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Free Prepping Supplies

Tips and ideas on how to make the most of what we have....or what others have thrown away.

Free Prepping Supplies

Postby vtwinzazen » Fri Nov 04, 2011 5:46 am

I work in a Hospital. They throw out a lot of useful stuff. Here are some things that I collect and some uses I find for them. They are clean and not contaminated. If you work or know someone that works in the medical field you can see if they can get some things like this. I'm sure this stuff can be found in other industries. I remember when I worked in a chemical plant we could buy the used drums cheap. There was food and non food grade. Metal and plastic. All were used only once.
Mylar coffee bags. Took these out of the boxes they came in. There are always meetings with coffee and bagels. Some uses; water, bean, rice, grain storage.
Mylar coffee bag.jpg
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Ice packs. I get these from the pharmacy, Cardiac Cath or the lab. These helped out during our last 2 storms for the refrigerator contents. You can also use them to keep the contents of heat sensitive stuff cool in the car trunk during the warmer months. You can keep a cooler for these things in your trunk along with your Get Home Bag. Just transfer these items from cooler to bag and go home. All you have to do is swap out the bags every day. They stay cooler than ice and are less messy. The Angio Bags get sealed with a seal a meal but not with full vacuum. The Angio Bag plastic is less durable.
Ice bags.jpg
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Coolers. I get a variety of sizes from the Pharmacy and Lab. Good for emergencies, Picnic or Car. If you need to leave them they don't cost a dime. They are not as durable as a plastic or metal cooler but they do what they are intended for. The Styrofoam could also be used for insulation if you cut and fit them between studs. Could insulate that shed you built for garden supplies and storage. Might help keep things drier. The shed could also be used as comfortable living space for your refugees or quarantine :whistling:
Coolers.jpg
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Re: Free Prepping Supplies

Postby cityhomesteader » Fri Nov 04, 2011 7:08 am

very neat!!! My wife never brings home great stuff like that!!!
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Re: Free Prepping Supplies

Postby IceFire » Fri Nov 04, 2011 9:32 pm

When I worked at the hospital, we used to get the leftover hemostats and sutures from the surgical packs that didn't get used during surgeries. Since these were "single use" surgical packs, and the instruments were no longer sterile, they would have ended up in the trash if we hadn't "rescued" them.
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Re: Free Prepping Supplies

Postby Hardtimes » Wed Feb 01, 2012 1:54 pm

An item I get free from our local hospital is rechargeable 12-volt gel batteries. The batteries are used as back-up power for medical equipment, and have to be replaced on a time schedule rather than waiting until they wear out.
The hospital pays to dispose of these batteries, so they are more than happy to let me pick through them. I bring a small multimeter to test the batteries and take home the ones that register 12-13 volts.
I use the batteries to power portable lighting and ham radio equipment.
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Re: Free Prepping Supplies

Postby GooseArrow » Wed Feb 01, 2012 2:15 pm

Thanks for the ideas everybody!
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Re: Free Prepping Supplies

Postby dw_ak » Fri Feb 03, 2012 4:27 pm

My daughter just started working at the county hospital, I will most definitely be putting her to work keeping an eye out for all this stuff. Thanks so much for the heads up.
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Re: Free Prepping Supplies

Postby Ganey_1 » Thu Mar 15, 2012 11:32 pm

1 thing about the batteries from the hospital`s. Take all of them! The ones that are bad you can stack up outside or wherever. when you get a good bit of them, you can take them to the scrap yard and they will buy them for a good amount, then you can use that money towards other prepper stuff you need! Just my .02

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Re: Free Prepping Supplies

Postby 500CID » Mon Mar 26, 2012 2:04 am

Unused instant cold peri-pack - hospitals give them to new moms, if the moms don't take them home, they are a good source of ammonium nitrate prills, fertilizer etc.
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Re: Free Prepping Supplies

Postby dogboy » Tue Mar 27, 2012 12:38 pm

Salvaged the compressor from an old fridge to use as a vacuum pump for food packaging.
Also saved some storm windows to use for hot bed gardening.
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Re: Free Prepping Supplies

Postby 1preppermom » Thu Aug 20, 2015 11:02 pm

Hello. New to the group. I am on disabilty so money is tight. How do i get free prepping supplies. I have been prepping for about a year now and i think i need help. Any input is despratly needed...
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Re: Free Prepping Supplies

Postby angie_nrs » Fri Aug 21, 2015 1:10 pm

Oh man, I wish I could have gotten one of those batteries. I just bought one like it for $25 for hubby's fish finder.

When I was working at the hospital, I made friends with the purchase manager. I had a new born at home and would go down to the purchasing dept. and ask if they had any formula that was close to expiring. I got lots of formula for free. New moms know that stuff is like liquid gold.....very pricey. Sometimes they would have welcome bags that had products in it with expiration dates and they would give those out to employees too. But, if you're really good friends with the folks in that dept., you can get stuff that they typically give away just for asking.
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Re: Free Prepping Supplies

Postby Pedro wyoming » Fri Aug 21, 2015 6:24 pm

Talk to the local grocer about seasonal fruits and vegetables. I scored 3000 lbs of punkins the first week of november a couple of years ago. A couple of cases of beer or a little Christmas cash will grease the wheels of free produce.

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Re: Free Prepping Supplies

Postby Swen_in_ca » Mon Jan 25, 2016 7:03 pm

I scored a bunch of 10ml Saline Syringes last night for irrigating wounds, to throw in my Med Box.. She giggled when my eyes lit up. ' I knew you'd get excited over something like that.'


They were leftover from her sons surgery, but she's an RN, I told her to keep an eye out for stuff that they would otherwise toss.


Note: I was looking for a thread to brag about my free Prep score and figure this one is as close as it gets.
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Re: Free Prepping Supplies

Postby mccorpsman » Tue Jan 26, 2016 9:55 am

We shop at the same place I think. I get loads of betadine, expired sutures and IV bags, scapels, etc. To save money, hospitals have custom surgical packs made up. There might be 20 orthopedic surgeons at a hospital that will do an ORIF (open reduction internal fixation) of a wrist. Instead of opening thirty loose items, they put them into one pack. Dr X might not use a #15 blade and wants a #10 instead. Since the blade was in a pack that was charged to a specific patient we can't, by law, put it on the shelf to use on some other patient, so we put it in our charity section, or throw it out. I keep the empty saline bottles for emergency water. If we get a hurricane warning I put them in the fridge and freezer to fill up empty space with thermal mass. Thank God for US government inspired waste. I have a great first aid kit.
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