April 22, 2021

Spotter Up

In Depth Tactical Solutions

You can find discounted items such as Jerky. Yum

Whether you are new to the idea of preparedness, or have been getting ready for years, it doesn’t take long to learn that gathering the supplies needed to be prepared for an emergency, natural disaster, etc can get pretty expensive. There are a number of ways to help with the cost of getting, and staying, prepared, and today I wanted to share a resource most have available to them but many seem to miss: the Dollar Store!

Every time I go to the Dollar Store, I am amazed at the huge variety of items available for a dollar, and many items that come in multi-packs, all for a dollar. Some of these items, such as some tools, may be cheaply made and not suited for any hard or long-term use, but the majority of items are great and represent huge value.

From items for camping, to emergency preparedness, to stocking first aid kits and a host of other things, the Dollar Store has items for all. I went to a local Dollar Store just yesterday, and here were some items I saw that would be great for any or all of those things.

They had a whole host of seed packets, 3 packets for $1. All manner of vegetables, tubers, and the like were there, along with trowels, trellises, pruning shears, and other gardening implements. Pots and other items for plants or starting seedlings were there as well!

Discount stores have low prices on sweets for the kids. There are games and inexpensive toys for them to play with during post crisis to keep them distracted.

There was an entire aisle dedicated to first aid and medicinal items. Aspirin, acetaminophen, ibuprofen, allergy pills, sinus pills, diarrhea pills, sleep aids, and on and on. Face masks, latex gloves, pill boxes, ace bandages all could be had. Cold packs, heating pads, and on and on! This aisle alone represents one of the greatest resources this store provides. Also of note, the dollar store has pregnancy tests. These can be very expensive in regular retail stores. These can be of enormous value in a long-term, “grid down” type scenario. Large bottles of isopropyl alcohol could also be had, which is invaluable in using for sanitation purposes. They also had gallons of bleach, useful for making water safe to drink and for sanitizing around the home.

If you need to beat feet out of town during another Hurrican Katrina or Sandy make sure you have a Go-Bag or a Bug Out Bag so you can high tail it to your neighbors or relatives home.

There is another aisle dedicated to kitchen items. These can be great for camping purposes, long-term disaster supplies, or stocking up a retreat. Kitchen knives, all manner of utensils, plates, bowls, cups, napkins, etc. Hygiene items ranging from soaps to shampoos to combs, toothbrushes and paste and everything in between, most sold in packs of several units, along with canned goods,  batteries, and more. Another useful and often overlooked area is entertainment: there was an aisle full of children’s toys, card games, and coloring books. There were 4 packs of emergency candles, and multi-packs of chemlights, aka light sticks.

As an aside, during our last power outage, which lasted a couple of days, my children greatly enjoyed using the light sticks for fun, to light their path and their room, etc. The candles worked very well  and lasted as expected. The light sticks also came with string to make lanyards, and I used that to hang a lightstick to doorknobs, to the top and bottom of the handrail on our staircase, and in rooms around the house to provide lighting and a measure of safety.

An axe or other kind of bladed tool will prove useful on camping trips or survival situations.

I have used a number of other items from the Dollar Store on camping trips and during other storms and emergencies, all with good results. The list of worthwhile items that can be found is seemingly infinite. If you do not have a Dollar Store, look for similar stores such as Dollar Tree, Dollar General or a host of others that discount products. Whether you are on a tight budget or have unlimited funds, there are still great deals at the dollar store and I would highly suggest checking out your local store!


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