11 Cheap Survival Supplies That Will Be Valuable During TEOTWAWKI

Prepping can be so darn expensive, and it’s one of the main reasons many folks refuse to start their journey to preparedness.

Well, we can’t blame them. Stockpiling a year’s worth of survival supplies and survival tools will most likely screw up their finances.

But if you just think outside the box, you won’t have to spend your precious Benjamins on expensive gear. There are many dirt-cheap items with excellent survival uses.

Here are 11 affordable things that will be valuable during TEOTWAWKI:

Plastic Tarps

Plastic tarps are one of the most versatile and inexpensive SHTF gear to own. You can use them as a survival shelter, as a means to collect rainwater, and as a temporary seal to patch up a broken window. You can also use one to protect your other survival supplies from damage due to harsh weather.

Matches and Lighters

lit lighter and two sticks

Learning how to start a fire is an essential survival skill every prepper should master. However, it doesn’t hurt to get a little help. You won’t go wrong with storing a box of matches and a pack of lighters for TEOTWAWKI. These survival supplies won’t break the bank. 

It makes sense to stockpile a few of these firestarters if you have zero luck starting a fire the traditional way. They’re great as backups. But remember to keep matches away from wet surfaces to avoid damage and lighters away from ignition sources like electrical sparks and static electricity to prevent a possible house fire.

Also, you might wanna stash away extra boxes of matches and a few packs of lighters for trading. These are essential survival items that many folks will do anything to have in their possession during challenging times, like a severe winter without power


hand holding a spray bottle

Your environment after a major disaster will most likely be unsanitary. The solution is to stash some disinfectants on your shelves. They aren’t expensive, so we don’t see why you shouldn’t add them to your stockpile.

Alcohol, hand sanitizer, and disinfecting wipes are excellent additions to your list of survival supplies. They’re essential in maintaining personal hygiene, specifically your hand hygiene if running water isn’t available when S hits the fan.

Another common everyday item that has survival uses is household bleach — it effectively kills germs on any surface around your home. 


collection of batteries

Power outages will be frequent after a major disaster, and a life-saving item for this kind of scenario is a pack of batteries. Your flashlights, hand-crank radios, and other battery-powered SHTF gear will eventually run out of juice, so keep a few of them in your cabinet or survival kit.

Cooking Oil

cooking oil

Cooking oil isn’t only great for, well, cooking. It has many excellent survival uses, too, like the following:

Face Masks

face masks

Ever since the pandemic hit, face masks have become the ultimate EDC gear that folks can’t leave home without. But even without a virus plaguing the world, they’ll still be valuable to have in an SHTF scenario. For example, an N95 mask can help stop you from inhaling harmful smoke that can inflame your lungs and airway.

Plus, face masks won’t cost you much money and only take up a little storage space. You can store ‘em in your get home bag and bug out bag and stash away a few boxes at home.


a bottle of painkillers

In a post-SHTF world, hospitals will be barely operating, and there’s a high chance you or one of your family members could sustain disaster-related injuries. The pain will be excruciating, and the situation could be highly uncomfortable, especially if it takes longer to find help or treat the injury.

This scenario is why you should include pain medications in your list of survival supplies. Painkillers like Tylenol, Aspirin, or Advil will help reduce the ache of these injuries, so pop a few of them in your first aid kit before things go south.

Pack extras as well in case folks in your area are looking to trade an essential survival item you might need for pain meds.

Duct Tape

duct tape and cutter

Used for sealing, patching, packing, and repairing, duct tape is one of the survival supplies you’ll be thankful that you included in your stash. It has become a multipurpose item that can do the following:



If there’s one SHTF gear you shouldn’t forget to include in your arsenal, it’s a tactical flashlight. Why? It’s packed with features and is indispensable in emergencies. Flashlights are more than just an alternative light source; they have other incredible uses that can save your life, too. Here are some ways a tactical flashlight can help you:

Sewing Kit

sewing kit

Now, not every prepper would think of adding a sewing kit in their collection of survival supplies, but it’s honestly an essential kit for SHTF. Your bug out bag, tarp shelter, or sleeping bag might need fixing, so a needle and thread will undoubtedly come in handy. You can also use the needles in your sewing kit to remove splinters or sew up an open wound.

This item is suitable for bartering, too, since a sewing kit isn’t on top of everyone’s checklist of survival supplies. Folks won’t realize they need it until their tent rips and they have nothing to shelter them from the rain, so stockpile extra sewing kits at home.

Disposable Gloves

hand wearing glove

It’s a given that tactical gloves are vital SHTF gear and should be in your stockpile.

But don’t forget about cheap nitrile or latex gloves. These gloves will protect you from getting infected by pathogens and viruses when you take care of a sick or injured family member, clean up your house after a flood, or toss out the garbage.

Final Thoughts

While these 11 cheap survival supplies aren’t even half of the necessities you should include in your stockpile, these items still serve as a starting point for prepping for disasters and emergencies. Remember: you can always add more items as you go depending on your personal needs.

Did you find this article interesting? Check out our other posts on prepping and tactical gear.

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