Posts Tagged ‘frugal’

Cameron McKirdy did this:

Survival Bros shows you exactly how to get FREE CLOTHING IN LIFE!  Click on the HD YouTube video above for the exact mission details.  All you have to do is visit your local painting supply company store, and request a complimentary painter’s shirt or even a hoodie.  Every painter needs a shirt, preferably one with sleeves to protect themselves from paint over spray, and drips.  Trust me, I’ve painted houses and after pulling globs of latex out of my chest hair, a barrier of soft, breathable protection is a must.

It’s simple: Request swag (politely), get gear.  Try this method of acquiring, and comment on the blog post here if you have any luck.  It’s worked every time for me when I need fresh clothes to wear, and there’s more than one paint shop to pick from.  

I got another free shirt, this time from Rodda Paint in McMinnville, Oregon by asking…

More proof you can do this too.  

Send me (Cam) and email at thesurvivalbros@gmail.com if you have a photo you’d like to share, or want to suggest a topic for me to write an article about here on SB.  Thanks.

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Produced by MC McKirdy

Survival Bros shows you how to get free food for your pets.  With these four methods you’ll save money and treat your animal to the best in nutrition.  It doesn’t take much time to try out these scavenging techniques.  Prepare for the future by stashing some samples for later consumption.

You can try:
Requesting samples at health food and pet stores, filling out forms online for freebies, going to your food bank, and asking Vets in they have any bites.

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Produced by http://www.CameronMcKirdy.com

free dog foodcam2

Blogger Cam McKirdy reporting from the streets

 

By Cameron McKirdy

I’ve been on the hunt at local thrift shops for a bargain.  After scouring the Eugene/Springfield, Oregon area I hauled in fresh gear, and saved a wad of money buying items second hand.  However, most of the swag mentioned in this HD video production is new.  I’ve been popping tags.  I hope to use these pieces backpacking, vandwelling, and as essential Every Day Carry items.  

Nike SFB Tan Boots

I found a new pair of Nike Special Field Boots or SFB at St. Vinnie’s.  They retail online for $140 or more, if you can locate your size.  I had hoped they were size 12’s when I spotted them on display.  It was my lucky day, because they were a match for me.  The desert tan kicks had been marked $29.99, but were half off that day.  I got the shoes for $14.99!  I’ve been wanting this exact pair of 8 inch high military style boots.  Here’s the male equivalent of girls wearing Uggs in public.  I get lots of compliments on them.  No I haven’t served, but I train with soldiers.  

Mechanix MPACT gloves

I lost one of my all black Mechanix M-PACT Covert gloves bouncing around town celebrating New Years.  So, now I’m breaking in another pair of work gloves that I had for backup.  I like wearing them while biking, or even driving my Volkswagen Vanagon.  This brightly colored safety wear is men’s size Large.  Newer versions fit even better.  I also like that they dry out quickly in the sun.

Here’s my other videos on thrift store shopping.  I’ve found some treasures, and I look forward to going back into the city to discover what else I can’t live without.  Thanks for supporting the blog.  Visit again shortly.  I have lots of wacky videos in the works.  Have a great Spring Break, and Summer! 

The BAN 420 car license plate is still available – $50,000 Or Best Offer

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Produced by http://www.CameronMcKirdy.com

By Cameron McKirdy

Survival Bros sleeps in a 1986 Volkswagen Vanagon GL, down by the Columbia River for free.  You can stay at in the Safeway parking lot in Astoria, Oregon at no cost, and you won’t be hassled for being there, according an employee running the gas station.  I was polite, and purchased distilled water in the store anyways.  Find out if the sea lions drove me crazy from all the noise.  I kept imagining the loud animals being destroyed by killer whales, great white sharks, and nuclear war heads.  However, if your cruising the Oregon Coast, keep this location in mind so you don’t have to pay to live, or for a view.  I love the car camping lifestyle.  If you can stay mobile, and explore The World, why do anything else?  More van dwelling videos in High Definition coming soon.  Thanks for liking, and commenting ahead of time.  Cheers!

safeway car camping

My RV parked next to other travelers stationed at Safeway in Astoria, OR

 

By Cameron McKirdy

There’s many freebie sites online that link to forms where you can request free samples from companies.  In this video I show you all the stuff I’ve received in the mail, plus items I have taken from stores myself.  You can also complain about product you don’t like to a company’s hotline, and they will send you a replacement, or a voucher redeemable at a shop near you.  

