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Hallelujah For the Dollar Stores

Updated: Sep 1, 2021

Inflation is here and here to stay, at least for the foreseeable future. We do not need to let is break our budget unless we fail to take action. While answering your questions last week I discussed the need to stock up now while the demands are still low on many items. In addition we need to continue stocking up food and non-food items and also building kits. This may seem overwhelming but remember, one step at a time. Choose an area to concentrate on and then watch for the killer deals to help in other areas.

Recently there was a news report concerning stores selling merchandise for a dollar. Many are closing. I am stumped. Are we just too lazy to go to these stores or do we not understand what they sell? Shopping at these stores can not only help build kits, fill General Store shelves, accumulate food storage but also save on everyday purchases enabling you to pay off debts more quickly, save for future needs and still have amazing birthday parties, Christmas stockings and Easter baskets any child would love. Yes, you must be careful because the quality of some items is poor but there are great deals to be found if you are careful.

In addition to inflation the firestorm season is here and we are again setting records in California and Oregon to name just two. Another town in California has been almost completely destroyed. If you need to evacuate how up to date our your Five Day kits? Even if you live in town and far from wooded areas a firestorm can happen to you. Just ask the people of Talent, Oregon.

I decided to visit my local dollar store, it is a smaller one so your stores may offer even more.

Here is what I fund:

For your kits:

Bandannas, 2/$1.00: I have always advised that you put a "uniform" for each family member in all your Emergency kits. This could be matching bandannas which you tie around your neck, use as a headband, or tie around your arm. This will help you find a family member if you have been separated - people are more likely to remember someone with a bandanna than just another cute little boy with blond hair and blue eyes or brown hair and brown eyes.

Baseball caps $1.00: Again, these would be great "uniforms" for family Five Day kits, and would provide shade in the summer and warmth in the winter. You can further brand your uniform by decorating the caps - which are solid colors - with a stencil, or splatter paint. This will make them unique and easy for people who have seen them to remember.

Crayons, coloring books, puzzles, playing cards, beach balls and crossword puzzles: All of these can be found for a dollar and can provide hours of distraction time when you are confined to a car in a traffic jam as you evacuate, or in a shelter or hotel room later. During Katrina and other disasters, many evacuated and still found themselves without power 50 miles or more away from the disaster area.

Pencils, 12/$1.00 and Notepads 3/$1.00: Together these are a communication line as you leave messages for rescue workers and family and friends. They also provide another form of amusement.

LED push light and or flashlight $1.00: LED lights make great night lights when the power goes out and they are small and easy to stash in an Emergency kit, car kit or office kit. Inexpensive flashlights are perfect for a child's kit. Purchase a more sturdy one for adult kits.

70 foot rope, $1.00: This may not be the strongest rope in the world but it is great for a clothes line and perfect for making a lean-to or sun shade when combined with a trap.

Clothes pins, $1.00: A rope and clothes pins are not only important for the obvious but also after a flood or other disaster that causes water problems in your home. Hanging wet documents and photos to dry on a line can prevent them from being lost forever.

Pet dishes, $1.00: I found a set of two good size heavy plastic bowls that would be perfect for a water and food dish for a pet. Pets are family members too.

Work gloves, $1.00: These are a must in every adult kit, the kits of older children, auto kits and workplace kits. The $1.00 variety may not be the most durable but they will provide protection during the early hours of clean up and can provide warmth if you are ever stranded in a cold environment. Purchase heavier ones for adult kits.

Pack of three Bungee cords, $1.00: Pull yourself together. Need I say more?

Tools, $1.00: Utility knife, screwdriver sets, mini screwdriver set for fixing glasses and other items with tiny screws, and a set of hex keys. All great additions to all of your kits.

Toothbrushes with cap 3/$1.00 and a family size toothpaste also a dollar and of course dental floss. Dental floss has lots of other uses during an emergency when supplies may be limited.

Five glow bracelets or 2 glow sticks, your choice $1.00: Glow bracelets are the perfect way to provide a little light at night for children and a great way to keep track of them in a crowd. Glow sticks can provide light that is safe without running down precious batteries.

Two child ponchos, $1.00: These ponchos are good for a single use and come in a 2-pack. You may want to put two in each backpack if you are in an area where a weather emergency such as flooding, heavy rains and snow may be your disaster. Open these and you may discover they are large enough for many adults. We stash these in our backpacks when we visit amusement parks for use on the water rides so we aren’t wet for hours after riding.

Magnifier reading glasses, $1.00: When you can't afford a second pair of prescription glasses or you just need a little help for reading, these are a real money saver. Also valuable for any good first aid kit - ever try to remove a splinter without a good magnifier? Add a pair to all your kits.

Sun glasses for children and adults, $1.00: Sun glasses are vital in a kit to help not only in sunny weather but also if stranded in the snow. They will help to prevent snow blindness which can be a very serious hazard.

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