Prepping: 5 Inexpensive Barterable Items To Stock Up On NOW

by | Aug 6, 2019 | Headline News | 47 comments

Do you LOVE America?


    When it comes to prepping, a lot of us stock up on the things we think we will need personally.  But there are some items that you should consider stocking up on, even if you aren’t going to use them because they will come in handy if you need to return to a barter system after the SHTF!

    Barterable items could be worth their weight in gold, especially if you desperately need something.  While not everyone uses all of the items listed below, consider grabbing some anyway as they could be of valuable use to someone else and you could trade for something that will make your life easier.

    1. Alcohol

    Obviously, not everyone partakes in alcoholic beverages.  Even if you don’t drink alcohol, just having some bottles of distilled spirits could be worth the money. Alcohol can be traded for other items.  Vodka, rum, whiskey, tequila, etc. (distilled spirits) will not go bad in a sealed, unopened bottle. As long as you don’t expose the contents to oxygen, you will have a bottle of booze that will be valuable and barterable after the SHTF.


    This one isn’t as obvious, but it’ll come in handy. Most people absolutely loathe the feeling of cracked, chapped, and bleeding lips, and making sure you’ve got some of this on hand to trade could not only help someone else out but keep yourself from going through the horrible feeling as well.  It may not seem like it, but when people become dehydrated and have failed to keep an adequate amount of water, they will gladly trade for some relief from chapped lips.



    3. Tobacco

    Again, even if you don’t smoke or chew tobacco, many do and will gladly trade you their items for your stash.  Tobacco products are not necessarily cheap or inexpensive, however, based on what you could likely get in exchange for these items that will be in demand when the SHTF, it could prove such.

    4. Toilet Paper

    This one should need little explanation. Everyone needs it. Everyone uses it.  And most don’t stockpile it. Enough said!

    5. Ammunition

    This may be your most powerful bartering item. Storing ammunition could help others protect themselves and generate a source of food if they need it. Keeping several hundred rounds of popular sizes of ammunition could be equal to having gold.  Let’s face it, you can’t eat gold and throwing it at a deer won’t feed your family. If you choose to hoard some ammo, grab the most common sizes, even if you don’t own anything that will shoot these rounds. These are the most popular rounds, but getting some in other sizes will not hurt in the least:

    • 22LR: considered the best all-around survival ammunition.
    • 9mm: easily the most widely used pistol round in the world.
    • .308: introduced in 1952, two years prior to the NATO adoption of the 7.62×51mm NATO T65.
    • .223: a very popular rifle round.
    • 12 Gauge: the most common for shotguns

    These five items will help you improve your prepper stockpile while also adding the benefit of being useful, in demand, and therefore, barterable after the SHTF.

    Again, this is certainly not the list of everything that may be barterable, but it’ll get you started and thinking and prepping and that’s the ultimate goal.


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      1. Don’t buy cigarettes! Get “pipe” tobacco by the pound at most smoke shops and papers. It is 10X cheaper and better quality and sealed better. They call it pipe tobacco but it is for cigs also (no cig tax). Reservations will have it at 1/2 the price of smoke shops. Cheap vodka is about 10 bux for 1.5 litre bottle. I would worry (be careful) about who you trade alcohol to. They may get drunk and decide to rob you.

        • Gen,
          I quit smoking 36 years ago, but my wife won’t quit.
          she buys pipe tobacco and we have a cigarette
          rolling machine. Costs about $0.50 a pack.
          I don’t drink hard liquor ( rellik+Scotch= Jail)
          Beer is OK! but I have a pretty good stash for trading
          and visitors. I even have a half bottle of 151 Bacardi!
          Not sure whether to use it as an anti-septic or let
          someone drink it.

        • When the Grid Crashed there will be no electricity for 95% of Americans, they will need ways to cook food, and start fires,
          Get 1000 cigarette lighters for about .20 each on bulk online. I headed out off the grid 4.5 years ago and the lighters was a key tool in every day propane stove lighting the gas to cook food coffee and my Fav cigar.

          Water purification filters, No drinking water you will die pretty quick from dysentery. Go Buy dozens of Sawyer filters and get your Alexapure today and a few filters.

          Off Grid Skills to barter for tangibles.

          All Solar parts, panel modules, controllers, inverters and batteries will be good as gold. the biggest factor in survival is to have a fridge to preserve food, or eat what you make for every meal and the rest goes bad.

