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    50 Cheap Supplies You Should Stockpile While You Still Can

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    50 Cheap Supplies You Should Stockpile While You Still Can

    When you are building up a stockpile, it can be a financial worry. Even when you focus on thrifty options, it can be daunting to budget for items both for your family’s use now and for an emergency scenario.

    However, after planning for food and water needs, you might be overlooking some dirt-cheap items that would serve you well in a survival situation. These are inexpensive everyday items we tend to take for granted when all is well. However, in an emergency, they will do more than just come in handy.

    We took a tour of our local dollar store with a survival perspective in mind and found many dirt-cheap items that would not only serve more than one purpose in an emergency but would be valuable for bartering.

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    1. Tarps

    Plastic tarps – even the cheap kind – can serve multiple purposes. For example, you can use them to collect rainwater, to cover a broken window, and as a shelter. They are also reusable and they're easy to carry and store.

    2. Matches and Lighters

    Sure, it’s important to learn how to start a fire without matches, but why not stock up on a large supply of matches so you may not have to worry about it? Boxes of matches are cheap and stackable.

    Lighters are also an inexpensive item you might overlook for your stockpile. What about also picking up a magnifying glass at the dollar store as another fire-starting option?

    3. Toilet Paper

    Toilet paper is one of those items we take for granted – until we don’t have it. The dollar store is not the best place to buy this essential item in bulk, but you can find name brands in bulk quantities in warehouse stores.

    4. Feminine Hygiene Items

    Once again, the dollar store sells these times at dirt-cheap prices, but you still might be better off looking online or in your local warehouse store for bulk prices on pads and tampons for the women in your family.

    5. Soap

    Bar soap is an inexpensive item and very useful to add to your stockpile. Ivory soap is a good option since it does not contain perfumes or dyes.

    6. Disinfectants

    Hand sanitizer and alcohol wipes will be important in the unsanitary conditions a disaster might bring. In addition, liquid bleach is cheap and useful for disinfecting contaminated water. Keep in mind that chlorine bleach does have a short shelf life and may lose up to 50 percent of its effectiveness within a year, so be sure to rotate out this item.

    7. Batteries

    Hand-cranked radios and flashlights are great to have for emergency preparedness, but while you save for these important purchases, you can keep your supply of batteries fresh.

    8. Cooking Oil

    Cooking oil is a basic necessity for meals and health. Olive oil, for instance, stored well and can be used for cooking, remedy preparations, emergency lighting, and candles.

    9. Face Masks

    Although you may be wanting to add N95 face masks to your stockpile – and for good reason – they are expensive. Standard hospital face masks, however, are cheap and easy to store.

    10. Pain Medication

    Stock up on inexpensive generic brands of acetaminophen, ibuprofen, and aspirin to help ease the aches and pains that are bound to come along with a disaster scenario.

    11. Other Over-the-Counter Medications

    Don’t forget other medications for your first-aid supply – especially those that treat stomach and digestive ailments. Don’t forget antibiotic ointment, rubbing alcohol, and hydrogen peroxide as well.

    12. Bandages

    Rolled gauze bandages, first-aid tape, and adhesive bandages are inexpensive and probably will be needed in any emergency that knocks out the power grid. Elastic support bandages may also come in handy and are available at the dollar store.

    13. Dental Supplies

    Toothpaste, toothbrushes, and dental floss all are inexpensive necessities that can be overlooked for a survival stash. Dental floss is good for sewing repairs on tents, backpacks, sleeping bags, and other survival items since it is strong and waterproof.

    14. Vinyl Gloves

    Of course, you will need heavy-duty gloves in your stockpile, but don’t discount the cheap latex or nylon kind. For pennies a pair, you can use these gloves to clean, treat wounds, and sort through debris.

    15. Candles

    Making your own candles is a good project for homesteaders, but you can find candles for emergency lighting purposes in dollar stores, yard sales, and flea markets. Candles store and stack well in shoe boxes.

    16. Sewing Supplies

    The mini sewing kits available at the dollar store are great to stick in backpacks and could be useful for bartering in a survival situation. The kits typically include a couple of needles, safety pins, a few rolls of threads, and a small pair of scissors. (The scissors, unfortunately, are pretty much useless.)

    17. Scissors

    A sturdy new pair of scissors is a useful addition to your emergency supply. The dollar store has kitchen shears for a buck.

