37 Cheap Items that Will Remain Priceless in Prepping 

37 Cheap Items that Will Remain Priceless in Prepping 

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Today I want to talk about 37 cheap items that will remain priceless in prepping. Let’s face it, when it comes to prepping for disasters, there are certain survival supplies out there that will cost your family a small fortune. But stockpiling supplies so that you have something to barter with may end up being extremely important one day. 

Stocking up on food can be fairly costly over time, depending on how much you decide to store. That’s why I’ve always suggested you approach it by buying one can or one case at a time.

Getting the water storage tanks and containers can also have some upfront costs that will set you back, again, depending on the size and number you purchase. Don’t feel like you need to acquire your supply all at once, spread out those purchases with an overall goal in mind.

The same applies to special gear you may want, whether it’s a generator, water filtering system, tools, etc. Look for special pricing at particular times of the year. Be sure to check my “What to Stock Up On” series where I post the specials you should take advantage of each month, you can save a lot of money by following my lead.

37 Cheap Items that Will Remain Priceless in Prepping 

Items Priceless in Prepping

Fortunately, there are hundreds of prepping supplies that you can start stockpiling now that are extremely cheap when purchased individually, making your acquisitions more affordable. Some of these “small comforts” may even surprise you. Here are 37 items for your consideration, but there are many more that will eventually complete your preparedness plan. This is a very good start.

1. Toilet Paper

Running out of toilet paper following a disaster scenario would be awful and certainly no laughing matter. But if it’s already too late to stock up, these are some toilet paper alternatives that you can still turn to.

2. Kleenex

You’re still going to need kleenex to stop a runny nose when you have a cold. This is one item that a lot of preppers forget about, so it’s sure to be in high demand following a major disaster. I always have tissues stocked, but I want to start with some reusable ones. Reusable Wipes/Tissues

3. Batteries

If you’re experiencing a long-term power outage in your region, I can assure you that batteries are going to be worth their weight in gold. By stocking up on batteries now, you’ll have a lot to barter with and still be able to enjoy certain comforts that help take your mind off of your situation.

4. OTC Medicine

I can almost guarantee that you’ll be experiencing more headaches, muscle pain, and injuries following a major disaster than what you’re currently dealing with. Allergies and heartburn could also persist and make things worse for you.  That’s why stocking up on medicines like aspirin, Tylenol, allergy medicine, and Tums will be a huge lifesaver for you and your family.    

5. Vitamins

Keeping your family healthy from diseases and illnesses will take on a whole new meaning in an Apocalyptic scenario. Vitamins will also be priceless and a great bartering item during that time. These are my favorite ones, Best Supplements to Stock

Disclaimer: I am not a nurse or a doctor! Do not take any supplements without first consulting with your physician. 

6. Sunscreen

Getting fried to a crisp while spending hours out in the sun each day won’t be a pleasant experience for anyone. Sunscreen will be absolutely necessary to have, even in winter.

7. Condoms

Having babies after a major disaster situation takes place could present a whole set of new challenges, and may not be ideal timing for anyone. But that’s not going to stop many people from holding onto the smallest amount of normalcy, so condoms will be a critical item to have.

8. Toothbrushes and Toothpaste

Maintaining good oral health will be a lot harder to do, particularly if clean water is hard to come by, let alone possibly going without your usual 6-month cleaning. Keeping a stockpile of enough toothbrushes and toothpaste tucked away in your home will help ensure that your family’s mouths stay as fresh and clean as possible.

9. ChapStick

Another item that preppers often overlook is ChapStick or other brands of lip balm. But think about it, if you’re spending a lot of time outside in the cold or the heat, it won’t take long for your lips to start cracking and peeling and that can be painful. My favorite is this one: Burt’s Bee Lip Balm Another good one to consider is Blistex, especially if you want SPF protection from the sun.

Read More of My Articles  8 Ways to Convince Your Loved Ones to Prep

10. Feminine Products

If you have any women in your family, then you know those feminine products are an absolute necessity. And during a disaster scenario, they’ll be even more important to have on hand to be used for bartering. You may want to make some cloth menstrual pads or possibly purchase some. Reusable Menstrual Cloths

11. Duct Tape

Duct tape is an extremely versatile item that can fix all sorts of things, like temporarily bandaging a wound, repairing broken glass, or used to build a shelter. So, it’s definitely something that you’ll want to have plenty of stored away.

12. Zip Ties

Like duct tape, zip ties are also versatile and can be used for all sorts of things, including building a temporary shelter or making a splint for an injured limb.

13. Baking Soda

Baking soda has a wide variety of uses, including putting out small fires, cleaning clothes, and even brushing your teeth. So, it’s definitely an item that you’ll want to have.

