I would be preaching the choir if I told you that it is wise to gather extra supplies that you can use for bartering in a post-collapse world. The issue for many, however, is that their budget allows no room for extras. Finding funds for long term personal preps, let alone daily needs can be an ongoing challenge.
Let’s face it. We all know that the middle class is disappearing. Food and health care costs are up and even those with comfortable nest eggs are finding that their funds are rotting, earning virtually no interest and suffering the ravages of inflation. So what are we to do?
The first rule of thumb is to acquire skills that can be bartered for goods. That is the smart thing to do regardless of your financial situation. Beyond that, there are a number of low cost items that you can accumulate over time, even if you are poor.
Backdoor Survival reader Elaine K. sent me her list of “poor man’s barter items”. It gave me so many ideas that I expanded the list to include even more items. Here it is: 101 low cost items to barter if the stuff hits the fan.
Poor Man’s Barter Items
- Garden tools
- Fly swatters
- Insect spray
- Rat & mouse poison
- Rodent traps
- Straight pins
- Safety pins
- Dry beans
- Spices such as cinnamon, cloves, allspice, sage, parsley etc.
- Cooking Oil
- Coffee filters
- Hand crank or manual can openers
- Canned food – any type
- Wooden, strike anywhere matches
- Old newspapers
- Wax for fire-starting
- Large cotton balls with soaked in petroleum jelly (also for starting fires)
- Bleach (or freshly made pool shock)
- Baby wipes (Note: these can be used to clean face, hands, arm pits, groin in case there is no water. If dried out, pour in a cup of water into container)
- Baking Soda
- Spirits: wine, whisky, beer, vodka, brandy
- Coloring books & crayons
- Scrap paper
- Ballpoint pens
- Copy paper
- Lined notebook paper
- Tooth paste
- Dental floss
- Hair brushes
- Disposable razors
- Nail clippers and files
- Feminine products
- Bars of soap
- Toilet paper
- Hair pins
- Cigarette lighters
- Tobacco seeds
- Aluminum foil
- Plastic sheeting
- Socks – all sizes & colors
- Shoe laces
- Reading glasses
- Garbage bags (can’t have too many)
- Dust pans
- Clothes pins
- Clothes lines
- Garbage cans
- Dryer Lint (to use as firestarter)
- Rope of any type
- Hard candy
- Ibuprofen, Tylenol, and aspirin
- Essential oils
- Cough syrup
- Eye drops
- Band aids
- Lip balm or chapstick
- Nails, nuts, bolts, & screws
- Heirloom garden seeds
- Fresh garden produce and herbs
- Herb plants
- Hand garden tools
- Two cycle oil
- Automotive oil and air filters
- Paperback books
- Plastic tarps
- Duct tape
- Fels naphtha bar soap
- Washing/laundry soda
- Home made laundry detergent
- Garden compost
- Garden fertilizer
- Plastic tubs & containers
- Petroleum jelly (Vaseline)
The Final Word
Elaine K. is sixty-six years old and has been a widow since 1985. Like many of us, old and young, times have been tough and she has had to teach herself survival by embracing plain old common sense. Sound familiar?
When she first wrote to me, she indicated that she wanted to do something to help others. I am sure you will agree that her list is an inspiration to get started gathering low cost items that will be invaluable in a barter-society if and when the SHTF.
Now tell me, can you thing of more inexpensive if not downright cheap items to accumulate for barter purposes?
Enjoy your next adventure through common sense and thoughtful preparation!
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Bargain Bin: Here are items relating to today’s article. Not all of them made the list but they are inexpensive. Have fun shopping for low-cost items!
Huggies One & Done Baby Wipes: According to Elaine, these ONE & DONE wipes are the best baby wipes. She says:
I have tried them all including Amway. These are the biggest & strongest. wipe your body- two can give you a fairly good clean up. Wipe your hands, wipe of silver ware in case of no water. If they dry out, just add 1/2 cup of water. If the top ones get a little dry, turn the container upside down. I use them to dust with including the dash of my car. Just toss ’em. scrape off muddy boots & shoes then wipe them off- toss the wipe.
2 Pack Survival Kit Can Opener, Military, P-51 Model: These dirt cheap can openers makes great addition to any survival, fishing, hiking, or camping pack. They are lightweight and robust and they just work.
Emergency Mylar Thermal Blankets (Pack of 10): You will be surprised at how warm these will keep you. Be sure to test one out in advance so that you have the confidence to trust the blanket in an emergency. Currently $4 for a package of 10.
Blocklite Ultra Bright 9V LED Flashlight: One of my readers (James) claimed that these work great. So I bought one. Then I bought another. All told, I have 8 of these spread out in drawers, in my emergency kits, the car, everywhere. This is my number one pick for a small, but effective flashlight.
SE Whistle 5-in-1, Compass, Lanyard, & Compass: The description says it all. A great deal at under $2.00 with free shipping. Also, check your prices. Sometimes this one is less money: SE 5 in 1 Survival Whistle.
Magnesium Flint Firesteel Fire Steel Starter: This magnesium flint stone fire starter is about two bucks with free shipping. How to use:
1. Place the flint on ground upwardly, and put the scraper vertically to the flint, then scrape some magnesium powder on inflammable material like paper or branch
2. Place the flint on ground at about 45° and 2.5 cm from the magnesium powder scraped just now, then scrape the flint fast to produce spark so as to light up the inflammable material
Maximal Power FC999 Universal Battery Charger: Not cheap but over the long term. this nicely built charger will save you a ton of money. It will charge charge AA, AAA, C, D, N, 9V, Ni-MH, Ni-CD, and Alkaline batteries. It has an LED display so that when you first put a battery in the charging bay, you know whether it is viable for charging or simply bad and ready to go back to the recycle box. See How to Recharge Alkaline Batteries.
The monthly specials at Emergency Essentials feature discounts of up to 45% off sometimes a bit more.
Every family should have at least one Tote-able Toilet. I have priced purchasing the bucket and toilet seat lid separately and found that it was more economical to pick up this kit. I have filled my portable potty with sanitation supplies plus, of course, plenty of TP.
Need something from Amazon (and who doesn’t)? I earn a small commission from purchases made when you begin your Amazon shopping experience here. You still get great Amazon service and the price is the same, no matter what.
Amazon has a feature called Shop Amazon – Most Wished For Items. This is an easy tool for finding products that people are ‘wishing” for and in this way you know what the top products are. All you need to do is select the category from the left hand side of the screen.
Help support Backdoor Survival. Purchases earn a small commission and for that I thank you!
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