    18. Socks

    You cannot overstate the importance of having a pair of clean, dry socks in a survival situation. Grab a supply of cheap socks at the dollar store or checks for better quality ones at yard sales.

    19. Duct Tape

    Cheap and amazingly versatile, you should definitely include a supply of duct tape in your stash. Here are some survival uses.

    • Repairs on plastic bottles or tarps
    • Arrow fletching
    • Bandage strips
    • Make-shift rope
    • Belt loops
    • Mend clothing and shoes
    • First-aid sling or splint
    • Sticky notes
    • Trail markings

    And that's just a start. There are many other uses for duct tape.

    20. Zip Ties

    These dirt-cheap items are a must for your survival stash. Zip ties (also called cable ties) can serve as makeshift shoelaces, handles for bundles, and they can help you attach gear to your backpacks. 

    They are good for temporary repairs of fencing, and they also can help you save space when you wrap them around rolled blankets and clothing.

    21. Rope and Chain

    The dollar store sells clotheslines, chains, and bungee cords that are inexpensive and would be useful both for yourself and for bartering. You also can stock up on twine (check the arts and craft aisle) on the cheap.

    22. Aluminum Foil

    People who lived through the Great Depression would save aluminum foil as a valuable commodity. This inexpensive item can have many uses in a survival situation. Here are a few ideas.

    • Emergency meal prep and storage
    • Can be folded into a small “pot” for boing water
    • Reflective signal strips
    • Insulation for electronics (improvised Faraday Cage)
    • Fishing lures
    • Temporary patches
    • Mirror

    Here are some other uses for aluminum foil.

    23. Small flashlights

    Start an emergency stash of small LED flashlights from the dollar store. They are handy in a bug out bag and may be useful for bartering.

    24. Rain Ponchos

    These dirt-cheap items help you stay dry in all seasons and can be used in creating a makeshift shelter or for collecting rainwater. There are literally dozens of uses for ponchos.

    25. Baby Wipes

    If you have a little one, you will need a good stash of these for their intended purpose. However, if water is scarce, they will come in handy for a wide variety of uses. They can dry out in long-term storage, but you can add a bit of water to moisten them again.

    26. Coffee Filters

    To give you a few ideas, you can use these inexpensive paper items as filters, as funnels, and even as fire starters. They are stackable and lightweight. Here are a few other uses for coffee filters.

    27. Safety Pins

    You can buy large supplies of safety pins for a buck at the dollar store. You can use them for big and small temporary repairs.

    28. Trash Bags

    Stock up on cheap trash bags to use as makeshift rain gear, slings, rope, shelter, ground cover, and carryalls. If you're creative, you can find dozens of uses for trash bags.

    29. Cotton Balls

    Speaking of cotton balls, in addition to starting fires and their well-known hygiene uses, they are handy for helping guard against blisters, treating wounds, and serving as makes-shift candle wicks.

    Finally, it is worth mentioning that there are a variety of dirt-cheap items to your emergency stockpile to help pass the time. Here are a few ideas we came across at the dollar store.

    • Crossword puzzles
    • Coloring books and crayons
    • Notebooks and pens
    • Playing cards
    • Checkers

    30. Lip Balm

    Lip balm moistens chapped lips of course, but it also can protect and help heal hands and face. You can also use it in an emergency to help clean a small wound and as a firestarter on a cotton ball. 

    Here are some uses for ChapStick. Petroleum jelly is also a good option for similar purposes.

    31. Plates, Cookware, and Utensils

    Stockpile plenty of plates, utensils, and other cookware now. Even storing paper plates and plastic utensils is better than nothing. This may not seem like a very big necessity, but plates and utensils will certainly help to make life easier when the going gets tough. Keep in mind, you can repurpose used paper plates as tinder to help get a fire going.

    32. Paper and Writing Utensils

    You’ll need paper and pens for taking notes, recording data, sending messages, or writing stories if you’re creative and need something fun to do to boost your morale. Stockpile plenty of paper and keep it in a box or container free of moisture so it stays dry.

    33. Seeds

    Heirloom seeds will provide you with a lot of value for the money. If the grid goes down, growing your own crops will be very beneficial not only to feed yourself but also to trade or barter with someone else. Stockpile plenty of seeds now while you still can.

