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If the Dollar Dies: A Shopping List for Bartering

Written by Gary North on March 21, 2012

Maybe you have read that things are so bad in Greece that middle class people are turning to barter to get what they need.

Things that anyone can buy cheaply today will be valuable in a time of inflation and price controls. Common items will get scarce.

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.

[For the rest of the list, click the link]

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4 thoughts on “If the Dollar Dies: A Shopping List for Bartering

  1. SEAN MURRY says:

    be ready for anything.

  2. It's coming sooner than we think.

  3. http://www.petition2congress.c... Go to this website to sign a petition to vet obama for eligibility to be president. He was never vetted in 08. Lame stream media was too busy lauding him as the hope of America.

  4. MontanaMEL says:


    Once our "stores" are stripped of their commodities…the become nothing worth fighting for…BUT…they can become someones' shelter from the weather…sure…the AC will fail with the electric…but, most of them have a large wall of glass in the front for admitting some light…some even have skylights…they have a back room and "some" toilets…if the water stays running or you can haul some from someplace else that does… Someone remember to snag a backhoe from someplace so you can dig some trenches in the parking lots for defense…and to bury the dead before sickness gets you all… You guys trapped in the cities are going to have the toughest time of all…don't even think about staying in your own home…small groups can dig you out.. Think safety in numbers, of like thinking citizens…otherwise, you'll be gone within 5 to 10 days!..