Monday, March 30, 2009

Frugal Prepping

Hi! I'd like to thank RW for allowing me to be a guest poster once again! Being unemployed gives me way too much free time to surf all the survivalist websites, and gives me too much time to think about things, and how to do it on a budget. I'd like to share a few of my tips and tricks with everyone. This will have nothing to do with guns and ammo, just basic stuff. So let’s start saving some money!

First off, decide if you’re bugging in or bugging out. The only difference is shelter. We all have, or should have, canned, dehydrated, frozen food stashed already. Where you eat it is up to you. Do you have a decent house, tent, RV, cave? If not, that's your priority. Anything is better than nothing.

Pay attention to your prep shopping. Do you buy something you see on a website just because it's "cool"? "Wow, a year supply of dehydrated lima beans for a $100 a case??” Give me a break! I'll be the first to say, these "advertisers" make a killing off of your paranoia. Need to bury something? Get a plastic tube for 200 buck's......or make it yourself for $20. See where I'm headed here? A little brains and sweat can save you big money! I'm here to try and give everyone a few tips and tricks to stretch each prep penny!

Yard Sales:

With the economy the way it is, every family is trying to reduce costs, or make a quick buck... Good for everyone!! Stop at every yard sale you see, you never know what you might find, regardless if you "need” it, or if it might be a good barter item. That old tent with a broken zipper for 20 buck's is better than no tent. That sleeping bag with a tear in it for 3 bucks is a great blanket or ground cover. A Coleman lantern with a crack in the glass for 3 bucks. That dirty camp stove for 10 bucks...


I'm not sure if this is a national thing or not, but the first Saturday of the month, our local Goodwill has a half price day, and it's a ZOO! I'm a mechanical kinda guy, and I always see stuff like fan belts, lawnmowers, weed eaters and stuff. Computer cables, you name it!


If you’re not using coupons, you’re losing money, period. I know, most coupons are for national brands, with a higher price tag, or buy 3, get 1 free or something. Today, almost every grocery store has double coupons, up to a buck or so. If you save those coupons till there is a sale, you can get a bunch! I once got 10 boxes of laundry soap for 2 buck's on sale with coupons!


I was helping my neighbor out with unloading some lumber, noticed he had a huge pile of red bricks, so I asked him what he was making...Come to find out, he wanted to get rid of them, so I got a pallet full for 50 bucks. I made a gorgeous BBQ grill out of them, and still have a ton left! He also had a roto-tiller that I bought for 50 bucks when I redid my yard. The motor is toast now, but cheaper to replace than the same tiller new.

Craigslist: There isn't anything you can't find there!

Just to share a few of my finds with you. A water canner with 60 jars and lids from Craigslist for 15 bucks. A food dehydrator, in the original box with manual, 10 bucks at a yard sale. A pressure cooker, small, new and in the box, but better than nothing, for 10 bucks.20 MASH style mess trays from park and swap for 20 bucks, solid stainless steel dated 54-56! And piles of camping gear I've gotten over the years I can't recall!

Just remember... Prepping isn't what you spend, it’s where, what and how you spend it!

Dean in Az

Note from RW:

Thanks Dean! Don't forget to check estate sales and the classifieds of your local newspaper for great bargains. Thay are out there! You just have to keep an eye out for them.

Staying above the water line!



Herbalpagan said...

There is another resource for free stuff...every state/area has one. It's called "Freecycle". Do a google search and find yours! People post what they are getting rid of and it's kind of first come first serve.

Confessions of an Overworked Mom said...

Great post! We get most of our prepping stuff second hand either at tag sales, thrift stores or Freecycle. We could never afford to buy it all new.

Chris W said...

Great post! I'm in the same boat, and 9 weeks into a layoff, so money is tight here too. I check craigslist every day, as well as freecycle and cheapcycle. I've had some great finds on all of them....two .22 rifles, free firewood, 3 cases of lamp oil, my free wringer washer...lots of good deals to be found. I'm a Goodwill junkie too, I always manage to find something there. Last year's best find was a 3 burner coleman stove (IN THE BOX!) FOR $8. Yard sales haven't quite started yet here, but I hit every one when they do.
I had to laugh at your comment on the dehydrated lima beans. We have some younger friends who just started to prep, and without even talking about it or thinking, ordered $2000 worth of dehydrated food, some of which neither of them eat. The best part is they dont have room at their apartment to store them, so it's all in the basement of my wifes office (this kids dad owns the practice)20 minutes from their place.

Anonymous said...

That's one reason I'm into dehydrating and canning,you can do what you like rather than buy the family pack stuff. I'm sure for that 2k they spent,a good dehydrator and canning setup could have done the same amount of food for 500 or so. I'm not sure about the shelf life of home dehydrating,but I'm still using stuff I did 4 month's ago,but I do keep it in the fridge. As far as storage,I recalled a while back commenting on storage to someone in an apartment. I recalled back in college almost all my furniture was milk crate's! I've put a lot of my canned and dry stuff into milk crate's,covered with a sheet of plywood,and made a riser under my bed,like a waterbed pedestal! Look's nice,solid as a rock,and nobody will ever know it's there! And you made a smokin deal on the stove!
Dean in AZ

Chris W said...

Those 2 would never have anything stacked in their apartment, they're the type that's all about appearances. We talked to them quite a bit about canning, deyhdrating, and other stock ideas, and actually are setiing out a small garden plot for them this year to do what they want. Hopefully they'll come to us with questions next time, rather than just order the biggest thing they find on the internet.

Anonymous said...

In order to keep in the frugal mode,maybe you all could chip in on a dehydrator or pressure canner and have a preserving party!
Dean in Az

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