Thursday, July 17, 2008

Prepping on the Cheap at the Dollar Store

As I wandered through our local Dollar Store today, I noted a plethora of preparedness items that a person could buy and stockpile, each for only a dollar. Here's some of the items:

  • plastic utensils

  • paper plates

  • candles

  • batteries

  • cleaning products (ammonia, bleach, scrubbing powder, sponges, mops, etc)

  • kid's books

  • spices

  • hand sanitizer

  • soap

  • first aid supplies (bandaids, peroxide, antiseptic, gauze, etc)

  • razors

  • toothbrushes

  • toothpaste

  • shampoo

  • ziploc bags

  • plastic trash bags (all sizes)

  • plastic containers and buckets

  • paper products (toilet paper, paper towels, napkins)

  • super glue

  • bungee cords

  • scissors

  • utility knife

  • work gloves

  • car stuff

  • aluminum foil

  • canned goods

  • dry goods (flour, grains, sugar, etc)

  • tools

That just scratches the surface--each store has different items and the same store will have different items each time you visit. For people who think it is too expensive or overwhelming to prepare ahead of time for a disaster, taking $10 to the local Dollar Store and buying ten items to add to your stockpile each week makes a lot of sense.

A couple of caveats: before you shop at these stores, know your prices. Some items can be purchased even cheaper at regular stores so know the going prices for the items you want to buy and if $1 for the item is cheaper than a regular store, make the purchase. If not, buy the item when it is on sale at the regular store. Also, be aware that the quality of these items can range from OK to crap. For example, I purchased a watch repair kit at the Dollar Store because it is something I may or may not use. On the other hand, I purchase my hammers, wrenches and other quality tools from Sears because Craftsman is renowned for quality tools and these are items that I use often and really depend upon.


  1. I've noted how many survivalists concentrate very hard on stockpiling guns, ammo and food but seem to forget about other very important needs such as hygiene products, tools, and the like that can be inexpensively had at dollar stores.

    Come SHTF a simple $1 bottle of concentrated dish soap (which can also be used as body soap in a pinch) can be very important toward keeping clean and disease free. And imagine how much this could be worth in trade when soap is nowhere to be found and making soap a time and resource intensive process.

  2. Good point. A $1 gallon of bleach will be worth its weight in gold when it becomes necessary to purify much needed water during a disaster.

  3. I agree on the bleach issue. It would be a shame to be armed to the teeth and end up dying for lack of drinkable water or any number of diseases from poor sanitation.

  4. Go ahead and buy several bottles of dilluted stuff for a dollar a blottle.

    Or buy a five gallon of concentrated stuff for ten buck a container. and end up with twice as much.


    Raggedy Man

  5. Iuse "pool shock" for water purification (long shelf life) instead of bleach (short shelf life).

    I already stock the "other" items a sthey will be useful even if I don't use them for barter.

    Dollar stores are great places!


  6. Great post, I agree with survival topics, you are just now seeing these type items listed on home inventory sheets and then rarely mentioned for trade and barter. I would like to see some posts on barter items and such.

  7. this is great information,however I think it is important to sometimes test the quality of your purchase from a "Dollar store".I recently bought a 12 pack of steel wool for fire starter with a 9 volt battery and it work great. At the same time I purchased a 6 pack of particle masks,a few days later I needed one and as i put over my average size head,SNAP.... it broke,along with number 3, 4 and 5! Proves that some items your better off paying a bit more!

    Take care...