Thursday, March 04, 2004

Freedom Tips #2 Bartering and Home Storage

Here is some more information about bartering. There are plenty of sources on the Internet with suggestions, so I will skip that for now. What I want to talk about is when to buy certain things.
Let's say you are just beginning to build up your home storage or your barter items. This advice applies to both.
The biggest problems that folks make with their home storage is that they buy stuff they don't eat and they buy stuff that tastes like crap. There are several factors that need to go into your planning:
- Cost
- Preparation - how quick or difficult will meal preparation be
- Nutrition - In the event that you NEED your food storage, it is almost certain that you will also need to be healthy and strong
- Taste - Buy things that your family likes to eat. Variety is the spice of life. Wheat can keep you alive, but if you feed your family wheat for 60 days in a row, they will wish you were dead.
- Emotional - Don't just store "basics". The emotional well being is just as important as the physical. Stock up on licorice, hard candy, chocolate, hot chocolate, and other treats that can store well.

Now remember, don't just stock enough for your family, stock up some stuff to barter with. Here are some good barter foods that are inexpensive - Bullion cubes, Ramen Noodles, Cup O' Soup, Canned soup, Jerky, Chocolates, Viena Sausage, Coffee, canned beans, canned peaches.

Now HERE is some good ideas to build up your inventory. When do you buy candy and treats? After valentines day, after halloween, and after Easter. Why? because you can buy it for 75% off! In fact, if you speak to the manager of the grocery store, he will sell you all the leftovers for 90% off if you will buy a grocery cart full.
When do you buy peaches, soup, and beans? When the cans are dented - but NOT swollen. Dented cans are fine to eat as long as the ends are not "puffed out". Ask your grocery manager when he puts out his damaged goods. As a kid, my Father would take me to the grocery store on Sunday night. We would by two shopping carts FULL of dented and dated goods for $5 or $10. I only remember throwing away two cans. Each cart probobly had $100 worth of products in it but the manager had to get rid of it. Both my Father and the store manager got what they wanted. I scored too because I got lots of goodies that we would otherwise have never gotten. Cereals boxes were often cut, but the inner bag was still perfect. It was nice to have expensive "sweet" cereal for pennies on the dollar.
When is the best time to buy toilet paper and paper towels? When the manufacturer puts a coupon in the paper AND your grocery store has a double or triple coupons day. My friend Keith used to have a newspaper delivery business. When he picked up his papers, he grabbed a stack of "inserts" which was the glossy advertisements. After he delivered his papers, he would clip all the grocery ads, then study the coupons. When he found a match, he would see when the grocery store had double or triple coupon days. He literally FILLED a room with paper towels, toilet paper, mouthwash, cough drops, tooth paste, peanut butter, and cereal for FREE. I'm not kidding. He used to bring me the receipts. In some cases, the store actually gave him back money. You might not be as talented at this as Keith was, but if you practice, you will improve. If your market doesn't offer double and triple coupon days, call all the store managers in your area and within a month, at least one of them will.
When is the best time to buy sleeping bags? When you see one for less than 1/2 price.
When is the best time to buy a camp stove? When the lady at the yard sale says make an offer. I have bought several $90 camp stoves for $5. I also bought a Coleman multi-fuel lantern for $2.50 still in the original box.
When is the best time to buy anything? The beauty of your home storage and your barter stock is that you can build it up when the prices are the best. Keep your mind on finding great deals. You may not need two chainsaws, but if you see one at a yardsale for a fraction of what it is worth - buy it and store it. You will soon learn that when you see an exceptional deal, you can't afford NOT to afford it. Buy it, store it, and learn to USE your home storage. Rotate your stock. If you buy what you like, you will always get the best prices and will have your own grocery store on hand.

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