Gleaning is a great way to augment your food storage. This is a form of foraging but rather than concentrating on wild plants, you’re picking up corn left behind in farm fields, that sort of thing. Now, before engaging in gleaning, you MUST ask permission. Otherwise, you’re just stealing.

If you have farms in your area, talk to the owners. Quite often, there is a fair amount of good stuff left behind, such as at the corners of the fields or when they dump the pickings into trucks.

Check your local parks and see if there are any fruit trees there. If so, ask at the park and recreation department about picking up windfall apples and such.

You might have some luck too in talking to local gardeners about getting their trimmings and thinnings. With many plants, you can repot these and grow them.

If you have factories in the area that produce food products, you might find they have small stores inside where you can purchase at a discount “factory seconds.” These would be things like dented cans, mislabeled products, or other items that are perfectly edible but just didn’t get cut to the right length or something.

Some states will allow you to pick up roadkill deer, provided you buy the appropriate tags. This does vary state to state so check your local laws.

Remember to always ask permission before gleaning. It makes no sense to try and save money on food and then have to spend the savings on paying fines and such.

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Jim Cobb

Jim Cobb has been a student of survivalism and emergency preparedness for almost thirty years. As a young child, he drove his parents nuts with stockpiling supplies in the basement every time he heard there was a tornado watch in his area. Of course, being a child, those supplies consisted of his teddy bear, a few blankets and pillows, and random canned goods he grabbed from the kitchen cabinets. Later, he was the first (and likely only) child in his fifth grade class to have bought his very own copy of Life After Doomsday by Bruce Clayton. Today, he is a freelance writer whose work has been published in national magazines such as Boy’s Life and Complete Survivalist Magazine. He is a voracious reader with a keen interest in all stories with post-apocalyptic settings. He maintains the Library at the End of the World blog and is also the Content Director for He currently resides in a fortified bunker in the upper Midwest, accompanied by his lovely wife and their three adolescent Weapons of Mass Destruction. Jim's first book, Prepper's Home Defense, was published late 2012 and his second book, tentatively titled The Prepper's Complete Guide to Disaster Readiness, will be out in mid-2013, both coming from Ulysses Press.

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