Bartering Items You Need to Stockpile for the Next Financial Crash

by Tommy Grant

As long as humanity has had financial systems, there have been financial crashes. Sometimes, these result in short-term suffering, but there have been times throughout history when financial collapse led to far worse outcomes.

We have yet to see a crash severe enough to destabilize the government and society here in North America, but given the fragile nature of our financial systems, it is an inevitability.

When a financial crash is severe enough to cause country-wide unemployment, hyperinflation, and the collapse of the banking sector, you’ll have to resort to the barter system to get the goods and services you need to survive.

To this end, here are several examples of items you should have on hand to use for bartering after a financial crash.


One unfortunate aspect of our society is the easy access to alcohol and its damaging effects on the mind and body. It is estimated that in the United States, there are almost 15 million people who suffer from Alcohol Use Disorder all of whom will be desperate for a drink. Even people who do not have a compulsion to drink alcohol will be likely to trade goods for a bottle to calm their nerves.

Even if you do not drink, having a few bottles of liquor and wine on hand for bartering is good practice.


Bartering Items You Need to Stockpile for the Next Financial CrashLike alcohol, there are a lot of people who smoke or vape, and their addiction will have them trading all manner of things to get their fix.

A carton or two of cigarettes and some vape juice will go a long way in a SHTF situation.


Once the supply of batteries on store shelves is exhausted, people will be desperate to get their hands on all the standard sizes of alkaline batteries and battery banks to charge their smartphones and other devices that charge via USB.

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


A severe financial crisis could make law enforcement overwhelmed and ineffective. This would cause a true SHTF situation where crime becomes rampant and impossible to control.

In a wide-scale SHTF situation where the rule of law becomes non-existent, ammo will be as good as currency.

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It’s good to have a surplus of common calibers set aside specifically for bartering. Especially handgun and small game calibers. Air gun ammo is also a valuable bartering commodity to have on hand.


Bartering Items You Need to Stockpile for the Next Financial CrashIf a financial crisis is severe enough that we need to resort to the barter system, then it is probable that people will not be able to pay the electric bill or that power will simply be shut off.

Those that are left in darkness will be desperate for illumination.

You can often find packages of several flashlights for less than the price of the included batteries.

These are great for barter because they are cheap and disposable.

Toilet Paper and Paper Towels

One surprising aspect of COVID was that paper products flew off the shelves. Even in my area, where we had a factory that produced these products, the panic buying stripped every store of toilet paper and paper towels. You should always have a good supply of these products and an additional supply on hand for bartering.


Keeping in touch with friends and family is essential, especially when a financial crisis threatens to destabilize the communications grid or force people to scale back their spending on phone and internet services.

You can pick up a Baofeng radio, which operates on the 2-meter and 70-centimetre amateur bands for thirty bucks. There are also inexpensive shortwave receivers you can keep on hand to use as barter items.

These items will be worth their weight in gold to people who are desperate for reliable comms.

If you’re concerned about maintaining communication off the grid during a crisis, you should learn here how to legally turn your CB car radio into a powerful transmitter. This will probably be the only source of communication left, giving you an important tactical advantage and access to vital information.

Bottled Water

We all require water to survive, but you do not want to share your stored water supply with people. I like having a flat or three of bottled water on hand specifically for bartering purposes.

Protein Bars

Rising food costs leave people scrambling for calorie-dense food sources. A few cases of protein bars, cereal bars, and fruit bars will be great barter items during a financial crisis.

Feminine Hygiene Products

Financial collapse doesn’t cause women to stop their cycles. Even if there is no full-scale SHTF or grid-down situation, the cost of these products may become prohibitively expensive.

Over-the-Counter Medication

Bartering Items You Need to Stockpile for the Next Financial CrashLike other items on this list, a financial crisis or collapse will cause supply chain disruptions and price increases, leading to empty shelves at your local pharmacy. I’ve seen certain over-the-counter medications stay out of stock for months due to manufacturing issues, and we can be assured that a financial crisis will be much worse.

A bottle or two of several common medicines in addition to your normal medical supplies will pay off when people need to treat pain, nausea, constipation, diarrhea, colds, and flu. Make sure that you have children’s medicines as well.


In the aftermath of a severe economic downturn, access to medical care will become limited, and common infections could pose serious threats. Having a supply of antibiotics on hand can be a lifesaver for individuals facing bacterial illnesses without access to healthcare services.

Consider stocking up on commonly used antibiotics, such as amoxicillin or ciprofloxacin, to meet the needs of your community during challenging times. Since antibiotics are typically not available over the counter, here is an ingenious way to stockpile antibiotics without a prescription, before it’s too late.

Chocolate and Candy

Many of us, myself included, have a sweet tooth. This desire for sweets doesn’t disappear because the financial system has collapsed, and you will encounter people who will give you goods or services for a sugar fix.

I would definitely offer up some handyman or other services for a bag of two of my favorite candies.

The current monetary system had its genesis in the barter systems that humans used in the thousands of years that pre-dated the invention of currency.

In fact, we have been trading goods with each other for longer than we have been using money, and if our currency collapses, we will revert back to bartering immediately.

Part of being a prepper is preparing for what life will look like during and after SHTF, and being ready to trade goods is always a great idea.

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