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Having a generous supply of multi-purpose preps can help you survive a crisis. This is especially true if common household products become difficult to obtain or are completely unavailable. These multi-purpose products are important because they can substitute for many common, everyday household products.

In this article, we cover some simple and inexpensive multi-purpose products and preparations that will help cover a wide range of needs and wants, especially during unexpected situations. Stock up on these items now while they are available and inexpensive; don’t wait until the crisis arrives at your front door.

Covering All the Bases:

In general, the majority of people take a lot for granted. And for the most part, there’s a very good reason – for many of us, scarcity has never been an issue. If you live in an urban area, you’re most likely surrounded by a wide variety of retail stores. Online shopping has expanded the available options even more. Just about anything you could ever want is available online and will be delivered to your front door within days, sometimes within hours. While this is impressive and definitely convenient, it’s also led some people to assume that whatever they need will always be easily available: here’s where the problems start. Imagine that some natural or man-made crisis affects the supply chain or even your ability to shop for the items you need; what then? Do you have a plan “B”? In a short-term crisis, most people would do without, but what happens if that crisis stretches out longer than expected?

Multi-Purpose Preps:

The main reason to store multi-purpose preps is to expand your options. Since these items have so many uses, they can typically replace many everyday productsand in a pinch, they will help resolve the immediate problem. 

Here is our list of some of the most important multi-purpose products you should consider adding to your preps. Besides being readily available (for now) and relatively inexpensive, the majority of these products will keep for a long time, especially if stored properly.

  • Baking Soda:

    Baking soda is often considered the multi-tool of the preparedness world. To save money, buy a warehouse-size container; it’s the most economical.

     Baking soda tops our list for good reason; it’s probably one of the best multi-purpose products you can buy. The list of uses is so extensive that entire books have been written on its many uses. We will cover only a few here, but I encourage you to do more research and become more familiar with all its uses. Baking soda will clean and deodorize just about anything you can think of. Use it as a deodorant, toothpaste/mouthwash, foot soak, face wash, for insect bites, to wash hair, for sunburn relief, for indigestion or upset stomach, to keep your drains flowing, the list goes on and on. Oh yeah, you can also bake with it. On top of everything else, it lasts for years, it’s inexpensive, and is available just about anywhere. Store as much baking soda as you can; you’ll never regret it. 

  • Vinegar:

    There are various types of vinegar, from plain distilled white to wine and apple cider. Vinegar has hundreds of uses, stores well and is tremendously useful in a wide range of situations.

    The first known use of vinegar dates back almost 3000 years. Today, vinegar is still widely used as a natural cleaning agent, deodorizer, to freshen the air and kill germs, to soothe itching or sunburned skin, to disinfect surfaces, to wash fruits/vegetables, and in food preservation. Again, it’s inexpensive, stores well, and is readily available.

  • Bleach:

    Common household bleach is a must-have item. Unfortunately, it doesn’t have a long shelf life.(Always use extreme caution when storing or using any type of bleach)

     Common household bleach can perform a number of important functions and replace many other specialized products. It can disinfect water, sanitize eating surfaces, plates, and utensils, kill germs and viruses, and make an effective hand sanitizer/disinfectant. Unfortunately, it doesn’t have a long shelf life. As an alternative, consider storing powder pool shock (Calcium Hypochlorite), which stores for much longer and can be mixed with water when you’re ready to use. Always use extreme caution when storing or using any of these products, read and follow all the manufacturer’s instructions and directions (Caution: Bleach (liquid or powder) is a poison that can cause serious injury or even death if used incorrectly. Make sure to read and follow all the manufacturer’s instructions and directions).

  • Alcohol:

    Alcohol stores very well, can effectively be used for dozens of different purposes and is very inexpensive. Keep a generous supply of alcohol in your household preps, and remember, 70% alcohol is a poison, and it’s highly flammable. (Always use caution when storing or handling.)

     Isopropyl Alcohol (70%) can be used for a wide range of uses. Easily available and inexpensive, this is another product you should never be without. (Remember how store shelves were stripped bare of any alcohol during the last public health crisis?) Use alcohol as a hand sanitizer, odor remover, to alleviate insect bites, to help treat fungus, to kill bacteria, to sanitize medical instruments, and as a cleaning agent.

  • Hydrogen Peroxide:

    Hydrogen Peroxide is an incredible product with many practical uses. Take advantage and stock up now while it’s still widely available, and relatively inexpensive. Hydrogen Peroxide comes in strengths that span from 3% to 9%, make sure to check that the strength you’re using is appropriate for the intended purpose.

     This is another commonly available product that is extremely useful, versatile, and inexpensive. It comes in strengths of 3% to 9%; always check the strength before using. Hydrogen Peroxide can be used as a first aid antiseptic, to disinfect minor cuts and abrasions, to remove ear wax, as a household cleaner (equal parts 3% HP and water), as a mouthwash, and for quick relief from mouth ulcers, toothaches, sore throats, and mouth sores. 


Prepping is not about buying and storing lots of stuff; it’s about being strategic and storing the right kind of stuff. Having an assortment of multi-purpose products extends your available options and makes the best possible use of your prepping budget. Multi-purpose items can fill a wide variety of needs. While it’s almost impossible to anticipate every scenario and every need, we can certainly store products that can be used in a number of different situations and provide expanded flexibility. This is especially important during times of crisis, scarcity, and uncertainty. As we all know, if you wait until the SHTF to try to acquire the supplies you need, it will probably be too late. 

Stay safe and be prepared.

About The Author

Richard is a retired attorney, an urban survival consultant, writer, firearms enthusiast, and freedom-loving American patriot. He’s the author of Surviving Doomsday: A Guide for Surviving an Urban Disaster, and The Quick Start Guide for Urban Preparedness. Richard’s books are available at Amazon and other fine retailers. You can connect with Richard on Twitter @SurvivingDoomsd


The materials provided are for illustration and/or informational purposes only. Any use of the information contained in this article shall be solely at the reader’s risk.