car essentials

28 Items for A Mom-Car Emergency Kit to Save Money in the Long Run

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Do you ever find yourself in a situation where you aren’t prepared and don’t have everything you need?

Is it water day at school and you don’t have your kid’s bathing suit, towel, and a change of clothes?

Is it your turn to bring in the snack for the class and you come empty-handed?

How about you’re at the park and your kid falls and cuts their knee open? Do you have your emergency kit ready to go?

We’ve all been in a situation where we weren’t prepared and it left us feeling helpless or worse yet, feeling inadequate at that moment. How could I forget? Why didn’t I have that on me?

I know there are a million things that can go wrong but I’m going to share with you my mom-car emergency kit I keep in my vehicle at all times to make sure I’m prepared for anything thrown at me or that happens to catch me off guard.

Saving strategies can be implemented even with your kit.

Having these items in your car will ultimately save you money in the long run. Not having to stop at a store to rebuy something you already own is the goal.

Why not save your money and simply be prepared for the unexpected moments life throws at you. Here are my tips on what you should keep in your vehicle.

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Basic Vehicle/Weather Crisis Essentials

mom-car emergency kit essentials

Jumper Cables 

I think this is a given for your mom-car emergency kit. It shocks me with how many people don’t have these in their cars.

Imagine the money you could save not having to call a tow truck and just being able to jump your car on the spot.


This is great for many reasons:

  • you break down and need to see in the dark
  • drop something in the car and need help seeing to find it
  • reading on a long car ride (I still read books… I love their smell)


These are just in case your flashlight goes dead. Save yourself money by buying these in bulk. Keep just a few in your car and make sure you replace them as needed.


I don’t think these are necessary for everyone, but for those that live in more remote areas, I think they make more sense. God forbid your car breaks down at night, you’ll be much easier to spot on a dark highway.

Not only that, but you’ll also be less likely to be hit if a vehicle drives by you.


I’m huge on having a couple of blankets on hand. The kids may fall asleep in their car seats and you can keep your babies warm. We also use ours for beach blankets if we want to make a random stop.

If you live in a cold area and your car breaks down, this could be a lifesaver if you’re waiting for help to arrive.

They’re also nice to have if you’re traveling with the dogs. I always put one down on the leather seats so their nails don’t scratch it up. You can never go wrong having these on hand for your mom car emergency kit.


Living in Florida, this is simply a part of your “outfit” during the rainy season. It can be bright and sunny, you could run into a store to grab a pack of gum, and when you come out, its torrential downpours with thunder and lightning that can and will shake your inner core. No joke.

Whether living in a super rainy area or not, it’s the worst getting stuck out in a storm and needing to get the kids in and out of the car.

First-Aide Needs

All the items listed below are a must for your mom-car emergency kit. Whether going on a road trip or at your local park, cuts and scrapes are inevitable. Don’t be stuck without a way to take care of their boo-boos.

mom emergency car kit - first aid kit essentials


You want to be able to clean that cut or scrape they may have gotten while at the park or during their baseball game to help prevent it from getting infected. I constantly cut myself open as a kid during my games.


I just keep a few in a Ziploc bag just to put the peroxide on to wipe clean the cut or scrape.


The sooner I can get my kids cuts/scrapes to heal, the fewer band-aids that I have to go through. (All parents know how much kids love using bandages on any “boo-boo” they may have.)

My son asked me for a band-aide earlier because he bumped his arm on the table at school. Seriously?!


I think this is another one that is self-explanatory. I like to keep a variety pack of bandages in my car so I have one for every sized boo-boo.


Splinters can be very painful, especially if you have no way of getting them out.

Things Us Parents May Need

Phone Charger

I know that if my son gets ready without putting up a fight (he’s currently 4) or eats all of his food at any given meal, I’ll reward him and let him have some screen time which means Netflix on my phone.

(There’s no shame in my game!)

It destroys my battery life very quickly and on numerous occasions I’ve run out the door at 20% or less. The worst-case scenario is there is an emergency while we are out and I’m unable to call for help.


Cash should be in every single mom-car emergency kit.

Whether it be you need to give the kids lunch money, pay for snow cone day at daycare, a stop at a cash-only store (yes, those do still exist) or a weather emergency leaving you unable to access an ATM or your bank, you don’t want to be stuck unable to take care of the necessity at hand.

Emergencies happen.

Make sure you have plenty of small bills too. You don’t want to be handing a $50 off to your kid.

