Emergency Supplies You Should NOT Waste Your Money On

We talk a lot about emergency supplies you should have on hand for when a crisis situation develops. We even provide extensive lists of these items from time to time. 

I think it’s about time we tell you which supplies you should NOT waste your money on. 

Because every supply you purchase that won’t do you much good represents money you could have spent on something that could do you plenty of good.

Not to mention the fact that those unnecessary items take up valuable space in your storage area or bug-out bag.

Limit your single-use items 

The first things I’d look at when seeking to avoid unnecessary emergency supplies are single-use items. The more different uses you can get out of a single item, the better. (Later I’ll mention 10 great multi-purpose items.) 

On the contrary, single-use items such as regular, disposable batteries are a waste of money and space.

Other types of items I keep out of my emergency supplies are those that are not weatherproof. A bug-out situation will require spending more time outdoors than normal. You don’t want too many items that will require staying dry to work. 

Additional things to stay away from when it comes to stockpiling supplies for a crisis are those that require more supplies to function. A great example is a gas-powered generator. Gas is not only heavy to transport, but also can be dangerous.

Avoid these money and space wasters

What are some other supply items you shouldn’t waste money on, for one reason or another? Here are a few:

Mass quantities of paper products. Yes, it’s good to have a decent supply of toilet paper, paper towels, paper plates, etc. But stockpiling tons of those items in anticipation of stores running out is probably a waste of money. And it’s unlikely you’ll be able to use them for bartering.

Food with high sodium levels. Some food producers load up their food with lots of sodium. They do it for taste and preservation purposes. But in addition to not being good for you, that sodium is going to make you thirsty. Which means you’ll need even more water than you planned on.

Non-solar electronic devices. The electric grid is often the first casualty when it comes to an emergency caused by extreme weather or other problems. You want to have electronics with solar panels so you can recharge them with the free power of the sun instead of watching them die a slow death.

Water in large containers. You’ve seen those five and 10-gallon containers, right? They’re nice to look at but virtually impossible for most people to transport. If you suddenly have to bug out, you’ll have to leave all that life-giving water behind. Stick to containers the average person can carry. Even a gallon of water is heavy. 

Too many canned goods. I don’t think it’s a bad idea to have some canned food and beverages in your emergency supplies. The shelf life is not nearly as long as survival food, but canned items can sustain you for a while. However, they usually contain a lot of sodium and again, if you have to bug out, they can be very heavy to transport in larger quantities.   

10 multi-use items

I mentioned that multi-use items are important to include in your emergency supplies. Here are a few you might consider adding to your stockpile, as well as some of their surprising uses:

Aluminum foil. Blade sharpener, meat wrapper, trail marker, grill cleaner, keep tinder dry. 

Baby powder. Grease stain remover, ant repellent, deodorant, dry skin soother, shoe freshener.

Baking soda. Brush your teeth, eliminate smells, bug repellent, gain traction, pain reliever.

Bandanas. Handkerchief, washcloth, forehead protector, tourniquet, cordage, blindfold, dog collar.

Honey. Digestion aid, energy booster, inflammation reducer, splinter remover, wound treatment. 

Lip balm. Blister soother, sunscreen, knife rust preventer, glass cleaner, zipper lubricator.

Plastic grocery bags. Insulation, trail marking, food storage, trash holder, wet item separator.

Rechargeable batteries. The function of the batteries doesn’t change but the list of items you can power is endless. 

Steel wool. Fire starter, garden tool cleaner, scissors sharpener, screw tightener, rust remover.

Super Glue. Fix broken knife grip, water bottle sealer, skin repair, backpack strap repair, cordage strengthener.


  • Susan Synon - March 30, 2023

    Thank you so much for the blog on some items to stockpile and not to stockpile. your blogs are a really huge help for me. I am one who probably stockpiles the items that are not as necessary. God bless you and the help you provide others.

  • zak krueck - March 30, 2023

    hi 4patriots, i love the variety of goods and supplies and information you guys have, but i have some constructive criticism: step it up on the nutrition content of your food. look at Nutrient Survival for inspiration.

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