Black Friday Deals for Preppers (2010)
By Jim Cobb
For those of you who aren’t familiar with the term, Black Friday refers to the day after Thanksgiving. This is the traditional start of the holiday shopping season and retailers across the land offer up some pretty exceptional deals for those brave enough to face the crowds. For the several years, I’ve gone out at oh-dark-thirty in the morning and waited in lines to snag presents for our family (as well as myself). While every year you’ll hear horror stories about riots and other combative behavior, I have yet to personally experience anything like that. The vast majority of people I’ve encountered have been polite, even friendly. We chat each other up in line and discuss where the best deals have been found, what stores have been the least crowded, that sort of thing. I’ve always done this shopping trip on my own. I can move much faster that way. Though there is something to be said for working as part of a team, spreading out and grabbing the good stuff quickly as a result.
There are several websites where you can get a sneak preview of the Black Friday ads. The one I personally use is:
What I like about this site is they have a feature where you can create a custom shopping list for your adventure. You’ll have to register (use any email address you want) to access this shopping list feature.
This year, I’ve come across several deals that may be of interest to preppers. Obviously, you might not have these particular stores in your area but here’s what would be applicable to me.
Menards has a great deal on batteries. Rayovac AA or AAA 30pack for $1.99 after rebate. They aren’t rechargeable and obviously won’t last forever but at that price, you can’t really go wrong, can you? Now, as with any Menards rebate, it comes in the form of store credit. For me, that’s not a bad thing as we shop there all the time. We’ve never had problems receiving the rebate within a couple weeks.
Big Lots has a good deal as well on AC Delco AA or AAA 20pack free after rebate. I don’t normally shop there and am not familiar with their rebate program so can’t vouch for it though.
I’m a big fan of LED flashlights. They are much brighter than their conventional counterparts, last longer, and don’t burn out batteries nearly as fast. Bass Pro Shops has a 4 LED light that attaches to a ball cap for $5.00. Lowes has a 3-LED light that is inside the brim of a camo baseball hat for $9.97. Lowes also has an 8 piece LED light set for $6.97. It looks like it includes a couple keychain lights as well as flashights and spotlights. Ace Hardware has a red Craftsman LED flashlight for the same price. Sears has the same flashlight at the same price, but also in different colors.
Multi-tools should have a home in every bug out bag and survival kit you have. Gander Mountain has the Leatherman Kick (with leather sheath) for $19.99 (Thursday only). Menards has a Sheffield multi-tool for $1.99 after rebate. Ace Hardware has a Stanley multi-tool for $9.99 after rebate.
Can you really ever have enough hand tools?
Screwdrivers–Ace Hardware has a 20 piece set for $10 after rebate. Kmart and Sears both offer an 18 piece Craftsman set for $20.00. Tractor Supply has a Jobsmart 16 piece set for $7.00.
Wrench sets–Ace Hardware has 6 piece metric or standard sets for $10.00 after rebate. Sears has Craftsman socket sets (1/4 or 3/8) for $10.00. Menards has 4 piece adjustable wrench sets for $5.00. Lowes has a Kobalt palm socket wrench set for $4.97.
Other tools and tool-related:
Ace Hardware has a Black and Decker X-Frame Workmate bench for $14.99 after rebate. They also have a Black and Decker 18volt drill/driver set for $19.99 after rebate.
Menards has a folding razor knife for free (after rebate). They also have a 16 gallon Shop Vac for about $28.00.
Sears naturally has a TON of Craftsman tools on sale at various price points.
Walmart has a 5 gallon “quiet” Shop Vac for $15.00.
Tractor Supply has a set of two live traps for $20.00.
For those of you who live within an easy drive of stores offering Black Friday deals, you might consider setting your alarm that morning. Obviously, I cannot vouch for the quality of anything you buy that day nor can I guarantee any retailer will have a given item in stock when you arrive. Do your homework, research the ads, and figure out where the best deals would be in your area.
If you go out shopping that day, please be careful driving. Traffic will be heavy, both vehicular and pedestrian. Be polite to folks you come across. Remember, treat others as you’d like to be treated. Above all, try to have some fun.