Let me start out, with the simple fact that we all need to prepare. And with that in mind, you must have asked yourself a million times, how can I achieve my goals for survival and food preparedness for my family on a very low or tight budget?
Well the answer is simpler than you think!
Think thrifty. Yes, thrift stores and Mom and Pop outlets are a true blessing in disguise.
All of the things you might want to buy for home canning, food prep, food storage, Camping, Cooking, Clothes, Boots, Sleeping bags, etc. can be found right under your nose in these stores.
When you are there, make sure you get to know the employees, this will give you the upper edge to a bargaining Bonanza, as I have done with all of my local stores and shops, and you also want to make sure you keep the donations coming into them as well! Just by cleaning out all of your unwanted items in your closet and garage. Also, when certain employees help you, return the favor somehow. Believe me they will always remember you, and they give you the best deals each and every time you return to their store. They will actually place stuff that you are looking for and want, in the back of the store and hold it there for you, until your next visit. This saves you the time and money and the trouble and hassle of buying the items new. And, well over a 75% savings from retail prices.You can even write out lists of items that you are looking for, for each shop, and still keep a low profile to your activities.
Here are some examples of the different things I have requested from and purchased:
If you notice I request different items from different stores, depending on what they stock and there inventories. (This will keep your profile low, because, when they are purchased at different locations it doesn’t raise eyebrows!)
Store #1. Golden Valley Swap Meet, and Rummage sale, (Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays) State Rte. 68, Golden Valley, Arizona. There are a lot of old timers here, willing to barter, trade, and give you an old time lesson on everyday things we take for granted. The shops range from household items to clothes, homemade candles and lanterns, canning goods, including fresh Honey and salsa’s that are hand canned. made from peppers and honey from farms in Arizona. There are also gold prospecting tools, old and modern tools, and clothes.
Store #2. Salvation Army , Bullhead City, Arizona 86442 , Located on Palma Drive, this store caters to the Homeless so they get a lot of fishing, camping gear, to include backpacks, stoves, lanterns, mess kits, canteens, duffel bags, backpacks, sometimes even military rucksacks, water filters, home filters, chlorine powder, heavy winter clothes, boots.
Store #3.Treasure Island Thrift Shop, Bullhead City, Arizona. Only caters in factory seconds, and Auctioned New Items. This is where I purchase Food Saver [vacuum packaging] equipment and food dryer racks. I also scored on 16 brand new mercury thermometers, for two-for-$1 and three brand new Camelbak 1-liter hydration bladders for $5 each.
Store #4. Dave & Fran DePuy, Auctioneers, 551 Christy Plaza Kingman, Arizona. 86409, lots of cool stuff almost each and every weekend, 55 gallon water drums new for $5 each. propane tanks for $1, to $5, chain saw for $10, every week it’s a bargain for lots of stiff, I have even bought beyond my personal needs and resold the extra items on eBay and Craig’s List to recoup some cash, and sometimes even made a profit.
Store #5.Marina Thrift Store, Marina Blvd., Bullhead City, Arizona. Since construction went belly up in Mohave county, the thrift stores are overwhelmed with construction tools, paint, nuts bolts. Thousands of items for pennies on the dollar. I picked up a $50 framing hammer for $4 there, as well as two kegs of nails for $10 per keg.
Store #6. Freedom Military Surplus, Mesa, Arizona, it’s not local and is a drive for me, but the deals are fabulous, and worth the trip, every time I go there–roughly once a month, to see what is new there, last trip I scored on US military Gas masks with a 2007 date, new in the box for $25 each mask with two filters.
Store #7.Palace Pawn Shop, Bullhead City, Arizona , simply the best for my two-way, MURS, CB, GPS and other communication needs. Pawn shops are the best, and the cost is 1/3 of the new store prices. last week I picked up a Garmin GPSMAP 60CSx for $100 bucks out the door, and it was brand new in the box. These are normally $329 in the big stores. This saved me $229 plus tax!)
I have purchased many duplicate items, for trade, barter and for my family.
Goodwill and the Salvation Army are two of the best stores and they cater to the locals, and will give you great deals, and you can feel confident that your purchase dollars are going right back into the community to help people and families that are less fortunate than you or I.
As it has helped me to be more frugal and cost minded when I shop, especially for bulk food items at the “big” warehouse stores. And the savings have offset my budget to be able to stock up on more Beans, Bullets, and Band-Aids!
So in closing, you do not always need to buy the newest, biggest, and top of the line stuff when it could possibly be right under your nose, in new, like new, or used (but not abused) condition, for pennies on the dollar. – Robert in Arizona.