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General Preparedness Discussion • The under $5 emergency supply list for food, water & meds

September 10, 2017 PreppingGuide 0

Hello everyone, I am a prepping blogger and am pretty new here. So first of all, hello to everyone and cheers letting me join an awesome community and forum.

I have been prepping for several years now (less than some of you, I know) and one thing that I could never really find when I first started was a budget supply list. Just something cheap and simple where it wasn’t full of over-the-top goods and expensive unnecessary items.

Recently I have found there are a lot of people who have been looking at prepping but are afraid to commit the money to building their own emergency supply. Even just a week’s worth of goods was too much for some of them. So I, as most preppers do, made a list. This list has everything under $5 (some of them are multiples of items such as 3x bags of rice for $5 – you get the idea).

Now I am not saying this is the best list out there and it’s certainly not the only one. And this isn’t advice on exactly what you should do, that is far from it. But if you are just starting out and don’t want to fork out a heap of money on prepping, perhaps this might just help.

I broke the list down into some essential goods:

    Sanitary goods (toilet paper is pretty important)
    Emergency items that fall into the flashlight and radio category

Keep in mind that I made this example for a week, but it’s pretty easy to adjust.

The Foods

For foods, we need to look for cheap long-lasting items that are also mixable with other foods and delicious on their own.
Here are some options that I could find for less than $5. For the online shoppers out there I have used some links to Walmart (on my blog) they do free shipping on any order over $35 so if you’re saving up to buy them at once that might be an option for you.

    1 x 4 can pack of sweet whole kernel corn
    5 x cans of sliced carrots
    5 x cans of peas and carrots
    4 x cans of fresh cut beans
    4 x cans of green peas
    4 x cans of sliced potato
    4 x can pinto beans
    4 x pack of hunt tomato sauce cans
    4 x cans of cheese ravioli in tomato sauce (ready to eat)
    4 x tins of mac and cheese (ready to eat)
    4 x chicken alfredo pasta
    4 x cans of lasagna
    4 x cans of Italian pasta beef ravioli
    4 x cans of mandarin oranges
    5 x packets of Idahoan instant mashed potato
    5 x packets of Idahoan baby reds mash potato
    2 x jars of peanut butter
    2 x bags of rice (5pounds)
    4 x pack of chicken/beef instant ramen noodles
    4 x pack of instant pudding
    4 x (454g) packs of penne pasta
    4 x cans of Italian spaghetti sauce
    3 x tins of sardines
    1 x packet of Quaker 18oz oats
    1 x packet 20oz of raisins
    four pounds of sugar
    five pounds of flour
    1 x 16oz can of ham
    4 x tins of country style baked beans
    4 x tins of spaghetti meatballs
    3 x packets of corn bread mix
    2 x cans of chicken pot pie soup
    1 x can of roast beef in gravy
    1 x tin of chicken breast (700g)
    4 x tins of gravy

Total cost: less than $175


If you are not into purifying water that’s pretty understandable. For the purpose of our prepping on a budget plan, you can just go and buy bottled water at your supermarket. It is cheap and doesn’t expire. Buying bottled water is easy, but when you make a reserve of it you’re going to need a lot. I estimated my use at two gallons of water per person per day, this includes drinking water and takes into consideration the sanitary use we have for water as well. Yours might be different.

    35 x value pack of bottled water ($3.33) – from Walmart
    2 x 1-gallon bottles
    1 x 2.5-gallon water- these ones sell out whenever they’re available

While it is a bit over our $5 limit. You might save a bit more and use less waste by getting a 7-gallon rigid water container (about $15 on Amazon). This will allow you to be more efficient with your space and as mentioned you’re going to have less plastic waste.

Total cost if you also get the 7-gallon container? $30

I left out the other drinkables from the food list as they are all water based. For milk, you can get something like the Nestle dry powdered milk which is under $5 and can make about 2 gallons of milk.

Sanitary Items

    Toilet paper. Having worked in the field with limited supplies I can truly vouch that there is nothing worse than wiping with a single square of paper.
    Baby wipes (basically soft wet wipes) – you can get a three pack of these for about $4-$5
    Box of tissues
    2x Germ-X hand sanitizer bottles
    Tampons (if you need them)
    2x gallons of bleach
    Depending on your waste management you may want to look into disposable plates and bowls, otherwise, you should add some sort of washing liquid to this list as well.
    2x antibacterial hand wash
    Spare toothbrush and toothpaste
    Thread and needles in a little sewing kit

Total cost: $45

Emergency items

This meaning of emergency items is things that you would find helpful or useful if you were to be stranded in a natural disaster. It is not cardiac arrest equipment or IV kits.

    The first one on a list is definitely an emergency: a can opener. If you are reading this on the prepper forum chances are you already have one in the house or on the back of a multi-tool.
    1x 110yd fishing spool (Berkley Trilene brand)
    1 x pack of assorted hooks and sinkers
    2x BIC lighters
    12 x tea light candles
    25 feet of Paracord Planet paracord
    1 x roll of duct tape. (I found a $3 single one on Walmart online but I have seen them in three packs in hardware stores for $4 as well so be on the look out).
    1 x box of wood nails
    1x Eveready economy flashlight (I’d suggest you pick one of these up in your store soon as they’re a 2-pack and good value)
    Rayovac floating lantern ($4)
    4 x 2pack of D batteries
    2x 4pack of AAA batteries
    2600mAh Universal Power Bank
    A few plastic bags (if you get these free when you purchase your items then you’re at a bonus)

Total cost: $65

First-aid supplies

I didn’t just throw a heap of first-aid kits together in this one. The kits here I chose specifically so that I could take the best bits out of each one of them. Check them out as a lot of their contents would cost more than $5 if purchased separately.

    1 x 24 pack of Tylenol
    1 x 24 pack of Advil ibuprofen
    1 x 24 pack of paracetamol
    1 x 24 pack of Benadryl liquid capsules
    1 x bottle of betadine anti-bacterial solution
    3 x curad mini first aid kit (patches)
    2 x first aid essentials kits (sterile patches)
    2 x American Red Cross First-Aid Kits
    1 x band-aid cloth tape
    1 x Neosporin spray antiseptic and pain relieving
    1 x Camillus 30-piece hunter’s first-aid kit
    2 x Mylar thermal blankets

Total cost: $60

How much in total?
If we look at the total cost of everything on this list we have spent under $375. I calculated that figure even though all of these items were bought or valued online and in stores at less than our $5 budget, so there’s still some savings on that figure to be made.

If you want any of the links to the food items (and if the mods don’t mind my shameless self-promotion) the original post is at

Statistics: Posted by PreppingGuide — Sun Sep 10, 2017 9:55 am