Money, money, money…
Regardless of how much happy smoke DC blows up our collective skirts, money is still tight. We all want to fill our prepping needs as economically as possible. Now, don’t confuse economically with inexpensively – they don’t always coincide.
Cheap garbage is still garbage!
Still….. many times, deals can be found which look good. The price/quality equation makes sense.
Most areas in the country have some version of the Dollar Store. Everything in the store is a buck. They carry everything under the sun, including candy, beverages, stationary, cleaning products, food products, health products – virtually every category you can find in a regular super market.
Most of the time, you won’t find brand names. If you do, it will be packaged in smaller quantities. You might find a brand name toothpaste, for instance, but it will be in a smaller volume tube.
When I buy preps from them, I have a couple of rules: If it is a food or product that will be consumed, and it is made in China, I won’t buy it. Their quality control is virtually non-existent.
The other rule is to ALWAYS check the expiration date. I have often found items for sale which have technically expired.
Because of the generally small size of the products, I have found them to be excellent for inclusion in our Get Home Bags and our smaller first aid kits.
Here is a recent “haul” from the local Dollar Store
Top row (left to right): 2, 2oz bottles of hand sanitizer; Oral analgesic gel; Inter-dental brushes; 40-count Ibuprofen.
Middle row: 20-count baby wipes; 60-count wet wipes (I use these after shooting); traveling toothbrush and toothpaste (Crest) kit; 12-count peanut butter/chocolate bars (I’ll supply these to my larger shooting classes for snacks)
Bottom row: 6-count, 5 1/2 hour survival candles (tested and verified); “Crazy” glue; Tuna salad and crackers; 50-count clothes pins; 4-count mouse traps.
Every once in a while I get burned on a purchase. I bought some of their dish soap once, and it was a joke. It took about a half cup of the stuff to make a bubble (!), but it was a cheap enough lesson. All of the items in the picture have been purchased multiple times because of their acceptable quality.
I can’t stress enough that you need to check the expiration dates on all things that will be consumed. While most will be of acceptable quality long past the expiration date, it’s just not worth the risk of consuming something that makes you sick when you need nutrition or medicine the most.
One of my favorite things are the tuna and cracker packs. I’m out on the road quite a bit, and being able to grab a quick snack (or two) without having to go to a fast-food joint is very helpful. I also purchase their quart-sized Arizona Ice Tea during the summer, and keep a few in the car at most times.
Do some homework and compare prices at your local supermarket. For ointments, be sure that the items you are comparing are of equal strength in the active ingredients. The same goes for cleaning products.
Lastly, make sure the item you’re buying can’t be purchased elsewhere for less. Yep, I’ve seen items – usually food items – that can be purchased every day for less than a dollar. Don’t get caught up in a buying frenzy, and over pay!
Buy one and try it out. If it is of sub-standard quality, you can always go back to your old brand. You MIGHT find a gem!
Editor Note: Please take a look at our post, Saving Big Bucks With Gift Cards. You can save hundreds of dollars when you combine sale prices with buying gift cards at less than remaining stored value. This is a great way to buy some of your more expensive preps – or anything for that matter – at a steep discount!