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Bullets, batteries and more: 13 Bartering items to stock up on while preparing for the financial crash
By Zoey Sky // Apr 02, 2024

Even though financial systems seem stable at the moment, there's no telling when the next financial crash might happen.

Sometimes, a financial crash can cause short-term suffering. However, there have also been times throughout history when financial collapse had worse outcomes. (h/t to AskAPrepper.com)

While humanity has yet to witness a crash that was serious enough to destabilize the government and society in North America, with the fragile nature of financial systems, it is something that may happen soon.

If you ever experience a financial crash that is severe enough to cause country-wide hyperinflation, unemployment and the collapse of the banking sector, you may have to resort to the barter system to acquire the goods and services that your family needs to survive.

If you're worried about a scenario like this, start preparing and stock up on items that you can use for bartering after a financial crash.


There are almost 15 million people who suffer from alcohol use disorder in the United States. And even those who do not have a compulsion to drink alcohol will be likely to trade goods for a bottle of spirits to calm their nerves in times of hardship.

If you don't drink alcohol, having a few bottles of liquor and wine for bartering may still offer some benefits after SHTF.


After a severe financial crisis, law enforcement could be overwhelmed and even ineffective. This would cause a true survival situation where crime becomes rampant.

In a wide-scale disaster scenario where the rule of law becomes non-existent, ammo will be as good as, or even more valuable, than money.

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Stock up on a surplus of common calibers specifically for bartering. If you're not sure what to get, stock up on ammo for handguns and small game calibers. You might also want to stockpile air gun ammo.


When you're trying to resume normal life after a severe economic downturn, access to medical care will become limited. Unfortunately, common infections could also pose serious threats.

Having a supply of antibiotics can be a lifesaver for those facing bacterial illnesses and are without access to healthcare services.

Try to stockpile commonly used antibiotics, such as amoxicillin or ciprofloxacin, to meet the needs of your neighbors after SHTF.


Once the supply of batteries on store shelves is depleted, non-preppers will be desperate to acquire all the standard sizes of alkaline batteries and power banks to charge their smartphones and other small devices that charge via USB.

If you have a reliable source of off-grid power on your homestead, you can offer to charge devices and battery banks in exchange for other items that you need.

Bottled water

All humans need clean drinking water to survive, but you don't want to risk your safety and stockpile by giving other people access to your stored water supply after a disaster.

Get two or three cases of bottled water so you have items specifically for bartering purposes.

Chocolate and candy

Many people have a sweet tooth. And while sweets aren't an immediate need during an emergency, once the financial system has collapsed, there will still be many people who crave chocolate and candy.

Feminine hygiene products

Women will still need feminine hygiene products after a financial crash.

And even if there is no serious grid-down situation, the cost of feminine hygiene products may still increase, so people will be willing to barter with you.


If a financial crisis is severe enough that people need to resort to the barter system, there's a chance that people will not be able to pay the electric bill or that power will be shut off.

When this happens, people will want to trade with you if you have flashlights.

Try buying packages of several flashlights for less than the price of the included batteries. Products like these are great for bartering because they are cheap and disposable.

Over-the-counter medication

If manufacturing issues can cause supply issues for several months, things might be worse after a financial crisis.

Like antibiotics, many people will need over-the-counter (OTC) medication after a financial crisis or collapse after supply chain disruptions and price increases affect the local supply.

Stock up on these OTC meds so you have a variety of items to trade with:

  • Cold and flu medicines
  • Diarrhea and constipation medicines and laxatives
  • Headache and nausea medicines
  • Pain and fever medicines
  • Saline solutions
  • Skin and allergy medicines
  • Sleeping pills
  • Wound care medications, like burn cream or antibacterial ointments

Protein bars

Rising food costs may leave non-preppers scrambling for calorie-dense food sources.

Stock up on several cases of protein bars, cereal bars and fruit bars for bartering during a financial crisis. (Related: Emergency food prep: Stock up on manuka honey, a must-have survival food and barter item.)


After a large-scale financial crash threatens to destabilize the communications grid or forces people to scale back their spending on phone and internet services, you still need to stay in touch with friends and family.

Stock up on radios that operate on the two-meter and 70-centimeter amateur bands. You can also get cheaper shortwave receivers for use as barter items. These items will be popular among those who are desperate for reliable comms.


Like alcohol, there are a lot of people who smoke or vape. After the SHTF and the country dealing with a financial crash, these people will eagerly be trading to get cigarettes or e-cigs.

Stock up on cigarettes and some vape juice so you can trade with them.

Toilet paper and paper towels

During the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the country witnessed demand for one surprising product: Toilet paper.

At the height of the pandemic, toilet paper and other paper products flew off of store shelves. Even if you don't experience a financial crash, you should always have a good supply of these products, with an additional supply for bartering.

The current monetary system started as the barter systems that humans used for the years that pre-dated the invention of the modern currency that humans use today.

And while humans have been trading goods and services for money, if the currency collapses, society will go back to bartering. As a prepper, it's best to stock up on bartering supplies like food, medication and ammo so you can trade for supplies after SHTF.

Go to Health Ranger Store to find more prepping products that can be used for bartering.

Watch the video below to learn more about organic black beans, and why you should have them in your prepper stockpile.

This video is from the Health Ranger Store channel on Brighteon.com.

More related stories:

HRS SOLUTIONS: Stock up on organic non-fat milk powder, a long-lasting source of essential nutrients.

SHTF bartering must-haves: 13 Things that will be in demand after an EMP attack.

Sensible prepper rules to follow when building your emergency stockpile.

Survival beverages that are a must for your pantry.

Sources include:




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