This book by Andy James is a practical approach to getting prepared at low cost. I strongly recommend this book for someone just starting out, especially with a small budget. It covers the basics and is a very common sense book.
I started prepping before the Millenium scare and have just continued and deepened my preparations and supplies. However, I picked up a few ideas even though we're in pretty good shape with a fair amount of knowledge.
Knowledge is power. If you want to start getting prepared for possible SHTF, this is a great asset.
If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen. ― Samuel Adams