CASH IS STILL KING: Why Preppers Need to Stop Worrying about Gold and Start Keeping Cash

Time and time again, I hear preppers advising people to stock up on gold and silver, but not many of them seem to understand the importance of cash. I know it’s almost Taboo to say anything bad about gold, but in my opinion, during a complete meltdown scenario gold is going to be the last thing most people are worried about.

extra emergency cash

Yes, I do realize the same can be said about paper currency. During an extreme collapse situation, your cash is going to quickly become useless, but that’s not really what we’re talking about here.

What about during other disaster scenarios? Do you really think the local grocery store is going to take your gold or silver as payment for your goods? I doubt it; a lot of these people have a hard time counting back the change they owe you, so I’m pretty sure you’re going to get some weird looks when you try handing over a chunk of silver.

Natural Disasters: They’re not going to take your gold as Payment

Guy Holding Gold Bar

All joking aside, I think we need to look at what happens during most natural disasters. One look at an event like Hurricane Sandy or Katrina will immediately show you the importance of always having cash on hand. During both of these disasters, millions of people found themselves unable to pay for things like food, water, and even gas for their vehicles.

The minute the power grid went down, credit and debit cards became completely useless. As our culture increasingly speeds towards a digital cashless society, people often forget how easily those digital items can be rendered useless. I recommend always having enough cash on hand to be able to make it safely through one of these types of disasters. From paying for gas during an evacuation to paying for hotels, extra food, or last minute supplies, cash will be one of the most important survival items that you can carry.

TOTAL COLLAPSE: Cash Will Still Be King during the initial Phase of the Collapse

Even during a total financial collapse, cash will still play a major role in how people buy and sell during the initial stages of the crisis. Should there be a run on the banks, people will be desperate for cash and will be willing to sell just about anything to get it.

Most people simply don’t understand how quickly a currency can become devalued, and most people will be clamoring for cash in the early stages of an economic collapse. People have been brainwashed into thinking this paper actually has some sort of value; so in the short-term, 99% of the country will still see paper currency as something that still has value.

WHAT TO CARRY: Small Bills are Best

When it comes to carrying cash for a survival situation, make sure you carry smaller bills — nothing larger than a 20. Even during the good times, a lot of stores are reluctant to take larger bills, so carrying smaller bills makes it easier to pay for what you need without worrying whether the business can break the bill. During a survival situation, you want to make things as simple and easy as possible. If you need to stock up on any last-minute supplies, you need to be able to quickly get in and out of the store.


  1. Darksteel
    November 29, 2012 at 3:40 pm

    Cash has its uses, but silver is a better option.

    Keep reserve cash available but also buy silver for post-collapse. Cash will get the lest essentials you need during the very early stages of the collapse while silver is for later on.

    • gena
      January 5, 2013 at 3:12 pm

      Once there is economic collapse,gold, silver and currency will be worth what the person says it is worth who has the commodities you wish to buy. The only wealth once real economic collapse hits will be in the commodities and skills you have that others need. Food and water and maybe ammo will be worth whatever the person possessing them charges for them, unless you are stronger than them and will just take it from them.

    • Red
      July 17, 2014 at 12:56 am

      I know that even more than gold and silver, items of value will be worth more than gold or silver. it is cliche’ to say “well you Can’t eat gold or silver” it is true. Food, supply items like seeds, grain, lead for fishing, bulk fuel. take half of that gold and silver and use it for something that will keep you alive in a crisis. I am not saying to sell it all but like I said earlier; you can’t eat it. I would rather trade ammo, food stuffs or useful items like a deep cell battery.

    • shit stain
      November 28, 2014 at 7:04 pm

      You’re a retard. Silver is so useful bla bla bla. Yea ok, if a nuclear bomb drops and everyone lives in sewers for 25 years and comes back out. Maybe silver will be useful. If there’s a short term disaster, I agree with the author 100%.

      • Harryzero
        August 27, 2016 at 10:23 am

        If fiat currencies collapse is will not be a short term disaster, simply due to the fall out of everything else that would be affected. Eventually some world wide currency that a gold standard can be fixed to will have to be sorted. That way all the different countries would have a point of reference to measure/value their own currency. That would mean that different countries would be able to deal direct with each party knowing the true value of both parties currency. Once confidence has been restored, normality can prevail. I would like to think that using silver (Maybe with a predetermined agreed ratio) might assist developing countries to participate in a world wide free trade environment.

  2. ben martin
    November 29, 2012 at 3:25 pm

    Good points, but I think you fail to grasp the concept of playing the market. It’s speculated that a $15,000 investment into silver now could be worth upwards of $150,000 or more at the time of economic collapse.

    I can take that investment, cash it during an economic meltdown, and walk out of the bank with wheelbarrows full of worthless dollars.

    Hoarding dollar bills won’t do that for you – so I still think it’s better to prep with silver & gold rather than cash.

    • Mike
      November 29, 2012 at 3:42 pm

      Everything is always a balance. It’s good to have gold, silver, and cash, but equity can be other places as well. Your property, home, vehicles, guns, etc. all have some form of equity. A friend of mine has several new guns that he has kept and have appreciated to a pretty $.

      • Off Grid Survival
        November 29, 2012 at 5:02 pm

        In my opinion, your right about the guns property, vehicles, etc…

        In a total economic collapse / Meltdown situation, these items are going to be far more valuable than precious metals. Your land, skills, supplies (guns, water, food, gear, etc) are all going to be worth their weight in gold!