Surprises That Arise Just Being A Mom

Bathing Suit/Towel

When we are out and about and have nowhere we need to be, we will sometimes take a detour to the water park, the pool, or even the beach. If I have the time, I never want to tell them no. The memories are priceless and this time with them will run out before I know it.

This is a no-brainer for my mom car emergency kit but maybe something to consider for you.

Don't forget to check out more of my money saving tips and make sure you're saving as much as you can!

Spare Clothes/Underwear/Shoes

I think this is a given. Kids get dirty, they get sick on themselves, they might have an accident and go potty on themselves, we’ve lost shoes at the park, we’ve broken sandals and we’ve left them on the beach and not realized until we got back to the car.

No, I’m not going back to find them. I lost my patience a long time ago just packing the kids up and trying to get them back to the vehicle in one piece.


When you have a baby, you never know. Mine sometimes poops four times in a day or I may be lucky and get one to last for a long stretch of time. You just don’t want to run out!

I’ve also been stuck in situations where I thought they were in the diaper bag only to see that I had none. Be sure to have these in your mom-car emergency kit.

Another issue you don’t want to encounter is having to buy them at the convenience store. You pay a much higher price for a small pack of diapers when you could have saved your time and money by keeping spares in your vehicle.


These clearly have multiple uses and a great addition to any mom car emergency kit… no matter how old your kids are. We use these for:

  • diaper changes
  • sticky hands
  • dirty faces
  • a dusty dashboard
  • loose dog hair on the seats
  • help wipe up sand from the beach
  • wipe mud off our shoes before getting in the car


Protection against the sun is essential. You have to be ready to spray your kids down no matter where you may be.

This is the one I find works best for my kids as it seems to last the longest and gives the best results.

mom emergency car kit


Kids always get hungry at the most inopportune time. Always!

I usually make sure to have at least three options at all times because kids are picky as hell and aren’t getting a happy meal every time they say they’re hungry. No way!

That’s why snacks are an absolute must in your mom-car emergency kit.

Also, I’ve been caught off guard with it being my son’s turn to bring in the snacks and I had completely forgotten. I do like to make sure that they are snacks that can withstand extreme weather conditions being left in the car.

It gets hotter than Satan’s home here. Be sure you bring any snacks in the house that have been opened so you don’t invite any unwanted bugs into your vehicle.

Hat/Hair Tie

If the kids are outside, I want a hat on their heads to block them from the sun. The sun in the south here is beyond intense and anything to help block sun exposure is a plus.

Hair ties too to help keep their hair off their neck and out of their face when you detour to the park and they are getting hot and sweaty.

Tissue/Toilet Paper

Between runny noses, boo-boos, flu/cold season, and a constant need for potty breaks, these will be beyond useful in your mom-car emergency kit.

Cleaner/Paper Towel

I know you might be reading this thinking, okay you’re going a little overboard with your mom-car emergency kit. Until you have a child get sick and throw up in the car, you may never actually understand the importance of this.

Trying to get the smell of vomit out of your vehicle after it’s had a chance to set in is horrifying. Being able to immediately clean it up will save you from trying to air the stench out for the next two months.

It will also allow you to save more money by not needing to pay a hefty price to have your car detailed.

Bug Spray

We use this religiously as we have the blood that the mosquitoes flock to. If we are outside, we are spraying ourselves down. Day or night. They love us!

As a money savings tip, buy the multipack from the wholesale clubs or Amazon. Each parent can keep one in their vehicle and you’ll have some at home as well.

mom emergency car kit essentials

My Thoughts

I know this looks like a lot of things for your mom-car emergency kit but I promise you’ll be so happy you have these items on you in order to save more over time. Cut down on unnecessary expenses.

I’ve been caught in situations where I wished I had one or more of these items on me, but not anymore. It all fits in a small plastic bin that I keep in the trunk area along with 2 backpacks.

One which has both kid’s spare clothes and shoes and the other has all the swimwear, towels, and water shoes.

(When you live in a hot climate as we do, you’ll use the swimwear year-round.)

I hope this list helps you and please comment with anything else you think should be added to this emergency kit. I’m all ears!

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36 thoughts on “28 Items for A Mom-Car Emergency Kit to Save Money in the Long Run”

  1. This list is perfect! I admit, when I had my first baby I was so not prepared for many of the times I would need some of these items. My car battery, in the winter, would always get corroded and it wasn’t until a nice gentleman at the daycare showed me a neat trick using a can of coke and a toothbrush, that I added those two items to my checklist and I kept them in my car at all times?. You never know what situation you could be put in and we never think about having many of these items, so this is so good to have. Thank you!

