15 Key Prepper Supplies You Can Buy at the Thrift Store

​​Today I'm going to share 15 prepper supplies you can find at most thrift stores. These supplies can help you through tough times and food or consumer goods shortages. You may want to add to the list if you have the space in your home to store more supplies.


1. Dehydrators

You can dehydrate fruits, vegetables, herbs, and more and eat them dried or rehydrate them for anything from cobblers to pizza sauce. Dehydrators are also really cost-effective for what you get. Now brand new, they might run you $60 or several hundred for a premium brand like Excalibur, but I just use a Nesco brand, and I've had great results. Dehydrators also allow you to save the harvest when it's the least expensive and convert fresh or perishable items into long-term storage.

Canning jars

2. Canning jars

You will make an initial investment with canning, but once you get started, it will save you tons of money during your lifetime. Canning my fruits, vegetables, and meats allows me to stock my pantry at today's prices for months, if not years, to come.

Cast iron skillet

3. Cast iron

Cast iron cookware is the best investment you can buy, but so many people overlook it. Even if it is rusted, you can restore cast iron to full use. Cast iron is a metal that distributes heat beautifully, is virtually indestructible, and are real workhorses. In the kitchen, the pan can go from the stovetop to the oven, fry, bake, broil, and everything, so I will never be without it.

Outdoor solar light

4. Outdoor solar light

If you experience power outages frequently, or you just want to prepare for that event, and you don't feel comfortable using lots of candles or lanterns, you can just grab your outdoor solar lights for indoor use, pluck them in a vase and carry them around, and you're set.

Oil lantern

5. Oil lanterns

I love using oil lamps. I've noticed that our thrift stores have these almost all the time. Now you'll want to vary your collection and get different types because some oil lamps are better for night or low light, while others produce more heat and light, like an Aladdin lamp, and are better suited for walking around with or the outdoors, like camping lanterns.

Tools at thrift stores

6. Tools

Thrift stores are a great place to find hand tools for your garden or home, and if the tool has made it to the thrift store, it's probably on the better quality side. Although we use both, we make sure to have the essential tools that don't require electricity or batteries as hand tools.

Thrifted medical equipment

7. Medical equipment

My thrift store will package small bags of bandage wrap, sealed Band-aids, and tweezers into miscellaneous bags; the savings from these are great. Having these options around your home is great because, for minor incidents, you've already got what you need at a fraction of the price you have to pay if you need to either pay full price or there's a limited supply.

Thrifted books

8. Books

The Internet is great, and that's how we're connecting right now. But for some, it's become a complete replacement for having reference information in physical form. If your Internet connection is lost due to, say, a storm or maintenance or other reasons, knowing home repairs, medical first aid, or enjoyable reading continues to give you access to the information you need. Having supplemental materials for your kids or cookbooks filled with recipes, coloring books, word finds, or other texts goes a long way.

Sewing supplies

9. Sewing supplies

You may not find a sewing machine too often at your thrift store, but you can often find accessories such as bobbin threads, sewing needles, and other items. Because accessories eventually wear down or become misplaced, you'll want to ensure you have a stockpile of these supplies too. Having a sewing machine for even small projects extends the life of items you might otherwise discard because you can't repair them and allows you to easily repurpose items into other things.

Board game

10. Games

Board games are so fun. It's a great way to get everyone around the table and have a free night of entertainment, as homemade snacks surround you and maybe some music in the background. There's no need to pay full price for games as long as you have the instruction manual and all of the parts of the game in the box.

Work boots

11. Work clothes and shoes

I love getting sturdy brands of shoes and clothing from the thrift store, especially if these are clothes I'll be using to complete home renovations, gardening, or other chores. There's no need for them to be new; the point is getting them dirty. They just need to be durable. Most thrift stores are great places to find professional-grade fabrics and outdoor gear for pennies on the dollar.

Kerosene heater

12. Kerosene heaters

An off-grid heat source is necessary if you experience moderate to severe winter weather. You can often find kerosene heaters at thrift stores that may simply need a wick replaced or missing a couple of screws to hold things in place.

Book bag

13. Book bags and fanny packs

Book bags and fanny packs are usually abundant at my thrift store. Now, these are essential for everyday life day trips, overnight trips, or emergency supplies organized and ready to go in your vehicle.

Butane stove

14. Butane stove or fire pit

Towards the end of the summer and at the beginning of the spring, I noticed that you could find a lot of camping gear like sleeping bags, butane stoves, or fire pits. Get these. They make great outdoor cooking options that, depending on size, can be portable and practical on hot days when you don't want to heat your house or just want to enjoy being outside.

Wool items

15. Wool Items

Let's circle back to the weather. Having items made of wool, whether it's blankets, sweaters, hats, or coats, are items I always pick up if I see them. Wool is excellent at regulating your body temperature. It wicks moisture away from your skin and doesn't retain odor. It's durable, wrinkle resistant, and when you wash wool, you only need to air dry it.

Prepper supplies you can thrift

This isn't an exhaustive list of prepper supplies. Your needs will help you decide what you may need that isn't on the list. Comment below sharing items you'd add to this list or what you found at your thrift stores.

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