    34. Baking Soda

    If there is only stockpile one personal hygiene item, it needs to be baking soda. Baking soda can be used to create personal hygiene products such as deodorant, toothpaste, soap, shampoo, and surface cleaners. What’s more, is that it’s super cheap at just over a dollar per box on average.

    35. Books

    Novels, history books, children's books, survival books, classic works written by famous authors, books that you believe could be at risk of future censorship, you name it. When the grid goes down, you’ll no longer be able to order new books or read electronic versions. It will be wise to build up your library of physical, paper copies. 

    36. Cleaning Supplies

    Basic cleaning supplies such as dishwashing soap, glass cleaners, laundry detergent, toilet cleaners, carpet cleaners, and all-purpose cleaners are typically very affordable. In the event of a future supply shortage, these will also be among the first items to disappear off the shelves, so stockpiling any kind of cleaning items now while you still can will be wise. 

    37. Peanut Butter

    Peanut butter is a wise item to stockpile (so long as you don't have a peanut allergy) because of the wide variety of meals and dishes it can be included in. Furthermore, peanut butter can provide a good source of protein for those who are on vegetarian diets. 

    38. Pet Food 

    Do you have any pets, such as dogs or cats? If so, stock up on as much pet food for them now while you still can. People care deeply about their animals, so you can bet that pet food will fly off the shelves fast in the event of a major disruption to the supply chains. 

    39. Water Purification Tablets

    Water purification tablets are critical for ensuring that the water you collect is made safe to drink. What's more, you can usually buy hundreds of tablets for super cheap. 

    40. Can Openers

    Have you stockpiled any canned food? If so, you'll want to start stockpiling a few can openers as well. 

    41. Fishing Supplies

    This includes fishing lines, hooks, lures, weights, and bait. Not only is fishing a fun activity, but fish are also a great source of protein and knowing how to fish will be important for when times get tough. Stock up on fishing supplies now while you still can.

    42. Glow Sticks

    Glow sticks are a great alternative to flashlights or candles to help you see in darkness or when the power goes out. 

    43. Kleenex/Tissues

    Having to blow your nose when you get stuffy is a basic human need. Kleenexes and tissue are very affordable and widely available, so it's wise to stock up now while they remain so. 

    44. Plastic Sheeting

    Plastic sheeting can be used as an alternative to tarps for collecting rainwater, building shelter, or covering leaks or broken windows in your home. Stock up on it now while you're still able to.

    45. Sunscreen

    The last thing anyone wants is to get a bad sunburn, which can also increase your risk of developing skin diseases. In the summer months especially, sunscreen will be imperative to help keep your skin protected. 

    46. Superglue

    Beyond its intended function, superglue offers many important uses as well: it can be used to help close open shallow wounds, patch holes in ripped tents or backpacks, or stop fraying rope or cordage from unraveling further. Superglue is perhaps one of the most overlooked useful items that you can stock up on. 

    47. Towels

    Ordinary towels will get you dry fast after a bath or shower, or they can be used to help cover broken windows or leaks in your home as well. This is an example of a common household item that might not hurt to stock more of. 

    48. Ziploc Bags

    Ziploc bags will prove their usefulness for storing and organizing food you've just made or leftovers you'd like to save for later. You can use them for storing and organizing other small items as well. Furthermore, Ziploc bags are very cheap in bulk and can be found at most grocery and convenience stores. 

    49. Firewood 

    You can sometimes find packs of firewood to buy for cheap at gas stations and convenience stores. It's a more convenient option for collecting firewood than going out to collect your own (in areas where you can legally do so).

    50. Propane Heaters 

    Do you have any items that are powered by propane, such as lamps, heaters, or outdoor cooking stoves? If so, you'll want to make sure you have plenty of propane canisters stockpiled before times get tough. Just carefully research safe methods for storing propane before you do so. 

    Final Thoughts

    Although this list of 30-plus items is not exhaustive , hopefully, it gives you an idea of some of the necessities (beyond the priorities of food and water) that you can stockpile without laying out a lot of cash. What would you add to your dirt-cheap list of survival items?

