Prepping at the Dollar Store


Think prepping has to be expensive?  Think you have to buy only from a dedicated prepping & survival store?  Think again.  You can get several prepping items at your local dollar store, whether that be Dollar General, Family Dollar, Dollar Tree, or any other knock-off dollar store!

Here is a list of items I like to look for at dollar stores that I can add to my prep buckets and bug out bags.


  •  Matches
  • Lighters
  • lighter fluid
  • sterno cans
  • tea light candles
  • candles
  • lamp oil (at some stores)
  • charcoal briquettes


  • First aid kits
  • band aid & gauze
  • bandage tape
  • tylenol
  • ibprofen
  • antacids
  • cold & flu medicine
  • allergy medicine
  • cough drops
  • aspirin
  • anti-histimines
  • anti-itch cream
  • burn cream
  • bug spray
  • sunscreen
  • aloe gel
  • vitamins
  • antibiotic ointment
  • rubbing alcohol
  • hydrogen peroxide
  • anti-diarrhea medicine
  • children’s medicines
  • miniture versions of a lot of common OTC medicines that you can put in your BOB


  • hairbrush & comb
  • shampoo, conditioner, soap
  • hand sanitizer
  • tooth brush, toothpaste, dental floss, mouth wash antiseptic
  • dental repair kits (at some locations)
  • toilet paper
  • paper towels
  • baby wipes or hand wipes
  • baby powder & diapers
  • jock itch/athlete’s foot spray
  • deodarant
  • feminine menses pads (can double as a first aid item to control bleeding of wounds)


  • candles
  • flashlights & batteries
  • glow sticks


  • obviously a ton of canned and boxed foods (canned meats, canned fruits, canned veggies, mac n cheese, pasta, and more)
  • baking supplies like flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt, lard, oil
  • rice, dried beans, oatmeal, grits, cream of wheat, cereal
  • sauces and condiments
  • storage containers to store food in that are air tight and pest proof


  • water jugs
  • water bottles
  • bottled water
  • juice boxes or pouches
  • drink mixes like gatorade and kool-aid and crystal light
  • bleach for purification
  • iodine for purification and wound cleansing


  • shirts
  • pants
  • underwear
  • shoes
  • socks
  • jackets (some locations)
  • hats
  • gloves


  • cleaning chemicals
  • bleach
  • soap for washing dishes and clothes
  • rags
  • towels
  • blankets
  • pillows and pillowcases
  • auto fluids like oil and starter fluid
  • basic hand tools like hammers, screw drivers, and pliers


  • formula
  • bottles and bibs
  • pacifers
  • toys
  • clothes
  • diapers
  • wipes
  • baby powder
  • baby medications


  • board games
  • cards
  • toys for all ages
  • great to kill boredom and keep kids entertained


  • besides games & toys,  candy
  • chocolate
  • dried fruit
  • nuts
  • trail mix
  • craft supplies
  • activity supplies like coloring books and crayons/markers and stickers

Any and all of these items are great to store as a prepper, whether that be in your home, your Bug out location, cabin, RV, or if you just want some smaller and cheaper items for your bug out bag or auto kit.  Check the dollar stores first for items before spending beaucoup money at a big box store or online.  These items are just as good as name brand items and are wayyyy cheaper!  You can also stock up on these items to have as Barter Items for when SHTF!  Great way to have an alternate currency so-to-speak for SHTF. Saving money is always a good thing and the kids will even have fun helping you stock up on prepper supplies at the dollar store!  Start saving while prepping!

Pet Bug Out Bag



You may have pets like a dog or cat that you plan on taking with you when you Bug Out during SHTF…hate to say it, but reptiles, fish, small mammals (like hamster/gerbils, rats), are NOT going to do well in a SHTF scenario and you WILL have to leave them behind if you are travelling on foot.  Your dog or cat is a different story, they are able to walk and can be useful to alerting you to approaching strangers. (Some cats have been trained to walk on leashes, but you could easily carry them).

Some of the things you need to put in a Bug Out Bag for your pet are:

MINIMUM 5 days of medication that your dog takes. More is better as you may not be able to access a vet for a few weeks if you are relocating.

