23 Prepping Items that You Can Find at the Dollar Store

Michael Major
By Michael Major September 22, 2020 08:48

23 Prepping Items that You Can Find at the Dollar Store

Prepping for an emergency or large-scale disaster can become expensive, but it doesn’t need to be. While it is important to invest in high-quality gear, some prepping items are consumable or are such that quality is less important. Your local dollar store can be a gold mine for these consumable prepping items.

Zip Ties

Zip ties are not only useful for strapping cables and hoses together, but they have a very wide range of other applications. Most dollar stores have a selection of different sizes of zip ties and often will have packages of a variety of different sizes and colors.


23 Prepping Items that You Can Find at Dollar StoreDollar store batteries are cheap and they do not last as long as their name brand counterparts. There is one advantage to stocking up on dollar store batteries which is that they are ideal for barter and trade.

When the lights go out, batteries are going to be almost a form of currency and when the chips are down you don’t want to be trading away high-quality batteries when you could be bartering with dollar store batteries instead.


From garden twine to rope, you can find a fairly diverse selection of cordage at your local dollar store. You can also find things like baling wire, brass wire, or picture wire, which can be good for emergency survival trapping or for repairs.


Pens, pencils, paper, sharpies, notebooks, etc., can be found at a dollar store often for a fraction of the cost of going to a big box or stationery store. Stationary is another item that I almost exclusively get from my local dollar store.

Duct Tape

23 Prepping Items that You Can Find at Dollar StoreThe dollar store does not sell the high-quality brand name duct tapes, but what they do sell will more than suffice.

For the majority of applications, dollar store duct tape will do the job and as with a lot of items on this list dollar store duct tape is ideal for barter and trade.

First-aid Supplies

From band-aids to gauze and even some over the counter medications, it is possible to outfit a basic first aid kit from your local dollar store.

Related: DIY Dollar Store First Aid Kit


The dollar store is my go-to for purchasing toiletry items for camping, hunting, disaster, or travel toiletry kits. Soap, shampoo, conditioner, toothpaste, toothbrushes, floss, deodorant; all in travel sizes are all available at the dollar store.


These are cheap and thin poly tarps and are not going to hold up to a lot of abuse. I like to have these on hand in case I need to cover a broken window, hole, dirt pile, etc. I consider these tarps to be one-time use and disposable.


23 Prepping Items that You Can Find at Dollar StoreThis is another great barter item because dollar store flashlights are so inexpensive and flashlights will be in short supply after a large-scale disaster.

Often the flashlight with included batteries will be cheaper than purchasing the batteries alone.

Disposable Lighters

You can get all manner of disposable lighters at the local dollar store, including windproof outdoors lighters. These are also great for barter and trade.

Canned Goods

Dollar stores are full of cheap canned goods that are usually generic brands. They also often will have dry goods such as pasta, rice, sugar, salt, cereal, etc. While these foods are not of the same quality as their name-brand equivalents are, they are without a doubt good enough for the apocalypse.

Cleaning Supplies

The world ending is no excuse to stop cleaning up after yourself.

The dollar store is where I buy 90% of my cleaning supplies and I like to keep a good stockpile for disasters as well.

Hand Sanitizer

23 Prepping Items that You Can Find at Dollar StoreUsually, here you’ll also find the small travel-sized bottles of hand sanitizer at a dollar store.

These are great for adding into first aid or hygiene kits.

Related: How to Make an Antibacterial Sanitizer at Home

Toys and Games

Most toys that you can buy at a dollar store are of very low quality, however, you may be able to find some playing cards or travel-sized board games. These are great to slip into a bug out bag or camping/survival kit.

Sewing Supplies

These are not professional quality sewing needles or threads, but they will do the job in a pinch. I’ve built several sewing kits from supplies that I’ve bought from my local dollar store and for every day rips, tears, or lost buttons these little DIY kits can’t be beaten.


 Prepping Items that You Can Find at Dollar Store You can never have too many candles and like a lot of items on this list, they make outstanding barter items.

