114 Survival Supplies You Can Get at the Dollar Store

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When it comes to stockpiling survival supplies, it’s not hard at all to blow your budget pretty quickly. But quality gear that you can count on is important. There are just certain things you don’t want to cut corners on when it comes to survival gear.

But if you’re looking to gather some inexpensive supplies that you can use to practice your survival skills or if you’re looking to supplement your stockpile or make a backup kit, here are some of the survival supplies you can get at the Dollar Store.

  • Water

You can always find bottled water at the dollar store although some stores only carry 6-packs rather than 18 or 24 packs so be sure the price is really cheaper. Dollar Store water may not always taste the best and the plastic bottles it comes in aren’t very sturdy but it’s water.

If you’re going to use it for drinking, try to get natural spring water rather than purified water. Spring water contains natural minerals whereas purified water contains chlorine which can kill off the good bacteria in your digestive system if you ingest it regularly.

Your local dollar store is also a great place to look for containers for carrying water such as squeeze bottles, thermoses, flip top water bottles, etc. Make sure any bottles you buy are BPA free plastic. You might get lucky and find a handy shammy too which works great for absorbing morning dew to collect fresh water in a survival situation.

Fire Starting Supplies

Few things are more critical in a survival situation than your ability to start a fire. Having a fire means you can boil water, stay warm, cook food, and keep animal predators at bay. You always want to have a firestryker and a windproof lighter in your EDC but below are some additional fire starting supplies you can get at the dollar store:

  • Matches
  • Lighters
  • Steel Wool
  • Camping Fuel
  • Magnifying Glass
  • Vaseline
  • Cotton Balls

Lighting & Signaling Supplies

You can find a wide variety of lighting and signaling supplies at the dollar store too. Be cautious about buying batteries at the dollar store. If they are not lithium alkaline, they won’t hold up very long.

Flashlights and headlamps can be good things to pick up at the dollar store even if you get the batteries from elsewhere. Since they are inexpensive, pick up more than you need. The cheap headlamps and flashlights are great for camping with kids too because each kid can have their own light so they won’t walk off with your good one..

  • Flashlights
  • Batteries (only if lithium alkaline)
  • Candles
  • Solar Lights

Oral Hygiene and Oral First Aid

In a survival situation or extended SHTF situation, keeping your mouth clean and healthy should be a priority. Dentists will most likely be unavailable or inaccessible, so you’ll be on your own if you let your mouth get infected.

Those with heart issues need to be especially careful to keep gums and teeth healthy since recent studies have shown a possible connection between poor oral health and heart health issues.

  • Toothbrushes
  • Toothpaste
  • Dental Floss
  • Oral Analgesic
  • Dentek dental filling

Personal Hygiene

Another type of survival supplies you can get at the dollar store to save yourself some money are personal hygiene supplies. My only caution is with toilet paper, you have to try it out before you buy it in bulk because sometimes it’s so thin that it’s just not worth the money saved.

  • Bar Soap
  • Toilet Paper
  • Cotton Balls
  • Q-Tips
  • Combs and Hairbrushes
  • Compact Mirror
  • Eyeglass Repair Kit
  • Facial tissues
  • Fingernail Clippers
  • Feminine Hygiene Products
  • Lotion

First Aid Supplies You Can Get at the Dollar Store

You can buy first aid survival supplies at the dollar store and really save some money. It’s a good idea to check the ingredients list and know what you are buying but most of the time the active ingredient in dollar store first aid supplies will be the same as name brand supplies.

My only cautions would be with the bandaids, sunscreen, and baby wipes. If you or someone in your family has an adhesive or latex allergy, you may need to be careful buying dollar store band aids as they could cause a reaction.

Also, several brands of sunscreen and baby wipes have been recalled because they were causing chemical burns. Make sure the brand you buy is not on the list of recalled items and always test new brands in a small area of skin before applying to other parts of your body or to children.

Below are just a few of the first aid supplies you can get at the dollar store:

  • Rubbing Alcohol
  • Sunscreen
  • Tweezers
  • Antacids
  • Latex Gloves
  • Antibacterial Ointment
  • Pain Relievers
  • Anti Bacterial Wipes
  • Bandages
  • Cough Drops
  • Thermometer
  • Ace Bandages
  • Epsom Salts
  • First Aid Tape
  • Hydrogen Peroxide
  • Cold Packs
  • Lip Balm
  • Absorbine Heat Patches
  • Airborne Tablets
  • Mucus Relief
  • Pill Cutter/Pill Crusher
  • Paper Tape/Athletic Tape
  • Saline Nasal Spray
  • Yeti Pot
  • Hydrocortisone Cream
  • Basic droplet precaution masks
  • Earplugs
  • Calamine lotion
  • Melatonin

Dollar Store Survival Food Supplies

When it comes to survival food you can get at the dollar store, it really depends a lot on which dollar store you visit. I personally recommend you stay away from the boxed pasta meals such as macaroni and cheese, hamburger helper, etc. unless they are name brand.

Noodle side dishes from Knorr are great if you can find them and it never hurts to have Ramen noodles on hand. But you can generally find good deals on the following types of food at the dollar store:

  • Canned Vegetables
  • Beef or Chicken Bouillon Cubes
  • Tuna in a can or foil pouch
  • Hard Candy (great for bartering)
  • Boxed Food
  • Canned Fruit
  • Chewing Gum
  • Condiments
  • Iodized Salt
  • Spices like cinnamon, cayenne pepper, turmeric,
  • Canned Meats such as sardines, spam, chicken, vienna sausages, etc.
  • Sugar Cane
  • Brown Sugar
  • Herbal Peppermint Tea
  • Dried Fruits
  • Protein Trail Mix, Nut & High Energy Trail Mix
  • Freeze Dried Fruits
  • Granola Bars
  • Organic Juice boxes
  • Coffee

Cordage & Shelter

Another of the critical resources in a survival situation is shelter. The average human can only survive about 3 hours without shelter in extreme hot, cold, or wet weather.