Medical Records (vet records, microchip papers, list of medicines, allergies, proof of rabies vaccine)

First aid kit (if you don’t already have one)

Book on First Aid for Dogs (there are many options available, including a For Dummies version on Kindle)

6lbs of dry dog food (Toy breeds or cats); 10-15 lbs of dry dog food (Small breeds)  They sell freeze-dry dog and cat food online as well.

12 cans of wet dog/cat food (one time use, like 5.5oz cans, so you don’t have to store them for later)

4 liters of water (cats/dogs need approximately 1 oz of water per pound of weight, per day; if your cat/dog weights 15 lbs, he/she needs about half a liter per day, more on hot days)  You can get the small mylar water pouches online that stack neatly.

2 small bowls (smaller bowls means you have more control how much they eat and drink, and how much you can afford to have accidentally spilled)

Hair brush (for longer haired breeds)

Calming spray for dogs; brands include NaturVet “Quiet Moments”, Doctors Foster and Smith “Comfort Zone”, NutriVet “Pet-Ease”, and Earth Heart “Canine Calm”.

Blanket (best to have replica of your dog’s favorite, if possible)

Dog/cat waste bags or bag of scented garbage bin liners, absorbent paper towels (in case of an accident); newspapers to put down (if necessary)

Quart size zip lock bag (to store waste bags and paper towels until they can be disposed)

Bag of dog/cat treat or dog bones

Toys (best to have replicas of your dog’s or cat’s favorite toys)

Muzzle (to prevent barking, biting)

Extra collar with tags, Dog Harness (the extra-small harnesses work on cats too)

Superglue – to seal up small cuts in a pinch

Extra flea and tick medicines

Extra heart worm/tape worm medication

Items for your female dog, if she goes into heat during bugout (if you dog is not spayed)

Prescription sedatives from your veterinarian (such as Acepromazine – reduces anxiety)

Of course you may think of other items you wish to have for your pet, be sure to put them in your Bug Out Bag. Or if you have a larger breed dog, you can buy a vest for the dog that will hold pouches, so your dog can carry his/her own bug out bag! Find them on Amazon under the name Ruff Wear Approach bag.

Infant/Baby Bug Out Bag


We have compiled a list of items that you should make for a Bug Out Bag/Pouch for your Infant/Baby under the age of 2.

You should have enough food, water, clothing, and supplies for at least 72 hours.

(Infant to 2 years of age or until potty-trained)

Remember you are going to have to carry the baby, your own Bug Out Bag, and supplies for your baby, so either make a smaller bag for the baby, or add the baby supplies to a bigger adult Bug Out Bag. It’s kind of like putting together a more thorough diaper bag, but with enough supplies for the baby for at least 72 hours.

-Baby formula either in the small pre-mixed plastic bottles or powdered formula sealed in Mylar bags

-Water packets

-Both disposable diapers and cloth diapers with safety pins in a Ziploc bag to keep them dry

-Baby waterproof diaper covers

-small changing mat (you won’t want to change a diaper on the dirty ground without a changing mat)

-a few changes of clothes, socks, shoes, hat

-blankets & jacket/fleece body suit

-Baby finger food snacks like puffs, cheerios, rice crackers, soft granola bars, etc

-Baby food jars wrapped in bubble wrap to prevent breakage or the sealed Gerber Graduates baby food bowls/trays, baby feeding spoons (if your baby is eating solid foods)

-Bottles, nipples, sippy cup

-Wipes (both wet and dehydrated)

-Sunscreen, bug spray, diaper rash cream, baby powder, baby lotion, baby body wash

-A few age appropriate toys/books/stuffed animals/rattles etc, pacifiers, lovey toy/blanket

-Baby chest rig for carrying baby hands free

-Baby Tylenol, baby ibuprofen, baby orajel, baby gas drops, and any prescription medications

-copy of birth certificate and shot record

-non-iodine water purification tablets (babies can’t have iodine) or some other small water filter device

-baby first aid kit

-baby grooming kit that has nail clippers, hair brush, suction bulb, and thermometer

-Baby liquid vitamins like Poly-VI Sol

-Baby powdered Pedialyte (oral rehydration solution)

Children’s Bug Out Bag



A list of good things to have in a Children’s Bug Out Bag.  We consider this bag to be for kids ages 2 through 12 (or potty-trained through age 12).  You should have enough food, water, clothing, and supplies for at least 72 hours.