You can also find them in a lot of different sizes and types.

Related: DIY Candle Lantern From A Soda Can


No good emergency kit is complete without some sweet, sweet candy. The dollar store is a fantastic place to pick up a wide variety of not only candies but chocolates as well. These will not only give you a post-apocalyptic moral boost, but also be another great barter item.

Rubbing Alcohol

Rubbing alcohol is not only a disinfectant but can also be burned in certain alcohol stoves.

Travel-sized Containers

23 Prepping Items that You Can Find at Dollar Store When we are assembling emergency kits there are often instances where we need small containers to store liquids.

The small travel-sized containers that you can find in the dollar store are often perfect for the task.

Related: How to Create a Vehicle Emergency Kit

Bungee Cords

Bungee cords have a lot of uses in a survival situation and are often prone to wearing out, so having a lot of them is always a good idea. The dollar store variety will not have the longevity of name brand ones but they are great for light-duty applications.


23 Prepping Items that You Can Find at Dollar Store You can often find bottled water in various sized containers at your local dollar store. It is less expensive to purchase bottled water in larger quantities elsewhere.

However, if you are looking to outfit a vehicle kit, Get Home Bag, Bug Out Bag, or your EDC bag then the dollar store is a great place to pick up smaller quantities of bottled water.

Trash Bags

Trash bags have a massive amount of uses in survival situations, but what you will most likely need them for post-disaster is for their intended use. I like to have multiple boxes, in several different sizes, stockpiled in my emergency kits.

Battery Banks

Our smartphones are almost an extension of our bodies and making sure that they stay charged is very important. The dollar store will often have either battery banks or one time use emergency chargers for sale. These are great not only to keep our smartphones at 100%, but as a barter item too.

These 23 items are by no means the end all be all of the prepping items that your local dollar store can provide. The items listed here are ones that I personally have bought and used in building various kits for myself and my family.

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Michael Major
By Michael Major September 22, 2020 08:48
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  1. TAL September 22, 15:57

    There needs to be less focus on cellphones and powering them.

    When SHTF there will be no electricity AND no cellphone towers working!

    So don’t waste your time Folks, just say “Good-bye” to the cellphone when SHTF!

    Reply to this comment
    • Running Stump September 22, 18:53

      WTF there is a lot of info that you can stuff onto your cell phone. If nothing else you can get info on an SD card that you can swap out. Oh and do not forget that you can have some games loaded onto an SD card that will not require a network connection.

      Reply to this comment
      • C.Clark September 24, 10:46

        And you can charge those phones with a 9-volt battery and car charger. Plus chances are texting may function longer than ability to make calls.

        Reply to this comment
    • Splaty September 22, 22:31

      I disagree with a few of you. Unless we have an EMP, I’m keeping my Cell Phone. Its a mini computer with books, games, music, camera, videos and light source.

      Reply to this comment
    • joe September 23, 00:02

      you don’t need a cell tower as long as you can charge the battery…if the sats are still up, you can use your phone as a gps, you can use other apps that may assist you in other ways…i don’t know about the iphone but on android you can download maps of areas and use them to navigate without cell towers

      Reply to this comment
      • CaliLady September 23, 17:05

        Bottom line we all need to learn to rely on reading a map, a paper map, a compass, old school hasn’t failed mankind in years it’s a reliable way to navigate. When an if an EMP hits the satellites will be down as an EMP wave will destroy ALL electric modes of data including your vehicles…it’s a major source of a wave that can take down many things for possibly years to come. This can include water pumps for cities and how it makes the water to homes…that’s just part of the big picture. Knowledge to survive on ones own it crucial when your faced with zero electricity most have come to rely upon for decades. Learn to survive one month without all electricity as a test for you and your family and see how well you do….no harm in trying right. Get your food source stored in a place that can be kept weather proof and stored safely form looters and spoiling. Make sure you have enough ammunition and other safety gear Incase you must “bug out” and can’t make it home if and when an EMP hits and your not at home. Have a plan it may save your life, practice your plan now…don’t wait till it’s too late. God bless

        Reply to this comment
        • left coast chuck September 24, 20:01

          Worse than not pumping water into your home is not pumping sewage out. Unless your sewer plant is at a significantly lower elevation than your home, sewage is moved along with electric pumps. No electricity, no sewage pumping. No sewage pumping, sewage backs up. Bad luck for the folks on the lower end of the line. Remember the old saw about fecal matter flowing downhill? The laws of gravity will not be repealed in an EMP, no matter how much we might consider that they have been.

