Survival can be an expensive endeavor, with monthly budgets being squeezed ever so tighter due to payments for our mortgages, cars, basic utilities, and (gulp) taxes.
But you may be surprised at the supplies you can purchase for only (about) $1 each at a dollar store. Granted, sporting good and grocery stores have most supplies that one would need for survival and prepping. And dollar stores definitely can lack the variety and sometimes the quality you desire.
But dollar stores are a good alternative, and you may be surprised at what you find.
Here are 10 important survival items you can pick up at the dollar store:
1. Bandanas. Bandanas will prove their worth in a survival situation more than you may think. They can: be used as a tourniquet; hold a collection of berries; soaked in water to cool off; clean glasses; used as a rag to clean a gun; used as a sling; used as a napkin. The opportunities for using a bandana in a survival situation are nearly infinite. If you’re wise, you’ll definitely carry more than just one bandana.
2. Bottled water packs. Many dollar store chains are selling packs that carry six bottles of water for only a buck. Stocking up on water and storing it in a cool, dark location to make it last as long as possible is critical. To put things into perspective here, at $1 for every six bottles of water, you could purchase 300 bottles of water for only $50. That’s a price that’s hard to beat.
3. Candles/glow sticks. You can purchase packs of candles and glow sticks at the dollar store. Granted, some of the glow sticks available at dollar stores may be classified as “toy glow sticks,” but they’ll work better than nothing. Candles typically come in packs of five or six at a time.
4. Canned goods. Canned foods have a long shelf life, and due to their small size, you can horde literally hundreds of cans on only a couple of shelves. Buying a can of food at the dollar store for only $1 is usually a better deal than $2 or $3 a can at your typical grocery store.
5. Flashlights. There are a lot of inexpensive flashlights available at dollar stores, and on occasion, inexpensive batteries. Of course, these flashlights won’t be nearly at the same level of quality as the ones you can buy for $20 or $30 elsewhere, but one buck per flashlight sure isn’t a bad way to go at all.
6. Lighters/matches. Fire gives you four things in a survival situation: warmth, comfort, cooking and security. You should have more than two means to start a fire in your survival pack. At the majority of dollar stores, you can buy packs of both matches and lighters that will serve you well.
7. Poncho. This one’s a little tricky, as not all dollar stores offer ponchos, and those that do sometimes offer the cheap kind that tear after only one use. But if you look hard enough, you may be able to find a better quality poncho at a dollar store.
8. Socks. It’s always a good idea to carry a pair or two of extra socks in your bug-out bag. This is because rotating out your socks as you travel will help to stop blisters and other foot diseases.
9. Sewing kit. You read that right. You can buy entire sewing kits at dollar stores. Yes, they are the little tiny ones with the tiny little scissors, but they can come in handy!
10. Toiletries. This includes chap stick, hand sanitizer, soap, shampoo, toothbrushes and toothpaste, among other items. At only one dollar each, you can buy these at a dollar store for a fraction of the cost that you would buy them elsewhere.
What other survival items does your dollar store carry? Share your tips in the section below: