Thursday, April 30, 2015

14 Prepper Items To Look For At Garage Sales

This is a repost of a great article. Original article here: 

14 Prepper Items to Look For At Garage Sales

Prepping doesn’t have to cost a lot of money when you know how to look for bargains. Garage sales are a great place to scoop up items you might need for an emergency. The old saying that one man’s junk is another man’s treasure certainly applies here.

Many people don’t know what they have or simply don’t see items for what they are and will sell them for really low prices. Yard sale season is here, so now is the time to get out there and start hunting down the things you need.

Make a list and take it with you. Don’t assume you will remember because there are quite a few prepper items to look for. Here are just 14 of them:

1.     Cast Iron Cookware – This stuff tends to be pretty pricey when buying brand new, but you can get it for about half the price at a garage sale. Cast iron pans are exactly what you need for cooking over an open fire, which is going to take the place of your kitchen stove when the power is out.

2.     Camping Gear – Anything that has to do with camping, i.e. cook stoves, tents, lanterns and so on can all be major assets to your emergency supply stash. When the power is out or you are forced to bug out to the wilderness, camping will be the way of life and any gear you have is going to make life easier.

3.     Winter Clothing – Old flannel shirts, coats, gloves and hats are very inexpensive at garage sales. Stock up on these things when you can. Buy several in varying sizes, especially if you have children that are going to be growing like weeds. Having plenty of coats ensures you will always have something dry to put on if you should have to go out and chop wood, hunt, or look for water.

4.     Gardening Tools – Buy extra hoes, rakes, shovels and other gardening equipment. Your prepper garden will need tending and you will likely not have gasoline to run your equipment. These tools tend to break after time so you want to have backups. You also want to have plenty of tools so more than one person can tackle a big job at the same time.

5.     Board Games and Puzzles – You need something to do in the long hours without electricity and all of those technological gadgets we have come to depend on. Good old fashioned board games and puzzles will be an ideal way to pass the time. You can find these for under a dollar in most cases. The more you have on hand, the less you will be dealing with bored family members.

6.     Emergency Supplies – Look for things like candles, radios, first aid kits and so on. Even the half-used candles can be bought for cheap and melted down to make your own larger candles.

7.     Tools – You are going to be your own handyman and will need to take care of any repairs around the house. You may even need to build a shelter. Pick up extra hammers, wrenches, axes, screwdrivers and so on. Keep in mind that you can never have too many tools. If you have 6 hammers, you could always use one to barter with to get something else you need.

8.     Manual Kitchen Tools – Visit garage sales where older people have lived. You are sure to find old hand grinders and a variety of other hand kitchen tools that will come in handy when you don’t have electricity. Look for can openers, meat grinders, graters and manual hand mixers.

9.     Medical Supplies – Garage sales that are held following someone passing away who had a long illness are great places to find unused medical supplies. You can often find crutches, splints, slings and bandages that are all unopened. Look for boxes of gloves, face masks and unopened packages of alcohol wipes and syringes. People will typically sell these items for very cheap just to get rid of the evidence of a loved one’s illness and passing.

10.   Canning Supplies – There are plenty of people who don’t want grandma’s old canning jars, canner, and all the tools that go with it. Home preservation is something preppers need to do in order to store up enough food to last them for several months. Jars can also be used to store water.

11.   Hunting Gear – When there are no grocery stores, you are going to have to hunt for your food. Buying new hunting gear at a big box store can be very expensive. Fortunately, there are plenty of hunters who grow tired of the sport and prefer to rely on the market for their meat. Look for bows, ammunition, trapping supplies and camouflage gear.

12.   Silver and Gold Jewelry – If the dollar fails, silver and gold will be the only currency that has value. You wouldn’t want to exchange a silver dollar for something like a pack of toilet paper, which is why you want those bits and pieces of old jewelry. Handing over an earring or a broken silver necklace makes much more sense. You could also melt down the broken silver and gold jewelry and make your own bars.

13.   Bug Out Bag Gear – You are sure to find things like lighters, matches, rain ponchos and even knives that you can put into your bug out bag. Look for small tarps and even backpacks that can be used to make a bug out bag.

