When thinking about what to stockpile in case of a major collapse, it’s easy to get caught up in the big stuff and forget about all the little things. I’m talking about small items we use almost every single day and never think twice about until they’re gone. Things like soap, trash bags, toilet paper, and so forth. These things are inexpensive right now, but after the shit hits the fan they will be very valuable.
That’s why when you’re preparing for a disaster, you need to make sure you don’t forget all the little things. When the power is out and you don’t know when (or if) it will come back on, a simple toothbrush will be worth far more than smart phones, video games, and fancy flat screen televisions. The world will be turned on its head and what was once expensive will be cheap and what was once cheap will be expensive. And that is all the more reason you should stock up on the cheap stuff while you still can. If a total collapse never happens, you’ll be able to use this stuff anyway, so no harm done.
Now without further ado, here is my list of dirt-cheap items that will be worth their weight in gold after the SHTF.
1. Toilet paper is essential. You don’t even have to buy the good stuff. Anything will do after a major collapse; even the cheap stuff will be valuable.
2. Duct tape is so useful. Even the stuff at the dollar store will do for minor jobs around the house. Duct tape is a miracle worker in a survival situation.
3. Baking soda is a multipurpose tool you will want to have plenty of. It can be used to deodorize (think about the lack of sanitation), clean, brush your teeth, and of course, bake with.
4. Feminine hygiene products will be in huge demand. Stock up on them now when they don’t cost a fortune.
5. Toothbrushes can be purchased at any dollar store. Dental hygiene is going to be a big deal when you can’t run to the dentist to fix a cavity.
6. Kleenex will help keep your nose from getting raw while you battle colds that are bound to happen after a disaster. Kleenex can also help keep things a bit more sanitary. You don’t want to be wiping boogers and snot on your sleeves, especially if there’s no running water.
7. Socks are going to be critical for keeping your feet warm and dry, and they can prevent blisters. Buy extra packs of socks so your family’s feet will always be dry and comfortable.
8. Shoestrings are easily overlooked today, but when you are trying to walk a mile without your shoe tied because the lace broke, you are going to be in bad shape. Buy loads of cheap shoestrings in various sizes. You can always fix a shoe, but the laces are pretty much done when they break.
9. Plasticware and paper plates will help keep your area tidy, and they’ll save on water because you won’t need to wash dishes. You can burn the plates for heat after they are used.
10. Paper, pens, crayons and whatnot. We take these things for granted today and don’t think twice about finding a pencil around the house. But after a collapse, you will be responsible for educating any children you might have, and writing is going to be a big deal. You may also want to keep a journal. Historic times!
11. Candy, the hard candies mostly, will be a welcome treat. They can be used as incentives for grumpy kids and help keep your mouth wet on a hot day. Stock up on hard candy after Halloween.
12. Chap stick is going to be a big deal when you’re spending a lot of time outdoors. Some people will be willing to barter food and other valuables for your $1 tube of chap stick after a collapse.
13. Sandwich bags are also important. You will use these quite a bit to keep organized, pack lunches, keep matches dry, store leftover food, and so forth. In most cases, you can even wash and reuse them.
14. Soap in any form is going to be extremely valuable after a collapse. Buy the cheap stuff, bars or liquid, it doesn’t matter. People need to be able to clean themselves, their clothes, and their surroundings.
15. Hand sanitizer is also going to be very needed and valuable. You can buy a bottle for a buck. Have plenty to use around the house and barter with.
16. Trash bags should be purchased by the case if you can swing it. They’re only a couple bucks a box. After a disaster, you’ll be going through them like crazy. Not only will they help keep smells down, you can use them to make toilets as well.
17. Lotion will be a luxury as well as a necessity. Manual labor will lead to dry, chapped hands. Moisturizing them can prevent the dry, cracked skin that can be painful and eventually lead to sores that could put you at risk of infection.
18. Vitamins are going to be critical for maintaining your health when your diet is lacking raw fruits and veggies. You can load up on these in bulk or buy them at the dollar store. Have a variety of the important ones like vitamins A, C, D and E on hand.
19. Razors for the ladies and the guys. You can buy cheap, universal, disposable razors. Just because the world has gone to hell doesn’t mean you should give up every last nicety in life, like being clean-shaven. Razors will also come in handy if you need to shave around a wound.
20. Zip ties are about as important as duct tape. They can be used to hold a shelter together, hang items from trees, fix fences, and so on. Buy them in bulk; they only cost a few cents each.
21. Cans of Lysol will be very helpful in keeping your home relatively germ free. When you are battling the many germs and viruses that are running rampant, Lysol can help you fight back. It will also be very handy around the latrine or wherever you have set up your toilet. Bleach expires within 6 months, but Lysol will be fully effective for at least 2 years.
22. Matches and lighters are going to be sought after by everyone. Buy lots and lots of them because believe me, unless you’re an experienced outdoorsman, you don’t want to be stuck trying to build a fire by rubbing two sticks together.
23. Tylenol, Advil, and other painkillers will also be a big deal. They do weaken and lose potency over time, so make sure you are constantly updating your stockpile.
24. Ammunition may not seem cheap in the grand scheme of things, but it is cheaper than it will be down the road. Buy as much as you can now. You can never have too much ammunition.
25. Sunscreen will be very helpful on those days you will be spending outside. It does expire and weaken after a couple of years so always add new stock to your stash. Buy it on clearance at the end of the year to save even more money.
These items are just the little extras that are easily overlooked. Don’t forget about the more widely known things like first aid supplies, spices, and batteries. Remember, these things may be dirt cheap right now, but someday they could be as rare as gold.