We would never advocate that you break the law, except for right now when we encourage you to break any stupid laws against brewing your own hard liquor. Or try to navigate the legal minefield of home brewing, either way.
Whiskey was the currency of choice for Western Pennsylvanians after the Revolutionary War. Instead of hauling grain to market over hill and through dale, they converted it to whiskey. This was much easier to transport and trade since it had high value for a low volume. The scumbag Alexander Hamilton ruined that by demanding a whiskey tax paid in coin. This set off the Whiskey Rebellion which set the precedent for the terribly cronyistic and centralized government we have today.
But anyway, alcohol sales are generally recession proof. Worst case scenario, you can drink your money and drown your sorrows.
Another easy way to distill alcohol is by using a big pot where you slowly boil your fermented mash. Place a smaller bowl that floats in the mash, and then a larger bowl over the top of the pot. The idea is that as the alcohol boils off, it collects on the bottom of the larger bowl covering the pot, and drips into the smaller floating bowl.
If you have access to below freezing temperatures, another makeshift method is to strain the alcoholic mash, and freeze it. The water will freeze before the alcohol, so any remaining liquid is your moonshine.
Alcohol is also a great disinfectant, and preservative.
2. Ammunition. The Silver Bullet of Currency.
Just make sure your ammo is for widely used guns. I’m not sure how much your 7.62×54 Russian is going to trade for on the apocalyptic market.
Of course, your bullets could rust and deteriorate, but kept under the right conditions, they should outlive you.
It also helps if you can make your own ammunition. So go ahead and buy up a crapload of brass casings, lead, gunpowder, and a loading press.
Worst case scenario, you just bought yourself a lifetime supply of cheap bullets.
In terms of using it yourself, there is obviously protection from people and animals, but also hunting. Squirrels will start tasting like chicken pretty quick.But stick to the .22s for squirrel hunting, anything bigger and
But stick to the .22s for squirrel hunting. Anything bigger and we’re talking squirrel puree.
3. Soap. This gives money laundering a whole new meaning.
If you have water, fats, and lye, you can make soap. Soap is actually pretty rare these days. Real soap is a chemical reaction between lye and fat. Most commercial soap is just chemicals and fragrance.
But soap is always useful, doesn’t go bad, and easily transported and stored. That makes it the perfect currency.
It’s not a luxury item, it is a sanitary item that prevents disease.
You can make a good soap with water, lye, coconut oil, shea butter, olive oil, and some essential oils.
You can also use animal fats, but that might make it tough to trade with vegans.
4. Tobacco and Cannabis. Smoke ’em if you got ’em.
In the German concentration and prisoner of war camps, cigarettes were as good as gold. Actually, they were better than gold. You couldn’t smoke gold, what use was it?
A little reprieve from the terrible reality of life, or a bartering item for an extra bowl of soup. It actually didn’t matter if you smoked cigarettes or not. Enough people did that it was widely accepted. Now clearly not as many people smoke cigarettes. But tobacco is still widely used enough that chances are it will be accepted even by non-smokers.
Tobacco actually has some medicinal uses. Swallowed, it can dispel worms and other parasites. But mostly it has the same appeal as alcohol–a little escape. The type that survives–and may even proliferate–in economic crisis.
Marijuana, on the other hand, can relieve stress, and dull pain. It can help people sleep, or help the sick work up an appetite. Cannabis may even ease seizures and control spasms. It is a medicinal plant, and would likely be in demand in an apocalyptic scenario.
Both tobacco and cannabis are light weight and easily traded in bulk.
Right now anyone can legally grow weed in Alaska, California, Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, D.C., Nevada, and Oregon. It is also legal to grow marijuana for personal use in Uruguay and South Africa.
We recomend growing it in case of emergency if it doesn’t put you in a precarious legal position.
5. Dried Food, especially whole beans and corn.
Here’s an idea if you are worried about being robbed, or food being confiscated. Disguise your dried food as art.
The featured image of this post shows a variety of dried beans and lentils arranged in jars. This looks pretty and can be kept on a shelf, mantle, and other inconspicuous locations. You could do the same thing with dried rice or corn.
It is great to have these extra stores of value which can be eaten or traded in times of crisis. But the best part about whole dried beans or corn is that they can also be planted. Not only is this a store of value, it can create more value. And it is much more likely to fly below the radar of thieves and looters.
What do you think of these off-grid options for diversifying your emergency currency portfolio?