Editor’s Note: This post is another entry in the Prepper Writing Contest from JustUS. If you have information for Preppers that you would like to share and possibly win a $300 Amazon Gift Card to purchase your own prepping supplies, enter today.
When I first heard of this prepper writing contest, I knew I wanted to share my ideas on how to prep on the cheap, or better yet, prepping for FREE. Of course we can’t get everything for free, however there are a lot of items we can get free in the mail. Things like health and beauty, cleaning supplies, pet foods, medical supplies. Sure, they are mostly a “one use sample” and you may have to spend some time filling in the requests online, however in MY opinion, they are free and worth it.
Most of these types of sites you will need to sign up and you will get notifications in your E-Mail. This helps to save time looking for them. You can also go to the Wal-Mart site and find freebies there as well. If you don’t want to sign up at “freebie sites” you can just do a search for “freebies” and there you will have literally hundreds of choices.
How can you start prepping for free?
My postal carrier must be getting tired of stuffing my mail box almost daily with my samples. She has asked me how I get ” so many free samples” and ” what I do with them” I did let her know where I go to find them, However I tell her I just ” use them as I need them” when in reality, I have a plastic tub that I have built into a “bug out tub” This tub is not something we would want to carry around for miles and miles, but one that if we DO have to leave, and have time to pack the vehicles and or trailers, this tub holds many items we would need for survival and a few things for barter and then a few other items for our “sanity” like playing cards, pencils and paper, family photos, etc. There is a small camp coffee pot that holds the filters, coffee, creamer and a small amount of sugar, the eating utensils and knives for cooking with.
I then took zip lock bags, that I had gotten free in the mail, and separated the samples into category’s like medicines, wound care, beauty/cleansers, etc. When you are looking through all of the freebie sites, do not limit yourself to items that you know you will use, but look for items you can re-purpose. For instance, personally I have no need for female feminine items like Kotex and tampons. These items are great for bandages and wound care since they are sterile and packaged in singles. The tampons are great for sticking in wound holes. They will expand to the size of the hole, within reason, and help stop the bleeding.
I also like to look for items I might be able to use for bartering. One item that we personally will never use is Marlboro SNUS packs. Marlboro ran a promotion for a while where you could get them for free when you bought a pack of cigarettes. Since my husband and I both smoke, we were able to get several of each “flavor” of the SNUS. I took these packages and put them in food saver bags and stacked them in the tub. They would be great for bartering in a SHTF scenario. Another Item we personally do not use is baby diapers or adult diapers. They both are items we could use for wound care. Don’t forget when you are looking for your free samples to think about your pets of you have them. Those small packages of food are easy to pack and store. A few other items to be on the lookout for free samples are oil lamp wicks or candle wicks, trash bags, ( handy for waterproofing shelters) bug sprays, string, rope or yarn samples are handy as well.
I have been lucky several times and found fishing supplies as well. Hooks and lures are not only useful but they are east to store in empty medicine bottles or if you would rather lay them flat you can use a piece of corrugated cardboard and insert the barbed end into the cardboard then fold it to form a card. you could then put several feet of fishing line around the cardboard to hold it together.
I also like to look at different sport store sites, or prepper sites where you might find items that are free but you pay shipping. In my experience shipping is usually between two dollars and seven dollars for items from fire starters to flash lights. Entering contests is another great way to get free prepping items. I like to look on Facebook pages of different companies since they will have giveaways to promote their products. One of my favorite pages is Military Luggage Company, on Face book. I have been lucky to have won a few different back packs affording me to have several ” bug out bags” This saves me from having to purchase them so I can allocate our funds to other items that I have not been able to get for free.
Take some time, search the web, see what you can find out there to put in your bug out bag, or even to fill a rubbermaid tub in your storage area.Go ahead and indulge on items you may not buy regularly like flavor packs for water, or treats for your favorite pooch or feline friend. Remember, the more free items you can get, the better, and before you turn down a freebie that you might not use regularly, think of a way to re purpose it or ask yourself if it would be an item that you might be able to use for bartering. Fabric samples are great for bathroom use when out in the wilderness and they are light and easy to pack along by making a small hole in the corner of the swatch and tying several of them to your pack. Another important item to look for when looking for free samples are vegetable seeds. Growing your own food is not only economical but a lot more healthy for you and your family.