Equipping for disaster

Five things you should not buy at the Dollar Store

By M.L. Lewis

Dollar stores are wonderful places for those prepping on a budget but don’t be fooled by those low prices. Some things are good buys, while many others need to just be skipped over. These items are selected based on my own personal dollar store prepping experiences.

Toilet Paper

Toilet paper is a hygiene necessity to literally everyone in the country. Sure, a buck for a four pack of rolls may seem like a good deal, until you use it. It rips very easy and you need a lot to get clean. They aren’t very absorbent and can’t be used to wipe up spills or be used as a makeshift bandage.

They do make good tinder, but so does everything paper. Trust me when I say when it comes to T.P. stock up on the brand you like. Many stores have T.P. on sale once a month, so check nearby store flyers for local deals.

Plastic Utensils

Nothing is more annoying than doing the dishes. I hate this chore the most in life. Imagine how much more annoying it’ll be when you have to fight zombies at the same time. Do yourself a favor a stock up on disposable goods.

Now dollar store plates are good, but the utensils not so much. I can’t tell you how many forks I’ve broken while trying to eat with dollar store plastic cutlery, and that’s the fork. Supplies are already scarce as it is and plastic will be an important trading item so don’t go cheap with this hot item.

Duct Tape

Duct tape goes with everything. Everyone should have one roll on hand at all times because of how versatile it is. Have to apply a bandage, duct tape. Need to repair something, duct tape.

People have even been known to make clothes out of it and Duck Tape® even holds a scholarship contest given to the best prom dress made out of there product.

Dollar store brand duct tape, though, is pretty bad. It melts in the heat, doesn’t hold well, has a foul odor to it and when you peel the tape up the glue usually remains behind.


Every prepper should have two complete outfits in their bugout kit. Every dollar store has a clothing aisle and beside socks, I don’t recommend any of it.

You can’t try anything on so it’s a hit or miss if it’ll fit. The materials aren’t the best and will most likely fall apart under stress. Lastly, and I know this sounds vain, but they’re always awkwardly shaped and ugly looking.

You are most likely to wear something you enjoy looking at then something you aren’t. That’s why you always wear the same old stuff instead of that new shirt you got a few months ago as a gift from your sibling.


The first thing to go in every disaster is the electricity. Without electricity we have nothing, gas won’t pump, factories will close, automatic doors won’t open. Everything we know and love is dependent on electricity. Without it, we’ll collapse in forty-eight hours.

Dollar store brand batteries are often “heavy duty” rather than alkaline and not worth it. They usually die in a couple of hours, if they even work at all. I’m serious, I bought a pack for four AA batteries and they were all dead. Don’t go cheap on this lifeline, buy name brand.

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