(Ages 2 through 12, or potty-trained through 12)

Kids over 12 should carry a normal Basic Adult Bug Out Bag.

During a SHTF situation it will be important for your kids to feel as safe and secure as possible. Having their own child sized Bug Out Bag filled with familiar items and comfort foods can be a real life saver during an emergency. You shouldn’t expect young children to know how to start a fire or how to filter/purify water, or how to build a shelter, or find food by snaring/trapping. This is up to the adult in the group to provide for the basic needs of the child while their BOB provides mental and emotional comfort in a scary situation.  A child that is comforted by their BOB is a child that is less likely to cause you problems, wander off, or get into trouble.

What Items should go into a kids bug out bag:

Basic Survival Items: Make sure they are light weight and age appropriate, heavier items and gear should be in the adult’s bags.

  • Flash light (preferably a solar or shake-light kind that do not require batteries)
  • Emergency whistle (clipped to the outside of pack so they can easily find it if they become separated from you)
  • Laminated emergency contact list with name, home address, and telephone numbers.
  • Pre-paid cell phone (for kids who are old enough to use them)
  • Poncho
  • Extra socks, pair of gloves and knit hat or bandana (depending on your climate)
  • Dust mask or gas mask
  • Small pocket knife for the older kids
  • Band aids & wipes
  • Small bottle of hand sanitizer
  • Water packets
  • Food ration bars
  • Canteen & cup
  • Emergency sleeping bag
  • Change of clothes

Comfort Items  (pick a few, you don’t have to have every item listed here)

  • Stuffed animals
  • A couple small light weight toys
  • Pack of playing cards or travel size games
  • Baseball or small Nerf football
  • Harmonica
  • An IPod or small device to play games and listen to music
  • Hard candy
  • Bubble gum
  • Trail mix
  • Drink mix packets (like KoolAid or Gatorade)
  • Family photo & contact info

Remember a kid’s bug out bag is not meant to be an adult BOB. Its main purpose is to comfort your child during a stressful situation and give them a feeling of control. With younger children comfort items are a top priority and will help to ensure their overall mental health.

Make sure you customize the bag for your child’s age, personality and overall fitness level.

Also, kids need to know what to do if they’re separated from their parents. Work out a plan and a place. Be sure they know your cell phone number and give them some quarters to go with them whenever they’re separated from you. Also, teach them to make a collect call at a pay phone. Many kids these days don’t know how to operate a pay phone!

Adult Bug Out Bag



Here is a good list of items to have in your Adult Bug Out Bag:

ADULT BUG OUT BAGS (Ages 12 and up)

A Disaster Plan
 that includes the location of emergency areas, rallying points, multiple evacuation routes, maps of the area, trail maps, contact numbers, etc (make sure you use a water proof laminate to protect your plans).

First Aid Kit
Possible Kits to look at are as follows:

– All-Purpose First Aid Kit, 170 Items In Plastic Case With Carry
– First Aid Only Outdoor First Aid Kit, Soft Case, 205-Piece Kit
– Adventure Medical Kits Mountain Medic Kit
– Pocket First Aid Guide Book
– Visit the American Red Cross website for more kits that are great!

Professional Survival Book
This should be studied before hand and kept for reference during a disaster. Recommended books are:

– SAS Survival Handbook: How to Survive in the Wild, in Any
Climate, on Land or at Sea
– When All Hell Breaks Loose
– US Army Survival Manual: FM 21-76
-Pocket Survival Guide Book

Water bottles and metal canteen cup
– Stainless Steel GI Type Canteen Cup Great for Boiling and Sterilizing water and plastic canteen
– Klean Kanteen Stainless Steel Water Bottles
– Sturdy Water Bottles that can be used to boil water
-Water bladder

Sturdy boots, Socks, gloves, rain suit, poncho, jacket, hat, bandannas, and clothing for your environment. Gortex and fleece for cold environments.

