Dollar Store Survival
There’s no argument that prepping can be costly.
There’s food storage, weapons, ammunition, bug out supplies, emergency supplies for the home, fuel for cooking and heating, medical supplies, various training and so much more. The costs can become so high that it prevents people new to prepping from even starting because they think they will never reach a state of being prepared.
Don’t let the lack of money stop you from prepping!
It’s better to get started at least with some things and bootstrap your way from there.
For cost effective prepping supplies there is probably no better place than your local dollar store — sure, it might not be the best quality but you need to start somewhere. And when you have more money to spend you can upgrade a lot of these things that you get at the store for better quality supplies.
One warning though: there are many items that you can get elsewhere much cheaper. Some stores you can save a lot more when you buy in quantity from places like Walmart, Costco, and Sam’s Club.
In other words, do your due diligence as you’re shopping and you’ll be good to go. Aside from that, you still can get some pretty good deals at the dollar stores so check ’em out.
Here’s a gallery of items that I took pictures of from my local dollar store that should get you started with some ideas for emergency supplies for your home, for your car, as well as your bug out kits:
Around the beginning of gardening season you can find dollar stores selling vegetable and fruit seeds. I’ve even been able to find some heirlooms which will let you use and save the seeds from the veggies you grow.
Alcohol gels are a great addition to any bug-out bag or for emergency cooking in the home when forced to shelter-in-place.
18 liters of water for $1 is not a bad deal at all.
Bleach has many uses in a survival situation from disinfecting to water purification. Keep in mind though that the shelf life is only around 6 months at which point it starts to lose its effectiveness.
Fire from sun anyone?
Even though these socks are “death cloth” (cotton) having a few extra in your bug-out bag is not a bad thing when the ones you’re using to hike out to a safe place get wet.
Although I prefer a Shemagh (because they’re a bit bigger), bandannas still have a ton of survival uses from slings, to sediment filters, to tourniquets, to much more. They hardly take up any space and should be part of everyone’s bug-out bag.
Protection from the rain. This should last at least 72 hours which is perfect for a BOB.
Baby wipes and other sani-wipes are also great for around-the-house or bug-out bag cleansing needs.
People tend to forget the importance of entertainment and other morale boosting activities when in a stressful situation. Dollar stores have a lot of easy-to-pack games and activities that are great for your kids bug-out bags.
Although you can get them cheaper in bulk, I like the small supplies of over-the-counter meds that the dollar stores have for my bug-out bags since I don’t want to carry a full-size bottle.
Alchohol, Hydrogen Peroxide and other first-aid items can be found cheap at the dollar stores and are great to have around the house for emergencies.
Cotton balls and Vaseline (not shown) are great firestarters for your BOB.
Although they’re not Lithium, having a bunch of batteries around is always good until you can upgrade to some better supplies.
Mouse traps are not only good for trapping small game if bugging out but can be set up as early-warning devices around your bug-out camp.
LED lights both last long and are pretty sturdy. A must have in your home and BOB.
Steel wool and a 9-volt battery (also sold at the dollar store) can be decent firestarters in a pinch (although I’d much prefer a lighter or matches).
Work gloves are another important item to have in your BOB.
Steel wire is excellent for improvised animal snares (and human) while out in the bush and may be something you want to add to your BOB.
Drop cloths can make serviceable lean-to shelters.
Some type of cordage (preferably paracord) is a must have for survival situations.
Bungee cords are great for many things like binding kindling, holding items to your pack, securing shelter components and much more.
Dollar stores have surprisingly many food items that can be a great start to stocking your pantry.
Ramen is a great high-energy, lightweight meal to add to your bug-out bag.
Coffee filters are another great sediment filter for cleaning water prior to boiling it when out in the wild.
Although I would highly recommend NOT buying a knife from the dollar stores for survival use, if that’s all you can handle financially it is better than nothing at all.
If you’re packing your BOB with canned goods, don’t forget the can opener.
Matches, lighters, and other fire-making implements are always a very important part of survival.
Aluminum foil is great for cooking food in fires, as a heat reflector (like Mylar space blankets), makeshift water containers, as well as a signaling device.
These ziplock bags are great for using the SODIS method of water purification. They take up practically no room and are a great addition to your BOB.
After your water is purified, a straw makes it a ton easier to drink from a plastic bag.
These Sham Wow knock offs absorb a ton of water like a sponge. These are great for wiping the morning dew off of grass for water collection in a survival situation.
Trash bags are another multiple purpose survival item — again from makeshift ponchos, to water collection devices, to floating aids when crossing deep water, and much more.