          Reply to this comment
          • City Chick September 25, 02:26

            LCC – A few years back, I had something called a compound check value with a manual over ride installed on the sewer connection to my home. It prevents back flow from the sewer system from entering your home plumbing system. It has been a good preventative investment as you never know what the city is up to. Old pipes are only part of the problem. Careless people are the rest! They clog the system with “fat bergs.”

            Reply to this comment
      • City Chick September 24, 17:51

        In so many emergencies, people wonder why their cell phones don’t work even though they are charged and working all of a sudden it s like someone pulled the plug! That’s because someone did!

        Reply to this comment
    • left coast chuck September 23, 01:26

      If you have data stored on a cell phone, like maps and if you have that cell phone stored in a Faraday cage and if that app is not cloud dependent but the info is actually stored on your phone, the maps on the cell phone will still work after an EMP. You will, of course, need a charger for your cell phone, but cell phones and laptop computers stored in Faraday cages can survive an event as debilitating as an EMP. You will need a way to charge them and eventually, depending upon the make and model of the electronic equipment and the age of the batteries therein, that device will die.

      On the other hand, paper maps, even if laminated, will eventually wear out also, although if treated gently, will last far longer than the batteries in your electronic devices.

      Bottom line is that information stored on a protected electronic device will last as long as you have a means to charge it and as long as the internal battery lasts.

      Two is one, one is none. Electronic maps backed up with paper maps equals two.

      Reply to this comment
    • Mak63 September 23, 03:33

      While I agree there will be no cellphone service, a cellphone can be a tremendous aid for as long as you can power them after SHTF. From having reading material downloaded, music downloaded, a flashlight, a digital camera, voice recorder to document the times, a place to write notes….. any number of functions not connected to being connected via a cell signal.

      Reply to this comment
    • Nodrog September 23, 16:11

      What most of you are overlooking is.that most Android phones have an FM radio. They usually don’t have the app to run them. But you can download it.

      Reply to this comment
    • operation eagle prepping September 23, 22:24

      You can store countless pdf’s on a smartphone making it a virtual library for food, medical, hunting, maps ect… the list goes on, smartphones also can be used as lighting and entertainment which is needed to keep from going stir crazy, solitude can drive people insane, so I disagree keeping a lightweight option to charge your phone is a key item for prepping

      Reply to this comment
  2. G.W. Long September 22, 16:00


    Reply to this comment
    • Farmer September 22, 21:22

      Dollar Tree in my town carries name brand canned goods at half Walmart prices.

      Reply to this comment
      • City Chick September 23, 01:15

        In my neighborhood, these stores sell lots of what we call “knock offs” that look almost like the real thing until you really examine them. Be careful everybody. If you need something and it fails you not only wasted your hard earned money, you are left without your prep.

        Reply to this comment
    • operation eagle prepping September 23, 22:26

      You can store countless pdf’s on a smartphone making it a virtual library for food, medical, hunting, maps ect… the list goes on, smartphones also can be used as lighting and entertainment which is needed to keep from going stir crazy, solitude can drive people insane, so I disagree keeping a lightweight option to charge your phone is a key item for prepping

      Reply to this comment
      • City Chick September 24, 16:08

        Operation Eagle Prepping – Handy, but Make sure you have paper back ups! Wouldn’t trust anything that is based on tech in a SHTF situation pdf or otherwise for the preservation of vital information! Absolutely nothing! Anybody know where “the cloud is” ?