        That being said, if you have all of those covered, then it might be smart to invest some of your money into physical gold and silver. But I wouldn’t put any of my money into metals until I had everything else stocked and ready to go.

        • DEB
          December 5, 2012 at 10:43 am


        • Smudge714
          January 13, 2013 at 8:29 am

          Good points all!
          Spread your wealth over a balanced set of goods and currencies!
          Cash in smaller denominations is a viable idea, as the article said disasters come in spurts, and precious metals will not buy bread at the local “Foodmart”, or Fuel,etc.
          When the long term,total, colapse, comes then will be the time to break out the more long term currensies(gold,silver,copper,etc),and use it to prepare for the times when only staples(Food,Clean water,ammo,etc) will be of value(You can’t eat gold.
          These staple items will be the currecy after a period of economic disaster, so I believe that stocking the essentuals now is also an important part of future economic survival! I noticed that not much was mentioned concerning ammo, It’s always Guns,Guns, and Guns. Try to keep in mind, that your guns without the proper ammo is an awkward club at best, and you would probably be better of with a “Baseball Bat” once you run out of ammo!
          Ammo,Non-perishable food,and Food seeds, in my humble opinion will be some of the most viable forms of wealth, and there fore, most used currencies!

          • Mark
            January 28, 2013 at 4:24 am

            I’m not being disrespectful but do you honestly think that someone in a collapse is going to bring you bread, a lump of flour and water and air? If you can’t figure that out at home, a bread machine, backup generator, you’re phucked! I’m sorry but I don’t think anyone is thinking here if they think they’re going to get bread! Did you ever think of corn, milk, propane, milk meaning dry milk; no one seriously can’t be thinkin’ bread; how about a can of beans! How about a jar of peanut butter; how about a can of tuna? Bread? Give me a break!

        • Chris R
          January 16, 2013 at 11:41 am

          I would say that some physical gold and silver can still be a good thing to have even before having other things. But this would be a part of one’s savings. Rather than just having a 401(k) or some other retirement/savings fund, it is good to diversify for various reasons. And thus having some physical metals kills two birds with one stone. It allows you to prep should it be needed, and it allows you to diversify your savings/retirement to help protect your money.

          • Mark
            January 28, 2013 at 4:28 am

            You’re a smart man to have silver; I wouldn’t touch gold if I were a millionaire; it represents land; it’s totally impractical in a collapse; gold will be 35,000/oz and can you see going to a store to buy anything or barter with that? Yeah right! You’d be murdered and would’ve given your family up to the worst form of disaster; attack from those who now knew you had gold! If you haven’t gotten the basics in place and know how to use those basics, you might as well use your ammo to do yourself now and get it over with!

    • rev. dave
      November 29, 2012 at 5:56 pm

      Really Ben, you think the bank is going to give you cash for silver during some kind of meltdown? Whisky Joe’s Pawn might, but I really doubt the bank will. They will tell you that silver is a commodity and that they don’t buy and sell commodities. Anything that is considered ‘money’ is only worth what you can trade it for at the time. Even your neighbor with some chickens may decide he’s got no use for silver at the time, and refuse to sell you eggs if he thinks he can trade them to someone else for beans. But then, who knows?

      • Gino
        December 19, 2012 at 10:06 pm

        Rev. Dave, Do you think the banks will even open their doors in any crisis? Yes silver is a commodity and has value. A dollar is paper built on faith, but still paper.

        • APB
          June 23, 2014 at 4:28 am

          But, to who? I lived through Hurricane Ike. There was no way I was giving up cans of Spaghetti O’s and juice drinks for silver.

    • Kevin
      December 30, 2012 at 3:05 pm


      Please tell me your secret:) seriously.

      • Kevin
        December 30, 2012 at 3:06 pm

        I mean Ben.

        ben martin says:
        November 29, 2012 at 3:25 pm
        Good points, but I think you fail to grasp the concept of playing the market. It’s speculated that a $15,000 investment into silver now could be worth upwards of $150,000 or more at the time of economic collapse.

    • Melissa
      January 3, 2013 at 5:19 pm

      Until SHTF paper money still talks and I prefer to be prepared for every emergency from something as small as an unexpected blown tire to my kid running off in a store. not every emergency has to do with the end of the world and I notice a lot of people forget to plan for the regular run of the mill emergencies.
      I’m not dismissing precious metals for long term stock pile in a SHTF event but having cash on hand is what is going to help you to survive now if your house burns down, car breaks down, kid get sick or seriously injured unexpectedly (trust me we had 2 major medical issues in a month, someone looses their job or any number of other every day “normal” SHTF events that occur in life.

    • greekspartan
      February 18, 2013 at 12:48 am

      you will not be able to cash your investment during an economic meltdown, dum-dum. The banks will hold your money, “lockdown”.

    • Circa58
      February 19, 2013 at 5:21 am

      You buy silver coins, best of both worlds, buy US currency silver, legal tender,

    • G-ma
      June 2, 2016 at 9:05 pm

      I don’t think this is about the market or precious metals.. it is about survival… Who is going to determine the worth of metals anyway .. Cash at the beginning is fine but building and protecting supplies is where it’s at. We need a “poor man’s forum” on building and hiding supplies.

