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Christmas gifts

The more you save, the more resources you will have to be prepared, and the better off you will be. Take advantage of the season to purchase the following items after the holidays, when prices are at their lowest.


Gym membership and exercise equipment: This time of year, the personal finance experts come out in droves to give advice to those who overspent on holiday purchases. The gym membership is the first thing they usually advise dropping, but preppers know better. A doomsday prepper understands the importance of being in excellent physical shape; it could be a matter of survival. Working outside is good, but an inexpensive no-frills gym for $10-$20 a month gives you additional options for muscle toning and cardio conditioning. In January, look for sign up specials with waved fees and discounted costs. Home exercise equipment is another option and should be marked down by 30 percent to 70 percent.


Buy a car: A reliable form of transportation is important for evacuation and survival. Smart preppers do their research and then hit the car lot on New Years Even, when the sales staff are eager to earn incentives for the year and clear their inventory. Confirm the business hours, and then go shopping two hours before closing. This applies for new vehicles only. For used vehicles, purchase in April, when the selection is best.


Discounted Christmas candy: Who cares if the candy is shaped like a wreath or a Santa, if you can store some cheap treats and use them as a source of energy and pleasure later? Holiday dried fruit is another good stockpile item. Look for discounts of up to 90 percent off holiday treats. To learn about long-term candy storage, click here.


Winter clothing: Winter coats, sweaters, socks, gloves, boots and other cold weather clothing will be deeply discounted in January. Retailers want to make room for lighter spring clothing. Smart preppers will stock up with savings of up to 75 percent off. We just don’t know what the conditions will be after a disaster, so stocking extra winter gear may be essential.


Winter sports equipment: Discounts start in January and get even better in February, although selection may be sparse. Some winter sports equipment can be invaluable in a disaster situation. Grab everything from goggles and snowshoes to ice climbing gear.


Holiday storage: Holiday anything, from paper products with Christmas trees on them to food storage containers that feature snowman, can be used for prepping. Everyday items that have been given a holiday theme will be relegated to the discount bins at grocery stores nationwide. Stock up on aluminum foil, cling wrap, plastic food containers, foil pans, paper towels, zipped plastic bags and other useful items that can be used to store and protect your preps.


Holiday candles: Stores will practically give away both traditional and battery powered candles after the holidays. Look for thick pillar candles, jar candles, and packages of battery powered candles, and stock as many inexpensive ones as you can find.


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