        Reply to this comment
  3. timbermann September 22, 17:58

    Cellphones do have their survival uses.
    I have over a hundred refence books on mine as well as survival related survival apps. Compass, level, various calculators, etc.
    Plus music to help me relax.

    Reply to this comment
  4. Quasi Modo September 22, 18:09

    Hi Claude,
    I would love to order many things that you offer BUT the customs at this end charge quite large amounts of money.
    Please don’t take me off you list I DO LIKE YOUR SOUND ADVICE.
    Kind Regards
    John B.

    Reply to this comment
    • Maria BustillosHi Angie Waiting on them, just giving you a heads up! Maria and Josh September 23, 23:06

      Would you be willing to share the apps and/or sites that don’t need a internet connection?

      Reply to this comment
      • left coast chuck September 24, 20:07

        They are too numerous to make a meaningful list. Each phone system is individual to itself. iPhone has its apps that work only with the iPhone system. Android has its apps that work only with the Android system. Those are the only two I know about. There may be more operating systems that I don’t know about.

        Peruse the Apple Store list of downloadable apps to see what apps are available.

        Perhaps some readers can list a few of their favorite downloadable apps for each system. I am an old map and compass kind of guy and not much into cell phones. As deaf as I am, until I got hearing aids with bluetooth capability, I just didn’t use the phone. Even now with the bluetooth hearing aids, I still don’t like to use the phone. So I am a bad source for apps.

        Reply to this comment
  5. Lancinator13 September 22, 18:46

    Guys – one thing NOT to buy at a dollar store are anything electronic, especially extension cords, power bars, and chargers.

    Years ago, I worked with UL and CSA, and we got samples of power bars and extension cords that were death traps. Stuff rated for “heavy loads” melted and caught fire with a hair dryer plugged into them. Copper is what costs money, so that’s where the manufacturers in China scrimp.

    It was so bad that, after I did the analysis, I went home, went through the whole house and grabbed every extension cord and power bar that I wasn’t certain I’d bought at a name-brand store and tossed them in the garbage. Then I went to Home Depot and bought all new cords with REAL (not counterfeit) UL rating stickers. Yeah, it cost me a lot of money, but what’s piece of mind worth? Buy one less case of 45 ACP and invest in new cords if you bought this crap.

    I’m as cheap as the next guy, but this is one area where saving money is not the most important consideration, it’s not burning down your house and dying!

    Oh, believe it or not, they also Sometimes sell “fake food” too. The food is real, but they were bringing in Cheap canned crap from China and the Middle East and tearing off the labels and applying “Product of Idaho” or “Product of Manitoba fine farms“ labels. Were they toxic? Don’t know, but you definitely weren’t getting what you paid for.

    Reply to this comment
  6. Ben September 22, 19:02

    Cellphones will be useless in a SHTF. Raw primitive skills and knowledge will be needed.

    Reply to this comment
    • left coast chuck September 23, 18:56

      Ben: Cell phones won’t be useless. See the posts above that outline the many uses for cell phones even after an EMP event. While eventually the batteries will die, it may be several years before the batteries finally give up and go to wherever dead batteries go.

      You cell phone has an astounding amount of memory and can store an enormous amount of information on it if it is downloaded. You don’t need to store info on the cloud. It is handy to have in present day life, but lots of information and books can be stored on your cellphone, booklet or laptop computer. You just have to make sure you download it and store it.

      A galvanized garbage can with a tight fitting lid makes an excellent Faraday cage and doesn’t take up much room in your garage or shed.

      Reply to this comment
  7. Kathy September 22, 20:06

    Cell phones won’t work but Ham radio operators will if they have a 12 volt Anderson power pole to catch the radio waves. Might be worth it to get a ham radio license and a 4 patriot battery outfit.

    Reply to this comment
    • left coast chuck September 23, 19:07

      Kathy: See my post to Ben above this post. Especially note the information about a Faraday cage. Unless your radio uses vacuum tubes it will be subject to the same impulses other electronics are in the event of an EMP.