      • Leon
        September 27, 2016 at 10:23 am

        G-ma is spot on.

        If/when you find yourself dependent on your stored supplies for survival, that’s when the only acceptable bartering commodities will be food, water, medicine maybe, life-saving skills, and similar. No one will give a crap about metals or paper money etc. and that is partly because NO ONE will know the depth or length of the storm – and no one will agree on the “real” value of the metal anyway. Even with a barn-full of goods, who is going to trade even one speck of it for useless metal unless they’re willing to gamble with their family’s survival? Some might, but I know I would not.

        Aside from all that, has no one considered that gold can be rendered valueless with a single governmental proclamation? It has happened before (FDR, 1933, Executive Order 6102) and can happen again with the stroke of a pen. If gov’t says the nation is about to collapse – or IS collapsing – and therefore requires by law that all gold be surrendered for $xx/oz by a certain date, and makes it illegal to own beyond that date – who is going to add gov’t hassles to their pile of concerns at a time like that? Who would trade even one loaf of bread for ALL your gold – knowing they will then possess a seriously illegal commodity (in 1933 the ownership penalty was up to 10 years prison) that no one else wants to own and which will likely be discovered and confiscated by gov’t thugs for $0 anyway?

        G-ma is right. If survival is the concern, then continuing to focus on money/gold etc is a huge distraction. The value of food and water is always there and always a known factor. The value of any man-made bartering mechanism is always an unknown and outside our control. If you have gold, that’s fine of course, but you cannot view it as an investment any more than a trip to your local casino is an investment. It’s never more than a gamble. Buy some if you want, store it somewhere, and forget it. Maybe it will prove useful, and maybe not.

        One other observation worth mentioning, I think, (and I seriously hope it doesn’t trigger a fire-storm of comment craziness that sometimes happens at the mere mention of religion), but for those of us who are Bible believers, KJV says “They shall cast their silver in the streets, and their gold shall be removed.” I’m not an authority on Bible translation or any such thing, so don’t attack me for quoting that, please. It may be that the reference there is to the actual final days on earth etc., I don’t really know – but it does make you think about it, right?

        Call me naive or whatever, but I suspect it’s better to focus on food/water/skills. Those are way hard enough for me anyway.

      • Eden
        October 18, 2016 at 3:45 am

        Gma: You are a very intelligent person! & so absolutely right!! I would love a “poor man’s forum”. One such forum is 40 years worth of Mother Earth News past articles on a CD. I am now printing the ones I find most useful for off-grid living for short or long-term situations.

    • Richard Bozic
      August 4, 2016 at 7:45 am

      Gold and silver will be worthless. The ELITE have already planned a change to a ONE WORLD CURRENCY. I hear analysts all the time predict the value of gold and silver to go through the roof but do you honestly think for one minute our government wants a bunch of instant millionaires walking around when their agenda is depopulization? If banks and businesses close, where are you going to sell your gold and silver? If you have to “Bug Out”, what is more important to carry, a bag with clothes and food or a bag filled with gold and silver? The only way gold and silver prices will reach those levels is once the government has all of the precious metals in their possession. I would rather invest on items I need to survive and keep extra cash. Look at all of these other countries that have economically collapsed. Don’t you think that some of those people have invested in gold and silver and yet they are all homeless and starving!! Gold and Silver is the biggest fraud they have blinded you with. It will never get you where you think you will be.

    • Harryzero
      August 27, 2016 at 10:30 am

      I agree absolutely, far better to preserve you wealth till such times you need to benefit from it. Should a World wide gold standard be agreed (not likely to be the dollar) then as much or as little you need to convert can be done with an immediate purchase in mind. Maybe a Worldwide bank draft could be the way forward for high value purchases.

    • Pj
      September 8, 2016 at 1:08 am

      Cash that in huh. LOL.

    • Briadwing
      October 22, 2016 at 11:04 am

      I think your missing the point. If where I live Three Mile Island Nuclear Plant has an emergency and I need to hug out, Gold or Silver is not going to be used to buy gas, extra food, or hotel accommodations during the first 1-7 days if I’m on the road. If the ATMs are down, cash will be King in the beginning. For longer term situations or total collapse, sure silver and gold will probably rule. Most business owners no nothing about the value of precious metals or spot prices. If Comms are down, imagine a gas station attendant looking at a Silver Eagle, what does it say on the back? $1.00, guess I have to pay with 30 of them for my $30.00 bill. It only makes sense having a few hundred dollars stashed as part of a comprehensive emergency plan.

  3. Blackhand
    November 30, 2012 at 8:46 am

    As previously pointed out by some others, there is no reason to be absolute on either side of this issue (all cash, no metals or no cash, all metals).

    I have a certain amount of cash in my home for the short-medium term issue such as a natural disaster or power outage (of more than a few days). It would also server, as the original post mentions, in the initial stages of a more protracted collapse.

    I also have silver (junk and investment grade) in my possession for use in both a collapse situation as well as a post economic meltdown/reset scenario.

    Finally, I have some gold primarily for the post economic meltdown/reset scenario. Although I am firmly convinced that our current economic system is doomed, the nature of the ramifications are unpredictable. The reset could be as bad as a complete collapse or as mild as a reset to some sort of gold standard with the associated pain, scattered violence with relatively little else in the way of life threats.

