100+ Preps You Can Get for $1

(Psst: The FTC wants me to remind you that this website contains affiliate links. That means if you make a purchase from a link you click on, I might receive a small commission. This does not increase the price you'll pay for that item nor does it decrease the awesomeness of the item. ~ Daisy)

By the author of Be Ready for Anything and the online course Bloom Where You’re Planted

You can still prep even if you don’t have a lot of money to spare. Here’s a list we brainstormed over in Prep Club, our Facebook group, of items that can be purchased for a dollar or less.

Some of these things can be found at stores like WalMart while others will be at your local dollar store. Remember that often the quality of one dollar items will not be as high as the more expensive ones, while other times it won’t matter at all. When I get dry foods from the dollar store, I always pop it in the freezer for a few days to kill off any larvae that could be lurking.

If you can put aside $5-$10 per month for these $1 preps, you’ll have a surprisingly large supply by the end of the year.

Keep in mind there are many other places to get bargains such as yard sales and thrift stores, but this article focuses on new items.

More than 100 preps  you can get for $1

Without further ado and in no particular order, here’s a list to get the ideas churning!


  • Shampoo
  • Conditioner
  • Soap
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Mouthwash
  • Witch hazel
  • Hair elastics
  • Dental floss
  • Nail clippers
  • Tweezers
  • Travel size toiletries for BOB
  • Lotion
  • Cotton balls
  • Cotton swabs
  • Baby wipes
  • Baby oil
  • Vaseline
  • Comb
  • Baby shampoo
  • Lip balm


  • Deck of cards
  • Coloring books
  • Crayons
  • Play-doh
  • Glow sticks
  • Solar garden lights
  • Pens and pencils
  • Notebooks
  • Puzzles
  • Small toys
  • Crossword and other puzzle books
  • Party supplies (You’ll still want to celebrate birthdays, etc. even if the SHTF)
  • Craft supplies
  • Games

First Aid

  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Bandaids
  • Antibiotic cream
  • Calamine lotion
  • Travel size medicine packets for BOB: ibuprofen, aspirin, Neosporin, etc.
  • Alcohol pads
  • Instant ice packs
  • Elastic bandages


  • Hand sanitizer
  • Bleach
  • Bleach wipes
  • Antibacterial towelettes
  • Antibacterial soap
  • Cat litter (small bags)


  • Mini sewing kits for BOB
  • Zip ties
  • Needles
  • Thread
  • Wire
  • Rubber bands
  • Duct tape
  • Electrical tape
  • Super glue
  • Wood glue
  • Eyeglasses repair kit
  • Safety pins
  • Bungee cords

Household Goods

  • Batteries
  • Ziplock bags
  • Aluminum foil
  • Matches
  • Lighters
  • Candles
  • Can openers
  • Sponges
  • Dishcloths
  • Clothesline and clothespins
  • Kleenex
  • Steel wool


  • Salt
  • Canned fruits and vegetables
  • Dried beans
  • Rice
  • Boxed milk
  • Pasta
  • Spices
  • Candy
  • Gallon water jugs
  • Coffee filters
  • Tea bags
  • Ramen noodles
  • Instant potatoes
  • Oatmeal
  • Vinegar
  • Cans of tuna
  • Popcorn
  • Pudding
  • Baking soda
  • Baking powder
  • Chocolate
  • Sugar


  • Rain ponchos
  • Seeds
  • Gardening or work gloves
  • Garden supplies like small spades, etc.
  • Twine

Other items

  • Bandanas
  • Reading glasses
  • Scissors
  • Toothpicks
  • Contact lens cases
  • Eyeglass cases

What preps do you get for $1 or less?

I’m looking for NEW items, not thrift store goodies in this one. Share your ideas in the comments below.

Hat tip to Angela for the awesome topic!

Daisy Luther

Daisy Luther

Daisy Luther is a coffee-swigging, globe-trotting blogger. She is the founder and publisher of three websites.  1) The Organic Prepper, which is about current events, preparedness, self-reliance, and the pursuit of liberty on her website, 2)  The Frugalite, a website with thrifty tips and solutions to help people get a handle on their personal finances without feeling deprived, and 3) PreppersDailyNews.com, an aggregate site where you can find links to all the most important news for those who wish to be prepared. She is widely republished across alternative media and  Daisy is the best-selling author of 5 traditionally published books and runs a small digital publishing company with PDF guides, printables, and courses. You can find her on FacebookPinterest, Gab, MeWe, Parler, Instagram, and Twitter.

Leave a Reply

  • Hi, Take a look at: https://www.minimus.biz/

    I have not bought anything from them, but it looks to be very useful, especially for those of us who live way out in the woods! Or who are housebound. Or who just don’t much enjoy shopping.

