dollar store finds for preppers

Aquamira water filter
Dollar stores
Ten essential dollar store finds for Preppers

Have $10 to spare? Spare no time and head to the dollar store to buy something.
Get one of each of these items, or stock up on ten of them! We've gathered up the
best dollar store finds for survival in our top ten Preppers list. Consider this list of
dollar stores emergency supplies...

Short list (Ten Things to Buy at the Dollar Stores):

    1. Triple Antibiotic Ointment: Neosporin is the brand name from Johnson &
    Johnson that you probably stock in your cabinet for around $7-$8, while Triple
    Antibiotic Ointment is the generic equivalent available at the Dollar Tree
    stores for buck. Both contain three antibiotics (bacitracin, meomycin and
    polymyxin B). It's a great buy, provided you're not allergic to neomycin.
    Polysporin Ointment is the best alternative, because it doesn't contain the
    Neomycin Sulfate allergen. Your allergy will cost you, though! A three pack of
    Polysporin, left, is around $25 (and that's great deal on Amazon). The stuff
    sells for much more elsewhere.

  • Honey is an antibiotic! If you want a natural antibiotic, then pick up
    honey at the dollar stores. You can apply honey directly to a wound as
    a natural antibiotic dressing.

    2. Bandages and gauze: For just a buck you can get 100 bandages of varying
    sizes at the Dollar Tree. Supplementing your first aid kit with gauze is another
    inexpensive and important item for your medical provisions and so
    inexpensive and easily available for purchase at the dollar stores. Add cotton
    balls to your Dollar Tree store shopping list, too. They are made of real cotton,
    but available rather inconsistently.

    3. Manual Can opener: Already have a manual can opener? Save the quality
    can openers for your kitchen, but stock up on can openers for camping and
    survival preparedness. Stash a can opener directly with your of canned goods
    at each location! The dollar stores are a great place to stock up on them
    inexpensively. Buy ten today for $10! The good ones cost $10-$20 in the
    culinary stores. Remember, that electric can opener will do you no good when
    the power grid fails.

    4. Hydrogen peroxide. Your first aid cabinet is not complete without
    hydrogen peroxide! Hydrogen peroxide helps manage infections, among many
    other uses. With antibacterial qualities, hydrogen peroxide is an ideal first aid
    cleanser, but it's not antiseptic. It's available for about half the cost of grocery
    store sales at the dollar stores. It may also be used as an oral debriding
    agent. It can aid in removing phlegm, mucus or other secretions associated
    with a sore mouth.

  • NOTE: As a first aid essential, Hydrogen Peroxide can help prevent
    infection in minor cuts, scrapes and burns. More serious wounds require
    a wound care treatment solution prescribed by a doctor.

    5. Lip balms and lotions: Happy Preppers buy lip balms at the dollar store for
    half the price of the pharmacy or grocery store. Lip balms are comforting for
    immediate hydration of lips. Left, Chapstick is a pretty good deal on Amazon,
    though. You get two packs of three Chapstick lip balms for around $7.94 and
    your order is eligible for free shipping. It's just another reason why the Dollar
    Tree store is good for preppers!

    6. Petroleum jelly and cotton balls. Did you know petroleum jelly will help
    you make a home made fire starter? An old scouting trick, just dip cotton balls
    into petroleum jelly. This is highly flammable combo and ideal to start your
    fire. You don't need a name brand for Petroleum Jelly. It's the same stuff. Be
    on the lookout for cotton balls because they don't always stock them at the
    dollar stores and they go quickly.

    7. Toothbrushes. Happy Preppers stock up the Dollar Tree store with tooth
    brushes. You'll find a case of 72 Colgate soft bristle toothbrushes for $72.
    Imagine the savings! This would likely be a year supply for a family of four.
    (These would cost a few hundred dollars more if you bought them individually
    at the grocery store.)

    8. Extra socks. How good you'll feel to stock up on socks for the whole family!
    Don't wear them, instead stash them as part of your Prepper supplies. Fresh
    socks can offer a boost in morale and would also prove to be vital for long
    hikes that might be necessary in a catastrophe bug out situation. Dirty socks
    during long hikes can cause overheating, chilling or blistering, so put extra
    socks in your bug out bag (preferably, choose hiking socks). Good hiking
    socks can cost upwards of $10-$30.