    The bottom line is that no one *knows* what will happen and therefore it is prudent to keep your eggs in a few different baskets.

  4. Arden
    November 30, 2012 at 10:32 am

    Having stocks in things like gold and silver is nice, if you can actually get to the money. What we are talking about here is a total collapse, you’re not going to have access to your bank accounts or your mutual funds or anything else controlled by other people and computers. If your preps all rely on money in the bank or exchange you are as screwed as the people that think the government will save them.

    That’s my two cents, take it or leave it…

    • 2heavyb
      November 30, 2012 at 2:40 pm

      Nobody said anything about worthless paper, bonds etc.. actual silver and gold in hand is what everyone here is talking about

    • Harryzero
      August 27, 2016 at 10:35 am

      I won’t take your 2 cents, I have no interest of going anywhere near the US. It must be the most toxic society on the planet.

  5. Mike
    November 30, 2012 at 2:45 pm

    Sure, “Cash is King” at least for the onset and initial period of an economic crash simply because the majority of people will still believe in honoring that specific face value.

    IMHO, I also believe in an economic crash the value of ‘paper money’ will quickly diminish and the value of other items, such as silver, gold, food, supplies (all kinds) will increase until a more stable currency becomes established or re-established.

    Diversification is key to ‘cover your bases.’

  6. Samuel
    November 30, 2012 at 5:30 pm

    Meh. Fiat is money, until it isn’t. Then gold is king again. Lather, rinse, repeat all through history. Might not happen in your lifetime, but it always happens eventually.

  7. Will
    November 30, 2012 at 7:04 pm

    Can anyone actually point out any time in history where an economy based on paper currency collapsed and people started buying and trading in silver and gold? If there is such an event, I haven’t been able to find it. You want something valuable to use for purchase power, stock up on alcohol, booze, wine.

    • Samuel
      December 1, 2012 at 8:35 am

      You might not be finding examples because of the way you’re framing the question Will. Look at the history of paper money in the United States – Colonial Notes, Continental Currency, State Bank Notes, Demand Notes, and Greenbacks. All are examples of failed US fiat currencies, and would have resulted in a collapse of the US ‘dollar’ if not for minted gold/silver coins in circulation at the time. The French Franc in all its incarnations is another example.

      Another approach is to look at the value of any paper currency in history, and what happened to its value once it wasn’t redeemable for gold or silver any longer.

      Alcohol makes good barter material, unless you’re trading with two Baptists I suppose, but it’s not money. Too difficult to tell the purity, requires containers to carry it, and is too easily diluted among other reasons.

    • ted larsen
      August 15, 2016 at 8:32 pm

      Your my kind of of guy. Absolutely right. During depression alcohol and cigarettes sold the most. When people lose their jobs or etc… it’s booze time

  8. PW
    December 1, 2012 at 12:23 am

    OK I got it, gold,silver all good and you should have that covered,however in my bugout bag that has been put into play more then 5 times for things like wild fires to brake downs, the last one was a Sat on a Holiday weekend and my bank card was not working and could not do anything about it until Tue. so happy I had my bug out cash, did not miss a step, so stock up gold,silver,cash… SHTF sometimes just for you, C.Y.A my friends.

  9. T
    December 3, 2012 at 4:21 am

    This will all be irrelevant when they decide to base all buy/sell off of a micro-chip located convently in your hand…

    • Dad0Seven
      December 5, 2012 at 5:07 pm

      If the financial networks crashes rendering credit/debit transactions moot why would a network tracking the RFID chip in your hand or forehead not suffer the same fate?

      • T
        December 5, 2012 at 8:53 pm

        Of course they won’t imply this post shtf, theyll do it soon before so they can control what one buys, how much one buys, and track what things one buys. And I’m not saying it has to be a RFID chip, it could simply be a Q-R code imprinted on your skin. I’m just trying to line all of this up with what I know is the truth.
        And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a MARK in their right hand, or in their foreheads:
        And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the MARK, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name. Revelation 13:16

  10. Justin
    December 3, 2012 at 12:22 pm

    Not to be the weird guy talking about video games, but look at the Fallout series. It’s set in a post apocalyptic world following a nuclear war. The currency there is in bottle caps. But then the major factions each try to make their own currency as well. The one that’s accepted everywhere though, is bottle caps. Who’s to say what the post SHTF currency will end up being? I would recommend stocking up on metals after you’ve got a good solid stockpile of the essentials: food, water, fuel, gear, guns and ammo, etc.

    My thought on precious metals is that they’re good now, but come to my house asking to trade goods/supplies for gold or silver and I’ll tell you to move on. What am I gonna do with gold or silver? Ammo I can use for defense or hunting. Food, I can eat. Precious metals are just something shiny to look at.

    • GY
      January 7, 2013 at 9:50 pm

      I’m with you. Although gold and silver have historically been useful after economic collapses, why will they be in the future? I’m honestly looking for an answer. It’s like an accepted wisdom that gold and silver will retain value and be a useful currency but I’ve never read a good explanation of why. Sure they are rare, but so what. How do they help me survive? I think it depends on the collapse. If there are still people in the world or economies in the world that haven’t collapsed, they might be willing to trade for Gold and silver because they still have a functioning economy. If the US totally collapsed and the World went into a major depression, say a pandemic that leads to an economic collapse, and you approach me with gold and silver to trade for some of my supplies I won’t be interested because that gold and silver won’t keep me alive and won’t be useful unless others are accepting gold and silver or I thought the economy would eventually turn around before I needed the value of that gold and silver. That general acceptance of gold and silver sounds like the same problem that paper money has. It’s all based on enough people accepting it for trade. Now if enough people are accepting gold and silver for currency but not paper money, yes it makes sense that gold and silver are a good store of value. But what is going to make gold and silver any better than paper money. None of it has the usefulness of goods needed to survive.