If your budget won’t allow for you to invest in a proper tent, you can find a wide variety of cordage and shelter supplies at the dollar store to use in the meantime.

Again, quality is often an issue with dollar store supplies so definitely follow the two is one and one is none rule of survival. Buy more than you need so you can quickly replace anything that breaks.

  • Bungee Cords
  • Zip Ties
  • Jute Twine which has multiple uses including shelter, fire starting, etc.
  • Shower Curtain Liner
  • Duct tape
  • Plastic Sheeting

Additional Survival Supplies You Can Get at the Dollar Store

If you haven’t blown your budget yet or if the supplies above just don’t meet your needs, below are some additional survival supplies you can get at the dollar store:

  • Playing Cards
  • Clothes pins and Clothesline
  • Rain Poncho
  • Paper Clips
  • Mini Sewing Kit
  • Super Glue
  • Plastic Buckets
  • Auto Repair Kits
  • Work Gloves
  • Steel Wire (for snare traps)
  • Utility Knives (choose carefully, don’t rely on these for self defense or heavy duty survival tasks)
  • Cooking Utensils
  • Can Openers
  • Zip Lock Bags
  • Plastic Storage Containers
  • Glass Jars for storing medicinal herbs, infusions, tinctures, etc.
  • Baking Soda
  • Aluminum Foil
  • Cutting Boards
  • Coffee Filters

Sanitation and Disease Protection

SHTF and survival situations are pretty unpredictable, you really can’t know when or where or how severe it will be. But the one thing we do know comes along with every single SHTF or disaster situation is poor sanitation and disease.

In some cases people die not from the actual event but from the disease that comes in its wake. These deaths are preventable if you’re prepared.

  • Rat traps
  • Ant/Roach poison
  • Trash Bags
  • Insect Repellent
  • Hand Sanitizer
  • Puppy Pads

Clothing

  • Hats
  • Gloves
  • Socks
  • Bandannas
  • Shoelaces

Dollar Stores are cropping up all over the place. Whether it’s Family Dollar, General Dollar or Dollar Tree, you can find some good deals if you visit often and have a list of supplies you need to stockpile.

Many of the survival supplies you can get at the Dollar Store will have multiple uses. Just make sure you check the quality of the item and weigh that against how you will use it to make sure it’s worth buying. Dollar General and Family Dollar stores will be better quality typically and a little higher priced but both offer e-coupons that can help to equal out the costs.

If we forgot any of your favorite survival supplies you can get at the dollar store, share your thoughts and ideas with us in the comments below. Which of the dollar stores is your favorite for finding survival supply treasures?

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Megan Stewart
About Megan Stewart 43 Articles
A mother of four children and a grandmother of 10, Megan Stewart is actively prepping for emergencies big and small, while taking care of her children and teaching them to be prepared and become self-reliant.

7 Comments

  1. one of the most important reasons to have an SHTF “inventory” listing from particular store chains is to improvise a GHB or possibly a BOB – if you travel a distance from home on a regular basis you know the importance of a GHB and the necessity to sustain you for the time/travel involved …

  2. Dollar General carries Rexall Drug first aid supplies – an old brand name that I had not seen in many years. In the toiletries section, I found some 20x magnifying mirrors of about 3” diameter, great for signaling and for fire starting during the daylight hours – they cost less than $5 each, as I recall.

    We have a new Dollar Tree in town. I found plastic buckets for $1 each – always handy to have around the house, whether for hauling water or harvesting fruits and veggies, as well as cleaning things.

    Toothbrushes are actually cheaper at Walmart. A bubble card with 5 or 6 toothbrushes is about $1, as opposed to the dollar store where you only get 1 of 2 for $1.

    When you are traveling and staying in motels, carry your own soap, shampoo, etc., and save the small bottles of toiletries, packs of coffee and paper cups that are in the room for charity or barter when the SHTF. I have collected so many over the years that we bought a box of zip closure sandwich bags and assembled personal hygiene kits for future charity or barter. Each one contains a bar of soap, a bottle each of shampoo, conditioner and moisturizer, 2 peppermint candies, 2 tea bags, 2 sugar packets, a disposable toothbrush (brand name is Wisps), and a plastic vitamin bottle with a couple of tablespoons of salt in it. I spent money on the Wisps (about 60 cents each), the tea bags (a large box of store brand, individually wrapped tea bags is pretty cheap, much cheaper than coffee), the sugar and a canister of salt. I had several large bags of peppermints left over from before I started eating “cleaner” and since we both take a variety of vitamins and supplements daily, the little bottles are free. The salt is for health reasons as well as flavoring food and can be used to brush teeth and for a gargle. The tea bags have first aid uses as well as being a source of caffeine and can be brewed to drink hot or cold. The tannins in the tea leaves will help to clot blood on minor wounds and will help to neutralize insect venom from bites and stings. Just wet the tea bag first, then place it on the wound or sting and apply pressure until the bleeding or stinging stops.

    We have about 60 of these hygiene kits put together, sitting in a box on a shelf. When/if we need them, they are ready. Some personal hygiene is always a morale booster as well as helping to maintain health.

    At Dollar Tree, I also found Lance’s cheese crackers with peanut butter and Captain’s crackers with cream cheese, 6 4-packs for $1. That works out to 17 cents per pack of crackers that would cost at least $1 in a vending machine. They might not be the greatest nutrition but they can help to fill up an empty stomach if you find yourself bugging out in an emergency. And they are probably healthier than a pair of Hostess Twinkies.

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