What Will You Use to Trade After a Dollar Collapse?
Gary Gibson, Minneapolis, Minnesota…
It’s been a month since Israel and the U.S. first attacked an Iranian warship, and three weeks since China dumped nearly two-thirds of its U.S. treasuries. A dollar now buys less than 1% of what it did just thirty days ago…
The value of the U.S. dollar is falling fast. Estimates vary, but everyone agrees that the rate of devaluation is at least 10% per day.
What do you do?
Are you prepared?
The shelves at Costco are empty after the riots. Those who have food, fuel and water are only trading in kind. Everyone else is frantic… and getting desperate.
You hear news of these increasingly desperate people taking from their neighbors by force…or trying to take by force and being met in kind.
We can hope for an orderly decline in the dollar. Instead of a sudden collapse that would send the economy into terminal shock. But it still pays to be prepared.
And being prepared means stocking up. Not just on gold and silver. But on the essential items that you hope the gold and silver will buy — and that everyone else will want, too — in the event of hyperinflation and a shockingly speedy dollar decline.
In the Weekend Special Edition, Tyler Writght lists some items you might not have thought about stocking in case of economic collapse…
Whiskey & Gunpowder
by Tyler Wright
March 17, 2012
16 “Sh*t Hit The Fan” Barter Items to Stockpile
Every good survivalist has a stockpile of things he or she recognizes their family may need to survive a natural or man-made disaster. However, many people forget the value of maintaining a barter store as well.
If things hit the fan, particularly in an economic collapse where the dollar is nearly worthless, a number of non-monetary goods will be more valuable than a fistful of dollar bills.
It’s also important to recognize that we can’t possibly store enough of every item to account for every scenario for an indefinite period of time. However, what we can do is have some items on hand to barter with neighbors to plug gaps in our preparations.
Imagine a neighbor with a large garden and some chickens trading a half dozen eggs and some squash for a box of ammo, or a small bottle of Vodka.
Consider stocking up on the following items, even if you have no plans to use them yourself, for their potential barter value.
16 Things to Stockpile with High Barter Value
Cigarettes. I hate smoking, and can’t stand being around anyone that smokes. Having said that, I recognize that in a SHTF situation many others will be cut off from their access to cigarettes, so there is plenty of barter potential.
Soap. Bars of soap, and even those little cleaning napkins/wipes that you get at the BBQ restaurants could be very valuable in a SHTF scenario. Ever see “The Book of Eli?”
Bullets. Obviously, it’s a good idea to have a decent store of ammo representing all calibers of the weapons you own. However, it is also a good idea to store extra ammo in common calibers (9mm, .22, .38, 12-guage shells, etc.) as a potential barter. After all, a gun without ammo is just an inacurate throwing object.
Alcohol. Alcohol could serve a variety of purposes in a SHTF situation. It is valuable as a potential bartering commodity, and it also has medicinal uses. Did you know Vodka is a great home remedy to counteract the reaction to poison ivy?
MREs. More portable and easier to barter than larger 5-gallon buckets, or even #10 cans of dried foods, MREs are great to have on hand for bartering. Keep a variety of flavors and different kinds of foods because you could be holding something that could complete a meal for a hungry person.
Silver Coins. Keep in mind this doesn’t necessarily mean only silver dollars with a full ounce of silver, but even older, less expensive coins with a high silver component (the 1964 Kennedy half-dollar, for example).
Detergent. Don’t think people are interested in bartering detergent? Check out the story about the recent rash of detergent thefts across the country. Apparently, Tide detergent on the black market is now referred to as “liquid gold.” Interesting.
Water bottles. To someone in bad need of water, a water bottle could be worth its weight in gold. Remember the rule of threes: you can live three minutes without air, three days without water, and three weeks without food. Store accordingly.
Matches and lighters. A box of matches is relatively inexpensive, but for someone needing to build a fire a pack of matches or a lighter could be very valuable. Be sure these are stored safely, and if they are not waterproof make them so by storing in a watertight container.
Sugar. My grandfather used to tell stories of things that were in limited supply in the Great Depression. Sugar was something he often mentioned. Imagine how easily you could win over a sweet-tooth with the promise of a bag of sugar in exchange for something you are short on.
Toilet paper. This one is rather self-explanatory, isn’t it? Sure, there are substitutes for Charmin, but who wants to keep using leaves when paper feels so much better.
Water Filters/Purifiers. Water purification drops and filters could mean the difference in offering family members treated water or potentially harmful, bacteria-infested water. Who’d be willing to trade for that?
Bleach. May be used to disinfect water, or keep living quarters and soiled clothing sanitized.
Batteries. Can be used to power up flashlights, radios, and other electronic devices.
Candles. Emergency candles would be a great barter item for those in need of providing some light to their living quarters without electricity.
What other items would you add to your barter store?
Tyler Wright lives in the southeast United States and enjoys writing about what he calls “survival finance” at his blog, DebtReckoning.com. When he is not working or writing he enjoys coaching youth sports, spending time at the shooting range and reading.
Even if a collapse doesn’t come, the worst you would have done by preparing for one is to have stocked up on items you would use anyway. Mostly…
Not everyone reading this is a smoker, so at worst the cigarettes could be a waste if the dollar doesn’t crash. But in case of the worst, those cigarettes could be as good as gold or silver. For a time — when barter reigns over indirect exchange facilitated by real money — they could be even better.
Those old silver quarters and dimes are still an excellent idea. An even better idea for hoarders and preppers could be the humble nickel. These will still be worth the face value in case the dollar doesn’t collapse. But in the event of a collapse their metal content could rise, just as with the old silver coins.
The metal content of the nickel has mostly been above its face value for many months now. This metal value would only rise in the event of a dollar collapse. This is likely to become common knowledge very quickly and nickels could easily become used widely as money for small exchanges.
Even if the worst doesn’t happen, you’ll still have those nickels to spend at face value!
The advice here is similar to our recent suggestion that borrowing soon-to-be-cheaper dollars to mortgage a post-collapse house. These are things you need anyway. And having them now will protect you from a coming collapse in your income’s purchasing power.
Saving in paper dollars issued by a central bank is never a good idea over the longer term. Note that the U.S. dollars has lost over 95% of its purchasing power since the creation of the central bank in 1913.
Prolonged periods of fiat money strengthening have proven to be as brief as they are rare. No surprise since a stable or rising dollar isn’t in the long-term interest of the government or part of the irrational economic philosophy that guides central bankers.
The entire reason for the central bank is so that the currency can be cut loose from gold, to allow the currency to become “flexible” enough to be managed, i.e. increased in supply till it’s worth nothing.
But inflation doesn’t come for free. Eventually it must be reckoned with. As the endgame approaches the devaluation of the currency could easily accelerate. A century of slow, grinding inflation — the sort that was slow enough for the population to adapt to — could suddenly speed up into the hyperinflationary storm that sees prices rising incredibly and constantly.
We hate to think it’s come to this. But we’d hate even more if you weren’t prepared…especially when there are so many easy ways to prepare right now.
You don’t have to get a “bug out” location far from the cities (though it couldn’t hurt), but you can get to your local Costco and stock up bit by bit on some of the items listed today.
Don’t be caught unprepared. Every little bit helps.
Managing editor, Whiskey & Gunpowder