A few assorted knives
Recommended Knives:

– The Seal Pup By SOG
– Esse Jungalas machete/large knife
– Pocket Bushman knife
– Camp Axe & Shovel
– SOG Fasthawk
– Gerber 45905 Camp Axe – Sheath – Clam
– Folding Spade NATO Approved Knife from Gerber Knives

– Sturdy Tactical Flashlight (and extra batteries)
– Surefire E2E-HA Executive Elite
– Dynamo/Solar Powered Flashlight

A must to keep up on what is going on.  Preferably a Grundig or Dynamo or solar instead of battery powered.

Fire Starting
Waterproof Matches, a couple Lighters, Tinder and one of the following:

– Military grade Ferro Rod with striker, a Frensal lens
– Magnesium Fire Starter with flint
– Strike Anywhere Matches in a waterproof military match container with flint and signal mirror
– Leatherman Multi-Tool with Nylon Sheath
– SOG Multitool

(wide variety of uses, traps, etc….) at least 50-feet of 550 Paracord or at the very least a paracord survival bracelet that has 10 feet of cordage

CASH & Documents
have some extra cash in your bag, as well as a copy of all your important documents (SS Card, I.D., Fishing hunting License, Gun License, insurance policies, mortgage, birth certificates, etc…)

Firearm(s) and ammunition.
-Check your local, state and federal laws before carrying a firearm. Choose something that is reliable and easy to carry (light weight and multi-purpose) that you are familiar using. Cleaning kit for your weapon.

a liter per day per person for drinking (enough to get you by until you find a clean source of water). A gallon a day is better, but difficult to carry. 3 to 4 Mylar Pouches Per Day Per Person at the bare minimum. At least a 72 hour minimum.

Water Purifiers & Filters: (Any one below would be a good choice)

– SteriPEN Adventurer Handheld Water Purifier
– Aquamira Frontier Survival Straw Water Filter
– Aquamira Frontiere Water Bottle Filter
– Soldier’s Water Filter system

Keep your strength and immunity up as your diet changes. One A Day vitamins work well!

Extra Medicine
*If needed because of pre-existing condition, you may not be able to get more in a survival situation so stock up now on generics by keeping them sealed in Food Saver bags or Mylar bags, and in a cool, dry, dark place. Ask your doctor/pharmacist about proper storage and shelf life.

Lenstatic Compass, Maps, GPS, etc….

Portable C.B or Ham Radio, walkie-talkies, Unicom walkie-talkie, Voyager KA500 Radio wit smallband, weather/NOAA, AM/FM that has dynamo/self-charging ability.

Fishing Gear
Military Speedook, Bobbers, Hooks, sinkers, fishing line, small collapsible pole

Emergency Food
– At least a 72 hour minimum
-Stuff that will last and give you the most bang for your buck ( peanut butter, jerky, sardines, granola bars, salt, dried fruit, high-calorie energy bars, etc…) We sell several different types of survival food and supplies on our Freeze Dried Food page.
– SOS Food Ration bars (unaffected by heat or cold)
– MREs (5 to 7 yr shelf life, but affected by heat)

Sleeping bag, tent, tarp, poncho, emergency sleeping bag, etc….

Solar Charger  (optional, can be expensive)
– Brunton Solarport 4.4 Watt Foldable Solar Charger with Battery Charger Great for recharging AA/AAA batteries for electronics
– Brunton 26 Watt Foldable Solar Array Great for powering small electronics

Signal Devices 
Flares, Signaling Mirror, Whistle

Duct tape
Lots of uses- securing gear, shelter making, tool repair, sealant, etc.

Candles, Safety Pins, sewing needles and thread, Playing Cards for entertainment, Wire for snaring. Other comfort items, personal medications/needs, books, etc.  Gas mask or dust mask, sanitary wipes, decontaminate wipes (depending on if you are worried about a Nuke/Bio/Chem scenario).