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      86 thoughts on “50 Cheap Supplies You Should Stockpile While You Still Can”

      1. Towels (bath and kitchen/hand sizes) and washcloths for bathing and dishes, washcloths for emergency cleaning after using the bathroom (when you’ve run out of toilet paper). They can also be used in an emergency for covering a bleeding wound or as a tourniquet.
        Shower curtain to make a privacy curtain for showering or using the bathroom.
        Pens and pencils to take notes and do the crossword puzzles with.
        Notebooks to take notes in as well as keep a journal or diary of day to day things that happen, or don’t happen.

        Reply
      2. Great list! One thing I’d like to add that can also be had cheap at the dollar store is Vaseline. It can be used for chapped lips, skin blisters and many other uses but the main thing is when it’s we out mix it into a cotton ball and you can even make it last long and even make then water resistant to a degree by dipping the vaseline covered cotton ball into castle wax so you can take them with you hunting, hiking or whatever.

        Reply
      3. My suggestion falls under the feminine hygiene. Invest in a diva cup or a few(Incase if lost or destroyed). They are reusable and portable. Much easier than trying to find and stock up on loads of tampons and/or pads.

        Reply
      4. Dry Ice to help keep foods frozen, salt, Hydrogen Peroxide, Rubbing alcohol, check end of season sales at Walmart for Hats, Mittens, Scarves etc…Fingernail clippers.

        Reply
      5. How about a Boy Scout hand book. Not everyone has all the skills needed. Great book to have on hand. How about a local map?

        Reply
      6. You suggested DOVE SOAP because it had no perfumes or dyes. But what it does have is just about every chemical known to mankind. Read the ingredients. Read the ingredients. Always, read the ingredients.

        Reply
      7. I really like your ideas for stock piling,
        I do a lot of camping, But only carry about half of this stuff,
        Walmart is another place to look for these items. Along with Costco,

        Reply
      8. I stocked up on OTC sleeping pills. I cant sleep worth a darn now (it’s 2:49 am now), and if I have to sleep in a house with people getting up to go on guard duty or coming back from guard duty, or there are crying babies, barking dogs, snoring people, or early breakfast cookers, I wont catch a wink of sleep and will be a zombie and no use to anyone. Got me some ear plugs too.

        Reply
      9. I just started my storage of necessary items. It was good to review this list as I forgot safety pins and quick ties. I added rubber made containers as they will store items much better than most everything else. They also have handles.

        Reply
      10. I’d like to add diapers/pull-ups/underwear, emergency blankets, a pocket knife, paper soap (camping section), and a hairbrush.

        Reply
      11. Do NOT buy the cheaper safety pins. I bought several packages from different stores to try them & they all broke, bend too easily, weren’t sharp, or didn’t close. Many name brand items (batteries, medicine, make up, personal care, etc.) are counterfeit (several news organizations have done stories on it over the last 10 years). Not all, but do your homework on the brands before buying. I’ve bought Energizer, Rayovac, Panasonic, Sunbeam, & off brand batteries at the dollar store that had long expiration dates NOT ONE SINGLE PACKAGE WORKED. I tried several brands over a 2 year period at least 3 different times (to see if it was just a bad batch-it happens even to the best of brands). Again not one worked. Sometimes it’s better to spend a little more to buy quality & buy the good name brands (foil, zipper bags, trash bags, tarps). They won’t do you any good if they rip or break the first time using them. I really wish people would stop blogging about buying the cheap stuff just to get subscribers & make money off everyone. All those things I mentioned go on sale at many places for not much more than the dollar store & sometimes less. Look at the stores where you live. Sign up for emails. If you have a JoAnn Fabrics by you they have an app & you can load coupons then pull them up before you check out. They also have a mailing list & they’ll send ads with coupons to you in the mail. They also do emails with coupon links. You can use multiple coupons if you buy enough items to cover them (just read the coupon terms & if you’re unsure in the store ask a clerk-I still do sometimes in case policies change). They also do 50% off sales on notions (pins, tape measures, etc.).

        Reply
        • I’d carry some extra cotton cloth if I had a baby for diapers, those plastic ones are bad for the environment. Also once the toddler is not using diapers, the cloth can be reused for dusting or cleaning various things.

          Reply
        • M. You have made a good point. Some things are just not worth buying. Not all cheap things are crap but not all expensive things are good. I would test things out first before buying a lot of anything i am unfamiliar with. Also as you said check for coupons as some excellent deals can be had with coupons. I have a regular supply of items that I keep stocked and check to make sure that everything is working order. Should go without saying.