          Collect friendships now before SHTF, you may need their help or barter. At least get the friendships and contact in place now. You think they would trust you after SHTF if you never talked to them before, and now you see their friendship in SHTF?? They will need your help in SHTF, so collect friends of like mind now and build a team of 3 to 5 you can count on for most anything.

          • “All Solar parts, panel modules, controllers, inverters and batteries will be good as gold. the biggest factor in survival is to have a fridge to preserve food, or eat what you make for every meal and the rest goes bad.”

            Do solar-powered fridges exist, or do they still have to be invented?

            • Odd, you can run all of a home, including the fridge on solar……..

      2. given the shootings and anti 2A rumbling, the stock market dive (mark my words, late August will see a big selloff), the food costs going up noticibly, I’m having a hard time deciding where to put my $$: hard goods, ammo, or pm’s.

        And thats a baaaad sign.

        • silver up .50 yesterday, up another .54 so far today.


            • Now up to 17.50,

              $2.00 in the last six weeks.

      3. Dam – this world is getting crazier by the minute.
        We all know that something big is going to go boom.
        What we don’t know – When we don’t know.

        I just getting the feeling that things are spinning out of control.

        I have plenty of ,alcohol, ammo and toilet paper.
        Tobacco and chap sticks – I don’t think so.
        A good water source with filtering and bottles would be a gold mine.

      4. I would not trade ammo except to close Kin that I trust.

        Motor oil, it does not go bad and if cars or other machines are running it is needed.

        Sun block, insect repellent , aspirin, ?

        • All the above. Use and store synthetic oil only. It lasts 3 times longer and is much cheaper when you figure that in.

          • I save all of my used oil. I thought what if I could filter it back to looking clean again and maybe reuse? Any thoughts on that? Does the viscosity break down and wear out in oil? I have no idea. I make use of used oil with a little gas to get some brush piles a burning.

            Get your security in place not folks around your properties. Longo story but I had 3 county Deps at my gats a few weeks ago. Boy were they so nice to me when they saw all of my cameras up and no trespassing signs and video written on the signs. They were so polite to me as I ripped them a new asswhole. The Co Aquatics bassturds were trespassing again, the county refused to come to my call for trespassers when the SOB’s saw e carrying a shotgun they hid deeper in the canal and cried like Pussiies and called the Sheriff. They came for them but not for me. You see County employees are above the law. The Deps asked if they could pass out of the canal safe by my property again- (They were trespassing on)

            I’m telling ya folks get your full battle rattle together, battle belt and gear and rifle with boxes of ammo scattered amongst your property. The Govn’t mass land theft is underway, to steal private property in land grab scams, like I just uncovered. Spelling bad on purpose so it won’t go into moderation.

            Never give an inch, hit back twice as hard nd never give up, ever.
            ~What is the “Number 1” Rule? Answer: Know the Rules.
            ~# 2 Rule, Those with rules, make them accountable to their own set of rules. If someone screws with you, look into their set of rules and find all their violations of their own rules and call them out.

            • “Does the viscosity break down and wear out in oil? ”

              Yes, thats the reason it needs changed on a regular basis 😉

            • got old motor oil too. wouldnt hesitate to filter it through a t shirt and using it again in the truck if needed to. its synthetic. would it be smart to burn up an engine because you didnt wanna add used oil. you can use filtered used motor oil on chainsaw bar keep your tools from rusting. seen people use used oil diluted with diesel so it can be sprayed to stain and waterproof fences. its useful have a supply i got about 6 gallons myself. someone just might need some oil for their car and be willing to barter something useful to you. keep some scrap metal on hand. bed frames are good metal old gym machines made of square tube and have cables and pulleys. the wall of an above ground pool is sheet metal could be used to make a roof for an out building. bailing wire is good to have. keep old animal feed bags they are tuff the woven polypropylene bags can be filled with dirt and used as sand bags.

              • Those are all great ideas, asshat. I like the type of suggestions that require some hands on fabrication instead of just buying random supplies already finished. Those are skills you will need if SHTF. I’ve used old motor oil on my chain bar before. Used to have a bunch of gallon jugs of old oil. Then I made a gravity flow oil heater out of a hot water heater tank and used it up. The heater worked real good, but it wasn’t big enough to heat my large garage so it now sits in a corner of the back shed. Plans are online to make one. It’s not hard if you’re handy. You just light it and adjust the flow. No power needed. cheers

              • Plastic bags, the kind everybody was throwing away and polluting the planet with (but less so as people get aware). Everybody will have need of plastic bags to stuff and carry things in. Chances are you won’t find new ones after the SHTF. No polluting if you keep them and reuse them.

