Saturday, February 23, 2013

Where To Get Prepping Supplies 2

...continuing my previous post on where to find prepping supplies:

Food for long term storage: restaurant supply chains, bulk food, and carefully selected sale items.
No pictures here, sorry.  For stocking up on rice, beans, flour, sugar, spices and the like, you just can't been the restaurant supply stores.  25 and 50lb sacks of all these things exist for much less that the 5 or 10 lb grocery store buys.  In addition, if you have friends or do dehydrating, canning, etc, they also carry large bags and boxes of potatoes, onions, peppers, garlic, meats, and other things.  Some of the items, I noticed, aren't priced better than normal sale costs, but a 50 lb bag of red potatoes for $5.78 is hard to pass up.  Keep harvest seasons in mind for the best prices. 

Books (fiction, non-fiction, classics, knowledge base): used book stores and second hand stores.
I love used book stores.  Larger towns always have a couple of good ones, don't they?  In addition to book stores, second hand shops usually have at least a small bookcase full of random tomes.  Prepper fiction is hot right now, so the newer novels are hard to find, but the older ones (Lucifer's Hammer, Alas Babylon, etc) I have seen go by multiple times.  The best buys I have come across from used book stores have been garden guides, cooking, outdoors and woodworking.  The best buys from general second hand stores have been medical and drug guides, car repair manuals (don't you buy one when you buy a "new to you" car?), and other random books that strike me as interesting.  I have found that second hand stores usually have "paperbacks for 25 cent" signs whereas used book stores usually sell as a set fraction of the original cost (50% around here).  I have more guides and how-to manuals that I will ever read, but for 25 cents to 2 dollars depending upon the book, I am happy to have the knowledge base to refer to if I ever do need them.


Books (internet): As a side note to books, I mention the internet.  I don't just mean Amazon.  If you know how to search, there are tens of thousands of books available for free as .pdf downloads; everything from old cooking methods, ship building, animal care and husbandry, to older, classic fiction.  Google has a huge library of free "out of copyright" books online or you can use the Google search engine by typing in the title or subject then filetype:pdf .  This will return .pdf documents and will shorten your time spent searching immensely.   Download it onto a flash drive for safe keeping, print off the pertinent parts, or read what you need and let it go.  In addition to books, I have found pretty much any instruction manual I have ever needed this way; everything from a slide rule to rototiller to pressure canner.  If you are looking for it, someone has probably posted it.  I should probably mention about being sure the pdf isn't a copyright violation before you download and distribute it to friends.

Final Thoughts:
-Keep a list with you of things you think you need or would like to have.  I know I constantly walk into a place trying to remember the list of stuff I am keeping an eye out for.   If you regularly eye prepping supplies you get a feel for the going price.  Then you know when you see something for a  really good deal.  That's the time to go for it.
-Small, useful, low-tech items are good to stock for barter in case of TEOTWAWKI.  They are also useful in regular daily living.  If you have a supply of nails, screws, nuts/bolts/washers, tools or misc construction pieces that you can loan or give to a neighbor, you are establishing some useful good will.
-Haunting local second hand stores and pawn shops gets you to know some useful local people... if you talk to them.  If they are selling tools for $2, you know they paid less for them.  Where do they get their stock- auctions, estate auctions, consignment?  If you talk to them and/or occasionally offer to help with something you are getting to know some good, hardworking people.  If, after a while, you let them know what you are looking for, I'd bet they can give some good ideas on where to find stuff or will give you a heads up on an upcoming sale or auction they know about.  If they do consignment, they will probably be willing to take some items in that you are asking about, even if they wouldn't normally stock that "thing".
-If you don't need "pretty" and are willing to put in some effort, you can get items for next to nothing.  $6 for 3 cast iron pans because one needed elbow grease.  A 20-something dollar wrench for $3 because it needed cleaning.  

Do you have any other places were you have found a good deal on prepping items?

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