10 Dollar Store Prepper Finds!
Today Megan and I went to the Dollar Tree dollar store. It is an actual dollar store and nothing over $1 (.99 Only stores seem to be a little better and have a little more, but we don’t have one here). So I decided to set out to see what I could get for $10 (a little more with tax, but it was 10 items). There are a bunch of junky things there so watch out for some of the knifes, flashlights and tools as they can really be junk. Also some of the things aren’t always cheaper especially if they are on sale at others stores which includes a couple items I bought. So here is what I got and why I got them.
1. Diamond Strike on Box Matches 10 pack 32 Count boxes
The first thing about these matches is that they are a brand name product. I have the 300 count large boxes that I usually use for starting the wood stove, but these have an added benefit. They are in little packs so they can be put in numerous backpacks bug out bags and vehicles. The one thing that I would rather have is strike anywhere matches, but good luck finding them at the dollar store. They also don’t have fire strikers so this is the next best thing.
AA are essentially the most commonly used batteries in your flashlights, led lanterns and many other small electronics. Having a good supply of batteries are important. As opposed to many of the higher end batteries that are alkaline these “Super Heavy Duty” batteries normally have carbon rods. Carbon rods can be used from old dead batteries to make pretty simple new batteries. Here is a tutorial on how to easily and quickly take apart carbon zinc batteries to reuse(Warning: Do not try with alkaline batteries).
3. Femtex 8 pack Super Absorbent Tampons
What, why would I want to buy tampons for survival even though I am not a woman? The purpose of tampons is to absorb blood. So tampons can really make great additions to your IFAK or to your first aid kit. They even have their own applicator to be able to push them into gunshot or puncture wounds. Tampons can also serve a different purpose they can be used as tinder for a fire as they are essentially cotton.
The more bandaids you have the better. The one problem I find with bandaids is many times they just don’t stick well. These seem to stick decently and for $1 I can’t complain as they had 4 different sizes including a small round wart bandage. Bandaids will never stop a big gash or blood flow, but there are many times that those little cuts can really bleed and be quite annoying as well as there is much more of a possibility of infection if they are not covered.
5. Assured 50% Isopropyl Alcohol 16 oz
Alcohol is another good first aid product to have in your kit. Using alcohol is one of the best ways to clean and stop wounds from getting infected. So having some around is always important. There are also many other great uses for it as it is a great cleaner. Here is an article with 25 other uses for rubbing alcohol.
6 & 7. Assured Cotton Balls 100 count and Personal Care Petroleum Jelly 3.53 oz
The reason I put these together is because they can be used to make one very important thing, waterproof firestarters. Just burning cotton balls does not work well as they burn out quite quickly so saturating them in vaseline keeps them going long enough to get your fire started even if the wood is a little damp. Firestarters can be pretty expensive so getting 100 of them for a couple bucks is a great deal. They can be stored in seal able sandwich bags and put into your backpacks or pocket survival kits. The cotton balls and the petroleum jelly can also be used for many other things so they are great to have.
8. Crystal Geyser 1 gallon Spring Water
It’s water need I say more. Water is one of the most important items so the more you stock up on the better off you will be. Having small things of water ready to go will be much easier to use even if you have large amounts of rain storage. You can never go wrong with more water storage! This is one thing that you can sometimes find cheaper than a buck so it is not always the best to buy at a dollar store.
9. Bumble Bee Chunk Light Tuna in Water 5 oz
Tuna is one of those things that many times you can get for cheaper than $1 when it is on sale. There are really two great things about tuna. The first thing is that it is high in protein. It has 22 grams of protein in just the small can. If you are a weight lifter looking to gain muscle the high protein and low calories is what you want and what tuna has. The second thing that is great is that it is not just a prepper food, it is a regular food people eat all the time so you are probably used to eating it or have had it before. There are really some weird canned meats that I never know if I want to try. They have stuff like canned ham, vienna sausages and potted meat that don’t look so good and usually aren’t that great.
10. Ilumex Plain White Candle
These are the type of tall skinny candles in the glass jars. These are the religious or Catholic candles you see in the grocery store many times. The one I found actually didn’t have a catholic sticker on it they were just plain white with the UPC and the name of the company. These type of candles are the best bang for the buck as they can burn for about 80-90 hours. They are great when the power is out because they provide a little bit of light without using your batteries. They also can be good as pilot lights if you are just about out of matches so use these to light other things like sticks or kindling to make a fire.
Other Options I didn’t buy, but you should definitely have.
The reason I didn’t buy bleach is because they were out of it. They had a spot for a 96 oz version, but there were none left. This probably would have been one of the items if they had it. Bleach is a great way to purify water and to keep water storage good. The good thing about this “cheap” bleach is because they are trying to make it so cheap it has no additives, coloring or scents. This is the exact kind you want, just pure bleach.
Here is an article on how to use bleach to purify water among other purification techniques.
I already have many of these so I didn’t buy them, but every prepper should have a stockpile of coffee filters. There are so many uses for them, but one of the most common things I use them for (other than for making coffee) is to pre-filter water for my water purifier. It helps keep the big junk from getting caught in the foam that they put at the intake tip of the MSR Miniworks EX Water filter. This is the article showing you how I use the Coffee filters and a rubber band. Here is another great article that shows many other uses for coffee filters.
Again just another great cleaner and item to have with your first aid stuff.
Pain Killers and Allergy medicines
They have many off brands of these so try it out and see if it works. If it does it is a much cheaper substitute than Advil or Claritin.
Most of the dollar stores have plenty of canned foods and soups that can be cheaper than the other stores, but not always.
Starting fluids, lubricants, oils and some other car items
There are sometimes smaller things of WD40 that is a great item to have along with starting fluids that are very flammable and can be used for many things.
They had a small thing of duct tape which should be aplenty in any preppers gear.
There are probably many other things that you can pickup at the dollar store, but just beware that there really is some junk. Hopefully this article helped you save a little bit of money.