            • NO. Viscosity of oil does NOT break down. You change your oil cause it is dirty. Recycled oil is taking the dirt out and cleaning the oil and in the process it is heated up and that does not change the viscosity either. When cleaning the oil the viscosity layers out in weight.

              The response by NEC Wrangler below is incorrect that oil viscosity breaks down. It does NOT!

              • Viscosity is simply a measurement of flow rate. the oil WILL get thicker or thinner with use. Its viscosity has changed (in most cases degraded). Thats one of the main reasons for changing it: less protection (or if its thicker, oil starvation)

                Thermal breakdown of the oil is a fact, as is boundry decomposition, gasoline contamination, and oxidation. All of which will effect the viscosity in one way or another.

                Additionally, the liquid contaminants, particularly gasoline or diesel that gets introduced to the oil while its being used effect viscosity (PCV valve anyone?)

                NO, you cant just filter out the impurities and pour it back in and expect the same product.

                When you “recycle” oil, you are refining it. Its the same process I dont see asshat setting up a refinery in his garage. He’s asking about manually filtering his used oil, not re-refining it.

        • Seminole: Dont forget the 2-cycle oil. Lots of folks have 2 cycle motors (chainsaws etc) my bet is they will be out of oil before gas. Bar and chain lube may be good as well

          A case keeps pretty much forever

          • SW, I keep my kin at arms length.

        • Years ago, I hadn’t seen anyone mentioning toilet paper in prepper forums, until someone came up with it (which was me, I think).

          Same thing seems to be happening again with tampons now.

          • I said years ago that I included “Pamprin, pads, and Playboy” in my supplies.

      5. On Ammo,
        I don’t own any 5.56 platforms.
        I do own 7.62X39 and have many thousands of
        rounds of ammo as any prepper should.
        Real 5.56X45 NATO is only made in one or two places
        in America as far as I know. .223 Rem is not quite the same.
        7.62X39 is made in virtually every nation on earth,
        including America.
        If you are prepping consider what you can smuggle into our
        police state.
        You can do without Toilet paper.
        If you are of an age to remember and have dealt with
        cloth diapers, you know how to deal with it.
        My mom made me change kids
        ( younger sister and brother )diapers. One
        of those life skills every future father needs.
        Toilet paper replacement is know as “family cloths”.
        Bleach is more important than toilet paper in an extended
        SHTF episode.

        • rellik, bleach has a shelf life, but a smart guy like you must know that.

          • Go with the shock chlorine (calcium hypochlorite powder) Has a long shelf life (years) I replace mine every few years.

            Learn the formula and a pound of the stuff can chlorinate thousands and thousands of gallons of water.


        • I have separate set of uppers for my AR platform guns. I prefer .300AAC, but know .556 will be more plentiful if I (somehow) run out of my stock.

      6. Unfortunately we live in a congested area in SW Florida. If the economy collapses to the point of barter the supply chain is broken. The collateral result of that is chaos. Barter can serve you well if you’re rural or semi rural.

      7. Kevin2 ever think about picking up a beater fiberglass sailboat? Lot’s of yard queens that you can buy for the overdue yard fees.

        A older swing keel can be beached and if needed kedged back out later. Look Kedging up please.

        A trailer model saves moorage fees and in general survives hurricanes pretty good. You could use it as a RV (same systems like toilet etc.) or even as a lifeboat to travel to a better area like LA (Lower Alabama?)

        • Sailing? Me? To where? It could make a cool comedy reality TV show, “Fat Old Italian Sails Away”. We’re better off filtering our swimming pool water and eating canned ravioli.

      8. I just found a portable bidet advertised on Has anyone tried one of those things? If it works as advertised the great grid down toilet paper panic of 2019 will be a dead issue.

