dollar store finds for preppers

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

99 ways to spend a buck prepping the dollar stores.
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99 Ways to Spend a Buck Prepping
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 one buck emergency
supplies for your preparedness...

Here is our original and popular list of 99 prepping things to
buy at the dollar stores:

  1. Advil (ibuprofin) pain reliever. Each tablet of Advil 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. Of course, the
    Advil packets, right, are convenient for the bugout bag.
  2. Aspirin. Aspirin is a survival item beyond headache relief.
  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 is for slugging pests and a whole lot more
    beyond baking. Preppers have many uses for baking soda!
  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 equipment).
  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 online.
  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 cans.
  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 brushes.)
  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 camping.
  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
  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
  41. Elastic hair bands will last you much longer than rubber
    bands. Rubber bands are a must for tying long hair for fire
  42. Elastic support bandages. Look for AEC latex-free spandex
    (made in the U.S.A) by AEC Narrow Fabrics www.
  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 survivalists.
  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
  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 stores!
  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
  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
  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 rubbing
    alcohol you can get. For more fuel power, 80-90% is best.
    Dollar stores generally will have only 70% available and in
    small bottles, but it is a good value.
  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 cents.
  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 scissors.
  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 stores.
  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
  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
  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 and toothpaste. Toothbrushes 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 survival.
  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,
    eventually by clogging your arteries. Hydrogenated oils are
    like eating plastic! Peanut butter should have peanuts, oil
    and salt. Another better idea is to try Sunbutter, made of
    healthy sunflower seeds.

  • 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

  • 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!

Medical Preps from the Dollar Tree...
The Patriot Nurse shares her Dollar Tree medical supply ideas.
Visit her site at

Happy endings...
If you have a few bucks you can buy survival items at the dollar

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