ten free preps

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Ten Free Preps
We promise these free preps won't cost you a dime!

"Chop your own wood and it will warm you twice." -Henry Ford.

Ten preps that won't cost you a dime.
Welcome new preppers! Get started prepping for little or no
money with our list of free preps for survival, including where to
find things you really need! These methods are totally legal and
free (or next to free). They cost only your time.

Ten totally free prepping supplies
You may find yourself with more time than money. If you're
short on cash, here are ten things you can do today that cost no
money and require only a little of your time using supplies most
preppers already have.

Free Prep #1: Re-use tin cans and lidded cookie tins.
Preppers recycle and reuse. Rethink your garbage because metal
cans are the perfect free prep!

  • Save tuna cans and #10 cans, such as coffee cans, (to
    make a hobo stove, grill or box oven). Preppers should
    have an ample supply of freeze dried foods and canned
    foods. Turn empty cans into a hobo stove for your
    emergency preparedness cooking needs. Here are the

  • Save lidded cookie and candy tins (to make charcoal). A
    cookie tin is an ideal way to make carbon (charcoal) the
    way the pioneers made charcoal for their fire on the
    following day on the trail. (Read also Pioneer Lessons.)

Free Prep #2: Take advantage of freebies.
Freebies for preppers abound if you know where to look:

  • Chopsticks. Next time you order Chinese, grab a few extra
    chopsticks. Use chopsticks twice -- once for food and next
    as kindling. Grab a few extras when you're out for a bite to
    eat and before long you will have enough utensils for an

  • Condiments. While you're out to lunch or dinner, grab a
    few extra packets of sugar, soy sauce, Parmesan cheese,
    ketchup, barbecue sauce or hot sauce. Remember to grab
    the crushed red pepper packets as well. And don't forget
    the wipes given at KFC for their finger licking good wet
    wipes! These little extras will help you stretch your dollar
    and are nice extras for your bugout bags. A popular custom
    during the Great Depression was to make a tomato soup
    from ketchup and hot water.  Learn more about the Great

    Restaurant condiment pouches:
  1. Barbecue sauces
  2. Creamers
  3. Jams and Jellies
  4. Ketchup
  5. Maple syrup
  6. Mayonnaise
  7. Mustard
  8. Parmesean cheese pouch
  9. Red peppers
  10. Relish
  11. Salad dressings
  12. Salt and Sugar - Sugar in the Raw is best!
  13. Soy Sauce
  14. Soup Crackers
  15. Tobasco sauce
  16. Taco sauce
  17. Tarter sauce

  • Hard candies and mints. Whether it's a lollipop for your
    kid, or an after meal mint, candies are available at
    restaurants, tucked in with deli sandwiches and available
    at kids haircutting salons. Take them and save them.

  • Rope and pencils. Ikea offers free rope for use when you
    purchase large items to strap on your vehicle. It's on the
    honor system so grab a little extra while you're there. Also,
    grab some of those free little pencils. Think of them as
    complementary tokens in exchange for your patronage.

  • Toothbrushes and dental floss. Every time you visit the
    dentist, remember to ask for your free toothpaste,
    toothbrushes and dental floss. These are ideal to re-stock
    your supplies.  

  • Utensils. Plastic forks, knives, and napkins abound at fast
    food restaurants and takeouts or even at the office! They
    are free for the taking. Snatch up a few extras when you're
    out and never pay for these things again. Plastic utensils
    are extremely valuable to preppers because they will help
    you avoid washing dishes in an emergency when water and
    heating resources to clean them may be at a premium.  
    Chopsticks make excellent kindling, as well.

Free Prep #3: Go fruit foraging and berry picking.
Take a look around the neighborhood for free fruit. Pick
blackberries or kumquats and make home made pie or jam.
Perhaps you have a neighbor or friend who has too many
apples, apricots, oranges, or lemons? Ask if you can have them!
The owner of the fruit tree may well be happy not to pick up the
fallen fruit and you'll have yourself a free prep!  

  • Prepper's don't need to go for the low hanging fruit!
    With a fruit picker or harvester, pictured immediate left,
    you can reach those hard to reach prizes.  