          Reply
      12. Tweezers are a must. Believe me, they help. Needles and thread for sewing your cuts. My son was able to survive a week in the woods of Alaska with a tarp. shovel, and shotgun. He was recruited by the state of Alaska and the Army afterward to teach survival courses. It is amazing what you can do with a shovel and a tarp. He also had a mirror and medal match striker. A tracker should be carried on you. Cheap to purchase. Tarp collects water and shelters. Shovel to dig a hole to sleep in and cover up with a tarp. Had to have the weapon for bears. Saved himself and his buddy. Gloves and hats, socks a must. Little bags of nuts and hard candy are what he had in his pocket. He survived -30 weather. Came away healthy and safe. Clint had been trained in the military. Way to go Clint.

        Reply
      13. I would suggest to not buy ‘cheap’ items. Buy quality items when they are discounted. Cheap stuff tends to fail. Quality stuff much less so.

        I would add, in addition to the items listed in the article and the comments to this point:
        1) End-of-season swimming goggles (for protection from smoke, dust, ash, blowing sand, etc.)
        2) End-of-season pool noodles (slit to use on a bucket for a toilet, strung on rope for area dividers, short pieces roped together to make floats for containers, etc.)
        3) End-of-season bicycle helmets (for earthquake falling debris protection, for riot head protection, etc.)
        4) End-of-season hand/foot warmers (as well as the other types. Can be used to spot heat parts body if exposed to cold, keep warm drinks warm longer, preheat socks and gloves, etc.)
        5) Near-end-of-shelf-life canned and packaged foods (most have a one-year shelf-life listed. The overwhelming majority will last another year and often much more.)
        6) Travel-size bin products if brand name and low-enough cost to justify as trade items and for personal toiletry kits.
        7) Cordage when on sale. All types and sizes.
        8) Prepper related e-books when offered for free under various Amazon and author programs. Have a reader on every device that will run one.
        9) 5-volt telephone power banks when on deep sale
        10) Solar power charging systems when on deep sale
        11) End-of-season shelf-stable Easter, Valentine’s Day, Halloween, and Christmas candy that is in good, reusable containers. Especially tins, as well as other containers (M&M tubes) that lend themselves to making small kits.
        12) Items that you want or need that might be rather more expensive, but are on sale, deep discount, end-of-season, or are being discontinued as long as you can get any proprietary supplies they might require.
        13) End-of-season propane bottles

        Just my opinion.

        Reply
      14. something I don’t recall ever seeing mentioned in any “things to stock” articles are lice/flea combs, and not just for your pets. I looked on WalMart.com and saw plastic and metal versions, and I think a metal version would last longer, same as rubber combs over plastic. I have a rubber comb I bought over 40 years ago and it is still good, no broken teeth, but every plastic comb I have used has always ended up breaking.

        I also have some fold-up stainless steel scissors I originally bought for fishing several decades ago, and they don’t rust, and are well worth the extra cost for the durability, as well as being able to carry them in my pocket along with my keys and a stainless steel folding knife.

        Reply
        • My mum had a brass dicky comb , we have dicks not nits.
          She would comb my hair regularly and it hurt. I am now bald, thanks mum.

          Reply
      15. Great list!
        Here are a few points: re: TARPS – don’t just get the cheap ones, the good ones will last longer; re: MATCHES – try for the “strike anywhere” ones, make some mega-matches, make some hot glue matches; re: TP – better to go for Family Cloth now and save the TP for barter [I have been using Family Cloth for about 1 yr and love it – don’t have to worry when the virus lockdown happened, either]; re: PADS & TAMPONS – these can also be used for 1st aid in stopping bleeding; re: BANDAGES – get the ones with the antibiotic ointment already on it; CANDLES – if you can get or make beeswax ones, the others give off toxic gases; SEWING KITS – the thread in those is horrible to unwind, better off with several spools of neutral thread than lots of different colors that you can’t get off the spool; re: don’t think I’d trust any cheap chain for holding much weight. For any use other than temporary, you are MUCH better off getting inexpensive items rather than cheap ones.

        Reply
        • Tampons do not stop bleeding, they absorb blood, but the do not act as a Hemostatic dressing. This myth has been around for a long time, but Dr’s and Medics have been trying to dispel it for almost as long as its been out.

