When it comes to survival, there’s always plenty of expensive gear available to separate us from our hard-earned money. But occasionally we can take advantage of a real bargain, and sometimes the most valuable thing in an emergency is also one of the cheapest things on the store shelf.

Here are some of my favorite $2-or-less preparedness items.

Iodine Tincture 2%
This little bottle comes in just under two dollars and can be used to disinfect wounds, gear and even drinking water! Just add 5-10 drops of 2% iodine to 1 quart of suspect drinking water. Use 5 drops if the water is warm and clear, use 10 drops of the water is ice cold or cloudy. Shake it up for a moment and wait one hour before drinking. Warning: pregnant women and people with a thyroid illness shouldn’t drink water that has been disinfected with iodine.

The Bic Lighter
This $1.39 lighter is worth its weight in gold, regardless if it can live up to the marketing claim of 10,000 lights. And at that low price, you can afford to stash them throughout your gear. As I say to survival classes all the time, no matter how injured you are – if you have a working thumb and a lighter, you have fire.

Small Bottle Of Clorox
The pint-and-a-half size bottle of Clorox can be found for $2 in most grocery stores, and that small bottle can disinfect hundreds of gallons of drinking water. It can also make a disinfecting wash to clean out hydration bladders, water filters and even kill viruses on contaminated surfaces. For drinking water, add 2 to 4 drops of plain Clorox per quart of water (2 drops if clear, 4 drops if cold or muddy).

Small Box Of Bandages
If you can keep the dirt out of all your wounds, you can keep infections minimized. A $1.99 box of adhesive bandages can seal off your wounds, and even tape things together. Get creative, and get the job done.

Duct Tape
If you caught the recent Mythbusters about “Duct Tape Island,” then you saw the boys make traps, water bottles, rope, a hammock and all kinds of other items with duct tape–even a canoe. They really should sell it for more than 2 bucks a roll; I know I’d pay more.

Tell us about your favorite bargain preps in the comments. We could all use a deal.