Fast Food Store Bargain Hunter
by Jennifer S. in Sparks
There will be different opinions on the morality of this article once it has been read and I will accept that. Some people will consider it stealing, while some will consider it borderline. Others will agree with me and say go for it. Whatever your thoughts are, we all need to prep and get new folks into prepping and with the cost of food and other supplies where it is today, I believe this is a great way to get people started and to continue to beef up your own supply list without abandoning the idea entirely since the bills still need to be paid. My thought is that these items are built into the cost of our bill anyhow.
I went through a pretty nasty divorce about 8 years ago. It got to the point that I had to move out of my own home in the middle of the day using a large u-haul and many friends. A restraining order was put into place and I had to have my children stay with their grandmother. I had lost my job due to the issues I had to deal with everyday and had nowhere to live. I ended up moving in with my boyfriend (don’t worry; I wasn’t dating him until the marriage was over and he had nothing to do with the breakup). We were pretty tight on money since I didn’t have a job. My boyfriend was working of course but money was still tight. That’s when I started to snag extra napkins at a fast food joint to save as extra toilet paper when we would order off the dollar menu.
I got back into the working world shortly after that, saved up and moved into an apartment with my kiddos. I was only down for about 2 months which was great. As a single mother of two (boyfriend and I were maintaining separate places at this time – not that serious yet), I felt the purse strings get pretty tight. Once in a while I would grab an extra couple plastic forks from the fast food places when my kids would be treated with a happy meal. This would help me use less water. Little things like this seemed to help and just kept adding up in the kitchen.
Fast forward about 5 years. That boyfriend of mine has turned into a husband and he convinces me that we need to start prepping.
Okay look, I’ve been through some rough times financially. There is a huge difference not working, then working and supporting two kids on your own. Then getting married and having two incomes and health insurance – BUT, once a poor single mom, always a poor single mom in the mind. Prepping, while very well received by me, was horribly expensive and intimidating – I have built up a decent stock. We have canned food, dehydrated food, water, frozen food (lets hope the power stays on!), extra medicine and medical supplies, I have even splurged and bought an army bag which keeps frozen food frozen for up to 5 days. I’ve got a bug out bag for each of my kids with meds and enough clothes to last a week.
What about the smaller food stuffs? You know, the necessities that we don’t really think about? Oh no….I’ve reverted back to being a fast food store bargain hunter.
This is a list of items that you can grab to add to your preps – little things that add up and will make life a little more enjoyable – my children have embraced the prepper life and will grab some of these for me when they are out with their grandmother to add to our stock (what a wonderful way for them to get involved and feel prepared instead of scared!) – it’s also a great suggestion for people who don’t think they can afford to prep – get started small!
1.) Napkins – We have already touched on this – napkins will be much better than newspaper or leaves when nature calls and you’ve run out of your rolls.
2.) Plastic Silverware – Yup, we’ve touched on this one too but grab yourself a couple of extra forks, spoons, knives and even straws when you order out. This is going to save your water usage so you will have more for drinking – wipe them off with your prepper napkins when your done and you are good to go!
3.) Salt, Pepper & Sugar Packets – These are very necessary to add to your food preps. Not only will they spice up your meals when you start getting bored but they will be a great barter item! (I wonder how many pre 82’ pennies you could get for a packet of salt?)
4.) Lemon Juice, Vinegar, Jellies, Salad Dressing, Soup Crackers – Yeah, we are not stopping with salt and pepper. Just think about all those little packets of condiments that are at different places when you go out! Grab them up!
5.) Wet Wipes! – This is one of my favorites – nearly every place to eat out at gives you wet wipes now a days and if they don’t, just ask for some – great for cleaning up when you are in a pinch.
6.) Lotions, Shampoos & Conditioners – I gotta get off topic of fast food places for these last two items – whenever ever you are a hotel snag these items. The soaps too. Have housekeeping come in each day and replenish the stock and take those also – these are in fact built into the price of the hotel and if you are paying an amenity fee which is very popular in Las Vegas you are paying extra for them. I’ve got a large shoebox full of these items and I’ll be getting more very soon.
7.) Coffee packets & oatmeal – these are two food items that I pick up at hotel stays as well – the coffee packets from the hotel room and the oatmeal from the continental breakfast. Great shelf life on the oatmeal and the coffee packets are in their own little filters so you don’t have to worry about filtering your coffee in a SHTF situation!!!
There are tons of other things that you can take a few extra of each time just to stock up on. One that I left off is taco sauce – seriously, you can have a stock of hot, mild, medium and green sauces – I actually washed out 3 old spaghetti sauce jars and labeled each one hot, mild or medium and I keep a regular sauce of extra packets in my kitchen and use those instead of buying sauce from the store. Ketchup? Mustard? What other things can you think of?
For me, this is a great way to beef up your existing stock with supplements to barter with. It’s also a great way to get a new prepper into it because they will be amazed how fast it builds up which can inspire them to get a tad more serious and it’s a great way to gets the kids involved!