          C.Cochran BSN, RN, TNCC, ACLS, PALS, MS (Ret.).

          Reply
        • You are right, however you can use/find alternatives – herbals and how our ancestors dealt with the problem. Solar chargers for the items you MUST have that use batteries.

          Reply
        • You need to do a bit more research because you are wrong on both items. Aspirin does not expire. It just loses potency and that’s from a chemist at Bayer. I have use batteries (duracell procell) that were 5 years past the date on the battery and they were still at 96% full charge.

          Reply
        • Pain medications and the like have expiry dates because they are required to by law. Reality is they last a L O T longer than you think. If it says 12 months it’ll last probably 10 years. Or even more.

          I’ve had medicine from the chemist that had an expiry date about 8 months out. Here it is fifteen years later and it still works.

          Big Pharma’s got a LOT to answer for…

          Reply
        • In just 15 words you have stated more falsehoods than the entire article combined and I speak from over 20 years of research and experimentation. Just because something has an expiration date doesn’t mean it’s no longer effective. It just means that there are people who will keep lining the pockets of the elite and don’t really understand why. “Nuff said.

          Reply
        • expiration dates are for manufacturers to trick you into throwing away perfectly good items…..I have canned goods dated BB from 10 years ago.
          I use them in recipes every week.

          Reply
      16. I bought a cheep swiss knife army knife once for a couple of dollars with metal tweezers in it. best damn tweezers I ever had for splinters. knife wasn’t worth a damn but after 25 years I still have the tweezers. Best 2 dollars I ever spent

        Reply
      17. Oli lamps and extra oil to create light and heat. Buy extra oil bottles which have an indefinite shelf life as long as they stay room temperature and dry, by keeping the lid on tight. Extra wicks. Read up and experiment with making a rocket stove to make a meal or even create a hot water source for showering or washing dishes. The huge indoor rocket stoves can heat an entire large area like a 2 car garage. Check out YouTube for How To videos

        Reply
      18. All oils will spoil very quickly. Only get what you can use within 6 months. Storing in the fridge will help prolong the life, but if it smells rancid, you have to pitch it.

        Reply
        • 6 months???? What do you do, leave it opened sitting in the sun? I just opened a gallon that has been stored cool, dry and dark for over a year and a half past its so called “expiration” and it’s just fine. Yes, I’ve done the real life research and experimentation and most claims about expirations are false or at least very misleading. I don’t comment unless I can prove what I say. Stay safe and God bless.

          Reply
        • Coconut oil and Ghee don’t go rancid or at least in my experience they do not. I have a Costco sized jar of coconut oil that I have had for over 5 years and still as good as when I first purchased it. I do go through ghee faster than coconut oil but still it takes me a year or better to use up a quart of ghee.

          Oh and if you do stock vegetable oil and it goes rancid, don’t throw it away – it can still be used for fire starters (soak cotton balls. They aren’t a fast a fire starter but they will start and last longer. If you have wax from a candle, melt and mix with the oil).

          Reply
          • That “bad or rancid” veggie oil is also perfectly usable in oil lamps/oil candles. Burns as well as any of the pretty blue or yellow lamp oils.

            Reply
      19. You can make fire starters out of cotton balls and Vaseline. one other thing you might want is a solar powered phone charger.

        Reply
      20. Smearing Vaseline on a cotton ball will make a great fire starter. You can also dip cotton squares in melted wax. let the wax solidify. then store them in a ziploc bag. to start a fire: break off a pad corner. exposing some of the fibers. light the fibers with a match. these items can be stored in an mint tin in your pocket .

        Reply
      21. Military canned rations came with a small can opener. They are easy to use. you cn now find them at a military surplus store.

        Reply
        • P-38 and P-51 can openers. The 51’s are larger and a little easier to use. I have both. Make sure you buy real ones-there’s fakes on the market. They bend very easily, cut poorly, and don’t last long at all.

          Reply
      22. Good article
        Walmart Sporting Goods has cheap LED flashlights with batteries, they’re a buck at all 3 stores in our town. Plastic cased, they’ve 3 types, a handheld light with a rear switch, and two head worn. One with an elastic band, and one that mounts (clips) on the bill of a cap. Look for those that still have the battery safety tab in place if you’re storing them, otherwise they’ll discharge quicker. I’ve nearly 50 in a small tub for barter/swap in the years to come.

