Dollar Store Shopping List for Last Minute Survival Items

March 18, 2013 by | 13 Comments

The news is in and there’s a natural disaster heading your way. Or maybe you just want to stock up on your emergency survival gear ahead of time—a wise choice.

In the event of an impending emergency, any of the items you really need already will have been ransacked at most grocery and convenience stores, but the dollar store is likely the last thing on anyone’s mind, so you can probably get most, if not all of what you need without the typical last-minute chaos. And whether you’re grabbing a few things at the last-minute or preparing ahead of time, you’re going to save yourself a lot of money.

While you won’t have the same selection as a typical grocery store, you’ll find more than you might imagine. I took a trip to my local dollar store this past weekend just to see how much you could really find there, and was quite surprised. Based on my research, whether it’s last-minute or you’re trying to get ahead of the game, here’s my recommended shopping list:

  • Plastic bags of all types and sizes
  • Plastic containers (great for catching/storing water, among many other uses)
  • Disposable eating utensils (plates, cups, cutlery)
  • Toilet paper
  • Hygiene gear (soap, toothpaste, deodorant, etc.)
  • Cleaning supplies (rags, brushes, scouring pads, etc.)
  • Bleach (for cleaning and purifying water)
  • Bottled water
  • String, tape, and glue
  • Over the counter medicine (aspirin, Motrin,Imodium etc.)
  • First aid supplies
  • Lighters/matches
  • Fire logs
  • Beef or turkey jerky
  • Flashlights (I’ve tested the small LED type and confirmed they are waterproof. I plan to write a more extensive  article on their durability—a torture-test of sorts—soon.)
  • Batteries
  • Canned foods
  • Dried foods (pasta, noodles, fruit, etc.)

That’s what I found/noticed. Have any of you found anything that I might have missed?

Melanie Swick (a.k.a. Survival Chick) grew up wanting to be a rocket scientist, but when she realized she that required way too much math, she took to her second dream—spending time in the wilderness. Today, when she's not hiking, camping, or hunting, she's blogging about it. You can connect with Melanie on Facebook.

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  • earther52 says:

    you can also find auto supplies, kitchen utensils, candles…..

  • SPeterson says:

    Depending on where you are and if needed…some have hats, gloves, socks, etc. Also bungee cords, zip ties, and items for pets.

  • Donna says:

    You can also find shelf stable soy milk.

  • Dave says:

    I bought my sewing kit, some tools (screwdrivers, hammer, knives, ROPE (we can never have enough)), batteries (yes they are cheap but in a pinch they will hold out for a few days (Do not however store batteries on metal shelving – it will drain them). My best find was the fishing supplies. I spent a total of $4.00 for everything. Another thing I bought was a Holy Bible. Some people might call me crazy but I do believe that when SHTF Faith will help guide us to saftey.

  • CJ Aldridge says:

    Candles, toys to keep kids occupied, crayons, books, if all else fails books you will never use, tear the pages for fire starts (yes, book burning).

  • chris says:

    I always pick up glow sticks in a bracelet size…15 for a buck…to attach to my tent lines …trip proof

    • Jeremy Knauff says:

      I agree—you just need to keep an eye on their age as chemlights do have a shelf life which is significantly shortened when exposed to high temperatures.

  • monty says:

    Snickers. lol

  • joan says:

    that all sounds good but the size for most items is a lot smaller that reg size and if you pay a buck for that could add a little more moola and get twice as much………not such a good deal……………………

  • Linzie says:

    I have found full size name brand flu medicine at my Dollar Tree as well as coffee filters, paper products, you can’t get toilet paper for less then 25 cents a roll!

  • Joshua says:

    They have some cheap versions of sterno. Along work cheap kitchen knives. And some fairly good solar lights and 12v car chargers that you can modify. Pray that and the items you have already mentioned cleaning and hygiene supplies can come in handy whatever the size of them

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