Free Prep #4: Save Toilet Paper and Dryer Lint (free
At first this seems odd if you're new to prepping, but start
saving your toilet paper rolls and the lint from your dryer. Why?
Lint is a fluffy tinder for fire starting! Stuff the lint into the
toilet paper rolls and now wrap your little present for the future
in paper from a brown paper bag. Add a little string to make it
look pretty.  BONUS ideas for fire starters and accelerants:  
Store perfume cards. Save those little perfumed card samples
from the department stores or tucked in your magazines
because they are loaded with alcohol making them an excellent
accelerant. Save them and insert them with your toilet paper
lint rolls. The card samples in magazines you get are loaded
with alcohol making them ideal for fire starting. These perfume
cards offer the convenience also of cardboard to work as tinder.
For an added touch, dip the perfume cards in paraffin wax. See
our other firestarter ideas.

  • Collect pine cones. Pine cones are excellent natural
    acellerants and will add ambiance fireside.

  • Recycle: Birthday candles. Birthday candles may seem
    useless after the cake has been eaten, but they are perfect
    for fire starting purposes. When the party is over at work
    offer to take them.

Free Prep #5: Make an Emergency Toilet from a Five
Gallon Bucket.
Ask for five gallon pails from local restaurants and bakeries. Use
these buckets for storage of non-food items or to make an
emergency toilet, since you may not know how the bakery or
restaurant used the buckets. They very well could have poured
in harsh chemicals and mopped the floors.

  • Make a portable potty. To make a toilet, you can use a
    special lid, like the one pictured immediate left, but you
    don't have to buy one. You can cut your potty hole with a
    utility knife if you're resourceful.  

  • store toilet paper and personal sundries
  • keep first aid supplies handy.
  • Assemble a pandemic kit.

#6: Get free products.
Write manufacturers if you find their products not up to your
standards and get free stuff. You will find manufacturers will
reimburse you with free product. Happy Preppers has received
free coffee, free chicken, free chips, free butter, and free pies
for complaining about the products. So go ahead and give them
a piece of your mind! Write if the frozen chicken is a bit more
brown than you've had before. Write if the coffee beans had
more of the dregs at the bottom, or if the chips were crushed.
You see, manufacturers want to please their consumers and are
often happy that you point out their flaws. Best of all you can e-
mail manufacturers. It won't cost you a dime! Be sure to include
your name, address and telephone number.  Also, be sure to tell
the grocery store when an item is miss-marked: Safeway honors
a policy of getting the product for free if the product price at the
checkout does not match the marked price!

Free Prep #7: Prepare with free mobile apps and
Kindle books.
Check and see and you'll find they have a free app for that! Get
free disaster preparedness apps from the American Red Cross.

  • Free Preparedness apps. The American Red Cross First
    Aid app is free and it just may save your life. See also free
    apps for flood, tornado, earthquakes, wildfires, hurricanes,
    pet first aid and more.

  • Free Kindle apps. Download free Prepping eBooks on
    Amazon (even if you don't own a Kindle). Get your free
    Kindle Reading App now. Anybody can read Kindle books—
    even without a Kindle device—with the FREE Kindle app for
    smartphones, tablets and computers. Be sure to read
    "Survival Guide for Beginners," pictured left is for free. This
    highly rated book on Amazon to help you get started
    prepping won't cost you a dime, and you don't even need a
    Kindle to get started. Free on Kindle unlimited are the
    books pictured right. If you don't have Kindle Unlimited,
    then it's a mere .99 cents, which is almost free!

Free Prep #8: Get free food & supplies while
prepping on Amazon!
Really and truly you can get free food and supplies for prepping
on Amazon using this legal and proven happy prepper method.

Free Prep #9: Pick up Pennies!
Free stuff for preppers is easy when you look around! Don't be
too proud to pick up pennies (or to save them). A family of four
or five can pick up enough pennies, nickels, dimes and even
quarters in a year to collect around $100!

Kids love picking up coins for you! Tell them whenever they pick
up a coin that they are a "money magnet." You will be surprised
at how often your child will find coins. This process teaches
respect about money and if you believe in the Law of Attraction,
you will bring more wealth your way!

Pennies are particularly valuable for their copper value. If you
visit coinflation.com you will find that copper pennies are worth
almost 2-1/2 times their face value! So be sure to save them
instead of spending them. For the copper value alone you'll
about double your money. Copper will be a tangible item you
can trade in bad times. Here's
more about hoarding copper.