    9. Gloves. Brand name latex gloves for dish washing are available at the
    Dollar Tree stores and at a great value. These gloves will protect your hands
    while working or cleaning. Happy Preppers know the value of preventing
    injuries during uncertain times and such latex gloves can help. Wearing a
    glove could prevent a cut or scrape; and therefore also an infection. And while
    you're at it, stock up on the surgical type cloves,which will be handy for
    disposing of sanitation buckets. Garden gloves are also a great value. Stock
    up for your home farming efforts.

    10. Canned foods + bottled water. Check the prices, because while most
    items are $1, at the Dollar Tree stores you'll find cans of brand name corn for
    just $.079 each. Campbell's soups are just a $1, so you'll wonder why you
    ever bought them anywhere else. You will find good deals on items with long
    lasting expiration dates, such as pineapple chunks as well. There are other
    great sources of canned foods at great prices, including Walmart. You can get
    freshly packed and quality spring water in brand names at the dollar stores.
    In certain states you will pay the redemption value of the water, so it's not
    really a buck, but buying water at the dollar stores is certainly a great deal.

99 Ways to Spend a Buck
Dollar Store Finds for Preppers: the complete list

You never know when hyper inflation might kick in and the dollar stores become the
$10 Stores! Take advantage of the situation now, while things are still reasonable.
The buck stops here with 99 ways to spend a dollar at the dollar stores. Consider
this complete list of dollar stores emergency supplies for your preparedness...

99 things to buy at the dollar stores:

  1. Advil (ibuprofin) Trusted fever / pain reliever. Each tablet has 200 mg of
    ibuprofen to temporarily reduce fever and relieve minor aches and pains from
    headaches, colds, arthritis, muscle aches, toothaches, and menstrual cramps.
  2. America's Almanac (available seasonally, the almanac provides useful tidbits
    of information and a spring planting guide).
  3. Antacids. Regular strength 500 mg calcium carbonate tablets bring fast relief
    of sour and upset stomach, acid indigestion, and heart burn. Plus, they’re
    sodium free, have added calcium, and a great fruit flavor!
  4. Antibiotic Ointment. Triple Antibiotic ointment is made in the U.S.A.
  5. Anti-bacterial Towelettes.
  6. Automotive repair kits (hose clamps to splice).
  7. Baking tins. Many preppers choose a steel baking tin for cooking in their do-it-
    yourself camping equipment, particularly the bread size is popular for bugout
    bags. We've also seen preppers file down a cooling rack to create grill to fit
    into a bugout bag.
  8. Bandages (look for quality brands, including Curad). Buy different sizes.
  9. Bandannas. Preppers have dozens of uses for bandannas. If you're lucky
    enough to find them, get them.
  10. Baking soda for slugging pests. Check out ten uses Preppers have for baking
    soda. If you can afford it, buy baking soda in bulk at the warehouse stores.
    You'll pay a whole lot less and get a brand name you trust.
  11. BIC Lighters (or generic). Have extra fire starters on hand. Ideal for starting
    fires on high wind conditions.
  12. Boxed foods. Pasta and rice side dishes are in abundance at the dollar stores.
  13. Bungee cords (often an overlooked item, but ideal for bugging out to strap
  14. Cable ties. Sometimes also called zip ties are ideal for tying gear. Cable ties
    help keep bicycle wheels in place, plus they're great for household repairs,
    camping to keep raccoons out, hanging utensils to dry, lashing sticks
    together, and so much more.
  15. Camping fuel in a can (canned heat). Canned fuel is available seasonally or
  16. Candles. Emergency candles come packed 6 and each last for 5 hours, look
    also for jar candles and tea light candles.
  17. Canned fruits. The unit price is actually around .79 each, and not a dollar!)
  18. Canned meats (Potted meats). Look for a variety of potted meats and meals.
    The unit price for many of the potted meats is actually .50 each, and not a
    dollar! Pork and beans is another good find. You probably won't find albacore
    tuna, but you'll find a nice white chunk tuna. Be sure to buy only the brands
    made in the United States. Tuna for example, is unregulated in many
    countries and unethical (it won't be dolphin safe).
  19. Canned veggies (unit price is actually around .79 each, and not a dollar!).
    Look for Libby's sliced beets, along with the usual varieties of green beans,
    corn, sweet peas, potatoes, and mixed veggies).
  20. Can openers, manual (buy extras to stash with your preps). They won't be
    the best quality, but it's always good to have extras around with your #10
  21. Car towels. Super absorbent car towels will go a long way in a life off-grid.
    You'll wish you stocked up whether you're facing an economic depression or
    other catastrophe.
  22. Chewing gum. Where else can you get for or five packs of gum for a buck?
    Look for gum that contains real sugar. Find out why gum is an essential item
    for your survival.
  23. Clothesline and clothes pins (wooden) for the wooden clothes pins.
    Paracord is better material. Cordage could fill many other needs. Look for
    braided cord that you can break down into smaller strands. Clothes pins
    (wooden) for hanging your laundry in an off grid world. Another handy use of
    a clothes pin is to help you hold nails to hammer!
  24. Coffee filters. Coffee filters make an excellent survival tool.
  25. Combs. Think of combs as bartering or replacements. They take so little
    space, so why not stock up? (If you have more room get also some hair
  26. Compact mirror for a signaling device.
  27. Condiments. Certainly you will find hot sauce to make cooking during the
    apocalypse more bearable. Look also for chili pepper, Koops mustard, and
    also Hunts ketchup without high fructose corn syrup.
  28. Cotton balls and cotton rounds for use in your first aid kit and for fire starting
    with petroleum jelly.
  29. Cookie tins for making your own home-made charcoal.
  30. Cough drops (look for Halls Cough drops).
  31. Cutting boards -small (look for red cutting boards from Betty Crocker). These
    are ideal for camping or for your bugout bag.
  32. Dental Floss. Learn the 25 uses of Dental Floss for survival.
  33. Digital thermometer. Have a personal thermometer handy for every member
    of your family. You could almost use them as a disposable thermometer.
  34. Dish towels. You'll need more than you think for cleaning up in a life off grid,
    where better to stock up? (Buy a plastic container and fill it up.
  35. Dish rack (plastic dish rack) also for off grid dish washing and ideal for
  36. Dish washing pans (rubber, eight quart). Pictured immediate right, you'll
    need three dishpans: one for a water rinse, one for warm soapy water, and
    one for bleach rinse (one cap full for the pan).
  37. Dog food (if you have a dog). Gravy train is .50 a can (and other name brands
    come into the store).
  38. Duct tape. Discover 11+ good uses for duct tape for your survival.
  39. Drop cloth. Plastic drop cloths for sealing windows and doors on concern of
    pandemics, also has a myriad of camping uses. Unfortunately, there is a limit
    of four per person.
  40. Ear plugs. Ear plugs for discreet comfort while manning firearms.
  41. Elastic hair bands will last you much longer than rubber bands. Rubber bands
    are a must for tying long hair for fire starting.
  42. Elastic support bandages. Look for AEC latex-free spandex (made in the U.S.
    A) by AEC Narrow Fabrics
  43. Emergency Cell Phone Chargers. An emergency cell phone charger for  
    emergency preparedness at a dollar store? Yes!
  44. Epsom Salts. Learn the importance of Epsom salts for preppers and
  45. Eyeglass repair kit. Eyeglass repair kit.