14. Bandages

Bandages are another essential item to have on hand for first aid purposes, especially if you have children. But they can also be used to make a splint or to cover a wound to keep it clean. You’ll want a supply of various sizes so you can have the best coverage for the numerous injuries that might be experienced.

15. Lighters

Lighters will be extremely valuable following a major disaster because they can be used to start a fire, light your way, help attract the rescue teams, and more.

16. Matches

Like lighters, matches will also be invaluable for starting fires. But you’ll want to make sure that you have both lighters and matches stored away just in case one doesn’t work.

17. Shoe Laces

Shoe Laces can be used for a variety of purposes, including repairing shoes and clothing, even making a fishing line, or adding support to a shelter. Be sure and stock several sizes. Shoe Laces

18. Soap

Soap will be an absolute must for stockpiling to cover all your personal hygiene and laundry needs.

19. Sanitary Wipes

Sanitary wipes will also be important for both hygiene and first aid purposes. Please be aware, if they dry out, you can add a little water to them to refresh them almost like new again.

20. Socks

Wearing wet socks, or no socks at all for that matter, will quickly lead to blisters or cuts, which can be extremely painful and extremely dangerous if they become infected. So, make sure that you have plenty of socks stored away.

21. Fishing Line

Fishing lines can serve other purposes besides fishing. It can be used to make a clothesline, repair clothing, or even as a tripwire for a booby trap if you want to catch small animals.

If you need to help supply some food for your family, having fishing gear of all kinds provides a food supply option.

22. Flashlights/Lanterns

A flashlight will come in handy for so many things, like finding your way around in the dark, helping rescue workers find you, performing tasks that need to get done, etc. And trust me, following a major disaster or localized emergency, it’s gonna be pretty dark! 

23. Ponchos

When it’s already cold outside, the last thing that you want to be is drenched to the bone. Rain ponchos will be a huge asset to have a stockpile of, and they’re pretty cheap to purchase. You can find them at Walmart for as little as 99 cents! They also can be used as a tarp for sleeping or to make a small shelter.

24. Can Openers

Imagine having a huge stash of canned food at your disposal but no way of opening them. While you use other tools to get them open, nothing is as quick and effective as a can opener.

25. Hand Sanitizer

When you need to keep your hands clean, but don’t want to use your limited drinking water supply, hand sanitizer will be a must! It not only cleans things, but kills germs at the same time. I’m sure we’ve all learned the benefits of this item over the past couple of years!

26. Seeds

As of right now, seed packets are extremely cheap to get your hands on and another great solution to provide fruit and vegetables for your family. With food already scarce in a widespread emergency, you won’t want to be caught without them. I purchase all of my garden seeds from this company: SeedsNow

Please remember if you plant flowers, the bees will come. You need them to pollinate some of your vegetables and fruits.

Read More of My Articles  The Best Homemade Playdough Recipe

27. Condiments

With your situation already bleak as it is, don’t make it worse by not having condiments to add flavor to your next meal. And what’s nice about condiments like ketchup, mustard, and bbq sauce, is that they will last longer than most food items, other than your canned goods.    

28. Spices

Just like with condiments, spices will help keep life worth living when there’s little to be excited about.

29. Sugar

Even the smallest things in life, like sugar, would be a huge deal after a disaster. Instead of only eating just to survive, sugar would certainly help to bring a smile to your face. It’s also great for preserving food.  

30. Salt

Salt can add a lot of flavor to bland meals, but it can also help preserve food and to keep pests away.

31. Paper Plates and Plastic Cups and Utensils

Don’t waste your precious water supply on doing dishes. That’s why paper plates and plastic cups and utensils would make so much sense following a major disaster. Yes, it does add to the waste ultimately going to the landfill, but we are trying to stay alive and do so with the safest and easiest approach possible.

32. Paper Towels

Another disposable item that will come in handy is paper towels. You can use them to clean up messes, as a napkin, or even as a bandage in a pinch.

33. Disposable Diapers/Better Yet: Cloth Diapers

If you have small children at home, disposable diapers would be an absolute must! There’s no telling how long you would have to go without water or electricity, so it’s best to be prepared.

I raised my daughters on cloth diapers, it’s really okay, my friends. It worked and the landfill doesn’t need them. Most of you probably used cloth diapers as well. Now they make fancy ones, whatever works for you, please stock them. Cloth Diapers, Diaper Pins, and Plastic Covers, or Fancy Cloth Diapers

34. Baby Wipes

Not only are baby wipes great for cleaning up small children, but they can also be used as a quick and easy way to clean yourself when a “sponge bath” is needed and water isn’t an option.

