Garage sales are often associated with other people's unwanted belongings or kitschy items. However, a wise prepper knows that garage sales are also one of the best places to get the bulk of your prepping gear and supplies. (h/t to Survivopedia.com.)
How to save on prepping items
When you're starting out, prepping can use up most of your funds. But don't let this discourage you from becoming a prepper, which is a lifestyle that offers more pros than cons, especially when SHTF.
To save money on prepping gear and supplies, visit as many garage sales as you can to acquire used items that will be much cheaper than brand-new items. Just make sure you scrutinize each before paying for anything. You also need to be creative because garage sale items can be re-purposed to make survival gear.
Look for these items with survival uses at garage sales in your neighborhood:
Bicycles – Bicycles are a great mode of transportation when SHTF. Even if the bicycle isn't in perfect condition, you can replace missing parts.
Building materials – Stock up on some basic building materials so you can make emergency home repairs. You may need 2"x 4"s, hardware, plywood, and roof shingles.
Camping gear – A lot of people who buy camping gear use it only once or twice, then sell it because they know they won't use it again. Check items like tents to see if all the pieces are there, such as tent poles.
Candles – Candles can be re-purposed into "survival candles" by melting them and pouring them into spaghetti sauce jars so they can stay dry for a long time. If you don't have sauce jars, you can use other containers as long as it won't shatter if it gets too hot.
Canning jars – If you make a lot of home-canned food, buy canning jars at garage sales. This way, you'll only need to buy new jar lids.
Cast-iron cookware – You can clean up grimy or rusty cast-iron pans, which are perfect for cooking over an open fire.
Coats and other winter clothing – Scour garage sales for winter clothing like boots, coats, gloves, hats, and scarves. You can also buy them in bigger sizes for when your kids outgrow their clothes.
Carts – Carts are useful for hauling survival supplies that are too heavy to carry by hand. Look for bicycle trailers, children's wagons, hand trucks, or wheelbarrows.
Fabric and sewing supplies – When SHTF, sewing will be one of the most crucial skills that you'll need, especially since you'll need a way to keep your family clothed when the stores can no longer produce new clothing for buyers. (Related: Prepping your home with essential survival supplies.)
First-aid supplies and medical equipment – Look for durable medical equipment, like crutches and wheelchairs, which people often discard when they're no longer needed. First Aid supplies, like boxes of gloves and items for taking care of people with chronic problems, are also cheaper at garage sales.
Five-gallon buckets – These buckets have various survival uses, such as storing items or hauling water. You may find lots of five-gallon buckets at garage sales for building contractors.
Food – Sometimes, you can find food at garage sales, especially if the seller was able to buy them at a cheap price elsewhere.
Gardening tools – Gardening tools are useful items to have, and you may need a spare or two when SHTF.
Hand-operated appliances – You can find hand-operated appliances at estate sales and garage sales.
Hand tools – When the power grid goes down, you may need a full set of hand tools.
Hunting and fishing equipment – You'll need these items to augment your food supplies when SHTF.
Kids clothes – Children will frequently outgrow their clothing and if you want to save, buy them from garage sales. Buy bigger sizes than the clothes they're wearing now, then store them by size.
Lawnmowers – Used lawn motors have small motors that you can re-purpose for other tasks. You can even turn engines into grain mills and sawmills if you're handy enough.
Oil-burning lanterns – Oil-burning lanterns are perfect for use during a grid-down situation. Try to find old Coleman lanterns, which can be fueled using gasoline.
Radio – When SHTF, you can use shortwave radio to stay in touch and to monitor the news through the Emergency Broadcast System.
Rugged clothing – You can find rugged clothing like boots, jeans, or other work clothes at garage sales.
Schoolbooks – In a post-SHTF world, government services such as schooling may halt. Prepare for this scenario by buying schoolbooks at garage sales.
Trailer – A cargo trailer can be used to haul more prepping items if you're going to bug out.
Before SHTF, visit garage sales to buy various items that you can re-purpose as survival items.
Visit Gear.news to find out where you can find survival gear and supplies at affordable prices.