survival prepping stockpile for 5 dollars a week
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Survival Preps For Just $5 A Week – Anyone Can Afford To Prepare

I’ve had  scores of people ask me how to get started prepping, or worse, explain how they have to “sneak” preps from their spouse, or that they simply “don’t have the money” to prep at all.

To help those folks I have put together a list of items that can be bought on the cheap, roughly about $5 each.

Some of the important items are more, but most are less than five dollars. The goal of this list is to demonstrate that prepping can be done for as little as $ 5.00 per week because I don’t know anyone who can’t spare five bucks a week.

A lot of times “I don’t have the money to prep” really means “I don’t think prepping is really necessary right now so it’s not a priority”. This list gives you no excuses. Invest in the ability to save your life and the life of your family in an emergency.

It’s pretty easy to explain to the wife where $5 went, although I highly suggest getting your spouse on your side when it comes to prepping.

Your spouse or family can’t see the need to prep? Here’s a fun game you can play with the whole family!

Wait until the fridge is low (so there’s no food to spoil), then go to your main breaker and shut the power off and cut your water off at the main valve for a full 24 hours. Go a whole weekend if you’re brave enough.

There is no better way to convince someone that they are unprepared for a disaster or SHTF scenario.

Some of the items below go for less than five bucks, some go for more. Some items might require you to save your $5 for a few weeks, most notably the ammo.

This isn’t a strict list so if you can afford it pull a $10 or $20 out one week and buy a few of the more expensive items. If you really can’t afford to do that either skip those items or save your $5 for a couple of weeks.

Also, you should buy whatever you want whenever you want on this list. Look for what is on sale that week and focus on those items.


  • Five packages of Idahoan instant potatoes (flavored)
  • A case of ramen noodles (20 pkgs)
  • five cans of sardines
  • five gallons of purified water
  • nearly two cases of bottled water
  • four cans of peaches, pears or fruit cocktail
  • 2 jars of mandarin oranges
  • five pounds of rice
  • three to four pounds of spaghetti
  • Two cans of spaghetti sauce
  • three bags of egg noodles
  • eight packages of gravy mix
  • four cans of whole or sliced new potatoes
  • four cans of green beans or at least three cans of carrots, greens, peas or mixed veggies
  • Two cans of Yams
  • six cans of pork and beans
  • one 40 ounce can of beef stew
  • Two 12 ounce cans of chicken, tuna or roast beef
  • One 1lb canned ham
  • three cans of refried beans
  • three 12 oz cans of raviolis or spaghetti O’s.
  • Two 12.5 ounce cans of Salmon
  • Five pounds of Oatmeal
  • Four packages boxed or bagged heat and eat meals
  • five packages of corn bread mix
  • Four pounds of Sugar
  • Five pound of Flour
  • 1.5 quarts of cooking oil
  • three one pound bags of dry beans
  • two cans of apple juice
  • a jar of peanut butter
  • two boxes of yeast
  • two bags of generic breakfast cereal
  • 10 8 oz cans of tomato paste/tomato sauce
  • four cans of soup
  • four cans of Chunky soup
  • 8-10 pounds of Iodized salt
  • two bottles of garlic powder or other spices
  • Two boxes of kool aid
  • A can of coffee
  • 2 bottles of powdered coffee creamer

Non-Food Items

  • one manual can opener
  • two bottles of camp stove fuel
  • 100 rounds of .22lr ammo
  • 25 rounds of 12 ga birdshot or small game loads
  • 20 rounds of Monarch 7.62×39 ammo
  • a spool of 12lb test monofilament fishing line
  • 2 packages of hooks and some sinkers or corks.
  • artificial lure
  • two packages of soft plastic worms
  • three Bic Lighters or two big boxes of matches
  • A package of tea lights
  • 50 ft of para cord
  • a roll of duct tape
  • a box of nails or other fasteners
  • a flashlight
  • two D-batteries, four AA or AAA batteries or two 9v batteries
  • a toothbrush and tooth paste
  • a bag of disposable razors
  • eight bars of ivory soap (it floats)
  • a box or tampons or bag of pads for the ladies
  • two gallons of bleach
  • needles and thread
  • a ball of yarn

OTC Medications (at Dollar General)

  • 2 bottles 1000 count 500 mg generic Tylenol (acetometaphin)
  • 2 bottles 500 count 200 mg generic advil (ibuprofen)
  • 2 boxes 24 cound 25 mg generic Benadryl (diphenhydramine HCI)
  • 4 bottles 500 count 325 mg aspirin
  • 2 boxes of generic sudafed
  • 4 bottles of alcohol
  • a box of bandages (4×4)

There you have it, for roughly $5 you can buy anything on this list. Commit yourself to buy one item a week, or even one a day if you can and pretty soon you’ll have a nice collection of survival gear.