  11. Chris
    December 3, 2012 at 3:37 pm

    The best currency in SHTF scenerio long term will be barter items such as coffee, cigarettes, toilet paper and booze. Even make-up for the ladies. What girl wants to go into armageddon without her Estee Lauder?

    • phoenixfly11
      December 3, 2012 at 4:30 pm

      Those are the exact things I have been saving up too, for barter. Well I’ve been getting instant coffee, and hot chocolate mix and sugar cubes. Toilet paper is next on my list, but make-up, not too sure about that one yet. I don’t even wear a lot of make-up myself, but its fun for once in a while. I also stock up on bandages and medical dressings.

      • john
        February 22, 2013 at 11:00 am

        instant coffee? hot chocolate?

        i believe they come with expiration date – food items do not hold their value as well as precious metals because they are perishable – although if you got nothing else i guess u will drink stale coffee

        • ZipFire
          March 22, 2015 at 7:30 am

          Antibiotics. Antibiotics. I have yet to see the first word about antibiotics. You can kill weaponized anthrax for $40.00. Fish antibiotics are made on the same production line as people antibiotics. USDA standards are stricter than FDA’s so they may be a little better. IN SHTF they will be worth their weight in gold.

  12. Bill
    December 5, 2012 at 3:05 pm

    I think that as our politicians continue to ignore the debt crisis, hyperinflation of prices and hyperdeflation of the value of the dollar becomes a real possibility. In the south, silver and gold are used at small markets on rare occasions but they are used. I think some cash is smart but precious metals have always had an intrinsic value and will continue to increase in value.

  13. Mike
    December 6, 2012 at 9:11 am

    I do believe stocking up on “barter items” and precious metals is a great thing for the long term, but back to the point of the original post…

    During the first 72-hours to two weeks, people and businesses will still consider cash as the most viable currency, even in an economic crash simply because the masses may not know anything different. So having “emergency cash” on hand for the short term loss of power where ATM and Credit Cards may not work, or from an evacuation of a localized situation, cash will still be good to have.

    I cannot see trading a carton of cigarettes for a family meal at the start of a situation, while that may work farther down the road in time, but at the start, cash will still be king.

  14. Scott
    December 6, 2012 at 8:27 pm

    I have a question for all who read these articles and the comments that follow. What does anyone think about buying cases of whiskey or any distilled alcohol as an investment instead of cash or silver or gold? It seems to me that just about everyone would trade work or food or other essential items for this, wouldn’t they?……..Thanks for seriously considering this thought, because I have often thought of buying and storing alot of high % alcohol as an investment.

    • Mike
      December 6, 2012 at 9:49 pm

      I include whiskey, bourbon, vodka, and my favorite scotch as part of my diversified stores.

      Even during bad times the alcohol industry (manufacture or sales) is one that still prospers.

      For barter items, the ‘pint’ sized bottles or smaller would probably be a good idea.

    • kramh
      December 30, 2012 at 1:42 pm

      I don’t know about you, but I don’t know how to make gold or silver. You sure can make a still inorder to make booze. Food, clothing, ammo, meds first then what ever turns you on. You can age fruit juice with a little sugar in the sun and get drunk if that is what you want.

  15. Jostein
    December 7, 2012 at 1:08 pm

    I would think that water,food alcohol,gasoline,propane,hunting and survival gear would be way more valuble than cash or gold(you cant eat or drink eiter). it seems to me that people are forgetting that gold and silver don`t have any real value. people just said this is rare thefore it`s valubale, but when you are starving you want food.
    I just don`t understand why people would think that gold and silver would be a currency. It seems to me that bartering items would be way more valubal than a so called precious metal..
    Btw sorry for any bad grammar, english is not my first language

  16. BillyBob
    December 7, 2012 at 11:19 pm

    What a mix.
    Yes, I agree with most of you.
    Smaller denominations of bills (and coinage) for the onset, AFTER you have your house in order (Beans, bullits and beverages), take your c-notes and turn them in for gold and silver and barter items for laterfor later ). I think food , gas, oil, socks and whatever else is unavailable that you have and others want is more valuable than cash or metals.
    You want to stock something important, stock feminine hygene products. I did. You know what I would give to keep my women “content” in such a situation ? That’s wealth boy’s !


    “Survival” just means breaking even !

  17. Shufro
    December 8, 2012 at 5:46 am

    My belief on the matter is, keep an even value of precious metals and cash in the house, although the values will change in times of crises, you are set “money” wise. However, the true kings later on are gonna be: Bullets; Alchohol; Seeds; Lubricants(they will be desperate for a good jerk) and toiletries.

