Preparing to survive an emergency is tough. There are so many things to take into account. You need a food supply, shelter of some type, and plenty of water. Don’t forget to make an allowance for clothing, cooking supplies and first aid. You are going to need something to carry all of this stuff in if you plan to be mobile. And if you have a pet, there is a whole new set of problems to plan for.
Truth be told, if you purchased everything you needed to survive an emergency disaster at regular retail prices, you could quickly exhaust your savings. And you need to have that extra money set aside to prepare for your survival, because you may have situations where cash can bail you out of a sticky spot.
For all of the above reasons, thrift stores, flea markets and dollar stores are excellent places to turn for some much-needed survival supplies. But you are going to have to form a game plan, and then check these possibly lucrative opportunities frequently. Turnover on merchandise and clothing can be very high in a thrift store. Dollar stores will carry food and new products, and flea markets can have virtually anything.
The first thing you need to do is perform a reconnaissance mission. Find out just what thrift stores, flea markets, church bazaars and dollar stores are located in your area. Take a day or two to visit them all, making a list of the types of items each location has to offer.
Speak with the salespeople and managers at each and every store. Communicate with them exactly what you are trying to do – prepare for an emergency survival situation without spending a lot of money.
As far as what you can find at a thrift store (as well as donation centers like Goodwill or Salvation Army) look for the following items.
Oil lanterns, flashlights, and candles – you are going to need light, and it’s smart to stock up on several different types of lighting.
Camping supplies – use the “buyer beware” attitude here, but tents, knives, cooking sets, stoves and accessories are often available.
Clothing – self-explanatory. Buy off-season and ask for a bigger discount.
Backpacks and ruck sacks – Jansport and some other manufacturers offer lifetime warranties. Look for these.
Radios – you can sometimes find CB radios, and crank-powered radios are excellent.
Survival guides and books – better to pay $1 or $2 here than purchase brand-new online.
Anything and everything – do not forget that thrift stores and donation centers, dollar stores and flea markets can have virtually anything available. Keep your eyes and mind open to any possibility.
You will find lots of thermoses at thrift stores and donation shops like Goodwill. Be forewarned, most of them wound up there because they have long ago lost their ability to insulate properly. For that and other reasons, get to know the refund policy for each shop you are going to frequent. (Internet Tip) If you do not mind spending a couple of dollars on shipping, you can shop Goodwill online from the convenience and comfort of your home computer. Good hunting.