50 Prepper Items You Can Get at Dollar General

For so many preppers, the biggest part of the task is just getting all of the gear and supplies you’ll need to sustain yourself and your family in times of trouble.

stockpiled items canned chicken breast emergency blanket toe warmers and more
Stockpiled items: canned chicken breast, emergency blanket, toe warmers, pinto beans, yellow popcorn, compass, poncho, dried milk, peanut butter, canned brown bread, honey, chicken bouillon

Yes, skills count for a lot. But there is simply no replacement for having what you need on hand when disaster strikes. I’m talking about things like food, clothing, medicine, tools, and a lot more.

Naturally, budgeting for your survival stash is enough to cause considerable stress, especially when money is tight. But you can get what you need to survive and save a fortune by shopping for your preps at your local Dollar General.

The items might not be of the highest quality, but much of the time they can do the job. We’ll get straight into our list of my top picks below…

Dollar Generals have food, of course, and it is usually the staples that we preppers want. All kinds of canned food like fruit, veggies, chili, stew, and the like but also dried goods like flour, cornmeal, rice, cereal, and so forth.

Every prepper knows that water is essential to survival, and when things break open nothing beats having bottled water on hand.

You can usually get bottled water by the bottle, case and sometimes by the jug at your local store, but pay attention to the quality of the container. The cheapest, flimsiest ones will start to leak in storage so watch out for that. My local DG has 1-gallon jugs for just a $1.50

Candy might not seem like an essential survival item, but you’d be surprised at the good it can do for morale.

Having something to crunch or suck on (no jokes) helps people and especially kids stay calm, and sugar can give you a little bit of energy over time. Plus, it’s a little touch of normality during a stressful situation and that is always worthwhile…

Can you even call yourself a prepper if you don’t have a stash of beef jerky on hand? This stuff has gotten horrifically expensive in recent years, and it’s going to be spendy at Dollar General, too, but it is still a good option for fitting out your field rations and stored snacks. 2.6 ounces is $4.75 for Bridgeford brand.

Nuts, like beef jerky, are a great survival ration. They’re highly nutritious, calorie-dense, and contain a good bit of protein that is always needed in long-term survival scenarios.

Plus, nuts store really well, so you’d be smart to stock up whenever and however you can. Your local store might not have a great selection, but they will have some.

Having disposable mess kits to eat off of will simplify hygiene requirements, and also keep you from wasting water to do dishes.

Basic paper or Styrofoam plates are generally adequate, as is plastic silverware. A couple of large packs of each should be sufficient to get you through all but the longest situations. $2.65 will get you 15 heavy-duty plates, anda buck will get you a 48-pack of assorted utensils.

Ziploc bags are really a prepper’s best friend, specifically the large gallon freezer size. For holding dirty gear, spare water, and countless other tasks, they rock.

Get a good name brand at your local store if you can, but if you can’t then be careful with them because they probably won’t hold water without leaking a little bit. $5.00 will get you 14 gallon Ziploc-brand bags at DG.

Trash bags are another survival commodity, especially when bugging in and your toilet or sewer system is out of action. You’ll still need to get rid of trash, contaminated clothing, and even human waste, and that’s where a big roll of these will be worth their weight in gold. About $6.00 a roll.

Most Dollar Generals these days carry a wide array of hand tools, including things like hammers, ratchet sets, screwdrivers, and so on. The quality is often low, but they can still get the job done for light duty and impromptu repairs.

You’ll always need scissors. For cutting and modifying clothing, plastic sheeting, and countless other tasks, they come in handy. Try to get a general-purpose set or kitchen shears if they are in stock. Avoid the little blunt school scissors entirely. A small, sharp pair of barber scissors is also a good pickup.

You know it, you love it. You’ve got to have duct tape because it is too useful to go without. You can improvise tools and hasty solutions to problems, conduct repairs, stop windows from breaking, and seal up structures against the intrusion of gas or smoke.

It has literally dozens and dozens of other uses besides, and I can’t go into it all here! Just get it. They carry Gorilla brand, my personal favorite, for about $6.00 a roll.

