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Buying preppers items can be costly. A small budget often gets in the way of being prepared. I know, because I’ve been there. I made a Frugal Bug Out Bag List, to help stay in budget while prepping.

When I began building my bug out bags, years ago, I looked around the house for items that I could include in my bag, first. I found a few items.

Like office supplies, tape, paper clips, safety pins, rubber bands, etc…

There were so many other items I needed but I was on a budget. So I decided to take a trip to The Dollar Tree.

Some items will need to be quality products, and not bought at the Dollar Tree, such as knives.

From my experience the bandages they sell there work pretty well, better than some brand name ones actually!

You Get What You Pay For…

If you buy a knife for a dollar, guess what? Yep! It is going to be a big piece of crap. Use your best judgment on what to buy cheap and what to skip altogether.

When building your bug out bags you’ll want one for your vehicle too. I also made a bug out bag list using Amazon products.

The quantity of items you buy is totally up to you. How many you will need is dependent on the size of your family, and bag/s.

Frugal Bug Out Bag List

The Dollar Tree has most of the items that you need to fill up a first aid kit. There are some items you won’t find in this Frugal Bug out Bag List, like medical scissors, blood stop, tourniquets, etc…

Some family members may need things like special medications. You will want to think of every aspect for your family and add and take away from this list as you see fit.

* Note – This is not a complete list of all the things you may need. This list gives you a good idea of the items you can buy on the cheap for a bug out bag.

First Aid Supplies

  • Hand sanitizer
  • Bandages
  • Gauze
  • Dressing bandage
  • Fabric medical tape
  • Elastic bandage – for sprained ankles or achy joints
  • Triple antibiotic ointment
  • Hydrocortisone cream
  • Face masks
  • Tampons – Women may need them, or they can also be used as bandages.
  • Pads – Again women and bandages…
  • Pain relievers/fever reducers
first aid kit for a frugal bug out bag


  • Carabiners – 2 ct.- do not use for climbing. Great for clipping items on your bag or pants
  • Razor – Could be used for many things but not necessary if you have a good knife.
  • Tampons – Women may need them, or they can also be used as bandages.
  • Pads – Again women and bandages…
  • Pencil sharpeners – multiple survival uses
  • Twine – twine can be used for a number of things. You could use it to bundle some wood.
  • Tinfoil – It is not great quality but if you feel you need it in your bag then do it! I don’t carry tin foil in my bags.
  • Travel sewing kit
  • Safety pins
  • Rubber bands
  • Totes or bags – great for foraging for food.
  • Scissors
  • Phone Charger
  • Earbuds
  • Flashlight
  • Travel size screwdriver 12 in 1 – if you don’t carry a multi-tool then you might want to think of doing so. These screwdrivers are fairly heavy and will add more weight than really necessary.
  • Poly Rope
  • Tweezers
  • Gloves
  • Foil
  • Plastic zipper bags
  • Duct Tape – Wrap duct tape around an old store or gift card you won’t ever use again!
colorful rubber bands

Hygienic Products

  • Hand sanitizer 3ct – Perfect travel size 1 oz  bottles
  • Combs
  • Travel size lotion, soap, shampoo, deodorant.
  • Chapstick
  • Hair ties – For myself I have these in my bag, but not in the boys. I will be happy to have them to tie back my hair if need be!
  • Travel brush w/mirror – could use mirror for primping or for signaling.
  • Manicure set – not a necessity because you will have a knife, but better to clip a nail than bite them. Also, tweezers may come in handy, and a nail file/emery board has many prepping uses!
  • Kleenex travel – to use as toilet paper!
  • Toothbrushes
  • Dental floss – Dental floss can be used for many things like you might use it as a fishing line.


  • Small travel size Bible
  • Deck of cards – For entertainment purposes mostly.
  • Travel games for kids – They have some really small lightweight games that would be great for a kid’s bag!
  • Small notebook – You may want to write or draw or find paper to come in handy sometimes.
  • Pencils
  • Pens
Deck of cards


  • Rain ponchos
  • Socks
  • Hats
  • Scarves

There are many items such as, zip lock bags that I would not buy from Dollar Tree, because the quantity is very low in these boxes most of the time, and not worth the dollar spent.

I would instead buy it at a grocery store with coupons! Here are some items from amazon that you can’t buy at the Dollar Tree or I wouldn’t. They are not $1 kind of cheap but they are fairly priced.

Clothes for a frugal bug out bag

Amazon Items | Frugal Bug Out Bag

Build a bug out bag only using Amazon. Check out my suggestions at Amazon Bug Out Bag List.

assorted supplies for a frugal bug out bag

Save Money by Using Stuff Around the House

A good frugal bug out bag has items that you pay absolutely nothing for! So find some items around your home.

  • Dryer Lint
  • Thread & needle
  • Wire for snare traps
  • Rubber bands
  • Safety pins
  • Bobby pins
  • Paper clips
  • Pens
  • Pencils
  • Paper
  • Tape

You Can’t Always Go The Cheap Route…

 Some items you just can’t go cheap on. You need good quality tools like knives, guns, ammo, machete/ax, multi-tool etc… Also you want to have good materials to work with for starting a fire. I choose to have multiple Bic lighters in my bags, and also a magnesium fire starter. Just to be safe.

These items are so very important to get you to where you’re going.

Whether you have a destination planned to bug out to, or if you are fleeing the area because of some disaster like a tornado, your bag could possibly help you to survive until you find shelter.

Don’t forget to pack a snack. It’s also very important to have something to eat until you do find somewhere to stop and snag some food. Whether trapping, hunting, fishing, foraging etc..You will need food to sustain the energy for your body. Also, please remember to have a stainless steel bottle or container for boiling water. Stay hydrated!

See my Vehicle Bug Out Bag List…

Don’t forget to pack some clothes! You can look at my vehicle bug out bag if you would like to see what I pack as far as clothes go. It will depend on the weather.

Notice: Some individuals will need different items, such as medication. Remember to add those specific items that your family will need.

Check out these tips on how to pack a bug out bag!

Preps for Pets

In a disaster, many family pets end up getting left behind. If you’re prepared Preps for Pets before a disaster hits, it will be much easier to bring them with you, or place them somewhere they might be able to stand a chance. Bring A Favorite Item… We want to make sure to include our…

Continue Reading Preps for Pets

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paracord bracelets are frugal bug out bag supplies