  18. Cipaguto
    December 9, 2012 at 12:03 pm

    All good points and it is clear that everyone has given this much thought. That’s important because having a plan is better than having no plan. Paper or coin currency is easier to use now. Precious metals will only be effective later once there is a value established for current services and products made standard to whatever the form of trade is. How much silver or gold does a loaf of bread cost? Barter items will be the most likely traded in between the old and new currencies. Anything that YOU need to live with will be good for barter as other will need them too. There is no end to this list and even though alcohol and cigarettes seem like a good idea, do you really want to be trading with an alcoholic or other dependent person? I like silver, lead, copper and brass. Gold is just out of my reach. Personal hygiene items make better barter goods unless you think trading away your food for ammo or ammo for food is a good idea. Having skills that most people no longer have will allow you to barter service (work) for necessities and/or commodities. My plan: Keep as much small denomination bills on hand (smaller than a $20 and they should look well used. New consecutive numbered bills make you look rich. Acquire silver, copper, lead and brass. Have as much of what my needs are so that I can barter what I don’t need when I need something else. Never be a non barterer as it will make you a target for the very needy. Form a group and barter as a group. Bartering solo can lead to trouble. Never barter away security or safety.

  19. Iguana One
    December 20, 2012 at 6:53 pm

    Must have silver and gold. Buy some each month. Save it like you were saving money. When it goes parabolic, and rises to the moon, use it for real estate, stocks, vehicles, bank loans and more. Things of investment. Do NOT trade it back in for worthless Dollars! Again.

  20. Dana
    December 21, 2012 at 6:28 pm

    Water, food and bullets will be king…in that order.
    If I have the last gallon of water, why would I trade it for your gold or silver? Unless of course I owned the water source…in that case, bring your own jug…the water will be free but I’ll charge for the containers if I supply it…LOL.

    • mie
      September 4, 2013 at 2:42 pm

      you are forgetting meds. vicodin, xanax & antibiotics will be better than cash, silver & gold.

  21. TruthBeToldNow
    January 2, 2013 at 10:21 pm

    This article clears up its debate with its own writings.

    Cash will be King in the beginning of a SHTF scenario. However, Precious Metals and other precious equities will be King near the end of the SHTF scenario.

    Like always, your SHTF plan must be prioritized. Precious Metals should be balanced into your Preps because a Preppers Preps are never complete.

  22. dancergene
    January 5, 2013 at 8:00 pm

    gold and silver are for keeping up with inflation. ok, in 1950 an ounce of silver was worth .75 which would back then buy you four loaves of bread. today silver goes for $30.20 an ounce. that will get you ten loaves of good bread. so if you put away a silver dollar as opposed to a paper dollar you keep up with inflation. the experts decided on 20% of your monies should be in precious metals.

  23. Hey Rob, I agree that in a disaster scenario, say at the Katrina level, cash would be a more effective trading medium than gold. In general the survival community tends to undervalue cash and overvalue gold, etc.

    One thing not touched on in your article though is inflation. Let’s say you stock up for 20 years before the big one hits. The cash you store will lose value over time, while gold will hold its value. Also, as mentioned above, in tough times gold tends to increase in value, so it will be shooting up in value exactly when you plan to use it. Conversely, cash could lose it’s value in times like these, a la runaway inflation.

    But in my opinion, if things get bad enough that cash loses its value, the only thing that will matter is having goods for barter than have direct value now. First the basics- food, water, medicine,weapons etc. Then things with future value- seeds, animals, etc. And finally luxuries like cigarettes, coffee, etc.

  24. Mark
    January 28, 2013 at 4:34 am

    Police officer friend told me to get ammo for the coming collapse when people will come to every house starving in search of food! Imagine the day when it’s you and your family over some marauder who will kill you all over a can of tuna! Many people think it’s upon us now! Recently, in the news, in Georgia, the woman unloading her gun into an intruder; folks this is just the beginning! I heard on a talk show a black dude saying that’s what we do when we don’t have no money for Christmas; we go take it! If you think it’s bad now, hold onto your 9mm! You ain’t seen shite yet! Do you have a shovel to bury them? I’m not kidding! Who the Phug you think is coming to pick ’em up for ya! They’ll be stinking drawing animals faster than you can believe! Get some good earth tools; you’re going to need them!

    • Raymond
      May 17, 2015 at 5:45 am

      I have given some thought to this situation, for me I live on a back road way out in the county, My plan is to drop some trees over the road so that no one can drive up or down the road. It is sad to say but criminals are not going to put themselves in harms way by getting out of there cars and walking down a road, way to dangerous where I live to do that.

  25. David Kurtz
    January 30, 2013 at 8:41 am

    Cash will be used “initially”, for maybe 24 hours. Gold and Solver will be used for all goods and services, nothing else will be accepted, maybe
    trading or bartering, fruits for vegetables, eggs for potatoes, etc. Otherwise, you are SOL…

  26. Dale Sparrow
    February 8, 2014 at 4:07 pm

    computer cash (your savings account or 401k) is easily confiscated, applied to national debt instantly wiping out trillions of computer dollars making paper cash (the dollar) much more valuable. Is this a likely scenario?

  27. Sylvia
    May 17, 2014 at 10:46 pm

    I see several good idea’s here, but most people know with the leadership and failure of our Gov. we will not have much time or money to even pay for most of these needed items. We just barely get by now. Keep each of cash, supplies etc. Work together with family and friends. Just be prepared in the future. Thank all who have given good ideas.

  28. sandy
    May 31, 2014 at 5:43 pm

    Even if everyone is prepared with ample food, water, medical supplies, guns etc. won’t the government confiscate it all? They have the power to do it so who’s to stop them taking it all away?

