It can be daunting to see whole lists of things to do, things to make, things to learn, and things to buy when you’re first beginning to prepare your home and family. I’ll share some of my favorite finds at Dollar Tree to help you get started!
Dollar stores are definitely places to be aware of what you’re buying. Sure, it’s priced at a dollar, but an item might not be worth a dollar. Or it may be such poor quality that you’re wasting your dollar when you really need to use the item.
But, if you are of a keen eye, not particularly picky about ‘style’, and prepared with your lists, you can really stretch your budget and stock up!
Keep in mind that extra food and water aren’t the only things that can be done to be prepared. Things that can help me organize my ‘stuff’, things that can be hacked from general everyday purposes, and things like shelter, I consider to be under the umbrella of preparedness. A lot of these things can be bought at dollar stores!
25+ Preparedness Items to Buy at Dollar Tree
1. First Aid Supplies
Bandages, splints, wrappings, ice packs, knee braces, pain patches, medicines, ointments, and so much more. I have found that the first aid supplies are great buys, and I can stock our first aid kits quickly and inexpensively from Dollar Tree.
P.S. They even carry pregnancy kits which work great!
2. Home Organization
While I try to keep my actual food storage in items like glass, stainless steel, BPA free plastics, and non-lead containing found objects, using the inexpensive Dollar Tree storage containers is a great way to organize areas in my home that I don’t care quite as much about. My closets and laundry room have benefited from Dollar Tree organization bins in a big way. It helps me keep track of what I have, rotate effectively, and keep clutter under control.
I need prescription glasses and wear bifocals. While my far vision needs a boost (and I have to have them to drive legally), my real need is for intermediate vision (my computer) and reading. I make sure to have an extra pair of reading glasses tucked in my emergency kits, my day bag, my desk, my bedside, and in my kitchen.
This system allows me to have a pair of glasses wherever I might need them. It also means I have a lot of backup glasses if I lose a pair or break them. I can get better quality glasses at places like Target, but I’d end up spending a fortune on glasses with the way I lose or break them. I prefer to stock up on these which serve me well for emergency supplies. They also have chains and cases to use with your glasses if you need them.
They also have sunglasses, but after talking to my ophthalmologist about my risk of macular degeneration, I prefer to invest a little more in sunglasses that will help protect my eyes, not just save me from some glare.
5. Shower Curtains
You have to be a little careful about the selection as some are not better than paper. But if you hit upon a supply that is made with thicker material, grab them! They can be used as table covers, makeshift shelters, etc.
Glowsticks at Dollar Tree may be more decorative than useful, but when you have kids, glowsticks serve so many purposes! You can pack them in their emergency kits or use them for lights-out activities during power outages. They can be comfort objects when it’s dark or you’re camping, and for general lighting when you buy the bigger sticks or swords.
You might get these from many places, but for a dollar, I love these plastic totes for freezer organization. I have a chest freezer and organizing categories by tote is a huge help. The handles help me lift things out easily, to get to the next layer, and the totes help keep things contained in the chest.
But they can also be used in the same fashion in a pantry. Instead of using plastic storage tubs, you can use the totes to store linens, large quantities of toilet paper, and make them easily movable.
8. 80 Hour Emergency Candles
These $1 emergency candles are great finds. They aren’t advertised as such in the store, but when you check the website, they are listed as such. I’ve never tested the full burning capacity of them, mind you, but they are good to have for a lights-out kit.
These reusable ice/hot food packs are great for food preservation. When I have to clean out my chest freezer, the packs work to help keep things cold (especially those things that tend to thaw out quickly like frozen fruit). Then used hot, it helps keep dishes warm if we’re traveling.
They are also terrific if your freezer/fridge has died and you are without refrigeration for a day or two. Along with ice, these cold packs can help keep your foods frozen in coolers until you can get a new unit. They’re great for power outages as well.
The flexible packs can be used for pain relief if you’re in a pinch – they’re just a little bulky.
If you can find the packs that are smaller and for lunch bags, they are GREAT for pain relief.
10. Spray Bottles
I like to make the most of my cleaners so I like to have some in every zone of our home. That way we aren’t going back and forth across the house to get a cleaner. Dollar store bottles work perfectly for this! You can get steel ones, big plastic ones, and small plastic ones.
11. Cleaning Supplies
Microfiber dusters, brooms, buckets, clothespins, and more are available at Dollar Tree. Sometimes, it really isn’t worth even a dollar, but other times, the items are great and are well worth stocking up!
12. Microfiber Towels
We use these microfiber towels for so many things – for dusting, for cleaning, for quick spill cleanups. You can find large ones in the automotive sections, mesh backed ones in the kitchen section, and multi-packs around the store. These are great to use instead of paper towels, and we keep a big supply for all sorts of uses.
13. Office Supplies
Organizers, pens, pencils, mailers, and more can be found at most dollar stores. While this may look like an organizational issue and not preparedness, things like pencil boxes can have a new life as a first aid kit. A bubble mailer can house seeds for the next season, binders and dividers can be made into Family Emergency Binders.
Clipboards work great to keep wipe off inventory pages on the wall. File pockets can be good for keeping important papers together for your go bag.
14. “Damp Rid”
I keep one of these in my storage closet to help keep general dampness out.
15. Puppy Pads