New video of freebies I received this week including a $10 Starbucks gift card

First, I want to discuss how to get free samples by mail.  It’s easiest to find a website like http://www.freebieshark.com which links to the latest promotions around the web.  Generally, you just have to fill out a short form with your name and address to get a complementary trial size of whatever.  Sometimes, you have to like a company’s Facebook page, Tweet about their business, or something like that before you can request a free sample.  It takes a few seconds to complete most forms, especially if you allow your internet browser to auto fill in your information.  As you can see in the Survival Bros video above,  I’ve scored tons of things by quickly filling out forms online.  I think my favorite gift was the four Keurig coffees in a sampler box.  It’s not much, but freebies add up, and save you lots of cash in the long run.

In the video I also mention how I complain about items I’m not satisfied with to the company over the phone.  These comment lines are always grateful I call, because my input helps make their product better.  They apologize for my inconvenience, and send me vouchers good for a replacement item, and valuable coupons for the future.  I said Planters sent me $15 to get a new item of my choosing, and here’s what the manufacturer coupons looked like before I spent them at UnSafeway.

product vouchersThe final and simplest way to get free stuff is to take it.  Go to a business, such as a convenience store, and get packets of sugar, salt and pepper, honey, sauce, etc.  Or if you’re eating at a fast food restaurant, politely ask for extra sauces.  You can take home additional ranches, mustard and ketchup, or crackers.  They won’t mind, and you rarely have to pay for these, so have fun, and use your imagination.  Soon you’ll have a huge stockpile of goodies like me.  This is what I had on hand to show today.

free stuff onlineNow you know three ways to get free stuff.  You can find an offer and fill out a form online to request a free sample, call the company directly if you are not satisfied with a product, or take a few extras from restaurants and stores.  You have to embrace being a hoarder, and become a scavenger.  I believe this is the essence of being a prepper.  It’s good to have extra just in case.  It’s free, why not take it?  If I can get all these items in a few weeks, so can you.  You just have to do some urban, and online hunting.  Please comment if you have any questions and I will get back to you.

By Andrew McKirdy
Whiskey Barrel TablesUpcycling is the process of converting waste materials or useless products into new materials or products of better quality or for better environmental value.
 
This DIY project started when I sat down for a drink at Rock Bottom Brewery in Denver, Colorado.  I noticed several old whiskey barrels being used for decoration.  I asked my waitress if I could have one, and a few days later the brewmaster and I were loading two freshly used barrels into a borrowed car for transport.   They’d been emptied, but I could still hear swishing when I moved them.  One had been used for a raspberry saison and the other for an ale.  I don’t have a shop, but thankfully a friend let me use his patio to begin work.  I decided I wanted to keep one barrel whole and use it as a kitchen table.  The other I would cut in half and turn into two side tables.  I used a handsaw for accuracy, and finished with a powered skill saw.  For the whole barrel, I drilled a small opening in the bottom to drain the remaining contents.  I scraped the insides with a chisel, removing any loose wood chips.  Then I poured vinegar in the barrels to kill bacteria and prevent future growth.  This also helped get rid of the funky raspberry smell. 
 
I sanded, then dusted off both barrels, to prep them for stain.  I came back the next day, but the stench of high VOCs (nasty chemicals called volatile organic compounds) reeked.  I realized I would need to seal them up.  This would stop the smell, and provide an excellent sheen.  I found a low VOC polyurethane which worked wonders.  Lastly, were the rusty metal hoops, which I wanted black.  After those were painted I priced around for the most affordable glass company.  I was told I needed a tempered piece of glass which cost twice as much, but is infinitely safer and stronger.  Finally the project was complete.  I had taken something that was going to be destroyed, and given it new life in my home.  I researched the name on the barrel and found out it came from the oldest and smallest distillery in Kentucky, originating in 1797.  The Woodford Distillery is in fact a National Historic Landmark.  I have a real piece of Americana.
Vintage Oak BarrelsOak Whiskey Barrels to be upcycled
The McKirdy Bros Professionally Eating Ribs

The McKirdy Bros Professionally Eating Ribs

Times are tough, for many people this isn’t the first time they’ve struggled to make ends meet. I’d like to humbly share a time in my life my frugality took a dark but interesting turn. It was 2008 and I was a student at the University of Oregon. My major was international studies and so, in a way I was honing my skills for a life of financial hardship. I was “in between jobs” as they say, and while I had saved enough money to still afford rent, my savings were diminishing fast. Food was expensive. I had contributed to society, paid my taxes for long enough for me to feel less guilty about what I was scheming. I looked to the homeless for inspiration and I found none. “They are doing it all wrong” I said to myself.
 