        • Sorry for the late reply, it has been ages since I frequented this website. It seems more civil than it was. I would suggest you use a peri bottle as a hand held bidet. It is what is usually given to post-partum women to use at home. I’ve been meaning to do an experiment using a single roll of toilet paper and documenting how long it lasts and then compare to a peri bottle with flannel family cloths. I have tons of pre-washed flannel given to me, you just need to cut into 6″x6″ squares, finish the edges if you want them to last longer. The mechanics is to fill your peri bottle before going #2, rinse with the peri bottle as well as possible and finish with a family cloth. Cloths would be washed separately just like cloth diapers. The benefit of this approach is that you could reasonable use any old clothing in a pinch and the volume of TP you would need store would be huge compared to how much family cloth you would need to last the same amount of time. You could even do half and half. Alot yourself one roll of TP a month and supplement with Peri bottle/Family Cloth.

      9. Excellent article @ JIHAD WATCH written by a former resident of the old Soviet Union who compares Antifa here with how the KGB used to control with violence anyone who showed signs of not worshipping the Almighty Soviet State. Venezuela has also formed a similar group who has murdered an estimated 7,000 in the past three months. Our EVIL Left is no dam different than the thugs who run people over with tanks in China, torture Christians in Castro’s Cuba, or send people to the Gulags in a number of countries.

        • typical brownshirt tactics, not suprised.

          I’m sad we may well see exactly that here.

          Know your neighbors, remember opsec, and be ready to clean house in your AO if required. I’m hoping everyone here feels the same.

          • NEC,
            Right about friends and neighbors.
            I know Doctors, Ranchers, world class
            biology guys, world class engineers,
            surf board manufacturers, Contractors, and such.
            My skill set is boat building, general engineering,
            electronics, and Computer stuff.
            It takes years to do that.
            What really pi$$es me of is once
            you develop all this skill set, you are so
            old you die.
            I suppose it is in the best interest of humanity
            that I’m not 8 years old again with all I
            have learned.

            • “What really pi$$es me of is once
              you develop all this skill set, you are so
              old you die.”

              I hear you. 20+ years in IT and telecom (hence the name..) and I feel like I just now know what I didn’t know I even needed to know 15 years ago 😀

              I suppose its good news they plan to work the common man until he’s 75 these days, tap all that potential /sarc

              stay safe

            • Not much better if you get senile or demented, IMHO.

              As for your skill set, why don’t you try doing a write-up if they are so unusual? May take some time, but may be worth it in the end. Not just a lot of blablabla either, focus on really useful information, and ALL the information.

        • You’re a Florida 2nd Amendment guy. There is a petition going around that is to allow a Florida Constitutional Change if its approved on the ballot 2 times. They were outside a gun show in Charlotte County a few weeks ago getting signatures preying on the ignorance of the signers. They assumed that these people had the support of and best interests of gun owners. They are just the opposite. The gun show administrator (I talked to them) said we have nothing to do with them and can’t stop them. Warn your friends, family and acquaintances.

      10. BIC lighters are good. You can get a five pack for less than five dollars.

        Credibility and trust matters in bartering. Keep receipts/ buy OEM and keep them unopened and secure from tampering.

        Another option might be pre-’04 nickels now in circulation. They’re worth about 3 cents melt value each—now. When the hyperinflation kicks in, the price of copper and nickel will spike. Pennies have more melt value but are heavier.

        Remember it is against the law to melt down US coinage. The true value of coins will be the intrinsic value of the metals in them–a proportion of the stated value. Quarters might be worth 6 cents and nickels more.

        A good play is to have silver nickels (produced 1942-45) and dimes. Franklin half dollars are good. In quantity, both can be had now for their melt value in silver, whose value will spike as the dollar inflates. A 90% silver half-dollar (issued before 1965) will be barter-able for the equivalent of what 1/2 ounce of silver (a little less) buys today–$8-$10 dollars, a cheap lunch or couple of beers. Dimes are about 1/10th of an ounce and nickels 1/20th–$1.64 and $ 0.82 each, respectively, for now.

        Venezuela and other countries experiencing inflation will value silver and gold as mediums of exchange, so however bad the inflation is you will have something other people will want because it can serve as a store of value unlike paper currency or digital bank credits. This grants it a premium that other less trade-able, less easily verifiable (if US mintage), and expiration date items have.

      11. Right!

        Stock up and fill up precious prepping storage space with esoteric and mostly personally useless items in rosy expectation of the great post apocalyptic Saturday farmers’ market.

        Oh, and by the way, kids, if you’re planning on bartering away ammo during your end of the world fantasy tour then you might just as well shoot yourself now and get it over with.

