A Free Falling Economy Makes Bartering Go Boom
March 2, 2012
One thing is for sure, bartering booms during tough economical times. Many situations could cause a person to barter for goods and services. It could be as simple as neighbors exchanging skills and services to help each other out, or it could be due to economic turmoil, currency inflation, a bug out situation, or natural disaster.
It is safe to say that America is in a full fledged depressionary period and as the people are starting to feel the effects of the economic dead fall, they will look for alternate ways of obtaining products. We are in a bartering economy. In fact, many residents in Massachusettes are turning to bartering  goods and services in order to fight off the tight finances of this day and age.
Recently in an article in USA Today , Craigslist postings in the bartering section have gone up 100% according to Craigslist spokesperson, Susan MacTavish Best.
Whatever the case may be, bartering for goods or services, in a SHTF scenario, will be more valuable than the paper dollar. People will need goods to keep them a float, and maintain their survival supplies, as well as to have simple, yet affordable indulgences. Initially, a person will want to acquire the basic survival needs in a bug out situation. Initially, in a dire situation where people are unprepared to leave they will need survival goods (food, clothing, shelter, clothing and protection). In an economic crisis, skills of knowing how to find food, fixing cars, gardening, making items such as animal pens, etc will be useful in a bartering situation. Having some extra of these items in your long term storage could be used for bartering and trading:
- Baby Formula/Cloth Diapers – In a bad situation, Mama Bears will do just about anything to take care of their cubs.
- Seeds  - I cannot stress how important having seeds is to survive. A true prepper is not only prepping for short term situations, but on long term situations and supplies to sustain a family for as long as possible.
- Micro Livestock - Livestock that are small, produce and do not take much to room to thrive such as chickens, ducks, pygmy goats and rabbits can provide food and manure for farming.
- Weapons - In a bad situation having weapons to protect yourself, family and property is priority #1. Having extra weapons and accouterments that go along with weapons will be one of the top bartering items. Items such as: Knives, Hunting Knives (heavy bladed knives for hunting), Ammunition/Guns. When purchasing extra bullets and guns, stick with the most popular models.
- Mason Jars  - Preserving your garden foods, meat, etc will provide food during the cold, winter months. Many people, especially in the city no longer preserve their foods on their own. They will need canning jars.
- First Aid Kits  - In any article regarding bugging out, and preparing for a given emergency, a first aid kit full of supplies is always mentioned. These days, people are not prudent and do not prepare for the worst. First aid supplies, such as suturing needles, thread, saline solution, gauze and celox  will be in high demand.
- Vitamins – Keeping your self healthy and illness free is a top priority. If a person becomes vitamin deficient, ailments such as scurvy will become prevalent.
- Tools – Simple hand tools are an essential on any supply list. Pick axes, hand saws, shovels, hammers, wrenches, and screw drivers.
- Fire Starting Gear – Everyone wants a nice fire to cozy up to. Maintaining proper body heat is essential to our health as well as our mental health. So stock up on lighters, waterproof matches, flints, etc.
- Honey and Sugar – This item is not a necessity, but it would be a popular item and would give a break from the mundane, bland meals. Honey can be used for medicinal uses such as alleviating diarrhea, and can be used as a base for cough medicines.
- Silver and Gold Coins - Silver coins and 1964 US quarters, and small gold coins if the SHTF will be the best form of currency. Large silver and gold bars may be harder to barter with. Plan on silver and gold to be the only monetary currency available – and stock up!
- Vegetable Oil  - Use it for cooking and combine oil and herbs to make flavored oils. When you are finished with the oil, then the used oil to make diesel fuel. Further, use the byproduct, glycerin to make soap.
- Gasoline – People will need gas and lots of it to power their vehicles and farming equipment. In a bug out situation, do not have a lot on hand in the instance a mob or dangerous person tries to steal it from you. Carry multiple 5 gallon containers of it. The 1 ounce silver coins could be used to purchase 1 gallon of gas, etc.
- Fishing Supplies - Having alternative ways to catch food is always a good supply to have on hand. Fishing equipment is very lightweight and the hooks, line and lures do not take up space in a bag.
- Medicines  – Many rely on store bought medicines and do not have the knowledge to make their own. If they can buy medicines to relieve ailments, they will.
- Boots  - I cannot stress the importance of having a good pair of boots. Military grade boots that have flexible soles and deep tread are the best type of shoes to have as far as walking/hiking in nature go.
- Coffee/Teas – This is one of those simple indulgences that many of us can’t live without.
- Liquor – Some like to kick back and try and forget the hard times. Liquor can be made from almost anything: fruit, cactus, potatoes, rice, even honey.
- Cigarettes/Tobacco – Many cannot kick the habit of tobacco. This is another indulgent item that many will do just about anything to get.
FamilySecurityMatters.org Contributor Tess Pennington is the founder of Ready Nutrition.com. A former Red Cross employee whose chapter managed successfully, due to preparedness, the aftermath of 9/11, she was also raised by a prepper who was prepared for everything, beer fridge included.