25 Emergency Preparedness Items I get at the dollar store – Plus 30 more

Emergency preparedness can quickly get expensive.  There are Hand Grain Mill, dehydrators, sun ovens, candle ovens , water barrels, and more that all cost a pretty penny.

Emergency Preparedness can quickly get expensive. But if you know what you can buy at the dollar store, you can put the money you save toward bigger ticket items without impacting your budget.

But saving up for big ticket items can be easier if you can spend less elsewhere.  There are many emergency preparedness items you can’t get at the dollar store that might cost $2 – $10 elsewhere.  Buy these there and put the extra money toward something else.

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25 Preparedness items to get at the dollar store:

These are all items that I personally buy at the dollar store for my preparedness supplies.  I’ve found them to be high enough quality at my local dollar store that I’m satisfied.  But I would suggest you check yours and make sure the quality will hold up and provide well for your family.

First Aid Items:

  • Bandaids
  • Antibiotic cream
  • Burn cream
  • Vinyl gloves
  • Bandanas (great as bandages among many other uses)
  • Super glue (good as a bandage for small cuts)
  • Hydrogen peroxide

72 Hour kit items:

  • Magnifying glass (to start a fire)
  • Glow sticks (great for kids 72 hour kits)
  • Compact mirror (for signaling)
  • Ponchos
  • Small packets of pain killers, cold medicine etc
  • Basic sewing kit

Power Outage items:


Other items:

  • Duct tape
  • Nylon rope
  • Bungee cords
  • Zip (cable) ties
  • Work gloves
  • Can opener (important if you have lots of cans in your food storage, but be careful of quality)
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30 Everyday Dollar Store Items

In addition to the above emergency preparedness items that I buy at the dollar store, there are other everyday items I buy there as well.  Again, getting these items at the dollar store saves me a few dollars per item.  I am able to use the money I save for other purposes (like big ticket emergency preparedness items).

Personal Care Items:

  • Floss
  • Toothbrushes
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Feminine Hygiene supplies (also great in a first aid kit as bandages for heavy bleeding)
  • Cotton balls
  • Combs
  • Fingernail clippers

Office Supplies:

  • Pens
  • Pencils
  • Basic paper scissors
  • Coloring books
  • Bubble envelopes / packing supplies
  • Safety pins

Kitchen Items:

  • Coffee Filters (I don’t drink coffee, but I’ve heard they are inexpensive there)
  • Kitchen Utensils (some are better than others, but I got a lot of mine from the dollar store and they’ve lasted years)
  • Disposable baking tins
  • Plastic serving dishes
  • Colanders
  • Dish rack
  • Dish towels

Food items (could also be used as part of your food storage):

  • Canned meat
  • Condiments (ketchup, mustard etc)
  • Spices

Other items:

  • Nails / screws
  • Shower liner
  • Seasonal items (decorations or disposable tableware for holidays)
  • Party supplies
  • Gift bags
  • Streamers
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Print it!

If you’d like a printable copy of this list to take with you to the dollar store, you can download one by clicking below:

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Emergency Preparedness can quickly get expensive. But if you know what you can buy at the dollar store, you can put the money you save toward bigger ticket items without impacting your budget.








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Becky is a wildlife enthusiast and pet and livestock care expert with a diploma in canine nutrition. With over a decade of experience in animal welfare, Becky lends her expertise to Simple Family Preparedness through insightful info about pets, livestock, bee keeping, and the practicalities of homesteading.

7 thoughts on “25 Emergency Preparedness Items I get at the dollar store – Plus 30 more”

  1. Thank you so much for all of this great information. How handy and time saving to have this important information all in one place. Thank you for all of your hard work!

  2. I love this post, I don’t get out much but forget to look at the dollar store… Why pay more when you can get something you need for a dollar… Thank you for sharing… Karen of Blue Yonder Urban Farms…

  3. Like you, I get many of the first aid items there. They get used up quickly at times and it doesn’t cost much to replace. Two things on your list, duct tape and vinyl shower curtain, have not worked for me. The duct tape is light duty and on smaller rolls, so it actually costs more there (and doesn’t stick as well.)
    I found that I had a moderately severe allergic reaction to just opening the the vinyl shower curtain (I didn’t even get it out of the packaging) and had to use my inhaler. If you or anyone in you family have breathing problems, I would recommend checking on reactions to it now, when you are not in a disaster situation. I sure wouldn’t want to find out about a serious reaction with potentially no hospital available (actually, I don’t want a serious reaction anytime!)
    Other things I buy from the dollar store to save money include: pasta and spagetti noodles, hand sanitizer, soap (liquid and bar for laundry detergent making), some cleaning products, bleach, and hard candies. The latter are great for emergency kits, they store well for a long time, and can provide needed energy or stress relief. They are usually cheaper than what you can get from other places. I get both sugar-free and regular types.
    As a senior with a low budget, saving where I can is very important. But emergency preparation is critical in most parts of the country for weather events. With Fall already here, I definitely want to be ready for winter storms and electrical outages. Stocking up at the dollar store is an econonimical way to do so.


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