        While not cheap (they’re about $17 in my area) Lifestraws are a good barter/trade item that will be worth their weight in gold. I’ve about 20 at this point. I prefer the Sawyer micro filter personally, it will outlast the Lifestraw 100 times, it’s smaller and more easily adapted to various H2O delivery systems. A bit more expensive, but worth it in the long run.

        Rubbing Alcohol and Witch Hazel. Buy both the 70% and the 94% alcohol. The 94% can work as a fuel.

        If kids are a part of your group, the $1 stores are a good place for coloring/activity books and crayons, small puzzles, and misc. toys.
        We keep small BOBS for the Grandkids, with a poncho, mylar blanket, flashlight, whistle, snacks, a coloring book and small box of crayons, and a small stuffed animal, water filter, and compass are added as they get older.
        The bags for the two oldest are almost identical to our adult bags, but the wee ones we keep age appropriate items in. Keeping kids occupied and happy during a crisis will require a lot of effort. Anything that adds normalcy they’ll appreciate.

        I don’t buy a lot of Medical Supplies from the $1 stores.
        I spent 30 years as a Paramedic and Trauma RN, so I keep a couple of bags/containers specific to traumatic injuries, and most of what you buy at these stores is intended for very minor 1st Aid. As always, if you can, I urge everyone to look into taking the EMT- Basic course. Often given at Community Colleges. You do not have to be a student to take the class. There is a fee, but it is money well spent to learn skills beyond slapping a band aid on.

        We keep a stock of the Mio type water flavors on hand (Though I usually buy the store brand). In case we need to treat water, boiled or chemically purified water doesn’t taste real good. A few drops of Lemonade or another flavor help hide the flat or chemical taste of treated water.

        So much information, And so many items are touted as “must haves.” Some of what you’ll need to survive and thrive is universal, but some is regional to. I like to use the example, that fishing equipment does the guy living in the middle of the desert, no good whatsoever. So keep that in mind, when compiling your lists.

        Hook up with others in your area with a similar mindset. One of the greatest things about our modern age, is how much easier the exchange of information, both good and bad has become. Whole books are easily acquired without a trip to the Library. While I prefer the heft of a book in my hand, my library’s 10 times the size it was thanks to our modern age.

        Keep On Prepping.

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      23. Pool super shock powder can be used to make bleach. It can be stored in mason jars.
        The Boy Scout field guide is a better choice for a survival book( I own a copy).
        Wine corks can be used to make oil lamp wick holders( lay one down; drill a hole in it, and pull a lantern wick through the hole).

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      24. What about rechargeable batteries and a solar powered recharger? I recently read an article about how to recharge Alkaline( #1 basic battery sold). You can now buy a recharger that recharges Every kind of disposable battery made. I’m not sure if it’s solar powered or not.

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      25. Games, toys (for young kids) that don’t require batteries. Puzzles fingerpaint coloring books jump ropes, (This is weird I know) tether ball set….you get the idea

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      26. Picked up a Exploratory laparotomy set (115 instruments) for just $250. Used, but good bargain. Added it to the other sets I have. I know how to use it, but with my minimal anesthesia supplies I hope I never need to.

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      27. I would add charcoal supplements in case of poisioning or to help detox. It is also good for a sore tooth( pain). Make a paste with water and put on cotton ball. Many other uses. May I suggest EarthClinic.Com for natural, cheap remedies. Many people share ailments and their solutions.

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      28. Vinyl gloves are for food prep: food that will be served directly after handling, and I use them for working with greasy/oily foods.
        Nitrile PPE gloves are to protect you from infection in a first aid situation or when working with solvents that would dissolve vinyl (automotive oil, grease, gasoline).

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      29. This is not a bad list, but I have noted some things do have a storage life like nitrile gloves for example, so be careful what is bought. Superglue and silicon caulk will eventually harden. I’ve done okay with old tubes of JB Weld type material, so that should be added to the list. Some glues will eventually dry up or goo up even if stored at room temperature. PVC cement will not last. I’m in southern Texas, so we don’t have cellars.

        Electrical tape and other tapes do lose their efficacy even if stored at room temperature. Instead of cooking oils, I would go with coconut oil which I have been able to purchase in bulk at Big Lots. I’m not real clear if this oil spoils if left unopened for a while, but I would think it is better than most liquid oils.

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