I had long been a fan of free food so I started brainstorming of all the past places food was a plenty. Buffets. Breakfast buffets. Continental breakfasts. The Holiday Inn Express was closest to my house, so that’s where I first walked in as confidently as possible, to a hotel I’ve never been in before. Oatmeal. Apples. Oranges. Muffins. It was a beautiful display of food not meant for me, which made it even more exciting. I had my backpack on me because my Spanish class was in a half an hour. I ate what I could, and opened my bag to shove a bundle of bananas in. I took an extra muffin for my friend because he was broke like me, and as it turns out I’m very generous with other people’s food. This went on for a while. So long that I started to rank the hotels. Phoenix Inn had apple juice and hot chocolate so I gave it a B+. But breakfast was only one meal out of the suggested 3 a day. I had started noticing official University of Oregon food golf carts zipping around campus. I was lucky enough to have experienced this before at catered public events and so I knew they had the goods. One day in between classes I saw a green cart zip right in front of me and if it were possible I would have jumped right on the back and followed it to wherever it was going, but I had to be more inconspicuous. So, I ran. Calmly. Like I was late for a class across campus. Finally the cart stopped in front of the law building. Taking from future lawyers was alright by me. I wasn’t stealing. I was taking something being offered just not to me. Oh was it delicious. The pasta was seasoned and covered in feta cheese and oil. I was in heaven. The breakfasts and occasional catered meal kept me for only so long. I did some grocery shopping rather often to buy my bulk items of hummus, rice, beans and oats. Cheap nutritious foods. I was at Whole Foods when I noticed a bread man checking the dates of each loaf and then collecting the ones that were about to expire. I striked up a  conversation and he told me that he could give me some just not in the store. He told me to meet him out back. A couple of minutes later he was noticeably more casual with me. He didn’t care about the bread. So I took all that I could. Six loaves of organic whole wheat bread. It only lasted me a few days. 
 
Turns out he gave the rest to the Eugene food pantry, but they always had plenty of bread from other donations besides his company. I looked into the pantry and I qualified. I rode my bike to the pantry, and again only had my backpack. They told me to go outside and they would bring me my food allowance. They rolled out a two level push cart full of canned foods, cold milk and other dairy products including a very cheap pint of chocolate ice cream. I could only carry about a quarter of what I was alloted. I wouldn’t have eaten most of the other stuff any way because it was full of MSG, salt and I knew it would taste awful. 

Eventually I was able to get a job and save up some money so I didn’t have to go to all the trouble, but I had a good run. Without all the ways I found to get free food I am sure I would have started charging groceries on a credit card. I hope I don’t have to do it again, but it is nice to know that sometimes beggars can be choosers if you’re smart enough. I am very thankful for each and every free bite to this day. 

Andrew McKirdy

Andrew Scoring Free Organic Bread

Andrew Scoring Free Organic Bread

By Cameron McKirdy

Survival Bros shows you all the stuff that is half off in the back of a Safeway grocery store.

Retail is for suckers. Don’t pay full price for anything, ever again. Store owners get everything wholesale, and you can too.

I often start my shopping trip by going to the back of the supermarket. That’s where you can always find items 50% off, because they are discontinued, damaged, or close to their expiration date. You’d think these products are no good, but I’ve found the sale goods are usually organic, and simply not well known, so they go unsold. Don’t be too good to save money. People pass on these deals because they are too proud, and must feel like the product is inferior to what’s on the regular shelves. It’s silly.

Think about getting a membership at a wholesaler like Costco. It will save you cash, and probably pay for the card on the first trip. Be on he lookout for an asterisk on the price sign at Costco. An * means the item is being discontinued, and it’s not coming back, so the price is usually reduced. Buy more then if needed. Not that I support big box stores, but it’s worth going just for the free food samples. I will have to produce a video on that. And my friends that work there seem to be happy.

You can also compare prices online. Additionally, I like to practice patience, and use eBay auctions to save money. Plus, check out smart phone apps like ShopSavvy that get you the best deal possible. The only time I pay jacked up full retail prices is when I’m buying local. Even then I will haggle. Prices are made up. Things are worth what you pay for them.

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The clearance rack at Safeway in the back