      There is lots of confusion and misinformation about what will and will not work after an EMP, but most authorities suggest that anything that has microcircuits in it will be dead after an EMP. There are exceptions. If you are on the fifth level down in an all concrete parking garage and are away from the elevators and any large electric boxes, your electronics may escape. If you are deep in a cave some place, your electronics may escape. In a Faraday cage, your electronics will survive the EMP.

      You need to store your radio gear in a Faraday cage if you want it to survive an EMP.

      The caveat, however, is that repeater stations exposed to the atmosphere probably will not survive, so you may be reduced to using CW and Morse Code in order to communicate and bouncing the signal.

      Reply to this comment
  8. Fred September 22, 20:25

    Three guns with ammo are essential. 12 ga. shotgun, .22 rifle and deer rifle. But the most important is a good supply of potable water, like a rain catchment from shelter roofs and a filtered storage system.
    Water, Shelter & Food are the necessaries, First!

    Reply to this comment
  9. Gomer Pyle September 22, 20:38

    Beware some of the Dollar Store bargains, though.

    Their rolls of tape are usually smaller and their batteries tend to have less run time.

    Also, some canned goods are cheaper, by the ounce, other places.

    I bought zip ties there a while back and they were so-so. They weren’t near as thick as the more expensive ones.

    I disagree on cell phones being totally worthless.

    For example,

    Most cell phones have a flashlight built into them.

    Also, screenshots of maps and other important things can be stored on the phone.

    Reply to this comment
  10. clergylady September 22, 20:38

    Good ideas. Most items I’ve already covered but great for a reminder or beginners. I buy larger quantities to outfit home, vehicles, and my bags. I really do buy dollar store travel bottles. Best priced around. Tooth brush covers and even cheap glasses cases and $1 glasses repair kits with small screwdrivers and assorted tiny screws, nose pads and a cleaning cloth.
    I also keep cheap “reading glasses” in vehicles that I can drive with or for odd distances like playing piano and reading music. Just try some on and see at what distances they work for you. I asked what reading strength would work at the distance for my piano music. My eyes are bad but that would have been the only distance requiring me to go to trifocals. My number is 350. The strongest I can find in reading glasses is 325. It works just fine. And I’m still in bifocals. For emergency driving glasses I tried on reading glasses until one worked to clearly see the far side of the parking lot from inside the store. $1 glasses and a $1 plastic case to protect them.
    I went online looking for the mylar emergency blankets. I bought a pack of 50 for $25. They are packed ten to a package. I have shared a few but still have 40. I’m planning to use a few where I’m wanting a quick bright reflective surface. Some are packed in the BOB and GH bags, in the truck and in the car. I also found large multi packs of lip gloss products. Good for lips, fire starting, to keep minor cuts clean et. The $1 stores also carry them. Often multi tube packs for the $1 price.
    Cheap helps me prep. Fancy and expensive cuts me out of prepping. Thats life on Social Security.

    Reply to this comment
  11. City Chick September 22, 21:00

    The only items I pick up at the dollar store are paper gift bags, garden twine and ribbons. I would not purchase anything to put on or in my body. I would not purchase anything electrical or for the kitchen. I would not purchase anything for children. I do not have room to store anything for trade that I would not also personally use. I guess I’m picky.

    Reply to this comment
    • left coast chuck September 23, 01:32

      CC: The local 99¢ store was clearing out their line of kitchen knives at 50¢ each. I bought 20 for $10. They don’t take up much room and I am hoping will be hot trade items at the end of the world.

      Are they top end Esee knives? Well, of course not. But if you need a knife, they are better than a sharp stick. In fact they can make that sharp stick that will serve as a spear and put a point on it quicker than rubbing it on the curb.

      For an extra fee, I will make you a sheath out of a Cheerios box and a stapler.

      Reply to this comment
      • Srumps September 23, 14:34

        I keep the blades for the electric carving knife in a cut down folded up 24 pack of Pepsi cola.