  2. This is a really great list of things to keep in the car at all times. I would love to see what it looks like in your vehicle. I used to carry extra stuff in my van but my husband kept taking it out! I got so frustrated, I stopped putting it back in. blah. I think I need to do it again, cause I hate missing something like sunscreen or my first aid kit! I got 7 kids so I’m wondering how to do the extra clothes…maybe two sets of big clothes and few sets of little clothes…great post!

  3. This is a great list!!!! We’d do a few changes at the opposite corner of the continential US. We live in Seattle. It rains a lot here, but it’s almost always drizzle, mist, or light rain. Rare downpours unless we are having one of our fall storms. So…. we don’t use umbrellas. We wear rain jackets everywhere! I keep extra in the car and extra towels. We don’t keep swim suits… it’s rare to stop and swim… we do the beaches a lot, but it’s cold, cold water and often cloudy. Extra socks!!!!! Lots of extra socks (there are 7 kids here).

    BUT… keeping an appropriate kit in the car for where you live is SO important . This is good!!!! Thanks.

    1. 7 kids… wow, I’m sure you have your kit perfected by now! Interesting to hear the differences you would make to yours to be the most beneficial for your family. We’ve never been to Seattle but I’ll keep in mind to pack the rain coats and extra socks when we do get out that way!

  4. I have been meaning to make one of these and this is the perfect list! Going to save this because we are always on road trips and I tend to forget at least a few things lol

  5. Great list for an emergency mom kit! I don’t have quite an extensive kit in my car at the moment, but I do totally know the importance of having one. I have waterproof matches, some rope, and lifestraw (amazon) in mine along with many of the things you listed.

  6. These are really good ideas some that I have not even thought about we all know when you are not prepared is when you kid will get hurt. This could really help a lot of people stay prepared for anything.

  7. Love it! I have carried around many of the same things in my car for YEARS! You never know what you might need! I think I use sandwich bags and gallon size bags more than anything!

    1. I forgot I do have some gallon sized bags for wet clothes or if they have an accident tucked in the pockets behind my driver seat but the small ones I should definitely add to my list. My older son loves to collect shells and/or rocks from the beach. They would be perfect for that!

  8. I made a backpack for my husband that’s like this. Well, without diapers 😉 Great article! I should make sure I have some essentials in my minivan esp since we’re leaving on vacation soon. Thanks!

  9. These are great, The only thing I would add would be, if you live in a cold climate, to make sure you have emergency stuff in case you are stranded in the cold (i.e. candle, food rations, Kitty litter, etc.) I love everything on the list though!

    1. Those are great add-ons! I used to live in Michigan but have been in Florida for so long, I forgot about those things. We actually had those in our vehicle when I was growing up. Thanks for reminding me!

  10. Really great post and super advice. I don’t have little kids anymore but I keep most of this in my car emergency kit myself. I was laughing about the jumper cable comment because my daughter who is 23 didn’t even know what they were. I had her check for her spare tire once and she swore there wasn’t one in her trunk and when I told her where to look (under the carpet) she was shocked, as where some of her friends. One suggestion to add to your list that I keep in my car is a battery pack. It can be used to charge your cell phone obviously but my flashlight in my car can run on either batteries or a charger – which is what the battery pack is good for also.

    1. This made me laugh 🙂 My dad was a mechanic and taught me everything about my car and I think I just assume that some of these things are a given but it’s funny how some people don’t really realize the essentials needed in an emergency. I hope your daughter has her own jumper cables now! (chuckling) Also, great idea about the battery pack. I like the idea of it’s multiple uses. Thanks!

  11. Girl, you are prepared! Such a great list. My youngest is nine, and I still carry around some of this stuff, although it does get a little lighter over time. I carry wet wipes in the car, but they’re mostly for me.

  12. Great list! I have most of these items. Wet wipes and hand sanitizer I found I was out of last weekend. Time to do an inventory! Thanks for sharing your list!

  13. This is a perfect list! While my boys are older now, we still keep the wipes in the car — no matter what age kids have a way of finding the dirt and germs!

    1. And you can make them wipe it up themselves now that they are older haha! I get, “oops it was an accident” as I’m driving in the middle of bumper to bumper traffic.

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