Super glue is a contemporary of duct tape for preppers. It can bond all kinds of materials instantly with no fuss and no muss, and even has additional uses for basic first aid.

I really love getting super glue at the Dollar General particularly because it typically comes in a multipack of single-use pipettes. Just a buck.

Sounds boring, and it is, but pencils and pens always come in handy during survival situations. Power for devices will be at a premium, and as electronic communications shut down, remembering things and leaving notes in analog form becomes more important.

You’ll use notepads with your pens and pencils above. Get a half dozen and stash them.

The ability to start a fire is an essential survival capability. You can use it for warmth, light, cooking, signaling, and more.

I know many preppers think of primitive fire-starting methods and things like flint and steel in the context of survival, but you’re always better off trying a lighter first.

Matches are another great thing to have in abundance as a fire-starting tool, and they offer backup capabilities to lighters or vice versa.

Sometimes you might not be able to get your lighter going, and in that case, matches might save the day. Remember to keep them dry at all times!

Petroleum jelly is another fantastic prep that beginners might raise an eyebrow at. But it has many uses!

It has utility as something that can help with injuries and soreness, help you in the garage and around the home, and also be used to make excellent fire starters in conjunction with cotton balls, the next item on our list. A pot runs about $3.25.

We want cotton balls because they can be soaked in petroleum jelly and then stored in an airtight bag or other container as truly effective and reliable fire starters made for pennies. But you can also use cotton balls for other things, so they’re good to have around.

Snap lights, also known as chem lights, are those little glowing green tubes you usually see coming out around Halloween or at raves.

These are heatless and utterly safe sources of light that are great when other light sources are not practical or totally unavailable. They work superbly for signaling at night and also keeping up with people in the dark. Usually a buck each when they are in stock.

The utility of candles should be obvious. Just make sure you take proper fire precautions when using them! 5-inch unscented pillar candles are only around $2.00.

Flashlights can be a lifeline in a disaster situation. There are so many scenarios that will result in a total loss of power, and having the portable reliability and safety of a flashlight is important. The ones you get at Dollar General might not be very impressive, but they will light your way. $1.00 to $10.00.

Your flashlights will need batteries, and other devices you have besides. Make sure you’ve got a bunch. Duracell AA’s go for about $6.50

Steel wool is handy for various cleaning tasks and another way to start a fire in conjunction with a 9-volt battery. Simply touch a tube of rolled steel wool to either terminal, and the middle will glow hot in a few seconds.

You’ll have plenty of cause to protect your hands after most disasters. Get several sets of basic cotton work gloves for you and your family. Around $4.00 for coated cloth, $10.00 for leather.

Nitrile gloves come in really handy for dealing with all sorts of nasty substances, from chemicals to blood and other body secretions. Get several packages and place them in your medical kit or elsewhere as needed. $8.00 for a 40-count.

Super simple. Dry, clean socks are imperative for preventing blisters and other foot ailments that can stop you in your tracks if you’re forced to hoof it. Even if you are bugging in, having clean socks to change into is great for your state of mind.

A head covering of your choice. A wide-brimmed gardening hat will keep the sun off your face and neck, and even a ball cap is better than nothing. Toboggans or toques are great to have in cold climates or in the winter.

Bandanas are one of my very favorite multi-purpose survival tools. They work as a head covering, masks, bundles, padding, and so much more. Dollar General versions are cheap and rough but do the job. $3.50 for two.

Extra blankets are always a great thing to have on hand and for various reasons. Again, you’re probably going to get something that’s thin and flimsy or sturdy but scratchy at Dollar General ,but frim time to time they will have pretty nice ones, and cheap.

Hand warmers might seem like a luxury item but don’t underestimate their importance if you are forced to endure truly cold weather.

When your hands start to go numb, or even non-functional, from cold, your life will soon be in danger because you can’t do the things you need to do to survive.

Taking care of your footwear is just another part of taking care of your feet. A basic shoe repair kit will help you deal with a blown-out sole or busted laces.

Similarly, keeping your clothing, packs, and other gear in good repair might make the difference between survival and death, at the very least between relative comfort and total misery. Obviously, to use this you’ll need to know how to sew. A nice one is just $5.00.