14.   Firearms and Ammunition – These are extremely difficult to find at garage sales for real steals, but you can always look. Consider saving up some cash and setting it aside so you can make a purchase when you do happen to come across a really good deal. Look for reloading equipment as well.

What other items should preppers look for at garage sales? Leave a comment and let us know!

Doing Christmas Better

One of the most important components of prepping is to reach sound financial health, but so often, when we get to the Christmas season, we spend well beyond our means.

The “joy” of the season causes us to get caught up in the moment. 

We buy a cut, live tree that will go in landfill. 

We buy poinsettias that will die and go into the trash. 

We will buy things from all the people fund raising at that time of the year.

And some of us will try to outspend the Joneses.

I am posting this now so that you can plan ahead and do Christmas better.

Some spending makes sense.

I am an advocate of taking advantage of the inevitable two-for-one turkey sales in November because one turkey can produce many meals.

Many supermarkets run great prices on meats during the Thanksgiving/Christmas season to get you into the store for the deal and—oh while you’re here—you can buy other needful items that are maybe not so much of a deal, but you don’t see that because you got two for one.

Or some other such come on.

Go for the true bargains and avoid the rest.

Some spending is idiotic.

I am referring more to the spend-a-fortune mentality for Christmas presents because we get caught up in Black Friday sales that create a sudden and heavy depletion of money from our accounts.

Oh wait! We charge it.

Oh wait! We owe, so that depletes our accounts.

Therein lies the problem.

We charge all those “good buys” and some that really aren’t on our credit cards. Then we spend lavishly on food and spirits using cash or debit cards.

And THAT is the problem because not only do we have credit card debt, we may have depleted cash reserves as well.

Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales are bad for us because stores bait us with too-good-to-be-true offers and then group “was this price/ now is this price” items nearby to get us to believe those purchases are good too.

And they aren't.

I need to rant…

Kohl’s is one of the worst at scamming and they do it year around.

Kohl’s posts an inflated price and then offers a discount which makes it seem like a deal and then sweetens the deal with a percent off, if the buyers use the Kohl’s card.

The result is that you pay WalMart prices for WalMart quality clothes, but you think you’ve gotten the merchandise nearly for free.

Idiocy. Shop at WalMart.

While I am NOT saying that we should not buy presents for friends and family, I am saying we should be more intelligent about how we buy for them.

Buy during the year.

Pay cash.

Wrap them up to keep prying eyes from learning the contents and label them. You do stock up on Christmas wrapping paper after Christmas, right?

Put the ribbons and bows before you put them under the tree.

I hope your tree is fake. Buying a cut tree, just to throw it away in my way of thinking is immoral. At least buy a live, potted tree that can be planted in your yard with an eye to giving shade.

Better idea? Put up a fake tree and buy a fruit tree to add to your backyard orchard.

Beyond buying, however, is making gifts.

Our society has lost the ability to make things and, furthermore, we undervalue the gift of thoughtful, homemade presents.

It’s not that all presents need to be homemade. Kids need new bicycles at Christmas. Mom might need a new laptop or a cell phone. I get that.

What I am promoting is the idea that your family and friends get gifts that stem from your preparedness.

For example, my yard produces more rosemary than I can use, so I dry it and plan to give a year’s supply to quite a few people. Ditto dried spearmint.

I make sauces, but I freeze them. When I relearn how to can, I will put some of the sauces in smaller jars with an eye to giving them as gifts.

My green chili enchilada sauce is to kill for, as is my red jardinera pasta sauce.

Growing up, my grandmother and her sister made things during the year and preceding the annual Church Bazaar that was held just in time for Christmas.

Many churches still do this, but I like the idea of homemade goodness that was made with love and good intention being where we focus our spending.

Yes, I am advocating that YOU should make presents for people rather than buying, but if you are not ready, I urge you to support a church bazaar and at least focus your money in the right direction.

It is the right direction because the purchases will be homemade and back-to-basics.

It is the right direction because the proceeds will go toward some beneficial outcome rather than the corporate bottom line.

In short, as a nation, let's do Christmas better.