Preparing For Barter on the Cheap
By: Tom Chatham
When preparing for a possible barter situation that may develop in the future you must decide what products to stock. There are so many different things that can be considered useful or necessary it is difficult to develop a list that works well for everyone. Because of this it is necessary for individuals to assess their potential situation and surroundings to develop a list of items that will be in demand during or after a crisis that will be in short supply. With so many products to choose from it may be easier for many to limit their stock to just a few items and stock in depth.
This will help those that have limited funds to focus on those items they feel are cost effective and useful for them. By focusing on a limited number of items you will be able to tailor your supplies to your community and insure you have what others may need insuring you have the ability to trade for items when you need to. This will allow you to stock some very cheap items and a few more costly items without busting your budget. If done carefully you can probably fit all of your barter items into a few foot lockers for easy storage and relocation if necessary.
Here are some headings and a few items for each that you might want to consider. You should use these headings and write your own list for each then select one or two items under each heading that is right for you to stock. The items you choose should be items that you can use yourself in the event you never need to barter with them insuring they will not go to waste no matter what happens.
Organic honey, Garlic, Apple cider vinegar – for food or medicinal properties
Household products –
Matches or lighters
Medical products –
Hats – cold weather
Tubes of caulking
Tubes of roofing tar
Misc items –
Once you make your list of five or six items to stock you can seek out the cheapest place to buy them. With a small list you can purchase a few items every week until you have the desired amount.
Your stock may look something like this.
100 lbs. of rice divided into 1 lb. bags
5 gal. of bleach powder
10 bottles of aspirin 100 tablets ea.
20 pr. Cotton gloves
10 rolls of plastic sheathing
10 pints of bourbon
The more you can store the longer you will be able to barter. The depth of your stock will be determined by your finances and how much you think you will need. The more funds you have available the more items you will be able to add to your primary list. While not considered necessary the items on the misc. list may be the most desired during a long crisis and will be relatively easy to trade just about anywhere. Some may decide that stocking just these items will be sufficient. Whatever you decide to stock, give it sufficient thought before you buy to insure you are making a good choice.
The purchase of used items should not be overlooked as well. Visiting a second hand store or a garage sale may present items that will become more valuable in the future. Items such as good used clothing or hand tools will be needed just about everywhere and used items may be very valuable due to disrupted supplies of new items. Children outgrow clothing very fast and as a result there is usually a lot of childrens clothing available for sale in almost new condition. This is an item that may be very difficult to find if supplies are disrupted for any length of time. And do not overlook old clothing you have that you may be debating on throwing out or selling now. The four main items needed by people are water, food, shelter and clothing. These are the first things people seek out to live day to day and offer the most opportunity for trade.
In an urban area, water supplies may become contaminated due to lack of functioning equipment to treat it so the ability to produce clean water may offer you the asset you need for trading. The storage of antibiotics goes well with this item. If people are getting sick from contaminated supplies they will need to find clean water and medicine to stay healthy.
There are many potential situations where necessary goods could be cut off and will be in high demand by the population. It is difficult to plan for every situation and have every possible item you may need so the storage of a few high demand items will insure you have the means to trade for those items you lack should things become desperate in the future.