        Reply to this comment
      • City Chick September 24, 15:53

        Sounds great LCC, but I wouldn’t trust it in a SHTF situation! (Please pardon my language here, but as I explained things years ago to my son people who use bad words do not have a good command of the English language to be able to express themselves in the right way, but. sometimes other words don’t actually convey
        the right meaning!). Around here, I’d probably get stopped for carrying a concealed weapon if I managed to squeeze it into my briefcase!

        Reply to this comment
      • Fred September 25, 03:50

        Dollar Store epoxy glue (Crazy Glue, etc. is another important survival item. It is easier than stitches to close a wound. It can mend clothing and repair or craft footwear. I recently re attached the sole of the front quarter of a work boot. It has many, many uses.

        Reply to this comment
    • Fredrick September 23, 03:03

      ‘Tis better to be careful, than cared for! You have the right idea. City Chick, but you might want to get outta town, because that is where it all starts.

      Bugging out, pack like you are hiking the Appalachian Trail. Water, Shelter & Food, plus a good weapon and a few small game traps, fishing gear, fire starter, warm clothes, etc.
      Get with friends and relatives, if you can. It will be ugly!

      I’m dug in, so my prep is protecting a perimeter, which requires a bit more planning and expense,

      Reply to this comment
      • City Chick September 24, 01:06

        Frederick, Appreciate the kindness, but no need to be concerned here. I’m good. And I thank you!

        Reply to this comment
        • Fredrick September 24, 15:26

          Your welcome! I admire your confidence! Personally, I’m too old to die young. I have a garden spot, between two lakes and prepared to defend it, so we are dug in, as best we can. We can be over-run, but we will do our best to make the cost prohibitive. Of course, mobs in a frenzy are not the most rational folks out there!

          Reply to this comment
          • City Chick September 24, 18:06

            Frederick, Tactically, your plan sounds like a sound one. The trick is to find a way to make sure they go someplace else and make it difficult and uninviting! That’s a plan that works well in both town and country!

            Reply to this comment
  12. lefty September 22, 21:01

    who makes a hand/bicycle/solar powered simple[and preferably NOT communist chinese] ham radio?

    Reply to this comment
    • left coast chuck September 24, 01:08

      Lefty: I would like to tell you to buy Grundig. Unfortunately, Grundig is now Eaton and is made by our BFFS, the Chinese. I don’t think there is a radio in the class that you are looking for that is not made in China. Some manufacturing has moved to Vietnam and to Bangladesh, but the electronics is still being pumped out in China. I had hoped that with the CoVD crisis, that situation would be ameliorated but alas, I hope that in vain.

      Reply to this comment
    • Fred September 24, 15:47

      I own a handcycle trike, Top End, made by INVACARE. The frames are made in USA, not sure about the wheels, but pretty sure the electronic shifter was Japanese or Chinese. Even Texas Instrument moved their high volume products to China… Coming home now, though!

      Reply to this comment
      • left coast chuck September 24, 20:16

        Fred: Many hand made, human power driven cycles are made here in the U.S. I’m pretty sure, however, that the electric shifter is Shimano which is a Japanese company. I am not sure the actual product is made in Japan. Even the Japanese have shifted their actual manufacturing offshore to China or Vietnam. Given the current friction between China and all its neighbors, that situation may be changing. The Japanese are starting question the wisdom of moving so much manufacturing offshore. Especially true when in political confrontation with the country where the manufacturing is being performed.

        However if the Japanese government decides to remove manufacturing form China it will happen a lot quicker than in the U.S. The Chinese won’t know what hit them.

        Reply to this comment
  13. CarrieV September 22, 21:13

    For dollar store toiletries, the best buy ever is baby wipes. While camping or while doing a two-week SHTF at-home scenario, baby wipes can be used for wiping off dirty hands, a dirty face, or obviously for their best purpose of post-restroom use. After my mother had trauma surgery, she used wet wipes (baby wipes) to shower-in-place in her chair. They glide on the skin, clean up behind themselves, and sometimes leave a nice clean scent. Better than any other alternate toilet paper.

