May182010

33 Comments

5 Dollar Preps – You CAN Afford to Prepare

Guest Post by Lucas: aspiring survivalist/prepper, Eagle Scout, and blogger on his site SurvivalCache where he writes survival gear reviews, tips, and ideas.

“I can’t afford to” is definitely the number one excuse people use for not prepping. They believe this because they read about someone who has a $20,000 dollar gun collection and a basement filled with a 10 year supply of freeze dried food. That is just as unrealistic as saying that you want to buy your first house, so you attempt to get a multi-million dollar mansion. It’s just not going to happen.

image by VirtualErn

By following the Survival Food Pyramid and spending just a few dollars a week on preps you will be surprised how quickly your stockpile will grow. Here is an entire list of food and gear you can get for just $5:

Food

  • Five gallons of purified water
  • 4 pounds of Sugar
  • 5 pounds of Flour
  • 1.5 quarts of cooking oil
  • Two cases of bottled water
  • 4 cans of fruit
  • 5 pounds of rice
  • 5 Pounds of Spaghetti
  • 4 Cans of Potatoes
  • 4 Cans of Vegetables
  • 4 Cans of Beans
  • 2 bottles of garlic powder or other spices
  • A case of Ramen noodles
  • Five packages of  instant potatoes
  • 4 Cans of Soup
  • 2 12 ounce cans of chicken or tuna
  • Two 12.5 ounce cans of Salmon
  • 5 pounds of Oatmeal
  • 5 packages of corn bread mix
  • 3 Pounds of dry beans
  • 2 Jars Peanut Butter
  • 2 boxes of yeast
  • 8-10 pounds of Iodized salt
  • A can of coffee
  • 10 Boxes of generic brand Mac&Cheese

Non-Food Items

  • A manual can opener
  • Two bottles of camp stove fuel
  • 100 rounds of .22lr ammo
  • 25 rounds of 12 ga birdshot or small game loads
  • 20 rounds of Monarch 7.62×39 ammo
  • a spool of 12lb test monofilament fishing line
  • 2 packages of hooks and some sinkers or corks
  • 3 Bic Lighters or two big boxes of matches
  • A package of tea candles
  • 50 ft of para cord
  • A roll of duct tape
  • A box of nails or other fasteners
  • A flashlight
  • 2 D-batteries, 4 AA or AAA batteries or 2 9v batteries
  • A toothbrush and tooth paste
  • A bag of disposable razors
  • 8 bars of ivory soap (it floats)
  • A box or tampons or bag of pads for the ladies
  • 2 gallons of bleach
  • Needles and thread

OTC Medications

  • 2 bottles 1000 count 500 mg generic Tylenol (acetometaphin)
  • 2 bottles 500 count 200 mg generic advil (ibuprofen)
  • 2 boxes 24 cound 25 mg generic Benadryl (diphenhydramine HCI)–also available at walgreens under “sleep aids.”
  • 4 bottles 500 count 325 mg aspirin
  • 2 boxes of generic sudafed
  • 4 bottles of alcohol
  • a box of bandages (4×4)

What Else?

If you get just one of these things each time you go to the grocery you will be well on your way to preparedness. What other $5 Dollar Preps can you think of?

If you are looking for some some gear ideas, tips, or advice you can check out  SurvivalCache – The Gear Site for Survivalists or follow on Twitter

There may be links in the post above that are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission, which does not affect the price you pay for the product. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers.

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I'm the original Survival Mom, and have been helping moms worry less and enjoy their homes and families more for 5 years. Come join me on my journey to becoming more prepared to handle everyday emergencies and worst case scenarios.

(33) Readers Comments

  1. Cheap clothes and/or shoes at garage sales or the Goodwill. Cheap shoes. Socks. Work gloves. Canning supplies (lids, bands, maybe jars if you can find them that cheap.) Baby food. Baby diapers, wipes, powder, etc.

    Heck, we picked up a bicycle for two dollars at a garage sale and it just needs a little oil on the chain and grease on the bearings.

    You can pick up bicycle supplies, even some auto supplies.

    Prepping (to me) means the stores are either gone or so expensive due to hyperinflation that they might as well be closed. what do you need everyday? What can you imagine being a problem if you can't find it? What can you make?

  2. 1. 4 -5 Catholic candles ~ Remove the label. The candle burns approx. 10 hours per inch of wax. (Don't forget the fireplace matches OR lighter wand to reach the wick!)

