Currency of the Middle Class After the SHTF

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Editors Note: A guest contribution from Donnovan Okoth to The Prepper Journal.  A different twist on a recurring theme. As always, if you have information for Preppers that you would like to share and possibly receive a $25 cash award, as well as being entered into the Prepper Writing Contest AND have a chance to win one of three Amazon Gift Cards  with the top prize being a $300 card to purchase your own prepping supplies, then enter today!

We will be okay Lydia, we don’t really have to hoard up so much food supply, besides we got the gold and silver! What makes you think that we won’t survive for a year when the SHTF, Don told his wife…for all my middle-income earning preppers out there, this statement should be the last thing you tell your spouse. Honestly, they will skin you alive once you realize that this idealism of investing in gold and silver as the only form of currency is nothing but a paradox.

Let us be realistic here, yes, investing in gold and silver is a good idea but it should be the last item in which you invest. Why? This is due to the fact that if you decide to invest mostly into this “currency”, the reality is that you will need lots and lots of it, probably a whole pickup truck of gold bullion’s so as to be able to fully take care of your family’s needs when the SHTF.

From the research and tests I have done, I have been able to come up with these everyday items that I know will be of more value than your gold or silver during the SHTF; I shall summarize their functional content generally at the end of this article.

Currency of the Middle Class After the SHTF - The Prepper Journal Currency of the Middle Class After the SHTF - The Prepper Journal

Firstly, we have medicine. Investing in medical items such painkillers, aspirin, antibiotics, penicillin drugs, bandages and gauze (basically, medical items that you know people will need during the SHTF) and storing large amounts of them will assure you even more gold than you can imagine. Throughout history it has been seen that during an economic crisis most pharmaceutical supplies will go to a complete standstill, especially if that situation has caused civil unrest, most suppliers would not risk transporting their medical supplies. This in turn creates a lot of demand due to the limited supply.

Secondly, ammunition, (specifying on bullets and not actually guns) just rewind back to the wild west and remember how you could trade bullets for a can of beans. Usually, the sale of ammunition varies from country to country i.e. if your country is prone to armed violence than it wise to stock up ammunition. If you have enough of these then you can be able to barter them for other goods that you may not have.

Currency of the Middle Class After the SHTF - The Prepper Journal

Also in our list, we have seeds which you know from history can act as a trading item. Though a word of caution, travelling with a very large stock of seeds can make you a target for authoritative figures such as the police.

Currency of the Middle Class After the SHTF - The Prepper Journal    Currency of the Middle Class After the SHTF - The Prepper Journal  Currency of the Middle Class After the SHTF - The Prepper Journal

Fourthly, tea, coffee and alcohol.  Most may not realize this but these beverages have become convectional necessities, meaning that people have been using it so much, up to a point that it has been labelled under basic goods as people can purchase it despite prices being high. These beverages are like water to some people, especially those who are addicted to it. If there is a financial collapse (as an example) most goods like alcohol will be impossible to find but if you will be able to have a few bottles if not a whole barrel of this item, then you will most likely get a lot of people who are interested in buying it.

Currency of the Middle Class After the SHTF - The Prepper Journal  Currency of the Middle Class After the SHTF - The Prepper Journal  Currency of the Middle Class After the SHTF - The Prepper Journal

We also have sugar, salt, spices, seasonings and honey which can not only last for years and has also proved from the past to be one of the most expensive items of trade. Some spices have multipurpose uses, examples are cinnamon which has antiseptic properties and ginger which can be used in treating colds and flu. Some people who may not have enough money to buy medicine may opt for other sources such as the use of herbs and spices in preventing certain illnesses, I use the word prevent because what these spices and herbs do is not necessarily curing certain illnesses but instead strengthen your immune system by improving the production of antibodies in your body.

Currency of the Middle Class After the SHTF - The Prepper Journal  Currency of the Middle Class After the SHTF - The Prepper Journal Currency of the Middle Class After the SHTF - The Prepper Journal

Last but not least, your skills. Yes! What service can you offer people for pay, can you hunt, brew beer, smelt metal, farm, herd, deliver a baby (especially this one). It would be a good idea to get to know of certain skills because an economic crisis may force a country to go back to the “local economy” whereby most goods are usually bartered and when it comes to the special skills that you have, this can label you as a very valuable person because of the scarcity of the people involved in that field. Other forms of currency include; cigarettes, bar soap, fuels, battery cells and even your food stockpile i.e. if you have enough of it.

In conclusion, when disposable income is commonly available in ones life some may tend to spend disproportionately on a bunker, guns and gold as opposed to the items listed above. I’m not saying these are not prudent investments but, accounting for hyperinflation, the prices of the items above will prove to be better speculative investments when the SHTF. After all a single bullet chambered in a $125 handgun will convince one to give up any form of currency.

Since the majority of us don’t have “much” to spend on gold but have just enough to feed our family and enjoy a few luxuries still all under a budget, then I suggest you invest your money on these items.


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Mike Harris

I have to totally disagree with you. This is based upon my own research. If we take any society that has gone to the point of hyper or hypo inflation we can see that commodity based assets have always held value. If this is not true please show me an example! This idea that the mere possession of alcohol, water filters, canned food, candles, firearm related items and first aid products (insert random household/camping item here) will somehow equate to a gold standard currency (i.e. quintessential standard) that will allow the average person the ability to effectively engage in commerce… Read more »


How will you transport your gold and silver? How will the person you trade your gold or silver with know it is real gold or silver without a testing kit? Assuming that the government doesn’t freeze or seize assets or property, assuming you have long range transportation, assuming who you trade with knows it is the real deal…what would you buy with your hard currency? Salt, coffee, medical supplies, parts, ammo, diapers? Stuff you should already have in abundance? While I agree with you in principal, the whole point of the article is investment of resources for a SHTF scenario.… Read more »

Mike Harris

Let’s break this down step by step. 1) How far are you willing to travel for any barter or commodity item? How much energy and time are you willing in a WROL scenario to put in to get what you need? If your traveling your expending energy in the hope that the commodities/ barter items you have will get you what you need. So if that’s the case I know I would want my commodities/ barter items to have the most strength possible. Through the Laws of economics (Graham’s Law, and Valuation) you get the most bang for your buck… Read more »


You ask for examples to the contrary yet you provided none yourself. I would not trade any of my limited resources for gold as it would have no use and thus value to me. At $40 a gram, how much gold would you trade for a bottle of water?

