Big Lots is a place some preppers shop for discounts and closeouts. They are not all the same.
I shop discount stores. If you are not familiar, Big Lots is a liquidation outlet store. I shop several Big Lots stores in my area. I know where three stores are located along my weekly work route. I shop different stores for different reasons. If I go to a store in an older well established neighborhood with light industry where strip malls abound, most people in the area have lived there 20 or more years and have no need for the trendy new dishware they don't camp anymore, they are settled in their lives. This is the store I use come Christmas gift giving time because all the stores receive the same drop shipments from corporate but this store stocks house wares longer than the one nearest me. Another store stocks tools and camping equipment more than most.
I would never suggest driving from store to store looking for a wishful item. If you can’t find what you need at your local store, ask the manager to call other stores for you before a long waste of gas. I have just learned this trick over time and choose a store along my driven path.
I am a subscribed member to their rewards program. I use my junk email account to receive their notices and weekly ads. If I see something I need or think I will need, I go to the store that will likely have the item when I get there. I found an item at my local store and wanted more but I had to go to the store likely to stock gadgets and camping equipment for the other three I wanted. The rewards program counts the number of $20 or greater purchases then gives me a 20% off the next purchase once I achieve the number required. They also send an email ad in advice of the printed ad. That helps me plan my trip.
prep items and note taking
Last month I went to my Big Lots with my phone in hand opened to the notepad. As I was browsing, I saw outdoor furniture covers. Priced at $20 and less made of PVC or PVE material, I made a note. They also had outdoor grill covers in a variety of colors. When I got home I made a better note to remember that Big Lots brings in new seasonal items as they are discounting last seasons, to clear the shelves. At the first sign of Halloween all the summer stuff is marked down. I will purchase deeply discounted drawstring bottom furniture covers for covering large fruit plants to protect them from frost. The grill covers are good for grills and gardening equipment, the larger furniture set covers can cover a small tractor.
I don’t shop till I drop; last week’s trip was recon. I also needed to some toilet paper.
To save the most money, I suggest you shop your local discount store as if you were on a first hunt of the season. You know you are most likely not going to bring home the big one. You are walking in the woods ready to shoot but mostly sorting out where the idiots are hunting so as to avoid them and where the deer really are when the noise starts.
Recon your discount store as if you have everything you need and this is just for exercise. Find out what is year round merchandise and what is seasonal. Look up the big ticket items online and see if you are saving on shipping by buying locally. You will save by not spending till you are good and ready to invest your money. End of season sales provide the deepest discounts. If you can wait, do so.
If you are thinking water storage and filtration, consider the above ground pools and covers at Big Lots, they run half the price of a Walmart and situated under a downspout can hold thousands of gallons of water. Generators are sold here as long as supplies last, and in Florida, they don't last. Make sure the box does not state, used or refurbished. On something you need like a generator, spend more get the warranted new machine.
Not everything you see at this store is for prepping. I mentioned some Christmas shopping here. Set a budget for your gifts. Compare prices, buy low and put your savings on a big ticket item you will need later.