Free Prep #10: Search Craigslist.com & Freecycle.
org for free preps!
Craigslist.com is an amazing resource and list of free goodies in
your neighborhood. Try also
freecycle.org. (the free cycle
network). Freecycle.org is a grassroots and entirely nonprofit
movement of people who are giving (and getting) stuff for free
in their own towns. Items on both sites are free for the picking
simply because of the generous heart of the previous owner or
simply because the owner does not wish to go to the trouble of
disposing. The price is only your gas to get to the location
before someone else gets it for free.

  • Get free firewood (and start chopping). Chopping
    firewood is not only necessary, but nearly free (it costs
    only your labor). Of course, first you'll need to search
    Craigslist and Freecycle and know where else to get free

  • Here are other fun and valuable free finds on Craigslist and
  • an old truck bed! (This could become a garden bed.)
  • an empty propane tank (It only needs refilling).
  • wooden pallets for making chicken coops, furniture and
  • used garden tools, which may need cleaning or are
    good to go!
  • old washer / dryer to save you on quarters at the
    laundry mat.
  • barely used tent that maybe doesn't have the

Who knows? You may find a free bed (and use the money you
saved to buy preps). Or perhaps you can get something free and
sell it for profit. Happy free finding!

More "almost free" ideas for Preppers
If you have a few bucks to spend here are some more ideas:

  • Make paper logs (fire bricks) for free. Here's how to
    make free paper logs for your wood stove or fire pit. It
    saves you from buying a fire brick maker.

  • Saving on the suds. To get at the last of the soap bits,
    put your final bar pieces into a mesh bag. This is how
    people of the Great Depression stretched the last bit of

  • Splitting matches. A trick employed during World War II to
    stretch resources was splittling matches. People would
    split their match ensuring two lights, and not just one!

  • N-Ice Savings. Fill a few baggies with water and put them
    in your freezer in preparation for the next blackout to keep
    your frozen goods chilled through the outage, which could
    last a couple of days. This will save you from buying bags
    of ice like everyone else. Best of all, when they thaw, you’ll
    have some drinking water on your hands.

  • Recharge.  It doesn’t take much money to recharge
    batteries. Check all your flashlights to see that you are

The above list is all legal! Do not steal from neighbors or your
employer.  Take advantage of free preps with a clean conscience.

Like these ideas? Go to Pinterest now and get free ideas for
your survival manual.
Follow happypreppers on Pinterest.

We want to hear your ideas on free preps!
Here are some ideas we've gathered from around the web:

  • Free stuff for your workshop (scissors and more). The
    author of this Instructables article on how to get free
    useful stuff for your workshop shows an example of how to
    get free scissors from Harbor Freight and equivalent useful
    gear. It's just another way to get more free stuff.

  • Free poop bags. Many parks, schools and churches will
    have poop bags on their property to help keep their parks
    clean. Ideal for when the "poop" hits the fan, why not grab
    a couple of extra when you are out and about with your
    pooch? The more you save on free bags, the less you'll
    have to buy for an emergency. Stock up on poop bags and
    use the free ones!

  • Free toilet paper. One of our followers told us, "...My
    sister, who's now a lawyer, used take the toilet paper from
    hotels she visited on business travel, so she'd never have
    to buy another roll of toilet paper (she was single at the
    time). She felt her company had paid for it, so why not?"

  • Free toilet use. Every time you're out, you may as well hit
    the public rest rooms and save on toilet paper at home.
    It's certainly one way to save money! When the poop hits
    the fan, you may have to question your ethics to survive
    economically. As mentioned previously in the bullet on
    condiments during the Great Depression, desperate people
    would quickly eat the sugar and ketchup on the tables of
    restaurants and then leave before ordering any food.
    History repeats itself and in new ways. During the next
    great depression we'll likely see people taking the toilet
    paper from public rest rooms (and not simply visiting them
    to save money).

Read part two...
Ten free things for clever preppers to get, do and make.

Happy endings...
Free is always better. As they say, the best things in life are
free! New to prepping? In the beginning, prepping is an
overwhelming feeling for newbie preppers of how to spend
resources wisely.  Prepping is the art of building skills,
knowledge and supplies for survival. While it's true that
prepping requires both time and money, this list proves you can
start only with your time. We hope the list will help you get
started prepping without spending a dime.

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