35. Ziploc Bags

Besides keeping food fresh, Ziploc bags are excellent for keeping your smaller electronics, socks, firestarter dry, and so much more. If it’s wet outside, you’ll be glad you have this option to help keep things clean and dry.  

36. Cigarettes

Maybe you don’t smoke personally, but there will be plenty of smokers that will willing to trade/barter almost anything for a single pack that brings them a small amount of pleasure and relief. I have heard they go stale, but I wouldn’t know, personally.

37. Cheap Wine

Did you know that you can find cheap wine at Aldi for around $3 a bottle? During an “end of the world” event, people will want to take the edge off in one way or another. And the nice thing about a cheap bottle of wine is that it will last a long time. Cheap wine is important in prepping for many, even if you don’t drink, it’s a good bartering tool.

More Prepping Content

Emergency Toilets

Please make or purchase an emergency toilet before you need one. I can tell you right now, that I am not sharing my emergency toilet. I have asked people to make or buy one for over 10 years, if not longer. Please just do it, 6-gallon buckets with a portable toilet seat work. The 5-gallon buckets are shorter and work for shorter people.

If it’s too complicated buy one now so it’s ready when you need it. Portable Emergency Toilet Grab some 10-gallon bags at Sams club or Costco for refill bags, they are cheap.

Here is another one, Upgrade Emergency Toilet

Emergency Washing Machines

If you haven’t thought about washing your clothes, you will really need to. The bathtub is not a good option in case the sewer lines back up. You’ll not be able to drain the dirty water. Just FYI. Now, you can use washtubs and washboards. I have a few of those, but then I found the LaVario unit that I love. Please consider getting one. I ended up buying two. One for washing and a year later I purchased a second for rinsing. We have a large family. LaVario Emergency Washer. (Currently unavailable)

If you have a clothesline with clothespins that’s awesome. If not, consider one of these from Lehmans. Pennsylvania Folding Clothes Dryer

Why Is Sanitation So Important to Preppers?

If you find yourself in an emergency situation, what you don’t want to do is compound your problems by getting sick or having an unexpected infection. We need to protect ourselves and our family members by having safe food to eat and water to drink. We need to take care of our daily personal hygiene no matter what.

We also must be prepared for the challenges of cuts, scrapes, punctures, and other issues that come from less-than-ideal circumstances around us.

Are Canned Veggies a Good Prepping Item to Consider?

Canned goods of all kinds are important. Not only can they keep you alive, but you can help others to survive or use them as a bartering tool. The good thing about canned goods is the ease of use, you can open them up and eat right from the can.

Final Word

These are 37 cheap items that could one day be priceless in prepping and that you wish you had. Can you think of any other inexpensive items that would be crucial to have if you’re a prepper? I’d love to hear your thoughts! May God Bless this world, Linda

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  1. Linda, I think you got it covered. I’d simply recommend rechargeable batteries and a charger for them, windproof/waterproof matches and maybe a good fire steel. Oh, and a magnifying glass that can also be used to start a fire.

    1. Ray, i just added more fire things this week. have directions and ability to make a rocket stove. and have a grill brique charcoal starter that would work. small wood , twigs…

  2. Applicator bottles… dish washing liquid bottles will work for some needs.
    Spray bottles in various sizes.. 16 and 32 oz more common…I use to pre treat laundry stains , apply homemade sprays to plants, whether a liquid fertilizer or bug /fungicide.
    They can also be used to apply a peri wash to those who have had a child, or who are incontinent.. This is one i have used .
    Home made peri spray can be made using:a 16 oz spray bottle, one ounce- mouthwash solution, to a cc of olive oil add,2 drops of Oil of Oregano and one of essential peppermint oil.,half fill bottle w/ warm water, add oils shake well then finish filling with water.

  3. MORE: More sheets , pillowcases, bedding, cotton blankets, fleecy blankets than you think you will ever use. Once a DFM goes down and they require around the clock care..You will be the one providing that.If its raining those sheets may not dry as quickly..
    For caregivers. lift belts,.wrist and ankle supports for caregivers.self care vitamins and caffeine sources.
    In case of injury or life changing medical event- you will require MORE of every supply than you need for health.(10X MORE- I have the t shirt and the Hat..)
    … a version of personal wipes can be made cheaper with peri care wash recipe,(BTW-all generic mouth washes work as well as name brand for this) poured over select a size paper towels and stored in a plastic food container with a seal-able lid.
    …Peroxide for cleaning, skin,medical implements such as tweezers, scissors but not necessarily wounds( peroxide destroys new tissue, is used in debridement procedures….
    ….Alcohol medical and PGA/w/ sterile water can be used to wash/clean skin, make hand sanitizer..
    ….Vinegar-w/or w/0 baking soda. can assist in removal of very bad room odors. setting a sm. bowl on a side table. even in a couple of places has been used in hospital setting- for uncontrolled odor.
    …Water and essential oils can be utilized in a spray bottle for a room spray that clears the air of odors and nasties.
    ….Look up the properties of various spices and oils- choose ones with properties you desire… I have used oils of oregano, frankincense,myrrh, orange, lemon, basil,cinnamon, rosemary, clove.
    ….Wound care supplies.. gauze, sterile 4×4’s, sterile telfa( several sizes, Bandaid ‘all sizes. medical tape, steri strips.,Drawing salve( or homemade products) for clearing exudate from wounds, splinters and boils etc…wound wash-sterile saline-make own with boiling water and salt and can it..
    … OTC products to aid in wound healing and keep dressings from sticking.. ( for dry wounds the liquid skin is good, burn spray,..)
    …There is a wound gel that has silver in it, is good.
    Feminine pads are invaluable for these applications the individually wrapped ones are sterile til opened… get several different absorbencies for best use. same for paper towels=sterile til opened..

