You don’t have to spend hundreds or thousands of hard-earned dollars on survival equipment. You can build a stockpile of versatile tools, equipment and supplies for when SHTF even if you’re on a budget.
Here are 13 of the cheapest, most useful items to stock up on before SHTF: (h/t to UrbanSurvivalSite.com)
1. Disposable wipes
Disposable wipes are ideal for cleaning and sanitizing food prep areas. You can even use it to remove food bits, crud and grime on dishes and cookware before washing them in soapy water. Aside from cleaning cookware, wipes are also great for keeping your hands, face and body clean when you don’t have access to running water. Plus, wipes are dirt cheap and can be bought in packs for easier stockpiling.
2. Bobby pins
Bobby pins are incredibly versatile tools that you as a prepper should have in your emergency stockpile. You can use a bobby pin as a screwdriver, a lockpick, a nail holder, a zipper pull and a sewing needle. Bobby pins also make great fish hooks, cleaning picks and awls. And because they’re so cheap, you can easily stock up on boxes of bobby pins without making so much as a dent in your prepping budget.
Even if you don’t have a nicotine addiction, cigarettes are versatile tools worth buying in bulk. You can use one to start a fire or repel insects outdoors. You can also use cigarette ash to stop small cuts and wounds from bleeding in an SHTF scenario. Cigarettes will also be valuable bartering items when SHTF. There will be many people in the world willing to pay dearly for cigarettes when they are no longer available in stores.
Clothespins will be a necessity when you can no longer use a dryer to dry your clothes. But apart from securing your clothes on a clothesline, clothespins can be used for many other things. You can break down a wooden one to make tinder for fire or use them to organize important documents. You can also use clothespins to label your wires, sharpen them into small stakes for use in the garden and more.
You can get clothespins in packs of 50 to 100 for just a few dollars.
5. Coffee filters
Coffee filters usually come in packs of at least 100, making them one of the cheapest things in your stockpile. And even if you’re not a fan of coffee, it’s worth stocking on coffee filters because they make excellent water filters in a pinch. You can also use coffee filters as a disposable bowl, bandages, seed packets and tinder.
Condoms have plenty of uses beyond the purpose they were originally designed for. For instance, you can keep valuable tinder in a condom to keep it dry. In an emergency, you can even use condoms as medical gloves. They can even be placed over the muzzle of a rifle or shotgun to keep out water or debris.
Condoms usually come in packs of three or six. On average, they cost about a dollar each.
7. Dental floss
Floss doesn’t just keep plaque from building up in between your teeth. You can also use it as a clothesline, fishing lines or lashings when building a shelter. You can also use it as a thread for mending clothes. Floss usually costs just a little over a dollar in most places. (Related: Build a survival dental kit to maintain dental hygiene even when SHTF.)
If you have small children who still aren’t toilet trained, diapers are obviously a necessity. But even if you don’t have small children, diapers are still a versatile and inexpensive item to stock up on. For instance, you can make bandages or ice packs out of diapers. In a pinch, diapers can also be used to filter water.
9. Paper clips
Paper clips are a dime a dozen. They can also be incredibly useful when SHTF. You can use one to create a compass, a fish hook, a meat skewer, a sewing needle, a lock pick or a belt holder.
10. Cotton swabs
Cotton swabs are ideal for cleaning the nooks and crannies of equipment like guns and electronics devices. They can also be used to clean small wounds and light candles. Cotton swabs cost next to nothing, so don’t hesitate to stock up on as many as you can.
11. Garbage bags
Aside from their obvious use, garbage bags can also double as waterproof storage for items that need to be dry, such as matches, tinder and clothes. Garbage bags can also be torn apart and used as plastic sheeting for makeshift shelters.
12. Zip ties
Zip ties can be used for a wide range of repairs. In an emergency, you can also use them as handcuffs. They are definitely worth stocking up on by the boxful.
13. Resealable bags
Resealable plastic bags are ideal for storing small items that need to be kept dry. These bags cost less than a dollar apiece on average. However, they are often sold in bulk so go ahead and add a few boxes of them to your stockpile.
Learn more about other versatile, dirt-cheap items to include in an SHTF stockpile at Preparedness.news.