Free Survival Stuff From The Drive-Thru
Free Survival Stuff From The Drive-Thru avatar

More Ketchup, please…

As the resident “city mouse” and representative of the “softer side” of survival here at SurvivalBlueprint, I would like to bring up a topic that may be quite foreign to some of you. The Grocery List.

Yes, I said it, but don’t let me scare you off. Be strong and hang in there with me.

I was writing my grocery list last night and was reminded that I hadn’t been faithfully adding to our emergency food storage for a while now. Instead of being smart and buying a few things here and there, I needed to do some “Ketchup work,” (yes, that was a lame joke.)

I began by listing out the things I wanted to get like the usual staples of rice, beans, flour, sugar, salt, etc. My mind was going wild with the endless list of things to buy which left me with visions of dollar signs lit up like Vegas-URGH. I became overwhelmed and abandoned my list for the remainder of the night.

Swanky Survival Shampoo

As I went about my other business, I noticed 3 pretty little bottles on my dresser. Shampoo, conditioner and body soap. Each contained only a few “magic” ounces, but never the less I brought them home from the swanky hotel where Dave and I spent our anniversary weekend. I didn’t really plan on using them, but instead putting them in our guest bathroom to stage some clever illusion of a Spa-like retreat, which I never did do and there they sat.

Then I stopped myself, realizing I should just toss them into our survival stuff. This was a “eureka!” moment (better late than never) and I decided I needed to start thinking smarter, not harder.

Free stuff- that’s what I want. After realizing I could probably get two decent showers out of those bottles, I began to think about just how many useful things are given to me absolutely free that ultimately end up in the trash. How many times have I been at a fast food drive up window and discovered after I got home that the cute little 16 year old that prepared my order had thrown about 15 ketchup packets and a huge wad of napkins into my bag. I’ve always felt a little bad about the wastefulness of it, but now I’ll look forward to it!

In our society everyone is on the go, so we need fast and portable things that also encourage our buying experience to be as easy and brainless as possible. So, if they’re going to give it to us, let’s take advantage of it! Now, I’m not at all saying not to buy some of these condiment type things in larger sizes, we’ll need those too, but opening a 1 gallon jug of mustard for just ¼ a cup to toss into a recipe may end up biting you in the rump later.

Possible contamination and spoilage are things to consider, especially when you are unable to refrigerate food items. Use the bulk for the big stuff, of course, but if you just need to add a tablespoon of mayo to your can of tuna, then you have a better and smarter option if you have it in a Deli packet.

Heck, in a wacko/ extreme situation you may even be able to trade with them! (I’m thinking of the “Book of Eli” movie where people were going nuts just to get a handi- wipe like the ones they give you at KFC and BBQ restaurants.)

PLEASE remember I’m talking about FREE items that are given or offered to you, NOT STEALING or behaving unethically. You know, remember the Golden Rule “treat others as you want to be treated.” So, that being said here is a list of items to hang onto that are commonly given by restaurants, airlines, dentists and hotels. There really are quite a few, and I’m sure many more.

  • Ketchup
  • Mustard
  • Mayonnaise
  • Salsa
  • Horseradish
  • BBQ Sauce
  • Sweet & Sour Sauce
  • Honey
  • Salad Dressing
  • Peanuts & Pretzels
  • Pickle Relish
  • Crackers
  • Coffee Creamer
  • Tea Bags
  • Handi- Wipes
  • Plastic Tableware
  • Napkins
  • Shampoo
  • Conditioner
  • Body & hand soap
  • Hand Lotion
  • Sewing Kit
  • Toothpaste
  • Toothbrush
  • Dental floss

I want to note that I realize that plastic silverware isn’t the environmentally friendly choice, but if you have a limited supply of water you sure don’t want to use it washing the dishes.

So if you aren’t convinced just remember:

It’s free, easily found, requires minimal space, you need it anyway and it’s smart. Need I say more?

If you have ideas of other free stuff you can get that has a survival use, please add your comments!

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