This is a guest post by Orange Jeep Dad
Anyone paying attention to the news today can decifer the urgency to prepare for a coming crisis. If you think there is no chance of any crisis ever reaching your doorstep, I doubt you would be reading this survival blog. If you ARE aware of the possibilities of natural disasters, financial meltdowns, and partial societal collapse but you know others who are disbelievers, the best thing to do at this point is preparing to have a little extra on hand for them. If they haven’t figured it out by now, odds are…they aren’t going to.
Thankfully we aren’t in the stone age and we have some significant technology to use in our aid to acquire what we need to survive a potential life disruption. This post is written based on my first hand knowledge and use of technology to acquire prep items quickly and inexpensively.
If any suggestions here seem foreign to you, remember back to the last cell phone upgrade where you had to re-learn how to text, how to save contact information…all that stuff that you had learned so well with your last phone, but eventually re-learned. If you don’t have a cell phone, maybe you can relate adapting from your coffee cans tied together with string to your rotary dial phone? But I digress…
The following is a list of ways I have used to acquire a large portion of my prepping supplies.
CraigList. The biggest of the online garage sales. Not only can you search online ads from your computer desktop or laptop. With the invent of smart phones, you can use a specialized application to be notified within MINUTES of the buyer’s posting. I use an app called CraigsNotifica. I wanted an inexpensive clay pigeon thrower to practice my target shooting. I created a search for “clay thrower”, told it what zip codes to look for the item, input the price range I was willing to spend, I elected to only see posts that have pictures (I want to see it BEFORE I go look at it), and I tell the app to check CraigsList every five minutes.
With all these built-in parameters, If someone posts a clay pigeon thrower that meets MY criteria, I am notified within five minutes of that item being posted. That means I am mostly likely to be the first person to call the buyer and my odds of getting to it first are substantial. I have purchased a large portion of my preps with this method and still have several active searches on my Droid right now.
GPS, Mapping & Garage Sales. Garage and estate sales (foreclosure liquidations) are often published online in your local newspaper classified ads, ahead of the sale. Use your smart phone GPS Mapping app or desktop Google Maps to plug-in a handful of sales on an upcoming weekend. Use the maps to plot the shortest distance between each location which will also serve to move you quickly from sale to sale and save gas. Start early and take snacks for the ride. You’ll be amazed at what you find at these sales.
With all the foreclosures these days, folks are desperate to sell off their unwanted items quickly before the banks come take their homes. I came across one gentleman who sold me his backyard shed, large safe, children’s bedroom furniture, and a stand up freezer. After a little conversation, he threw in all his firewood, firewood rack and spare propane grill so he wouldn’t have to move it himself to a new location.
Online deal sites. There are numerous websites on the internet today that consist of a community of “deal finders” or people who report items on sale when they find them. Two such sites are SlickDeals and FatWallet. Subscribe for free and become a member. This will allow you to do virtually the same thing as the CraigList app only you will set email alerts to notify you as soon as other people post deals. I wanted to stock up on honey last year. I signed in at SlickDeals and went to the User Control Panel. There you will see a section on the left called Deal Alerts. Click Add Deal Alert and input your info. I assigned the Keyword Phrase to “honey,” told it to send alert to “email” and notify me “instantly.”
Every time a member of the site posted a deal on honey, I was notified within an hour. There was a smoking deal on honey at Amazon one day and I bought Ambrosia pure honey from a Colorado supplier with free shipping. I bought enough to supply my family for a year and I didn’t even have to leave my house. Once you find the item you want, at the price you are happy with, you simply return to the deal site and delete your Deal Alert.
FreeCycle. This is an online free recycling website. Items are only allowed to be posted for free. You may find a used microwave or firewood for your winter stockpile. Since you can post things “offered” or “wanted,” you’ll want to set your filter to “offers only” to see only the items being given away. Be patient and see what pops up in your neck of the woods.
By using today’s technology of instant email alerts and blazingly fast search queries, you can systematically acquire the items you deem important to you and your family with minimal effort. No more driving to stores and paying retail prices. Put your request out there, at the price your willing to pay, and let the deals come to you. Happy Deal Hunting.
Please share your thoughts and tips in the comments below..