    • APB
      June 23, 2014 at 4:35 am

      What do you mean? “The government” is full of red blooded folks who have their own business to tend to as well. See: Hurricane Katrina, where the police deserted the city.

      Emergency Ops folks in the city ops center have their own stash. Why do they need yours?

  29. Sapper
    June 26, 2014 at 1:05 pm

    Gold was confiscated during the great depression and was illegal to own until 1977. Don’t think it won’t happen again. Even the bible states that in the end times people will throw their gold in the street as it will be worthless to them.

    I buy silver and barter items. Cash will only be good for a couple of weeks at best but I do keep a few hundred bucks anyway.

    In prepping the best policy is to never put all your eggs in one basket. Diversify and have a lot of investments and at least 4 ways to do anything. As for money….sure keep some cash, but also have barter items, silver, etc. Even toilet paper can be a commodity in hard times.

    My dad tells stories about the great depression during which he grew up….the one that always sticks with me is that people were eating the glue from their wallpaper to stay alive.

    The next depression will be much worse, my family won’t be existing on wallpaper paste. Will yours?

  30. Richard
    November 25, 2014 at 4:17 pm

    While most everyone talks about Gold & Silver (which I also have), I notice people don’t talk much about other metals such as copper titanium & lead.
    These metals have a use beyond trading currency. You can actually use these metals for making repairs, creating spare parts etc…

    BTW, it’s been mentioned to stockpile medicines which is a very good idea yet, they expire after a year or two. I suggest storing Poppy seeds, cannabis seeds & a book which instructs you on gathering natural medicines. Depending on the environmental quality, the inner bark of the Willow tree is what they make Aspirin from. Scrape the chalky white soft fiber from the inner bark, dry it and there you go, Aspirin !

  31. D.W
    December 30, 2014 at 8:06 pm

    How would everyone or anyone know fake coins/bars/ bullion from real ones on the street if it ever came to that? Imagine widespread silver and gold coated fakes circulated and what impact it would have on “real “coins.

  32. Steve Roser
    January 29, 2015 at 11:20 pm

    Let’s not complicate this. Every man with a wife and children need to prepare NOW. Food and water for 6 months minimum. Do your own calculations to obtain the amount desired. Start a garden and learn to produce nutritious vegetables. Learn to make bread. The items needed to make bread are few, and can be stored long term if you do some simple research. Look up aquaponics. If you don’t know what this is, when you do know, you will feel stupid each day that goes by that you don’t start the aquaponics. And you would be quite irresponsible. You are the men. Your wife and children need and depend on you to provide and protect. Quit talking about what you think, and start doing some research. Guys, we are all in this together and will need each other to beat back what is surely coming. And yes, you need guns and ammo. I’m talking shotgun, AR-15, and 2 handguns. Each weapon should have at least 1000 rounds, except for the AR-15. That should have at least 3000. Learn to can. Learn to store certain dry foods in mylar with heat seals. Get buckets and gamma ray lids. The collapse is coming and it will be too late to begin all of this then. You will end up going to a Fema camp to get your daily mush to feed your precious children. I said “F-no” to those thoughts and took action. You have no time left. You have no time to watch TV or watch a movie. You have no time for anything right now other than getting ready. And if you are blessed, prepare some for your neighbors. That keeps them on your team, not on your watchful eye. For those who want much more detail and guidance, please email me at: I’m looking for a team.

  33. Jolly Investor
    May 23, 2015 at 2:32 pm

    This author is such a Dumass. Gold and silver are volatile investments just like the stocks in the market, but during the economic collapse, the dollar value could likely lose its value, while gold and silver will still hold some worth. Obviously, the author forgot to mention about diversifying your assets and not placing all your eggs in one basket.

    • Dale
      July 31, 2015 at 11:47 am

      I agree. Diversity is something we would be forced to become familiar with in a worst case scenario. Personally I’m thinking more along the lines of having to be on the move. I don’t think bunking down anywhere is gonna be a long term option for most people should things really get bad. I think having to move around will probably be more relevant for most. In that case I’d rather have a rifle a few thousand rounds of .22 (as opposed to larger heavier ammo)
      I can survive with a rifle, and fishing gear.
      Whether I’m staying put or if I had to pack up and go those two things would be of most value to me.

  34. William
    February 13, 2016 at 6:26 pm

    Frankly you had me until you said need to stop worrying about gold. That’s a dumb ass damn advice I think I’ve ever heard on the internet ever. You might want to rephrase it to say that prepper should have cash on hand in addition to gold then maybe I’ll pay attention

  35. Rob
    March 31, 2016 at 3:39 pm

    People are saying “you can’t eat silver” or “who would trade food or water for silver or gold in a SHTF scenario”? I would trade a gallon of water for 2 or 3 ounces of silver if I had 100 gallons stock piled. I would trade a case of can goods for a 1 ounce gold coin if I had 100 cases stock piled. The people who will make out in a SHTF scenario will be the ones who REALLY prepared. Everyone on this blog seems to think there won’t be anyone who doesn’t have supplies to be gotten for the right price. What’s the price of a commodity in a SHTF scenario? Supply and demand baby!