    Reply to this comment
    • IvyMike September 23, 00:33

      In a survival situation, they say you can survive 3 minutes w/o air, 3 hours w/o shelter, and 3 days w/o baby wipes. I don’t leave home without baby wipes.

      Reply to this comment
    • Kathysedai September 23, 04:25

      I use them all the time for many different reasons. Best ever for cleaning my dogs faces, me when needed and even a spill. I keep them in my purse also

      Reply to this comment
      • left coast chuck September 24, 01:27

        I know what the label says with regard to ingredients, but do you really know what the ingredients are that you are wiping over your body? I’m sorry, but the standard business operating dictum in China is “Caveat Emptor.”

        As a nation they see nothing wrong in cheating customers and in adulterating goods with cheaper products. That is not considered morally wrong by them. It is considered good business practice. They even sell bad products to their own citizens. Can you expect better treatment than they give to their own citizens?

        Oh, but the U.S. companies send inspectors to China to inspect the plant. Yeah, but the inspectors they send most likely don’t speak a word of Chinese other than “Ni habu hou?” Then they are wined and dined and provided with accommodating women to keep them preoccupied until it is time to return back to the States.

        You do know that one can purchase a degree in quality control engineering in China for the equivalent of about $75, don’t you? Advanced degrees cost a bit more.

        While they ordinarily won’t admit that there is anything wrong with China, even the Chinese themselves admit that they have an overwhelming problem with corruption.

        If they ‘fess up to corruption, how bad do you think it really is?

        So, yeah, I bought cheap knives at the dollar store made in China. The steel is okay steel for domestic kitchen cutting. Will you be able to butcher an elk with one of those knives? Well, maybe, yeah, if you have a sharpening stone handy while you are doing the butchering. Will you be able to use it disjoint an elk? Can you drive cross country at 150 mph in a Yugo?

        If you have to defend yourself with the dollar store knives, they will give somebody a few nasty cuts and maybe discourage them, but I wouldn’t use them to scare off an Antifa mob threatening to burn my house down.

        To paraphrase Clint Eastwood, “A knife’s got to know its limitations.”

        I avoid any Chinese product that is food or put on my body or take internally. The only exception is clothing and it is very difficult to find clothing not made in China. I do try to buy American as much as I can but I won’t spend a month shopping for underwear not made in China.

        Reply to this comment
        • City Chick September 24, 16:01

          So true LCC! So many times we have heard news stories about how they have done this too! Contaminated formula for babies, milk for children, food for dogs! At one point I heard that they were going to send chickens grown here over there for processing to be used in frozen entrees and soups! The list goes on and on! If you do buy anything there that looks like a brand name, check out the packaging real good! Chances are it’s counterfit! So easy to print labels these day and put it on just about anything!

          Reply to this comment
  14. Lettuce pray September 23, 14:41

    They also come in handy when you are not to steady on your feet. A daily swipe with a fresh one helps keep you out of the slick shower. Shower once a week with daily wipe downs.

    Reply to this comment
  15. White wolf September 23, 20:30

    I hit multiple dollar stores. and bring paper and pen . I look up the brands name and place of business . addresses, emails etc….. and investigate the company . American made only and always. ( I’ll back some Canadian products as well , and I will always check on the Italian and Greek products ) 3lb bag of beans , Italian and Greek EVOO , apple cider and white vinegar , bar soap , toothpaste… cmon, who wouldn’t do their due diligence , I walk out with 10 of each product at a time , we are always set for years at a time with most stuff , but if you garden and can , or cook and freeze ! its a gold mine.. someone miss labeled a case of dove chocolates , 24 bags , the cashier said , they labeled them a dollar , its a dollar ! you just gotta keep an open mind and think of treasure hunting . I also found Texas steer suede gloves , bought 5 pair , 9 years ago , still have 1 pair + 1 odd glove . thats treasure my friends.

    Reply to this comment
  16. Ben September 24, 10:43

    I would not want to depend on a cellphone for light. I prefer flashlights (with plenty of rechargeable batteries and solar chargers) and lanterns (with plenty of fuel).

