Letter: Using What Others Throw Away

Dear SurvivalBlog Editors and Readers,
The last few days have shown me the wastefulness of others but have given me opportunities to gain from it. I now have apples, corn, and pork sausage that I didn’t plan on getting. Here is what happened:

  • My own apple tree only produced seven apples, because the blossoms were destroyed during a storm. But a friend has a tree in her yard, but didn’t want the apples. She offered them to me. I picked ten five-gallon buckets full of apples. I am now canning applesauce and pie filling.
  • My neighbors chopped silage, which leaves a lot of corn in the field. My husband and I gathered a trailer-load of corn. The chickens and goats will enjoy it.
  • A co-worker had a hog slaughtered, and had sausage that they didn’t want. They were tired of eating it, so I now have free sausage.

The sausage cost me nothing. The corn cost me some time. The apples cost me
time, canning jars, and a few extra ingredients for making applesauce and pie filling. If things go as I believe, I will have some much-needed food for the upcoming problems we will face. If things don’t ‘go bad’ in the near future, I will have additional food. Either way, I have benefitted from others who were unwilling to do a little work. I am trying to live as if we were already experiencing The End of the World as We Know It (TEOTWAWKI). By doing this, I will be ahead of the game when it comes. I challenge SurvivalBlog readers to do the same. Where can you save? What do others throw away that you can use? Look around and benefit from the wastefulness of others. Sincerely, –
Prepared Grammy

JWR Replies: Your letter ties into the old sayings about expending sweat versus dollars. Even if you have a modest budget, there is no excuse for lack of preparedness for your family. Keep a close eye on Craig’s List and Freecycle, and you can find some great bargains. It is not unusual to see “free to come and pick up” offers for farm and garden produce, shelving, canning jars, storage bins, and many other useful items that will contribute substantially to your preparedness.