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Sergeant Survival

I spread the news of disaster preparedness and homesteading skills to the masses. My mission is to teach the keyboard commandos out there some real life skills.


  1. Thanks so much for this post! I was just talking to my family yesterday about all of us grabbing a little something each week to build up some stock in case of an emergency. Great informational blog!

  2. Thank you for the positive comment Sarah. It’s comments like those that keep this blog alive. 🙂

  3. Do you have a guesstimate on how much you think it would cost to buy this in one wham bam?

    1. Back when this was made (Aug 2011) the total cost was about $260. Due to inflation and our dollar being devalued, prices have went up a bit on a few things (but still roughly within the $5-/+ range). It’s probably more around the $275 – $280 range now if you do a rough inflation adjustment. If you bought everything outright however you could save by buying some items in bulk which would lower your cost some, which would bring you back down to the $250 – $260 range.

      Note too that prices vary slightly by location. What’s $5 for me could be $6 – $7 for you because of local conditions, like if you live in Alaska for example.

  4. Thank you!
    A little after I posted it dawned in me that it was $5 a week, probably for a year at 52 weeks. :doh:
    Very good list!!

  5. So, I want to expand my stockpile to include emergency items. We have camping gear, so the stove, et al we have.

    However, my husband and I are not interested bearing arms, so that’s out. Any substitutes? Only for small game birds.

    Also, what’s the basis behind the amount/quantities of food. Enough for 4 for three meals for a month?

    1. If you don’t like guns…..good luck surviving in the end….just saying.

    2. Walmart sells pellet rifles that can shoot 1200 fps and pellets are cheap. They are great for small game like bird, squirrel, and rabbit. You can pick one up for about $100.

  6. Also, scan the sale ads for the supermarket you shop at so that you buy items on your prep list that are on sale.

    Last week we stocked up on paper products….they were on a great sale at our store.

  7. Although it’s a large initial cost, buy a pressure canner! You can start canning veggies and meat for cheaper than you can buy them prepackaged! And without the chemical preservatives/additives!

  8. Thanks for the list. I am a disabled senior and on an extremely tight budget. And I reluctantly admit that I rely on the local Food Pantry to see me through the month. Several months ago I started putting any of the can goods left at the end of the month into a box in the back of my closet. I also put any extra rolls of toilet paper in the box. When shopping, I search out the Buy One Get One deals and put the extra in the box. I was amazed at how quickly I was able to fill the box. My son stopped laughing at his mother’s silliness when I had him help me sort the cans and jars into movable boxes. After 6 months, I have 6 medium size boxes (Tomato Boxes) of Canned Goods. 3 boxes (each with 12 quart jars) of beans, rice, pasta. 2 boxes of 12 quarts each of dehydrated carrots, bell peppers, squashes, mushrooms, spinach leaves, cabbage, bok choy, celery…….. Also, I now have 26 rolls of toilet paper.
    Your list has given a whole lot of additional items I will be searching for and hoarding… I mean storing.. {:0) It can be done if you use a little common sense and determination.

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  10. Don’t forget that tampons make great fire starters and the pads are great for first aide.

  11. A real no nonsense post. A great way to save is shopping sams club or costco if your a member. I like the way you laid this out great job Sarge.

  12. Toilet paper. (I hope I didn’t miss it on the list) You can watch for sales and get a 4 pack of the soft or get the store brand Scott equivalent for $1 a roll. That’s 5 rolls a week. Do that a couple times a year to build up your supply of this essential.

    Want to think longer term? I got an 18 pack of wash cloths for $3.88 at a “back to school” sale. (guess they want the kids clean for returning to school. LOL) Once you have them research “family cloth” (then go back and get 3 more packages…they can always be used as actual WASH CLOTHS since you won’t be able to shower as often as you want and will be taking sponge baths more often) While you can cut up “old T-shirts” for this use, your old T-shirts might have to be used as T-shirts since you won’t be able to do laundry easily…or as sleepware for children…or as rags for cleaning up spills. Wash cloths stack nicely, come in colors, so you can assign a different color to each family member (no mix ups that way) and are far more absorbent than T-shirt fabric. (Well? I checked it out before I went back for 2 more packages. Don’t judge. LOL)

  13. […] Survival Preps For Just $5 A Week – Anyone Can Afford To Prepare […]

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