Indicator. Its a tube full of soy wax that melts to tell you the water is hot enough. You can Wiki a description and buy one at http://188.8.131.52/catalog/ . You can also put water in a pop bottle and let it sit in the sun a few hours as a purifier but it would be less efficient away from the equator. Plus, the wax gauge is only a few bucks which is cheap insurance.
About the same price is a solar pond. This one you really should look up for yourself as I've forgotten most of the details, but it just a much more efficient version of the Army desert still. You dig a shallow wide hole with black plastic on the bottom covered with clear and have a collection trough for the distilled water. You are only buying the two pieces of plastic but you should have extras due to degrading from exposure and the likelihood of ripping. I wouldn't recommend this method because it is so temporary, but it is an option. Last up is the expensive generic Berky filter. Minions have pointed out cheaper filters, but I'm not sure they will last the thirteen thousand gallons a Berky will. I got this method out of a book years ago, so I didn't invent this. But I've rarely seen it mentioned so I try to spread the word. You buy a Berky replacement filter element for $50. Take two food grade poly buckets with lids. The top one has a hole drilled in the bottom. Stick the filter nipple through it. The filter comes with a threaded screw/nut and gasket so unless the gasket dries out ( I don't know if it will, a caution for storage ) you secure the filter easily that way with no leaks. A hole in the bottom lid lets the water collect in the bottom bucket. Simple. Okay, it's more like a $70 filter if you buy two buckets and lids but it sounds much more frugal the other way.
That should about sum it up. From no cost to cheapest filter cost for your water purification needs.