  • the Dollar Tree even accept coupons for their products so if you have a coupon the only thing you pay is the tax.

  • 4 pack of washcloths, 2 pack of microfiber towels – I keep these in the car for anytime cleanup so would be good for a BOB. Also I have lots of lidded plastic containers that I use for storage of small boxed/packages of soup mix, gravy mix, cocoa packets, etc.

  • This is a great article, Daisy. Thank you. Here are some other Dollar Store items for $1 or less (and don’t forget eBay): (1) adhesive tape, (2) vitamins, (3) flashlight, (4) socks/stockings, (5) gloves/mittons, (6) watch cap (beanie), (7) disposable face masks, (8) compass, (9) calculator, (10) ruler, (11) kitchen utensils – spatula, tongs, etc., (12) tools – scewdrivers, pliers, etc., (13) nails & screws, (14) plastic utility knife with retractable blade, (14) aspirin, (15) toilet paper, (16) whistle, (17) yeast, (18) mirror, (19) padlock, (20) bike tube patching kit, (21) tablet of writing paper, (22) penetrating oil, (23) jackknife or steak knife, (24) magnifying glass, (25) fish hooks.

    And, yes, there really are calculators and flashlights available for a dollar.

    Both Walmart and Vitacost (online) can supply a daily multivitamin for under 4¢ a day. So, even if your diet is not ideal, for $15 a year you can erase scurvy (lack of vitamin C), pellagra (lack of niacin), and B12 deficiency (lack of meat) from your list of concerns.

  • Don’t forget the item that always costs a dollar: Dollar bills. On-hand cash needs to include small denominations for when change cannot be made. I know a lot of people who pack $100s, $20s and silver, but can’t handle smaller transactions in an emergency!

  • I love this site! Just found it, was in my Google front page oddly enough. I’ve read this article and love the comments, what a great community!
    Look around on the wish app, I’ve found a lot of great first aid supplies there for a dollar. Found RATS tourniquets there for a dollar. Also, sometimes they have free items that you only need to pay shipping on.
    Keep up the great work, and keep the great articles and comments coming.
    God bless Texas.

  • I always go through the first aid supplies at Dollar Tree. I have found some excellent sized bandages, Cobain wrap (vet wrap), sterile 2×2’s and 4×4’s, aloe vera gel, saline for flushing wounds (contact lenses solution without preservatives), Ace wraps, support devices (ankle braces, elbow supports, wrist supports), clean gloves (non-latex), aspirin, tylenol, ibuprofen and benadryl.
    Another thing I like at Dollar Tree is the kitchen area. I have found glass containers with good fitting plastic lids, plastic containers with screw on lids, name brand utensils that are worth their weight in gold for food prep and canning.
    They have some school supplies and toys. Great to have tucked away for the kids, too.


  • Dollar tree has so many great things. I also get Epsom salts in addition to what everyone mentioned.

    Do be careful with their glow sticks. My 12 year old daughter was snapping them to get them to light up and it cracked and went in her eye. We were on vacation and called 911. I have never heard someone scream like she did and she had stitches in the past. There is glass in the glow sticks to keep the components separate and one of them is salt. The glass scratched her eye and then the salt burned it. The ER doctor said he sees several kids a day because of glow sticks during the summer. Never again will we use them. Her eye is fine now but it was very scary.

  • This isnt exactly a dollar but lately the Dollarama stores up here have been selling very cheap camping and outdoors items for less then 4 dollars and as little as 1.25.Things like tarps,ponchos,firestarters ,water containers that are a clone of the platypus,fishing gear and utility knives,small containers for matches so they will be waterproof.The same things at MEC a fortune .I even got fairly decent straps for my backpack
    I stock up on the cookies,candies and tuna/hummous snack packs for hiking.They even sell Melatonin in small bottles for sleep and vitamins.
    I wont go cheap on hiking boots but these low prices help me afford them .One man with autism started his whole prepping supplies by gradually getting them at the Dollarama.We have a Dollar Tree here but it doesnt sell the same goods as in the US.and the new MIniso’s are great for cosmetics if on a budget.

  • I myself do not buy dollar store products that go on the skin or in the mouth. A Madison Avenue executive vice president once claimed to me that major corporations will cheaply produce inferior products specifically destined for outlet malls and dollar stores. This gentleman claimed to me that the brand-name toothpaste for sale in a dollar store is not the same formula as the brand-name toothpaste for sale at Walgreens or Rite Aid, etc.
    I have also heard complaints from people who bought flour or other staple goods at dollar stores, boxed or bagged staple goods, and then, a few days later, found the product infested with bugs.
    I do buy canned food at dollar stores, and dry goods.

    • I’ve gotten the boxed coconut milk (lactose intolerant) and it’s awesome. I expect the boxed milk would also be fine but once it’s open it will require refrigeration 🙂

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