Have you started stockpiling emergency supplies yet? If you haven’t, don’t let cost be why you are unprepared.
Just head to your local dollar store, where you can find all these essential items to stockpile.
I can’t emphasize enough how important it is to stockpile trash bags for emergencies.
First off, consider what you are going to do when the plumbing – and your toilet – stop working.
You’ll need to make an emergency bucket toilet, and you’ll need to line the buckets with trash bags (I’d use two bags for lining). That means you’ll need at least 2 trash bags per day just for the toilet.
You’ll also need trash bags for containing trash (the trash collectors won’t be coming anymore!), waterproofing items, and maybe making an improvised poncho or two.
- Why: Emergency toilet liner for trash, waterproofing, and much more
- How Many: Aim to have at least 100 trash bags per person for a month-long stockpile. I’ve stockpiled a lot more than this, though
You can buy big 96oz jugs of bleach at the dollar store. Bleach is such a good prepper dollar store find because it is used to purify water.
- Why: Purifying dirty water, sanitizing, and cleaning
- How Much: 1 jug per person
Disposable Vinyl and Latex Gloves
So you’ve made an emergency toilet and lined it with the trash bags you’ve stockpiled. Now comes the time to change the bag.
Do you really want to touch that bag with your bare hands? No!
That is why you need to stockpile cheap disposable gloves. These are also good for medical emergencies.
Note that you’ll want some sturdier gloves on hand, but you can reuse those.
- Why: Handling hazardous materials and during medical emergencies
- How Many: At least 100 pairs of gloves for a month-long emergency stockpile
Plastic Sheeting (Drop Cloths)
However, you can still use plastic sheeting for many things, like catching rainwater, sealing broken windows, or putting on the ground to make an impromptu hospital operating table.
- Why: Catching rainwater, sealing broken windows and doors, and more
- How Many: Count the number of windows and doors in your home. You’ll want at least double this number.
I wouldn’t rely on a crappy dollar-store flashlight for your main emergency lighting. But you can never have too many flashlights.
Buy a few really good ones, but also stock up on some of these cheap ones from the dollar store. You can give them to neighbors or friends who come knocking on your door for help after SHTF.
- Why: Emergency lighting
- How Many: Aim for at least 10 per family member, so they can be used for trading if necessary
You won’t find the best quality food at the dollar store, but you won’t care about quality when SHTF and there is nothing to eat.
By shopping at dollar tree, you can get a leg up on your food stockpiling efforts without spending a fortune. Read this article about what foods to stockpile.
- Why: Emergency food
- How Many: Have at least a 30-day stockpile of emergency food in your home
Dehydration is a severe problem and can be life-threatening in some circumstances. Along with my emergency water stockpile, I have some sports drinks with my supplies.
These are great for quick rehydration if someone gets diarrhea, vomits, or has heatstroke.
- Why: Emergency rehydration
- How Many: About 1 gallon per person
The dollar store sells small 2oz travel-size bottles of hand sanitizers. I like that they are small because, if I need to Get Out of Dodge, I can carry one of the small bottles in my Bug Out Bag instead of taking the entire large bottle with me. Yes, you will be grateful for having hand sanitizer around when the plumbing stops working, and you don’t want to waste precious water for washing your hands.
- Why: Cleaning hands
- How Many: About 10 ounces per person
When the plumbing is down, how will you keep yourself clean? The best solution is to stockpile loads of baby wipes. Then you can wipe your body down with these and be nice and clean. Read more about emergency hygiene here.
- Why: Emergency hygiene
- How Many: 8 (60ct) packs per person
Pain medicines are probably going to be one of the most valuable items to have after a disaster situation.
First, they will help with any pain you happen to get. Pain meds will also probably be a really good SHTF barter item.
Have enough of these, and you’ll be able to trade them for whatever you are missing.
Read more about OTC medicines to stockpile
- Why: Pain relief, as a bartering item
- How Many: For your own need, about 2-5 bottles per person; for bartering, you can’t have too many!
If you try to buy bandages at a pharmacy, they will probably overcharge you.
But, at the dollar store, you can find all types of bandages to stock up on, including standard band-aids, roller bandages, medical tape, butterfly bandages, triangle bandages, and elastic support bandages.
- Why: Emergency first aid
- How Many: Aim to have a wide variety of bandages
The dollar store doesn’t carry those 5-gallon buckets with lids we love so much. But they have a lot of cheaper buckets that can be equally useful in a survival situation.
If you are prepping on a budget, buy just a few 5-gallon buckets and the rest of your buckets from the dollar store.
- Why: Growing food, storing trash, storing supplies, collecting rainwater, an emergency toilet
- How Many: I’d aim to have at least 50
You can never have too many candles. And, when you need to buy cheap candles, the dollar store is the place to go. Skip all of those fancy scented candles and buy the largest ones you can find.
You will also want to stock up on those small tealight candles since they are especially good for making an emergency heater out of a ceramic pot.
Note that lanterns make much better emergency lighting than candles, but it is still good to have candles on hand as a backup or supplement lighting.
- Why: Emergency lighting
- How Many: Aim for 120 burn time (4 hours per day for a month). You’ll probably need 4-5 candles burning to produce significant light, so calculate around 1000 hours of burn time minimum.
Do you have these items stockpiled yet? What other great dollar store items have you found?