Buying stuff for your SHTF storage is good off course, and buying it on smart way so you can save some money is always welcome since most of us are not multimillionaires.
But have you ever thought about buying the things for SHTF scenario on some not so „regular“ ways? It will save you money too but maybe even more important is that it will prepared you and show you how finding and buying stuff will probably look when SHTF for real.
I am not advising you to do anything that might be against the law, I am simply gonna give you examples how I find some things. It is up to you how you or if you gonna use anything of it.
Have it when you do not need it (have it before you need it)
One of the most basic rules in preparing and acquiring things for SHTF is that you need to have it before you need it. You may think „oh, but it is so obvious“ yea and no. Sometimes it is not. When SHTF you may find out that it is very important to have for example tetanus shots updated, but then it can be too late. You need to fix that before SHTF.
Simply if you gonna look for the tetanus shots when SHTF price can be high. In every SHTF scenario anywhere in the world there is gonna be people who are gonna make fortune and power by having the stuff that most of the other folks do not have, because it was not so obvious that it is gonna be needed.
Ways to obtain things
Things can be bought in many ways. Some of them are illegal more or less so no advice, just examples.
I buy my fuel from guys who sell it not from the gas station, I buy it always from the same guys so in that way they do not find it useful to cross me with adding strange stuff inside in order to make more money. Repeat customer is good customer.
Where do they get it? I do not know, and I do not want to know. But some examples would be that they are just dealers for the big guy who want to „go across“ some taxes expenses, or they buying it as a „agricultural“ fuel etc. I do not ask. Is it illegal? Yes. Am I seen and did worst things then that? Yea, sure. Survival.
Ways to buy things does not necessary needs to be illegal, it can be just strange and other than you use to. In that way you are just preparing yourself for finding things when SHTF.
Some its like practice for getting things directly from people. Why not start now and tell neighbours what you can get for them cheaply and ask them if they have connection to some stuff too?
I know people in different areas of life. So I know guys from local politics and guys from local small gangs. I like to keep my ear on ground as apart of preparation for coming SHTF. Money is short here and during war people got used to get stuff through other people so the same system still works.
I also often trade for something when it makes sense. I use my preps and trade two pairs of police boots for new jacket for example.
What things do I need?
Do not think only about „ what things do I need?“ feel free to think about „what things people need?“ because you are gonna trade it.
Look around you and keep in mind when SHTF the term „useful thing“ gets whole new meaning. So you ll see ( I saw that ) that for some people it is priority to loot mall and take TV set, stereo or something similar.
I saw few guys in first days of chaos were rolling 4 new car tires from looted mall, they were laughing, very happy because they thought they made good „deal“ with that. I guess pretty soon they realized that those 4 tires are worth like one pocket knife or something similar.
Smarter folks, or you can say people with „vision“ look for the weapons, food or similar useful stuff.
Important thing is that everyone took everything, it was like storm. As the time passed by and when everything „more useful“ was gone people took everything else, like pieces of shelves where stuff was kept. People find use for that too.
For example when SHTF I expect people to smash parking machine for the money inside, I am not gonna care for the worthless coins inside, but those machines work thanks to small solar panels installed on pole above it. I would go for the panels that most of the folks not gonna notice at all.
Small things were always useful to trade. Also some bigger „invented“ things had good price, like small wood stoves made from cans or pressure cookers. Pretty soon people who were skilled made good trade with handmade portable wood stoves.
Maybe you can find something to build with empty cans or other waste products?
People tried to trade everything so you could see some funny stuff too, like I wrote in other post the old FM radio taped to some huge batteries handmade from other sized batteries and taped together. Or homemade teas guaranteed to cure something mixed from different kind of plants.
Of course scams were everywhere and you needed to be very cautious.
It was always better to have more small things to trade then bigger bulkier stuff. Easier to carry and easier to sell. Candles, batteries, lighters, canned food, spices, small tools, pocket knives…
What more you can do today
Of course that preppers look for discounts and wholesale, yard sales and similar chances to save money. But also you need to think about practicing bargaining.
I am buying lot of things on local flea market or through people I know. You can find lot of things on flea markets, and if you look hard you can find stuff that are not usually belong there.
Few rules :
- Never act like you really need the thing you want to buy (let it be your second choice for example)
- Split money in more pockets when you bargaining (do not bargaining with hand full of money)
- Many times seller will set the price basing on how hesees you in that moment. So of course do not show off any symbol of wealth.
Also remember that buying things at the flea market (in your case maybe yardsale or similar) is very good practice for trade in SHTF condition simple because there is a few things similar.
Prices not fixed (they are more thing of oportunity and skills), way how you look act and talk sometimes can be more important than how much money (value) you have in pocket.
Remember that when SHTF lot of things can be valuable, things that you usually would not even notice in normal life.
For example when SHTF batteries and candles had big value, reasons are of course because people are still used to commodity of light at night, using it in every room etc.
But very soon folks realized that candles are something like luxury so for example if you wanted to read book you would read it by daylight, or people in house simple gathered in one room under the light of one candle in order to spare the others.
So value of candles went high up in beginning and then got down.
So if you planned to make some big success with something for trade it can be said that you need to choose correct time. Some things have same high value almost all the time, like coffee, or cigarettes.
Other things gain value over the time, multiple times value. Stuff like some seeds, plants and knowledge about plants like teas, and herbs for healing etc.
Point is if you offered at the beginning stage of SHTF homemade teas as a remedies for something you would not have big success, because people did not believe that SHTF gonna last too long, or in other cases people still had some stash of antibiotics, painkillers etc.
When few month passed and people realized it is gonna SHTF gonna last for longer period, and no doctors, no hospitals, diseases spreading of course that home made remedies become suddenly popular and in the same time much more expensive.
I have more examples about trading in my survival course.
So small things that are kinda ridiculous cheap in normal time and normal life become important equal expensive. One more example would be flints for lighters.
Things like these are very important if you stash many things in order to do much trading to make life easier when SHTF.
Point is to carefully observe what things have what kind of value and more important what thing have chance to multiple value in few weeks or months.
I even knew guy who make small necklaces for luck, you know kinda of small metal on rope and if you carry that all the time you can be sure that bullet gonna miss you, he was something like monk, he trade that for food and it worked. When times are desperate people do and trust in lot of things.