  4. …and MORE:Don’t forget various sized pillows, and multiple may be needed for comfort of one unable to care for self- to keep them comfortable- relieve pressure points and maintain foot positions and . I was once using 8 for proper positioning of DFM who had LCE-medical. throw pillows w/ covers can be used, as can bed pillows in regular sizes.
    …More Soaps.. Hand, liquid, bar soaps, Body wash, dry shampoo( baking soda can be used ). Laundry for one individual can =2-3 loads per day.

      1. Linda, Until a close member has gone down, one truly can not understand. This is just for physical comfort. Often they will need special diets, soft or pureed, Most of time a high protein shake type drink will work, Getting a vanilla shake type mix, using a milk to make it w/ and changing flavor with small amount of powdered unsweet koolaid, can increase tolerance and closely meet physical needs… I would use stevia or monk fruit to sweeten for everyone… avoid high carbs for ones with most problems- but those w/ kidney issues should avoid heavy protein.. These are from my experience .Knowing a prescribed diet and things to avoid… are necessary.. As is having a allergy list for every person. Note many of these things fit in the barter and cheap backup category. Knowledge and ability to use are priceless and adds to your value as a community member.

        1. Hi Denise, I totally agree with you. We have had close family members with Dementia/Alzheimer’s. Until you are a caretaker, you don’t understand. It’s rough. Linda

  5. Hand tools. A saw, screw drivers, screws,nails hammer, tools of all kinds. Free prep if you have some extra space many places will let you take pallets for free or a few bucks. These can be stored outside and used for quick lumber when home depot is gone.

  6. Linda, this is Absolutely one of the most comprehensive lists I’ve seen. And, cheap at that! Giggle, I used to teach “Cheap, Almost Free Gardening” at my local farm store. Perhaps the one suggestion I’d have is for people to store a lot of these items in plastic containers. Oh, not Bought containers, but ones we regularly would recycle: ice cream pails with lids, dry chocolate milk mixes, deli meats, even some of the frozen meals with lids (my fave is Healthy Choice Steamables). I’ve been a prepper for over 20 years and have found that things last longer if kept in a container. Ex: I had bandaids in their boxes that dried out after only about 2 yrs when just put in my bathroom cupboard. (It seems i mostly use just one size, lol). I had others that I’d taken out of the original boxes, put in a deli potato salad plastic container. They are Fine after 5 yrs! Yes, I’m using these now. I’m even finding how handy it is to use these smaller containers for rice, peas, beans, pasta. Obviously we need to rotate but for some things, we may not use much. Doesn’t mean we don’t need to have more on hand than we normally use. And while cheap, I hated throwing out those bandaids. Hope this helps someone else.

    1. Hi Wendy, thank you for your kind words. You know as I was reading your bandaid story, I bought a bunch (yes I go overboard sometimes) of bandaids in these white plastic containers. After ten years they are still good. It’s the container, duh!!! Thank you for sharing your thoughts!! Linda

  7. About feminine products:
    Silicone menstrual cups are 100% reusable, it’s just a matter of finding the right one for each person. They may be a bit more upfront cost, but by the third month of using one, it has already started to save money. (Diva Cups)
    Thinx makes very absorbent period underwear that is meant to be reused month after month without needing pads, tampons, or anything else. Again the upfront cost is more but these panties are made to last for years. Thinx also makes absorbent panties for bladder leaks. Their panties are sold online but are cheaper at Target. It should be known that they also block odor. For menstruation cycles maybe buy 6 – 10 pairs.
    Flex Disks are somewhat similar to diva cups but many find them to be more comfortable, these are also reusable as well. (Flexfits)

    Personally, I would advocate for Thinx as the risk of toxic shock syndrome is virtually non-existent.

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