Friday, January 6, 2012

Prepping for Free

I hear a lot of issues about money when it comes to preps. Here is an idea which is free.
I have spent a lot of time living in the field and eating bland food's, one thing I learned is little things make all the difference when it comes to food. I have also eaten MRE's for years in the field and one thing that is traded the most between troops is the condiment packets, nothing makes the crackers taste better than peanut butter or jelly.
Most of the times when you go to a fast food restaurant we get those little packets of ketchup, mayo, salt, pepper, relish, honey, jelly and crackers you can even find packets of soy sauce, duck sauce, vinegar etc. In hotels and some restaurants you get packets of coffee, tea, hot chocolate mix, sugar, mints etc.  Instead of throwing them away take them home and drop them in a bag or box. We like to prep with jars of this kind of thing but the little packets would be very handy in certain instances like camping or hiking or living on the move. For the most part they should last a very long time. A little packet of jelly has about 50 calories and a ketchup packet is about 15 calories. Trust me if you were eating beans and rice every day a small amount of sauce would make a huge difference to the taste. Homeless people make soup out of these little packets mixed with hot water.  A small container with packets of crackers, jelly, peanut butter etc in a BOB could sustain you for a few days and it will keep well and you wont have to open a larger container. MRE's have gum and matches as well in them so you could add these if you find them as promotional items.
When you are 'roughing it' morale is a big issue that is why the military has always included these in MRE's or rations, in the field I used to fill my cargo pockets with these little packets to nibble on, nothing is quite like feeling down and finding a forgotten packet of candy or coffee to remind you of better times, not a bad deal for free.


  1. Right on, Bubba. I used to keep a small bottle of Tabasco Sauce in my gear, or field jacket. It really helped with that bland tasting little can of turkey we'd get in our C-rations.

  2. It's the people who will be trying to survive on a diet of Chinese take-out duck-sauce packets who are worrying.

  3. A long time ago when one actually had to pay for their college education. (no government grants or loans that was easily gotten) Many students in the dorms used to make tomato soup with those little packages of ketchup and a cup of hot water. Restaurants used to keep baskets of crackers on the tables and students would fill their pockets with these to go with their "tomato soup".

    I have a drawer in my refrigerator devoted to all those condiment packages.

  4. Good idea. I use 2l coke bottles to store dry foods (rice, beans, sugar, etc). It's food grade and my wife drinks plenty, so supply is not an issue.

  5. Good ideas. The small things can make a difference.

  6. Great idea. Some Mickey D;s you have to ask for packets as they have ketchup pumps inside. i would stock up on the dipping sauces too.

  7. Stephen, I forgot about the Tabasco sauce, in fact MRE's have those little bottles as well
    Odysseus, yea that is a little scarey.
    Mamma Bear, good point. You can make do with a lot.
    Rich T, Using empty drink bottles are excellent storage.
    John, absolutely. The big advantage is you have a lot of verity for no cost.
    Rob's Bunker, Dipping sauces are good as well.

  8. Yes~this is a great tip.

    Excellent idea once again!

  9. Great idea. I can never bring myself to throw the packets away, but never really have to use them. That's a great option for them.

  10. Duke - as always - brilliant! and you are darn tootins that we have a big bucket of sauces and condiments...mustard makes anything taste better! but my fave is soya sauce! great post buddy!

    your friend,

  11. Humble Wife, Thanks, every little bit.
    45er, at least you always have them if needed.
    Kymber, Thanks, I agree, Sauces always make food taste better.

  12. Yep, I've been saving these things for years. I put them in a gallon Zip-Loc, squeeze all the air out, and store them in our barrel of "Earthquake Supplies".

  13. drjim, Every little bit helps.