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    • Fred September 24, 19:13

      I bought a dozen LED lamps from Harbor Freight, they lite up a room, much better than I dared think. They are powered with crappy Chinese AA batteries and since I have a solar charger for AA, AAA, C, D & 9V, I will purchase same in rechargeable batteries, for replacements.

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      • left coast chuck September 24, 20:25

        I have those Harbor Freight lights too. I got them when they were giving them away with a coupon. I tried to use every free battery coupon and every free flashlight coupon that I came across. I’ve got a nice stockpile of the flashlights, the 3 LED and the larger one with two light modes stored away in cardboard boxes made into Faraday cages with aluminum foil. The flashlights are individually wrapped in cardboard to insulate them inside the boxes. Collins Street Bakery fruitcake tins also make good Faraday cages.

        And speaking of Faraday cages, the metal boxes that the 99¢ store sells at Christmas time are a cheap source of metal containers to make Faraday cages.

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        • Fred September 25, 03:25

          Hi Chuck! I bought 10 @ $4.99 each. I did not think Faraday Cage protection is necessary, as there is no mother board to fry. Please advise, if I am incorrect. I have a ’65 GMC pickup and have been cautioned to not upgrade the ignition system, from points to electronic, due to a EMP possibility.

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          • left coast chuck October 4, 04:01

            Fred: I am certainly not an EMP expert. I have read everything I can about its effects. As far as the single switch LED lights, the is, the 3 LED lights, I think that they may survive. I have read that the LED lights that have multiple lighting modes, that is the blue, two LED light modes, the single led and the multiple larger LED may not survive. The consensus seems to be that any LED flashlight that has multiple modes, like three stages of brightness, SOS and strobe, will not survive an EMP unless protected by a Faraday cage.

            Except for the LED flashlights I use on an almost daily basis, I store the rest, without batteries in a Faraday cage. That way I know that they will be available after some electronic event. Batteries are supposed to be safe without the protection of a Faraday cage. Perhaps some month when I am wondering what to do I will make Faraday cages for the batteries too.

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            • City Chick October 4, 16:24

              EMP is something we all should be concerned about. It is good to know it is finally getting the attention it needs on a national security level in Washington DC under this administration. I wish we were given more information on the plans in place, but I’m sure it’s on a need to know basis. Whatever it is it has to be all good because anything is better than nothing!

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            • Barbara October 7, 06:07

              I do keep LED flashlights in a faraday cage. I have some of the old kind with D batteries that should survive an EMP. I have some incandescent bulbs stored away because the LED lightbulbs won’t survive. Candles are a great buy at the dollar store. One dollar for a tall unscented candle is a great buy verses maybe paying $5 at Walmart. Candles don’t need faraday cages. Neither do the old oil lanterns with lamp oil that you can get at Walmart.

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  17. Rick September 25, 02:32

    this seems to be the last effort to try to talk to a live person concerning an order I placed for printed materials your automated run around sucks!

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  18. Jenaro September 28, 23:08

    This is a perfect article for cheap and affordable supply building measures.

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  19. Stephen November 6, 22:19

    We recently had a small flood and realized just how unprepared we were. Luckily, we found a water damage restoration service that came in to help us, but we know that we could have had things ready to go sooner. Trying to pack up the kids for a simple stay at grandmas while everything dried out was a total nightmare. We are definitely going to go through your list here as a family and come up with a date to pick up the items we don’t currently have at the dollar store. Thanks for sharing.

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  20. City Chick November 9, 14:58

    Stephen, Flooding is a serious threat to our health safety and security! It is unfortunate that you had to go through it, but we always learn from our experiences. There are some things you can have at the ready to mitigate the damage – shop vacs, sump pumps, fans, and tarps are a few simple items to have on hand. I have had a compound check valve installed on my main sewer line. What you need to do depends on what your flood risks actually are, but you can take steps to help yourself now. I’m sure many folks here will offer up some more tips, but you should tell us what was the cause of the flood to help us help you.

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