For the prepper on a budget or for someone looking to round out the their supplies an often overlooked resource is the weekend garage sale.I have found numerous books, mil spec packs and camp stoves for much less than retail prices. Below is a list of some items that I see routinely at yard and garage sales.
1) Camping Equipment
I find lots of camping gear at yard sales. People buy it and then don’t like camping after all. Stoves, tents, lanterns, sleeping bags can all be had for a small fraction of the original price. Be sure you check them over for rips, tears, mold and mildew before you buy them. You should also make sure all parts are there.
Jars are especially easy to find at yard sales. Look for canners, funnels, new bands and lids, jar lifters etc.
3)Cast Iron pans and Dutch Ovens
I have purchased many cast iron pans and Dutch ovens at yard sales. You should check them over for pitting and excessive rust.
4) Cutting tools
Look for good quality tools. Knives should be full tang with either carbon steel or stainless steel blades. Axes and hatchets should be solidly built without loose handles. You should also be on the lookout for materials to sharpen and maintain your tools. Sharpening stones, files, steel wool, oil etc. are all great finds.
5) Emergency Supplies
Look for candles, backpacks, radios and lanterns etc.
6) First Aid & Medical Supplies
Look for surgical gloves, bandages, steri strips, surgical scissors and sterile gauze. These will stay sterile for quite sometime if unopened. Things like first aid crèmes, over the counter meds, and burn ointments I recommend that you only buy new.
7) Fishing Equipment
Look for rods, reels, nets and tackle. You can find some remarkable deals at sales. If you know how to fly fish buy up all the fly tying tools and supplies you can find.
8) Gardening Tools & Supplies
Look for wheelbarrows, garden carts, shovels, hoes, hand cultivators etc.
9) Hand Tools
Look for tools made in the USA if possible as the quality is much better than the stuff made in other countries. Buy woodworking and metalworking tools as well as things like nails, bolts and screws.
10) Homeschooling Supplies
Look for school books and homeschooling supplies.
11) Kids Clothing
Another good thing to look for at thrift stores these should make a good barter item as well.
12) Kitchen Items
Look for manual egg beaters, flour sifter’s, can openers, meat grinders, and choppers.
13) Reference Books
Look for survival manuals, homesteading, gardening, animal husbandry, fly tying, How To manuals, canning guides and cookbooks etc. Physical books are better than ebooks in my opinion unless they are printed out that being said I have an Ipad full of books that I have download for free from various sites.
14) Winter Clothing
Look for these items at thrift stores lots of times they are new or nearly new.