        Who is dreaming up this malarkey?

        • You may want to google “esoteric”. I suspect you used the word in an attempt to look intelligent, but it backfired.

          You hardly need specialized knowledge or interest to wipe your a$s, chap your lips, or smoke / drink.

          I cant say I agree with the chapstick idea, but everything else is dual purpose (I don’t smoke or drink but would be able to use the alcohol for disinfection and the tobacco as insect killer- two critical needs.)

          No ones looking to the post shtf community barter fair, but we are looking for valid forms of currency. You cant argue tobacco, alcohol, and hygienic products have always been valuable commodities in the short term during a crisis.

          • There are other uses for alcohol. One of them is making plant tinctures – steep 1/3 in volume of your selected plant material in a mixture of about half water, half pure alcohol for several weeks (a month is ideal). Can be very useful for taking care of your and your family’s health, or alleviating all sorts of ailments. Better than pharma drugs (which anyway don’t keep forever either).

      12. I am now driving a flex fuel truck. Making my own ethanol to a hair over 95% purity and have the mole sieve to make it neat. Good thing about ethanol is in storing it properly, it will never go bad like gasoline and other fuels. The worst that can happen with ethanol is it may absorb water from humid air, but you can re-distill or use the mole sieve. I am also a fan of bic lighters, tobacco and extra ammo, although I think you should have a bare minimum of 500 rounds for every caliber you own and for certain ones like .22lr, get a couple cases, it is always good for plinking. Ditto on other cheap stuff. I only have one question in regards to barter items? What can I get for one slightly used wife? j/k

        • Winning comment Monkpiper. Did you see that documentary video on the guys whom drove from the tip of alaska to the souther point of South America? They got busted for taking grease from a texas restrnt, then got an award from the mayor in some south american town for being sustainable. They were powering that old nissan or whatever on grass clippings from the side of the road. Totally remarkable.

          The thing about ‘prepping’, is that people are doing it wrong. Think about how much food and water you consume in a year. Think about how many times you go to the store. Then think about how convenient it would be to simply bulk buy and shop in your basement instead. We have at all times a years supply of everything staple and non perishable in the basement, it’s simply more convenient than shopping all the dang time. We have several 2,000 lb capacity industrial muscle shelves we bought from big box stores, the black ones with silver shelves and adjustable heights. That’s your winning play, and mark all new foods with a sharpie w/ the date, and rotate them out if needed. Also makes shopping easy, just replace what’s almost out on the shelf. Costco makes life easy for ‘preppers’, because you don’t have to actually be a prepper, but merely take advantage of sales and buy more than is needed, then shop in your basement when you need something.

          Would really like a deep cycle battery and inverter though, that’s something people should focus on. We just saved all those old berkey black stick filters from the past 10 years so we can repeat filter water as necessary. Like the ceramic alexipures better though.

      13. As per Wikipedia, or, maybe, you have seen this, before…

        “Big man (anthropology) —
        A big man is a highly influential individual in a tribe, especially in Melanesia and Polynesia. Such a person may not have formal tribal or other authority (through for instance material possessions, or inheritance of rights), but can maintain recognition through skilled persuasion and wisdom. The big man has a large group of followers, both from his clan and from other clans. He provides his followers with protection and economic assistance, in return receiving support which he uses to increase his status.”

        imhblo, don’t store, carry, or possess any items, which you do not personally consider to be valuable, for your own purposes, because consumerists are actually soldiers in the free sht army. 90% of their success was just showing up. They will never literally support their sacrosanct too-big-to-fails. They are not going to buy it out of the trunk of an indie’s car. Even if it’s the last one on Earth, and it’s then end of the world. Forget about it. Really.

        The way this usually works, in practice, in a gift economy, is it’s worthless ‘swag’, like a gratuity, to show that you’re being gracious. The Schnapps and pastries, which you bring to elderly relatives on a holiday.

        Any further agreements are for friendship, kinship, religion, or honor.

      14. Copper cents and nickels are illegal to melt…..silver dimes ..quarters…halve dollars ..silver war nickels and 40 per cent silver half dollars are all legal to MELT. One can also hole …mutilate…counter stamp…engrave…decorate. all coins and currency as long as one does not do it for counterfeiting purposes!!!!!

      15. Look up Toto Washlet . Not just for prepping either. You can enjoy it before SHTF!

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