Mike Harris

I’m glad you have asked about proof For starters I will encourage you to read some articles I have posted in regards to this idea ( ( lets look at the economic science (Grahams law, valuation) lets take the current universal gold standard (1 oz. gold= $1,282.30 or 77oz. silver or €1086.70). The precious metals market has been in existence since the beginning of time and has value that supersedes the US economy. Now with that being said commodities are much more then just precious metals. A commodity is anything that holds intrinsic value in of it’s self and based… Read more »


im replying to Mike and everyone else here….. youre all right. we will need more than precious metals to survive. and that is number one. however , in the end when all the dust settles , the people will develop a base for bartering,purchasing…. and gold and silver will still be IT. not the stale salt that has been stored for 3 years or seeds that wont grow anymore. this is only my opinion. what do you think? does it stink?

Ben Leucking

The last time I checked, you can’t eat gold or silver. You can’t hunt with it, cure an infection, or plant it to produce a new crop of coins. If I have food and you have only gold, I will not trade for something that I can’t use directly to further my own survival. I will admit that I maintain a modest supply of gold, but it is in 1/10th ounce Krugerrand coins, which are more likely to yield a fair trade value for most post-SHTF commodities. Would you barter a $1300 (at current value) one ounce coin for a… Read more »

Mike Harris

I totally believe in preparedness I believe people should have the supplies and skills needed to survive. With that being said your statements reinforce my points on COMMODITIES (which are more than just PRECIOUS METALS). Strong currencies have 3 things (“Widely Accepted”, “stored value”, “Unit of Measure”). If I need food in a WROL situation I won’t be going to the average prepper with barely enough supplies to survive. I’ll be going to the farmer or homesteader looking to engage in commerce. The farmer or the homesteader isn’t going to be interested in my life straw water filters, bick lighters,… Read more »

Mr. Gray

If I have the choice (and I do) of being in a SHTF situation with gold/silver or without gold/silver, I choose WITH. The truth is that gold and barter items will both be useful in trade. There will be some situations in which goods should only be used and there will be some situations in which gold/silver should only be used. If you have no gold/silver that puts you at a disadvantage. Gold/silver would be more useful than barter in these situations: – Bribes – Debt payments – Purchasing high cost items – Paying government-imposed taxes or fees Remember the… Read more »


anyone who hoards gold and silver and NOT food, water, medical supplies is an idiot.
you cannot eat gold and silver and who will trade their food with you for a useless chunk of metal-not knowing what the value is or even if its real? answer only another idiot.

Mike Harris

You should take a closer look at the Laws of economics a little better. We need to be realistic about our approach. If I want something Its because I wasn’t prepared enough. If you have something I want it’s because you were more prepared. What does this mean? If your bartering or trading it is probably with someone who is prepared. If you think that I as a prepper who has my own array of supplies will be interested in your life straw water filters, Bick lighters, miniature first aid kits or unrefrigerated fish antibiotics you have been lugging in… Read more »


I am confused by some of these comments. Did you read the article? The author -does- recommend stockpiling gold and silver. They merely advise stocking it last and not to the exclusion of all the other extremely sensible commodities that you use in daily life and should store to allow steady continuity of living. If the choice is to stock gold or antibiotics, and I have no antibiotics, the article recommends putting away medicine first. If, however, I have a stash of antibiotics, then the article quickly lists other things I may be low on. If I am set on… Read more »

Mike Harris

The article brings up many points of which I would love to have an open conversation with the author. I think the approach is fair however I have to disagree with the premise of taking everyday household/ and camping items and expecting to make them the quintessential economic currency standard. The author states according to his research and tests and I would like to know what that research is. According to what I know from the laws of economics (Gresham’s law, the law of valuation), a strong currency needs 3 things (“Widely Accepted”, “stored value”, “Unit of Measure”). Unrefrigerated fish… Read more »


I think the author is correct in the assesment. What I would add is that if we are infact living in an apocolyptic era and looking at years of recovery with a very dimished population, what’s valuable in one area may not be as valuable in another. People living in the desert will associate much more value to water than someone surviving in the Northwest living next to a year around stream. You have to look at the situation you are stuck in. If I’m out of water and have medical supplies to trade, I would trade it for water.… Read more »

R. Ann

Just throwing it out there – there’s a balance to every part of preparedness, starting from the everyday (job loss, major storms, fire, medical disasters) to the more extreme (extended job loss, recession/depression from 2008 to 1930s, major crop damages in multiple supplier regions, fuel issues) to the “everybody feels it” end of today’s world scenario. Part of that balance is having cash, to the degree of comfort for each soul, and a value-holding cash equivalent, as well as being able to eat, drink, be alerted to a fire, relative comforts and luxury, defend yourself walking out of a hospital,… Read more »


A couple of high priority items for the must have list that I never see listed; feminine hygiene products and birth control.

Wild Bill

Interesting. I have a guest post about just that BUT, making it palatable to a large audience, challenging. It will come out, just need to finish some edits.

Cynthia A Kang

Feel a free magazine work help me show the reason to subscribe to your magazine.

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