  36. Rob
    March 31, 2016 at 4:03 pm

    Gold and silver have had and will continue to have value since record keeping of all mankind. Even through the days of ancient Egypt gold and silver were valued by Kings and Queens. People will have provisions to sell when there is nothing to be had anywhere!! The point here is how much is that item worth to the buyer? I personally will have provisions to sell and when society recovers will hopefully have made alot of money along the way. Another consideration: It might take a couple of gold coins to get you across a border. Or, several silver coins (a silver bar)to bribe a police officer!

  37. paul langsford
    July 1, 2016 at 7:49 pm

    bottles of hard booze will have more value then silver the stressed out population will need a few hours every night to re-collect and calm down all the examples about these metals are from GOOD/NORMAL OPERATIONAL TIMES th big thing is how bad is the damage?? if very severe only food items and clean water pass a hunk of metal? 1 of my 50 lbs bags of rice for your metal?? NO!!!

  38. Dave Stanley
    September 16, 2016 at 5:27 pm

    Some folks writing here are sadly under thinkers about commodities such as Silver and Gold. To state it simply, when George Soros makes a speech saying that Gold and Siler are useless in the coming crash today, then within two weeks has dumped $264,000,000 dollars for gold to store in vaults, it makes everything anyone of you doubters has said sound like you’ve been drinking the cooliade for far too long. Also, if you have any sense at all, you’ll immediately do a search for how gold and Silver were handled, spent, carried, portioned and hidden (to name a few searches) for the vast majority of the centuries…35 or more of them) since it became the under pinning for all economics and financial transactions developing on the civilized Earth.

  39. warren
    September 23, 2016 at 12:14 pm

    A good old fashioned kitchen wood stove will cook your food, keep you warm and heat hot water. Firewood cut , split and dried is also a necessity. a chain saw with extra chain as well as gasoline that is treated. a generator, 50 pound bags of flour, dehydrated vegetables. . dried beans.peas, coconut oil, dried bulk items such as vitamin c etc are all very necessary , land to grow food. guns and anmmo.several vehicles.Tools of all kinds as well as the knowledge to use them. Learn survival skills. Learn all about natural medicine. being debt free. and the list goes on and on.Remember that in nature only the strong survive.

  40. Leon
    September 27, 2016 at 11:35 am

    I understand your point, Dave Stanley, but “civilized” is a very big assumption.

    A lot of the thinking here makes the assumption that when shtf, some structured and dependable level of civility will remain in place rendering trade with metals viable. That may have been true in most of history, but I’m not sure about now. In the past, many people (maybe even most) were somewhat self-sufficient (world-wide) – because they lived/worked on farms or had family/friends who did and so had a modicum of ability to survive many of us no longer have – and also lived in a time when willingness to help others was a tad more common. Families and extended families and church communities etc all helped each other. Today, millions of people live in crowded cities on small lots or apts and get all supplies from stores and don’t know squat about growing/planting, and their “skills” often revolve around things completely unmarketable in a shtf world. The past civilities that enabled community bartering, and even metals valuations, have weakened substantially just by our current city-life and broken family structures. When shtf, all those crazy thugs currently raising hell in inner cities will be quickly moving out to other areas searching for goods – and I’m guessing they won’t be so civilized. They won’t give two shits about our gold.

    As for Soros, he can gamble $265M about like you and I could maybe gamble $10K. It’s a small fraction of his holdings (1% at last report!), and it’s how he made his wealth. He gambles. He doesn’t necessarily know more than anyone else even if he and others think he does. He just wins and loses at a level that makes news. When shtf, his gold will be as worthless as ours until life normalizes somewhat, but he can afford to hold it for ages if necessary, or even sell it to other countries or factories etc if they still exist (which you and I could never accomplish as we do not have the connections).

    “Funny” thing is… he is human and will one day die. Then what? :)

  41. butch
    November 19, 2016 at 5:14 pm

    remember germany during and after WW1?….cash is not king….that katrina and sandy incident is just a part of the country is affected and most of the industries are left intact….that is why the paper currency held its value….if it was a total collapse of the system then it would be foolish for you to say the cash is still king…the velocity of money simply is not there…in post collapse shtf…gold and silver will have value…HOWEVER…the exact worth will still not be standardized….barter of essential items and comfort items will be the norm…remember BOSNIA?…nobody would give a rat’s ass on silver and gold…over a canned food….lighters are more valuable than precious metals…ammos…are worth more.

  42. John
    January 28, 2017 at 4:44 pm

    I’m surprised bitcoin hasn’t been mentioned. There are many disaster scenarios, which is why I strongly agree with the “cover your bases” strategy–keep a balance of cash, junk silver, and tradable commodities that have inherent value, like ammo and seeds (and booze. I don’t even drink anymore, but a bottle of whisky will trade for a *lot* not long after even a localized breakdown).

    One scenario is a collapse of the US economy, but not the worldwide economy. In which case you want to be holding non-US currencies. Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies aren’t tied to any nation-state, which is very attractive when nation-states are failing. And it isn’t necessarily a bad investment in any case, so you’re not missing out on gains the way you are with cash.

    Investing in your post-shtf future is similar to regular investing–evaluate probabilities and risks, balance your portfolio. I live in San Francisco, and the biggest risk here, by far, is an earthquake. So our top two prep senarios are a pretty bad earthquake, where water and electricity are interrupted for weeks (think Sandy/Katrinia), and a truly massive quake, where the city burns and the bridges collapse. In our plans for both, cash is part.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.