  46. Eyeglass cleaning cloth. Eyeglass cleaning cloths are also for sunglasses
  47. Facial tissues (small packs). Great for the car or the bugout bag.
  48. Facial Tissues, large (Kleenex and Scott's facial tissues). Always just $1 at
    the Dollar Tree Store, but more than double the price elsewhere.
  49. Fingernail cutters (pack one in your bugout bag).
  50. First aid paper tape for use with gauze.
  51. Flashlights. There are many inexpensive options for flashlights at the dollar
    stores and it's essential to have extras throughout your home, so long as you
    can maintain the batteries!
  52. Feminine pads. Both for feminine hygiene and for first aid. The small sizes are
    great for this purpose.
  53. Funnel for canning, and another for fuels.
  54. Gauze for your first aid kit, available in different sizes.
  55. Gardening and work gloves for tending to your crops, collecting wood and
    other chores.
  56. Hard candies to boost morale and provide energy burst for your bug-out bag.
  57. Hydrogen peroxide. You'll need lots to fight infections, but remember
    hydrogen peroxide has an expiration date.
  58. Hand sanitizer. Unfortunately, most of the stock comes from China, but hand
    sanitizer is a necessary for survival and it comes inexpensively at the dollar
  59. Jarred foods, such as salsa, pickles, olives, asparagus, peppers and the like.
  60. Instant ice packs.
  61. Knives (for the sheath). Pictured right, your best buy for a knife at the dollar
    stores is the un-serrated edge, as it will last longer. You won't find high-
    quality knives, but the plastic sheath is worth buying for your good knives!
  62. Knives (utility). Get an inexpensive Exacto Knife or Tool bench utility knives
  63. Latex dishwashing gloves.
  64. Latex medical exam gloves for dealing with medical emergencies and
    pandemics, provided your prepping household does not have any allergies.
  65. Lip balms to retain moisture in your lips when water is in short supply. Look
    for name brands such as Chapstick and Blistex.
  66. Lotions to help you keep moisture in your body when water is in short supply.
  67. Magnifying glass. Again, a fire starter option and available inexpensively at
    the Dollar Stores.
  68. Matches (small size and large pack). Extra matches will be a welcome addition
    to your preps. Store them in a watertight container. Small packs for the
    bugout bag. You'll find the boxes themselves will also be a source of tinder.
  69. Mesh laundry bag. A mesh laundry bag is a lightweight way to store items in
    your bugout bag. Mesh is ideal to help clean your pots and pans in a bugout
    scenario. You can hang your cookware out to dry for camping.
  70. Nails and screws.
  71. Petroleum jelly for use as a fire starter with cotton. Petroleum jelly is the
    same as the name brand Vaseline.
  72. Plastic food containers. Look for Rubber maid, which is at least 100%
    cheaper than the same thing at the grocery stores.
  73. Playing cards. You'll need something to do so you won't get bored. Read
    more about board games for the bunker.
  74. Plastic shoe box containers. Make your own Dollar Store Kit for the car. Be
    sure to look for boxes that seal well, as some are flimsy.
  75. Rain poncho for the bugout bag.
  76. Rubbing Alcohol. Look for the highest percentage of alcohol you can 80-90%
    is best.
  77. Safety pins. Get 100 safety pins for $1 when elsewhere they will cost you
    three times as much. Safety pins are a prepper favorite for bugout bags and
    key rings.
  78. Salt with iodine. Salt has many uses for preppers and you get two for .50
  79. Scrub buddies (plastic) for dishes, pictured left for scouring pots and pans.
  80. Sewing kit (ideal for bugout bags), and the tiny sewing kits also include tiny
  81. Shoe laces or leathers. Always pack extra shoe laces in your bugout bag.
    They are ideal cordage and come in handy when you need it for long treks.
  82. Soaps (liquid soaps). Look for SoftSoap (made in the U.S.A.). This is a great
    everyday bargain. Normally they are more than double the price at ordinary
  83. Soaps (bar soaps). Tried and true, and ideal for when the liquids run out,
    you'll find bar soaps are ideal for any survival situation economic or health
    related. Ivory soap is a classic, tried and true brand, but look also for other
    soaps gentle on the skin without perfumes or dyes.
  84. Socks. It's always a good idea to carry extra socks, because you're sure to
    run out of them when laundry goes off the grid. Dry, clean socks will help
    prevent blisters. Ideally, look for wool socks for your bugout bags.
  85. Solar lights.
  86. Spices. The dollar stores are ideal for purchasing chili powder, cinnamon,
    oregano, basil and parsley.
  87. Steel wool, also for scrubbing, but ideal for so many prepper uses. Armed
    with steel wool and a 9-volt battery, you can start a fire.
  88. Sponges.
  89. Sugar (Pure Cane Sugar). Look for Domino or C&H pure cane sugars.
  90. Sugar (Brown Sugar). Look for Domino or C&H pure cane sugars.
  91. Super glue to fix an innumerable things you'll inevitably break when you
    won't be able to buy it again.
  92. Sun hat. For just a buck you can cover your head. Ideal to stuff in a bugout
    bag and forget about.
  93. Toothbrushes (they are double the price everywhere else!). Toothpaste if you
    don't mind the fluoride. Learn the dangers of fluoride!
  94. Tote bags. Sturdy tote bags will help you haul all sorts of gear and are a
    lightweight way to carry fruits, such as apples and lemons, which you may
    need in food foraging.
  95. Travel bottles (mark with a Sharpie the contents: rubbing alcohol, bleach,
    dish soap).
  96. Twine. Twine. You'll use twine for the garden, choose paracord for outdoor
  97. Utility Pail. Buckets are cheap at the dollar stores!
  98. Water. You'll find plenty of bottled water (jug bottles and six-packs). Why pay
    more than a buck for bottled water six packs? Look for Crystal Geyser Alpine
    Spring Water by the jug or bottles.
  99. Wet wipes. Wet wipes / diaper wipes are a good find for sanitation. Just
    beware they dry quickly, so replenish your stock and don't keep them too
    long in your hot car. If they dry, remember you can add a bit of water to
    moisten them up for use.