    2. Hydrogen Peroxide ~ I buy mine at CVS or Walgreens when they're 3 / $1. There are multiple uses for hydrogen peroxide. It's not just for boo boo's anymore.

    3. Walgreen's recent sale ~ 3 tote bags for $1 (Iimit 6) Those durable bags will come in handy if I'm bartering at a flea market or swap shop environment.

  3. Plastic sheeting
    Utility knife / box cutter
    Cotton clothesline
    Jutte twine
    Bag of steel wool pads
    Pack of green scouring pads
    Deck of cards + box of crayons + coloring book
    Box of gallon zip locs

    Notes:
    Hit up the dollar store
    Keep an eye on expiration dates for dry goods and OTC medicines

  4. These are all great ideas. I am printing the list to add to my notes on preparedness. Thanks for the great post!

  5. The first thing that comes to mind is garden seeds 3-5 packages. Many on the packages have more seeds than you need for one season so if you go in with a friend or two and share seeds you can have a complete garden. If you buy heirloom seeds you can save some seeds from this years crop for next year.

  6. Join, or go with a member friend, to a "Big box store" like Costco or Sam's Club. Many things are packaged big, but that makes the price per pound low. (Sometimes the packaging costs more than the product in it.) I buy four pound boxes of Morton's iodized salt for eighty nine cents, and twenty three ounce jars of taco seasoning for about two dollars. Mind, not everything is cheaper. Many things are the same price you'd pay at the grocery. Almost everything is either in a bigger package, or a multi pack. You have to research, and keep track to know your deals.
    Two or more friends or family members can join together to buy one membership. One person gets the member card, and takes another as a guest. (The card holder must actually make the purchase.) (*hanging head in shame* I know, this is a mild cheating, but this is survival here. When you become richer, you can make up for it by buying a membership for a less fortunate person.)

    • Actually, while I'm sure they would like to get each individual to join themselves, I recently saw a magazine article with "etiquette questions" that brought up exactly this. They went to an exec at Costco or one of those stores. They said that they're happy to have members bring in guests. The more the merrier, more or less. So no worries about your mild cheating as far as the Big Box stores are concerned. :-)

  7. Again, watch those drug store sales!

    I've found:
    Ajax and Comet cleansers 3 /$1
    Latex gloves (50 ct.) 3 / $10
    School supplies: pencil packs, erasers, markers, paper, etc. are usually .5 – .10 cents w/ the start of school sales.

  8. Don't forget Dollar Tree, if there's one in your area. That's where I get aspirin, hydrogen peroxide, antibacterial cream, hydrocordisone cream, bandaids, gauze–all kinds of medical stuff. Also small jars of Prego, which are perfect for a family of 2. Just walk the aisles!

  9. Dollar Tree is great for prepping on a budget. I've bought lots of first aid items, bandages, anti-biotic and anti-itch creams, etc there. I've also bought rope and safety goggles and gardening gloves. I even found some large brim straw hats for working outside. Here in the south where I live the sun is very strong for long hours each day.

  10. I started my food storage this weekend. There are just too many signs pointing to bad things coming. I don't want to be thought of as a "nut"….love the word prepper! I am a single mom and live in a small town in south central u.s. If anything ever happens, I realize I am completely dependent on everyday luxuries (running water, electricity, etc….). Thank you SOOOOOO much for providing all this valuable information.

    • You're very welcome! Thanks for stopping by. I hope you become a regular visitor.

    • This weekend my turn out to be the most important weekend of your life. Congratulations on joining the sisterhood!!

  11. Don't forget the TP!

  12. And don't forget to hit post-holiday sales with an open mind. I just bought muffin / cupcake liners for $.50 per package instead of $2 (faster easier cleanup with less need for soap and water) and I could've picked up a throw blanket for $2.50. I bought a bunch of warm-looking tights for $1.25 instead of $5, and they had them for little girls too. Paper goods included napkins, plates, and straws. Of course, there were little items like bubbles and pencils that you can add to barter or gift supplies. (I'm holding them for next year's trick or treaters so I don't have to buy as much candy then.) And a TON of cake mix and frosting for 75% off. They're all Halloween themed, but I don't care! And my kids are happy to eat the Oreos with orange frosting since they rarely get them, which lets me skip buying some higher-priced treats on the next grocery trip.

  13. Bungee cords are less then $5. Those come in handy ALOT.

  14. diane:
    I know it may sound expensive but really shop around and look for great deals, garage sales, clearance items such
    as sleeping bags, air mattresses and tools (not mechanic per-se) such as bow saws, gas cans, and the like at
    big box stores, also.
    Also don't forget your pets.