Protecting your eyes from constant UV bombardment will prevent strain in the short term and damage in the long term. And even cheap sunglasses offer basic protection from dust and some flying debris or windblown particles.

Another one of my Dollar General favorites. These cheap, packable rain ponchos or rain slickers can help keep you dry when it is pouring outside, and it rarely fails that when you are driven out of your home it will soon start to rain. Between $1.00 and $6.00 at most stores.

You can get basic planters at the Dollar General very cheaply. Something that won’t help you in the short term, but in a long-term survival scenario can help you start to bring in beneficial plants.

In the springtime especially, many Dollar Generals will stock a surprising variety of seeds…

The seeds are usually of unknown provenance, but all the ones I planted reliably grew and were exactly what the package said they would be. Grab yourself some veggies and medicinal herbs if they have them.

Another seemingly benign item, but real preppers know this is an All-Star pick. Buckets are perfect for storing extra water, storing food, using as an improvised stool or in a severe pinch, using as an expedient toilet. About $5.00 for a good size.

If you can get the large painter buckets cheaply, make sure you get lids with them.

If you or anyone else in your family uses contact lenses, it’s smart to have a few spare cases on hand in case their primaries go missing.

Reading glasses aren’t a substitute for prescription glasses, but they might make the difference if a prescription pair goes missing or gets damaged. Even if you don’t need corrective eyewear, they can still help if you’re trying to read small print in less than ideal light.

Dollar Generals carry all sorts of over-the-counter medicines, including things for pain, nausea, indigestion, diarrhea, and a whole lot more. Stock up and keep them rotated! Most small-count meds go for anywhere from $1.50 to $6.00 a pack.

Adhesive bandages in most common sizes can usually be found at your local Dollar General. Often they are not quite as effective, meaning sticky and durable, as the better brands you’ll find in other places, but they certainly work, and they are sterile.Most brands retail and DG for about $5.00

Sometimes band-aids just don’t cut it, and for more significant injuries or larger boo-boos, you’ll need to break out gauze of one kind or another. I recommend getting a variety of gauze pad sizes and also a good quantity of rolled gauze if it is available.

Ace wrap, sometimes called vet wrap, is that tan stretchy stuff that your high school coach used to help deal with sprains, strains, and all sorts of other musculoskeletal injuries. Skilled users can treat everything from a bad sprain to a dislocation and even a broken bone with the stuff. Around $4.00.

Face masks are good to have in case you’re dealing with a significant disease outbreak or certain airborne contaminants. Not that anything like that would ever happen, of course…

If you’re getting a little bit older or simply dealing with old injuries to your elbows or knees, the appropriate braces can make life a little more tolerable, especially if you’re forced to be a lot more active in the aftermath of a disaster.

Remember what I said about taking care of your feet up above? That means dealing with blisters.

Minor blisters are an annoyance when you are forced to be on your feet, and if left untreated they can turn genuinely agonizing and eventually crippling. Treating any blister properly is priority one in a survival situation. An adhesive kit or moleskin patch is about $5.00

They are rarely anything more than an annoyance or minor injury, but getting lit up by biting or stinging insects is enough to drive you mad under the circumstances. A bug bite or bug sting kit and appropriate topicals will help keep you and your family sane.

Dealing with a crisis is no excuse to stop taking care of yourself assuming you have the time and opportunity to do so. Taking care of your teeth will help you feel better and also help the people around you feel better, if you know what I mean. Both might cost as little as $2.00.

Life goes on no matter how bad the situation is, that means if you are a woman or have women in your lives they need supplies to deal with that inevitable time of the month.

Even if you don’t need these things, I recommend you get at least a small stash anyway to hand out to people in need.

You aren’t going on vacation, but you might yet be forced to endure a long time in the sun. Severe sunburns are show stoppers, so try and prevent that with sunblock. $5.00 to $8.00.

dollar general prepper items
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Then you’re gonna love my free PDF, 20 common survival items, 20 uncommon survival uses for each. That’s 400 total uses for these dirt-cheap little items!

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