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:
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.
America's Almanac (available seasonally, the almanac provides useful tidbits
of information and a spring planting guide).
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!
Antibiotic Ointment. Triple Antibiotic ointment is made in the U.S.A.
Automotive repair kits (hose clamps to splice).
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.
Bandages (look for quality brands, including Curad). Buy different sizes.
Bandannas. Preppers have dozens of uses for bandannas. If you're lucky
enough to find them, get them.
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.
BIC Lighters (or generic). Have extra fire starters on hand. Ideal for starting
fires on high wind conditions.
Boxed foods. Pasta and rice side dishes are in abundance at the dollar
Bungee cords (often an overlooked item, but ideal for bugging out to strap
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.
Camping fuel in a can (canned heat). Canned fuel is available seasonally or
Candles. Emergency candles come packed 6 and each last for 5 hours, look
also for jar candles and tea light candles.
Canned fruits. The unit price is actually around .79 each, and not a dollar!)
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).
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).
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
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
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.
Clothesline 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!
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
Compact mirror for a signaling device.
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.
Cotton balls and cotton rounds for use in your first aid kit and for fire starting
with petroleum jelly.
Cookie tins for making your own home-made charcoal.
Cough drops (look for Halls Cough drops).
Cutting boards -small (look for red cutting boards from Betty Crocker). These
are ideal for camping or for your bugout bag.
Dental Floss. Learn the 25 uses of Dental Floss for survival.
Digital thermometer. Have a personal thermometer handy for every member
of your family. You could almost use them as a disposable thermometer.
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.
Dish rack (plastic dish rack) also for off grid dish washing and ideal for
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).
Dog food (if you have a dog). Gravy train is .50 a can (and other name
brands come into the store).
Duct tape. Discover 11+ good uses for duct tape for your survival.
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.
Ear plugs. Ear plugs for discreet comfort while manning firearms.
Elastic hair bands will last you much longer than rubber bands. Rubber
bands are a must for tying long hair for fire starting.
Elastic support bandages. Look for AEC latex-free spandex (made in the U.S.
A) by AEC Narrow Fabrics www.ACEnarrowfabrics.com
Emergency Cell Phone Chargers. An emergency cell phone charger for
emergency preparedness at a dollar store? Yes!
Epsom Salts. Learn the importance of Epsom salts for preppers and
Eyeglass repair kit. Eyeglass repair kit.
Eyeglass cleaning cloth. Eyeglass cleaning cloths are also for sunglasses
Facial tissues (small packs). Great for the car or the bugout bag.
Facial Tissues, large (Kleenex and Scott's facial tissues). Always just $1 at
the Dollar Tree Store, but more than double the price elsewhere.
Fingernail cutters (pack one in your bugout bag).
First aid paper tape for use with gauze.
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!
Feminine pads. Both for feminine hygiene and for first aid. The small sizes are
great for this purpose.
Funnel for canning, and another for fuels.
Gauze for your first aid kit, available in different sizes.
Gardening and work gloves for tending to your crops, collecting wood and
Hard candies to boost morale and provide energy burst for your bug-out bag.
Hydrogen peroxide. You'll need lots to fight infections, but remember
hydrogen peroxide has an expiration date.
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
Jarred foods, such as salsa, pickles, olives, asparagus, peppers and the like.
Instant ice packs.
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!
Knives (utility). Get an inexpensive Exacto Knife or Tool bench utility knives
Latex dishwashing gloves.
Latex medical exam gloves for dealing with medical emergencies and
pandemics, provided your prepping household does not have any allergies.
Lip balms to retain moisture in your lips when water is in short supply. Look
for name brands such as Chapstick and Blistex.
Lotions to help you keep moisture in your body when water is in short supply.
Magnifying glass. Again, a fire starter option and available inexpensively at
the Dollar Stores.
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
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.
Nails and screws.
Petroleum jelly for use as a fire starter with cotton. Petroleum jelly is the
same as the name brand Vaseline.
Plastic food containers. Look for Rubber maid, which is at least 100%
cheaper than the same thing at the grocery stores.
Playing cards. You'll need something to do so you won't get bored. Read
more about board games for the bunker.
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.
Rain poncho for the bugout bag.
Rubbing Alcohol. Look for the highest percentage of alcohol you can 80-90%
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
Salt with iodine. Salt has many uses for preppers and you get two for .50
Scrub buddies (plastic) for dishes, pictured left for scouring pots and pans.
Sewing kit (ideal for bugout bags), and the tiny sewing kits also include tiny
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.
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
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.
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.
Spices. The dollar stores are ideal for purchasing chili powder, cinnamon,
oregano, basil and parsley.
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.
Sugar (Pure Cane Sugar). Look for Domino or C&H pure cane sugars.
Sugar (Brown Sugar). Look for Domino or C&H pure cane sugars.
Super glue to fix an innumerable things you'll inevitably break when you
won't be able to buy it again.
Sun hat. For just a buck you can cover your head. Ideal to stuff in a bugout
bag and forget about.
Toothbrushes (they are double the price everywhere else!). Toothpaste if
you don't mind the fluoride. Learn the dangers of fluoride!
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.
Travel bottles (mark with a Sharpie the contents: rubbing alcohol, bleach,
Twine. Twine. You'll use twine for the garden, choose paracord for outdoor
Utility Pail. Buckets are cheap at the dollar stores!
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.
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
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
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!
Read more about the prepper uses for bleach.
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.
Bad batteries can leak and destroy your equipment, so it's worth
going with a brand name you trust. Consumer Reports adds that your
"energy hungry devices" are better off with a brand such as Energizer.
Dollar Stores Battery price doesn't "add up: to savings. Blogger
Marlene Alexander did the math and it's not worth it to buy batteries
from the dollar stores.
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!