If ever there is a collapse of the dollar other items will instantly take their place. Trade almost always continues after a disaster because it is human nature. People have to live and value is instantly instilled in items that either prolong one’s life or in some cases make life more tolerable. Instead of putting your so called “money” in the bank you might consider “investing” in some or all of these items instead. Putting money in these items is truly making value for your bottom line. If your personal situation turns even further south, you can always use these commodities. Most of the items on this list can be bought now and stored. Some items, like fuel, will disappear almost instantly and were left off the list. Some of them you might want to consider for after it begins.
I started with the items I covered on my show today and expanded on it. I will cover these at length on a future show.
Salt- Salt is Left off of nearly every TEOTWAWKI barter list when it really should be at the top of them all. Besides adding flavor, salts primary use in TEOTWAWKI will be to preserve meat. Easily measurable, stores indefinitely, it may be the most sought after item when things shake out.
Honey and Sugar- Yes, I said honey and sugar. There is lots of energy used to produce refined sugar. While stockpiling sugar is wise, what happens when it runs out? For those in the northern part of the country honey can be harvested locally and also lasts indefinitely. The United States does produce a significant amount of sugar, but only in the southern States. Because it lasts pretty much indefinitely it can be hauled via horse and wagon BUT due to the limited ability to haul large amounts it’s value will skyrocket.
Alcohol- Find it, buy it, make it, just get me some booze and fast. Storing alcohol in it’s concentrated form (namely hard liquor) is probably the preferred method. Knowing how to make it will make you a wealthy person in SHTF. People are going to want to escape from reality and history has shown that alcohol is the escape of choice.
Tobacco and Tobacco Products- Vices are vices. Addictive vices are worse. It will be unfair to the addled addict what you will be able to trade for this item. This is another item that is produced in very large quantities in the United States. It’s initial worth will be tremendous but if trade begins to resume on a, even on limited basis, tobacco will be in every shipment. I recommend you research your region, and select tobacco seed for a variety that grows well in your region. Learn how to cure tobacco properly. You can make a small fortune on this in a TEOTWAWKI scenario.
Some additional items to consider:
Toilet Paper- Right now it is cheap and plentiful. When the world as we know it ends, TP will be known under a new moniker- “rolled gold”. Backed by a large industry and delicate manufacturing process TP will be one of those items that will be difficult to bring back online. You’d better stockpile it now or begin to practice other “methods” of achieving the same results. To quote Charlie Sheen: Turning fiat into toilet paper? WINNING!
Coffee- Do you know how much energy is invested into producing just one pound of coffee? Lots, it turns out. How do you think it gets from South America to your cup? In the can it will last a year or two past the “best by” date. Instant coffee should last forever. A nice secondary option is vacuum sealed one pound bricks.
Feminine Products- They might as well be $100 dollar bills. Beyond their intended use they can be used in wound dressing due to their absorbency and “sanitary” nature. Perhaps make yourself some old fashioned re-usable cloth ones, and keep the factory made ones for bartering.
Water Filters- How many folks outside of the prepping community even know they exist? Sure, they may have one in their refrigerator, but they probably don’t know what it truly does. Once the hordes and masses become aware that their bodies require clean drinking water the water filter will become invaluable. Do you have an extra water filter to sell to the highest bidder?
Power– Any method of producing stored or immediately useable electrical power will be in high demand. Batteries, rechargeable batteries, small solar devices, anything that can utilize mechanical energy and turn it into electrical energy will be nearly priceless in value. People will get creative and find ways to cobble together bits of this and that to create energy.
Antibiotics- Millions of people living today are alive because of them. While it is nearly impossible to stockpile antibiotics from a doctor there are several animal sources that do not require a prescription. More importantly will be to learn which antibiotics treat which types of infections. Once these run out there will be some huge problems. Learn first and use at your own risk. Read my post on fish antibiotics to get up to speed on this one.
Aspirin, Acetaminophen, and Ibuprofen- Many deaths in centuries past due to high fevers could have been mitigated if these drugs were around. At least for the first few years after SHTF stockpiled fever reducers will save many countless more. I mention all three because in extreme cases you may need to alternate between the them, and many people are allergic or sensitive to one or two of these pain relievers.
Yeast- Yeast has a limited shelf life but will be necessary to satisfy our hunger for baked goods. Keep an eye out as we are putting together an article on how to make your own. You can also refer back to my show on fermented foods to figure out how to harvest your own wild yeasts for making sourdough. Keep the store bought stuff for starters or barter.
Ammunition- Think of ammunition as SHTF coins. Stock up on common calibers for the most bang for your buck, .22, 9mm, .223, 7.62×39/54R, 12Ga., etc.
Canning Lids- Cheap and easy to store canning lids can be bartered with even otherwise prepared preppers. You want to up the ante, buy and reserve Tattler reusable lids and rings for use and barter.
Seeds- Storing food for barter is top of mind for any prepper, but again, once that food is gone, it is gone. What next? Things have to start over.
Information- You know all of those how-to books you own? While I am not really suggesting to barter the books themselves, I am suggesting that stocking up on how-to books now may pay huge dividends later. Obscure situations that need solutions will pop up every day. If you have a book that shows you how to solve one of these problems you may now barter your services for any one of the above items. While not a replacement for the more “reliable” paper version, eReaders can store a library in a 6 ounce package.