Where do you get your prepping supplies? I picked a couple things up today at a second hand store and it occurred to me that I have spent a bit of money there over the past couple years since I have given serious thought to prepping. I try to spend money on small, local business when I can, even if it means spending a bit more, but in some cases, it has cost me much less. Here are some of my experiences, thoughts and second hand information on what to get and where to get it:
Hand tools: pawn shop, second hand store, gun show/flea markets and yard sales.
For my money, older tools are the way to go instead of the newer Taiwan and China pieces. I don't feel the need to buy shiny, new tools, I'm just going to scuff them up anyway. Here are some of the last ones I picked up:
US made Crescent wrench $3 at pawn shop, the mechanism was stuck. A wire brush and some oil while I watched a TV movie has it working line new.
Brace and adjustable bit $5/$4 at flea market/gun show. A little oil on the mechanism and a few strokes with a stone to touch up the bit, good to go.
US made plane $10 at the same flea market as the brace. There was some rust on it, but some sandpaper cleaned up the bottom. I just need to sharpen the blade now.
C-clamp $3 at a second hand store. No work necessary.
My cohort and good buddy NinjaClerk has a good knack for the yard sale finds that can beat some of my flea market scores in a lot of categories.
Nuts/bolts/screws/nails: going out of business sales, estate sales, your own old equipment.
When hardware stores go out of business, especially mom-and-pop places, they will start selling items off until it's gone. They usually start with 20% off and go up 10% every week or so until the remaining items are almost free. Rural estate sales will frequently have half-empty boxes of nails or other fasteners from a barn. Nails and screws don't care much about minor rust; bolts and nuts might. Before throwing out or recycling old equipment, I like to tear it apart. I'm curious about the inner workings, but I also have a tub of screw, bolts, etc from these items that I keep handy. The bent or rusted ones get tossed in the recycle bin.
Garden and outside tools: pawn shops, second hand stores and flea markets.
hoe, rake, ax, pick, hand garden tools are all important to keep on
hand. I recently broke a shovel handle and discovered that new handles
are going for $10-15 and the whole new shovel is $12 on up. I was hard
pressed to just buy a handle when I can get the whole thing, so I have a
new shovel and an old blade without a handle in the garage. One pawn
shop near me sells all the tools they take in for $5. A little linseed oil on
the handle and the ones I picked up were better than some new ones.
Firearms: pawn shops, gun shows, local paper.
If you know about guns, private party sale is usually the best way to get a deal. If you don't know about guns, you should bring a friend along that does to a private sale or a gun show so they can talk you through what you want to look for. Pawn shops can have quite the variety and they are usually willing to deal as well. A little barter practice is always good, too.
Kitchenware:second hand stores and flea markets.
Below are my cast iron pans. Love those things. The largest, smallest and middle sizes were from a flea market. I paid $6 total for them. The largest was in bad shape and needed a lot of work, but the smaller ones were great. The other two there were obtained from a second hand store and needed little work to spruce up. From the second hand store I have also picked up a food grinder, utensils, and several other things for a fraction of new cost.
I ended up with more ideas that I initially thought, so this post is- to be continued...