So there you have it: 99 ways to spend bucks. It's prepping on the cheap! Print this
list and take it with you next time you shop for essential prepping items. You only
need a few bucks in your hand for
emergency supplies at the Dollar Stores.

What NOT to buy at the dollar stores
With all this said, here are a few suggestions of what NOT to buy at the dollar store
for self reliance. Please for your survival:

  • Skip the Skippy. You really need to be a label reader when it comes to
    peanut butter. Skippy Peanut butter may be your favorite, but it has
    hydrogenated oils, which will kill you. Peanut butter should have peanuts, oil
    and salt.

  • Glow somewhere else. Stay away from the glow sticks (found cheaper at
    Michael's Art supply) and bleach, which you'll find in larger quantities and on
    sale elsewhere.

  • Don't clean the shelves for bleach at the Dollar Stores: bulk up on bleach
    somewhere else. Buy in bulk elsewhere because most bleaches at the dollar
    stores are watered down and come in much smaller sizes. Where ever you
    buy bleach, avoid scented bleach which has chemicals. The scented varieties
    are unsuitable for purifying your water, though they will certainly still be
    useful in prepping for pandemics. Also, bleach will expire in about six months!

  • Common sense never expires! Watch the expiration dates and the dollar
    stores. Even hydrogen peroxide and bleach has an expiration date. Spices
    also expire! Don't buy anything that won't last at least a year.

  • Steer clear of the "seedy" deals. Don't get suckered into buying seeds.
    Sure, they're just .25 cents, but they may not plant in the Spring and they
    might be GMO. Instead, buy Burpee seeds, which are made in the U.S.A. Go
    heirloom and plant survival seeds.

  • A battery of tests proves that shouldn't buy batteries from the dollar
    stores. Refrain from buying batteries as they are cheap carbon zinc or
    chloride and not lithium alkaline.

  • Stay away from "made in China" products as best you can. Support
    American made whenever possible! Refrain from buying generic medicines and
    vitamins, which may go unregulated and are usually made in China. Look for
    American made.

  • Flush the temptation to buy the toilet paper.  It's always filled with
    unhealthy powders to bulk the roll into looking like there's more on the tube.
    You're better off getting one roll of Scott's Toilet Paper (1000 sheets). Left,
    you'll get 27 rolls of Scott 1000 Bath Tissue for under $20.

Shopping the dollar stores is the cheapest and fastest thing you can do for your
survival. Grab some things today!

BONUS TIP: Never use your credit card at the Dollar Tree
Seriously, you don't have a dollar? This is exactly what the credit card companies
believe. Your credit score will go down with your shopping habits. It's true! Heck,
even if you use your debit card, the credit reporting agencies know where you've
shopped. Read more below. Anything you buy at dollar tree for prepping should
always be paid in cash.

Related Articles:

What do you think of this prepper's list? Write us on Twitter or Facebook or share with
your friends at Pinterest!
Steel wool: multi-use prepping item
Happy Prepper
Next Prepping Article: Stove and Campfire Cooking
Happy Preppers site for survivalists + preppers
Thanks for visiting us at! Prepare
to live happily ever after
with us. We're the happiest
preppers on the planet.
15 FabulousWays to use Apple Cider Vinegar
25 of the most overlooked preps
How to use mylar for survival (correctly)
Why preppers stockpile baking soda
Ten must have canned foods for storage
How to get rid of head lice
11 reasons to stock chewing gum for survival
Duct Tape Survival
8 good reasons to stock epsom salt in your preps
Six Strange Survival Uses of Chapstick
Dealing with Dengue Fever
Ten things to know about bleach (before you buy too much)
Emergency drinks to hoard
Emergency drinks to hoard
------------------------------------------------- Revised 09/2/15
(C) Copyright  2012-2015 by All rights reserved. The site happily targets concerned
citizens who are self-reliant survivalists, preppers and homesteaders with original content on survival
following societal collapse. You may link to our site, but
you may NOT reproduce any part of our content, or
store our content in any retrieval system to represent it as your own. Further, you may not transmit content in
any other form or by any means, including (but not limited to) electronic, photocopy, mechanical, or recording
without written consent. makes no warranties. is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising
program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to,, or Amazon is a great place to buy emergency supplies. In
other words, we recommend prepping gear sold on
Amazon. It's a great place to shop.

Get prepared! Read more emergency preparedness information on our home page.
tumblr tracker