by Anna Hunt,
Garage sales are great places to look for bargains on some very important survival and prepper items, giving you an opportunity to save some money.
Spring is one of the best times of the year for garage sales. Not only is the weather improving, but lots of people are doing some spring cleaning and getting rid of unwanted clutter. They may not realize that some of this ‘clutter’ is actually quite valuable and may come handy in an emergency.
Here’s a list of top 10 prepper items to put on your shopping list before you head out and start rummaging around garage sales:
1. Emergency Supplies – These include basic emergency items such as first aid kits, radios, flashlights, candles, unused medical supplies (even things such as crutches, slings, and unopened packages of alcohol wipes), face masks, latex gloves, etc. Even half used candles can be melted and used to make your own larger ones.
2. Gear for Your Bug Out Bag – First of all, if you don’t own a bug out bag, you could look for a good quality backpack and start stocking it with things like a raincoat, flashlight, lighter, matches, small camping stove, multi-tool knife, few essential hygiene items, and even a small tarp and blanket. Many of these items can be found at a yard sale…OK perhaps not hygiene products…but you get the idea. Look around and see what you can find. You should always be on a look out for extra backpacks, especially if you need extra bug-out bags for your children’s school lockers and a survival emergency kit for the car.
3. Kitchen Items – Prepper kitchen tools are a bit different than your standard kitchen appliances because you want items that will come in handy when there is limited or no electricity. You might have most success finding these at estate sales and garage sales where older people lived. Manual kitchen tools include hand mixers, meat grinders, manual can openers, and metal graters. Also consider looking for mason jars and any other type of canning equipment (especially if you are preserving your own food, or want to give it a try), as well as any other glass containers that would work well for storing water.
4. Cast Iron Cookware – This kitchen item deserves its own category because cast iron cookware can be quite pricey when bought new. Cast iron holds up great over time, as long as you take care of it, and is quite versatile. You can use this cookware in the oven, on any type of stove top, and even on an open fire.
5. Games and Puzzles – We’ve become so accustomed to having TV, computers and electronic devices, but most of these devices won’t work after a few hours without electricity, unless you have your own off-the-grid power source. Old-fashion card and board games, as well as puzzles, can make for a great way to pass the time and lift your spirit.
6. Gardening and Handyman Tools – If you are striving to become self-sufficient, or at least want to have the tools and resources in place in case you need to be self-sufficient, then garage sales can be a Mecca of practical tools at a fraction of the cost of new items. Look for gardening tools such as shovels, rakes, hoes, and anything else that you might need for tending a garden. Remember these shouldn’t require electricity or gasoline to run. Also consider handyman tools such as hammers, axes, screwdrivers, wrenches, saws, nails, screws, and other items that you use around the house to make repairs. When certain situations call for community collaboration, such as starting a community garden or building a community shelter, a few extra tools can go a long way, allowing your neighbors and friends to help out.
7. Winter Clothing – Especially during spring garage sales, people are getting rid of used winter clothes. Some items such as sweatshirts, flannel shirts, gloves, scarves, and hats can be very inexpensive. If you have children, yard sales are a great place to stock up on larger sizes of winter clothes for cheap so you have some options to choose from in case you are caught off-guard and realize your child has grown a couple of feet. Extra coats can also come in handy especially if you live where winters have a tendency to be wet and/or cold. A thick coat can take a while to line dry.
8. Camping Gear – Certain gear such as a camping stove and lanterns are invaluable if you’re caught in a power outage, so always keep a look out for those assets. Tents and any other camping gear may also come in handy, especially if you think you might want to bug out to a campground during an evacuation or civil unrest situation.
9. Silver and Gold – OK, so you’re not likely to find any gold bullion or silver coins at a garage sale, but old jewelry is another story altogether. Broken necklaces and chains, even an earring without a match, if made out of precious metals can go a long way when you are bartering. You can even melt collected silver and gold jewelry and make your own coins and bars.
10. Hunting Gear – Extreme emergency situations that interrupt the trucking delivery system may mean that you’ll be hunting for food. Let’s face it, new hunting gear is expensive. If you stumble upon a yard sale of a sports hunter that is paring down or has lost interest in his hobby, look for trapping supplies, bows, ammunition (and possibly reloading equipment), as well as camouflage clothing.
One man’s junk is another man’s treasure, especially if you know what items can help you stay comfortable, calm and prepared during unexpected emergencies. Many of the items listed above can also be used for bartering in a circumstance when you are without access to fiat money or such money is no longer valued.
This is a great season to add some essential prepper items still missing from your stockpile, without breaking the bank. Get out there and start prepping.
About the author: Anna Hunt is co-owner of OffgridOutpost.com, an online store offering GMO-free healthy storable food and emergency kits. She is also the staff writer for WakingTimes.com. Anna is a certified Hatha yoga instructor and founder of Atenas Yoga Center. She enjoys raising her children and being a voice for optimal human health and wellness. Visit her essential oils store here. Visit Offgrid Outpost on Facebook.
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