The $20 Project: Military Surplus Store

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Yesterday was Veterans Day and today some stores and offices are closed to commemorate the event. One store was open and it seemed appropriate to visit and see what $20 could buy me. So in honor of those who served or are serving, I spent $20 at The Surplus Store. (Venice Blvd at Motor.)

Click the photo to get a good view of the booty:
Digital Camo bandana
Canteen and belt
MRE (Meal, Ready to Eat) “Chili and Macaroni” flavor
Compass
Bullet keychain

Before tax, I had $19.43, but I had splurged on the bullet keychain, so my grand total was $21.03.

March past the break and see the receipt, photos of the MRE in action and more items at the store we didn’t buy (and a few others we did outside of the assignment.)

Click all photos for larger versions.

Here’s the receipt from the shopping spree.
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It was a tough call to choose the items I did as there are so many great things to buy in that store (and more photos of them below). But first, the MRE in action!

We got home at lunchtime and my husband was hungry so we fixed up the MRE. There is nutritional info on the boxes. I can imagine being in Iraq or Afghanistan and really needing to watch the calorie intake:
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Lots of other good things to keep in mind while fighting and eating:
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The pouch of potential goodness, ready to heat n eat:
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Almost Ready:
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Chow’s On!
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Oops, spoke too soon. The Hubs had to embellish what Uncle Sam already considered a meal ready to eat. I guess if you are stationed in Italy, this could happen.
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I had a bite and it’s not any worse (or any better) than anything Chef Boyardee makes.

As mentioned, there are plenty of other good things to buy, many under $20. My favorite area was the purse aisle. What? Oh, I mean the backpack and duffel aisle.
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I almost had to get this one to see what the TSA might think of it. (If they would even notice.):
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And when you get a bag, you need matching shoes. Plenty of choices in the boots and sneakers department.
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My husband seemed drawn to the camo hi-top…hmmmm….Christmas is coming…
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Lots of great t-shirts as well.
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These were my faves:
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Winter is coming and there is a great selection of styles and warmth in the jacket area:
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But please, please, not the neon yellow or orange ones. I had an outfit in 1985 (senior year in HS) that included both those colors. It was awesome. In 1985.

There are lots of patches–notice the USS Enterprise patch on the lower right (one of the round ones). Just the item you need to finish your “Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home” costume!
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Another aisle had tons of belts and straps and backpack handles:
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And at the very end of that row was an item called the “Multi-Hatchet.” I’m sure it comes in handy, but really I only see it as the murder weapon an most CSI or Law and Order episodes…
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There was a cabinet full of books and manuals. We bought these two (outside of the designated $20) because we just couldn’t resist. How can you not buy a book called “Boobytraps?”
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“Boobytraps”, you’ll notice, was written in 1965. I believe today’s manual would be called “IEDS and You” or something. There is a section on how to diffuse mines. Step 1: (I’m not making this up) “Uncover mine carefully.” Uh…yeah. In the Ranger Handbook is “Section 7: Troubleshooting.” I’m surprised it is not Section 1.

These last items caught our eye. Plenty of Coalition of the Willing jokes to be made. But we kept our traps shut while in the store.
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Click here for more of The $20 Project.

5 Replies to “The $20 Project: Military Surplus Store”

  1. You might need a new bag! I actually bought a digital camo bag about a month or so ago from this store and LOVE IT! (Just trying not to go overboard on the camo.)

    And Fraz, you made me LOL.

  2. I LOVE surplus stores, and need to hit one before my camping trip… whenever I schedule it.
    And the one at Motor happens to be my fave. Used to be a mandatory stop before every production trip I’d make. Heading to Big Bear? I’d grab thermals, a knit cap, and cheap boots. Cancun? I’d load up on military shorts and some short sleeve button downs.
    Fun read!

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