  15. Don't forget to check out Family Dollar, Dollar General and Harbor Freight…

  16. The Big Lots stores around here keep getting the shelves stripped before I get to them, but they’re usually good for candles in quantity for minimal outlay. Also, a few years ago, I was snagging 10-packs of sterile 4×4 and 3×3 gauze, as well as 20 packs of the 2×2 size for $1 each at a few of their stores. I am still using those.

  17. I see that my work has made it’s way through a number of websites and it makes me smile knowing that I have helped so many people find a starting point to begin prepping. However, it would be nice if folks would give credit to the proper author.

    The original work can be found here: http://www.survivalistboards.com/showthread.php?t=36711

    • Sorry to burst your bubble but lists of $5 preps can be found all over the internet by various authors on various dates over the past few years. This particular one was submitted by the founder of Survival Cache, and I have no reason to believe it was copied directly from your list.

      • With all do respect, please go and read the link I provided you and notice the date. Additionally, please notice the exact language that was clearly plagiarized from the original work.

  18. Thank you for this excellent advice and the supplies list for 5.00. Its a economical way to see that we can prepare within our budgets. I am moving to a small town in the west where everyone has over 2 years worth of supplies and the town is teaching preparing methods. I believe the signs are in place for a complete collopse of the economy after Nobama’s reelection and we must be ready. Don’t forget to stock up on guns and ammo. I use Dollar Tree and watch bulk items sales to stock up. Also drugstores have great sales once a week and cupons so many items can be bought there for storage.

  19. Don’t forget feminine hygiene products

  20. Thanks so much!!! (and this list had diff stuff on it that the “other” list, but I think what would it matter anyway since it’s in the spirit of educating people and helping them out. But that list was different.) I appreciate all the help and info I can get!

  21. Waterless Shampoo
    Wash Rags/towels
    Wash tub for dishes
    Wash tub for clothes
    Shake Flashlights- no batteries required
    Solar yard lights – no batteries required
    I think of all things that need a power source and try to find an alternative that does not need that power. I also think of things that will/might be needed that money cant buy- Knowledge, and that is power. Learn something new, how to build a fire, make clothes from scrap, mend shoes, it is endless!!!

  22. Pingback: 5 Dollar Preps – You CAN Afford to Prepare » Staying Prepared

  23. I have found that you can purchase many low cost items in walmart alone…spices on the bottom shelf in spice section are 50 cents each, bullion cubes, liquid or granules will sure make a pot of rice taste nice, low priced laundry detergent ( it all cleans the same), bleach tablets ( evolve brand, each tablet equals 1 c. Bleach), and many others. If you look on the bottom shelves you will find the lower priced items. Some other tips…Box matches (dipped in wax and placed in recycled jars with strike strip), salt, pepper, water purification tablets, betadyne solution, Penicillin that can be bought at pet stores is the same as we use, plastic tubing( small in case IV is needed), janitorial supply stores can help with lower priced latex or latex free gloves. And please people…remember this, if others know that you have these things and times are really hard, they will take them with or without force. Airtight barrels like pickle barrels ( plastic) can be filled and burried under flower beds, steps, rocks, etc… Just be sure and keep the evidence to a minimum. Gravel covers a lot when hiding fresh turned soil. People cannot take what they cannot find. If you live close to the woods, bury things in them with markers you can recognize and keep a tally on them. We have all seen how greedy and desperate people are in and during a crisis. Economic collapse can be the beginning of something very dangerous. You definitely will find out who your friends are. They may laugh at you now but see who is laughing when food is un-obtainable. Good luck to you all and keep on prepping!!!

  24. I’m new to prepping and there are soooo many great ideas here. Thanks!!

  25. Superglue for cuts or repairs.

  26. I have 3 cats – so i stock up on food and litter. I buy mine online from walmart.com and they deliver them to my door. I don’t have children anymore so I always have toys and treats for the girls also.

    I love this site. im retired and by myself but I learn so much from reading everything here. living along the gulf coast, ive been a hurricane prepper all my life. you can never stop learning. keep up the good work.

  27. Clothespins and line, sewing kit, eyeglass repair kit, boxed mixes that only require water, tea bags, vinegar, rotary egg beater, socks, books (.49 per paperback at Goodwill), aloe vera plant, magnifying glass, thermometer, extra supplies to make your own laundry soap, bar soap, finger splint, non electric food chopper, yarn if you knit, vitamins, scissors in various sizes, charcoal, face masks, arm sling.

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