Most of us don’t have a ton of extra income, so when it comes to prepping, it often takes a back seat to every day expenses. After all, Jay Leno used to have a segment called “Things found at the dollar store”. There were creepy toys, and my favorite, a small toilet, that when you lifted the lid, had lip gloss in it!
This Christmas, we cracked the whole store up when we found some wood signs that were supposed to say “WISH” with a Christmas tree as the “I”. but, it looked like and “A”. therefore it said “WASH”. So, as a prank to the three guys living next door, we hung the “wash” sign on their front door, because their yard is always junked up. They never caught on.
Dollar store items are often overruns, have minor defects, and often are major brands. Here is a list of things to look for in dollar stores. And always check the expiration dates!
Over the counter medications. Why spend five dollars or more when you can get aspirin. Acetaminophen, allergy medications, Imodium, triple antibiotic cream,( we even found some with zink and some with silver) and more for a dollar! Here is where a smart phone comes in handy. You know that for a dollar you aren’t going to get 100 pills, sometimes only a few, so check the prices and compare with other stores.
Band-Aids, gauze, tape, elastic support bandages, wrist, ankle and knee supports. Don’t forget the icy hot muscle relaxing pads. I keep them in my suitcase, for when I overdo when I travel, and my bug out bag, too.
Security items: Door stops can keep, or delay people from entering a door. I use them in hotels as well as putting Band-Aids over hotel room peep holes so no one can spy on you.
Board games. Yep, checker, backgammon, playing cards, and balls. Boredom is bad, especially when there are kids.
Hoola hoops and jump ropes are good exercise in a small space, like a bunker or a tent.
Clothes line is good for more than clothes.
Plastic tubs galore! Good for storage, washing yourself in, washing clothes and dishes…
Cleaning supplies of all kinds.
Zip lock and other plastic bags
Blanket and garment storage bags.. not very thick but they keep the bugs out.
Duct tape, electrical tape, wire, nails and screws, screwdrivers and wrenches, flashlights, little pocket fans, garbage bags.
Small bags and even kid sized backpacks.Diabetic socks.
Pet supplies: food, collars, leashes, litter, puddle pads, which work great as kennel liners.
Food! I have found tuna, salmon and spam in foil pouches, which are great for bug out bags. Protein in a lightweight, slim pouch.
Boxed milk. Yes, it’s real and tastes good. Their expiration dates are months away, unlike regular milk, does not require refrigeration, but don’t get them hot, and they even last longer in the fridge when opened. I keep it around for when I don’t want to make a trip to the store.
Condiments: all kinds can be found here including sea salt, mustard with turmeric, hot sauce, spaghetti and sauces, parmesan cheese, ( check the cellulose levels ) spices..food boredom is bad for people in survival mode. Ever gone to the kitchen hungry and just didn’t want anything you had on hand? That’s food boredom. So when you prep, remember to get a huge variety of things you and/or your family, eat every month, like Mexican, Asian, Italian. Juices, powder drink additives..avoid ones with equal! (aspartame) and spices to pep the taste buds.
Clothes: Think socks, gloves, and hats.
little miniature cloth wash cloths shrunk to the size of a small block, that when placed in water, spooing! (often called towels and have cartoon and super heroes on them.)
We have seen lots of brand name food and merchandise at dollar stores, sometimes it was made for a foreign country and did not sell well. We have gotten t-shirts, towels, lots of kitchen stuff, aluminum pans.
The cooking bags you sometimes see during the holidays can be used as crock pot/pot liners for easy cleanup. Really good when water is in short supply.
And speaking of the Holidays..seasonal items are always a time to get deals, like nuts for cheap, $1.00 solar yard lights, etc.
Solar lights? Yes, lighting up your perimeter is always a good idea, and you can even place them out of reach in trees or on the house to keep prowlers from destroying them.
Things not worth getting:
Potting soil, you get about 5lbs for a dollar when lowes and Home depot have 20lbs for less than $3.00.
Seeds..I have bought them several times and never had anything produce. So, poor quality seeds.
Never knew you could get so much eh? And different locations of the same stores will often have different items, check out stores around you and when you travel. Dollar Tree stores have where you can order cases online, and have them shipped for store pickup, for free.
Now grab those dollars and go shopping!