Cash On Hand For Emergency Purchases

Level 1 Prepping & Preparedness

Cash for preparedness. It’s smart. Why? Because if and when the power goes out there will be no transactions with digital currency.

This will also affect some stores and their ability to accept cash, but chances are that you will be able to find what you need and pay cash.

Prepping and Preparedness (Level-1) is for up to one or two weeks of disruption. While the world won’t end, your life could certainly be disrupted if the event lasts up to one week.

You might need to go out and buy some more food, supplies, gasoline, or whatever else. However today’s modern society is programmed to use digital transactions when buying things. And if the power is out, you’re out of luck…

ATM or Debit cards. Credit Cards. So called ‘plastic’ money. One problem with that is the required infrastructure to support it. And what does that infrastructure run on? Electricity.

Cash is accepted everywhere. Although the Bankster Gangsters are pushing hard towards banning it, it hasn’t happened yet in the U.S. so I do recommend that everyone keep a certain amount of cash on hand for “just in case”.

Cash also is private. There’s no digital footprint. That’s why .gov and the Banking Cabal don’t like it so much. It’s harder to tax that way. It’s harder to control that way. But I digress.

The practical use for cash for Level-1 preparedness

Transactions during power outage scenarios.

Gasoline for your vehicle and generators

When there is a regional power outage, some gas stations may still be able to pump with their own generators. They also may have rigged up other ways to pump gasoline from their underground tanks.

The thing is though, they won’t be accepting cards. But they will be accepting cash.

Groceries from the corner store

Chances are that major supermarkets and big grocery stores may be closed during a power outage. Many of their registers require connection to the internet in order to communicate with ‘the mother ship’ network (e.g. corporate headquarters).

The corner store however will likely be just fine with accepting your paper currency. The “Mom & Pop” store (are there any left?).

I believe you get the idea though. It’s not rocket science. Just set aside some cash.

I regularly use cash for many of my transactions anyway, so I always have a decent amount on hand. Maybe you might consider using it more often than your cards. That way you’ll always have a fair amount in your wallet.

Or just pull some aside and put in a home safe for a rainy day. You’re not getting any real interest at the banks anyway, so it makes little difference…

Here’s an ordinary home safe you might hide somewhere clever:

Sentry Safe

[ Read: Survival Currency For After The Disaster ]

[ Read: Preparedness Level 1 – 4 Series Overview ]


  1. Ken I keep some cash in a sentry safe that is stored in my gun safe for double protection against robbery or fire. My question for you, the sentry safe is key locked, but the gun safe has a digital lock, with an EMP, would the digital lock still work?

    1. There is lots of opinion on that one. Certainly anything digital will be susceptible to EMP. One’s geographical location with relation to the EMP source will also affect the effective strength of pulse. There are variables.

      That said, does your digital lock have an override such as a key or is it digital-only?

      If digital-only, then I would be concerned regarding EMP.

      Hopefully we will never have to find out. However it seems that one day we might…given what’s going on in the world.

    2. A dead battery is far more likely than an EMP. I do have a digital lock on my safe that can survive an EMP. It has a dial with 100 numerical points marked and because I use my fingers also known as digits to spin it I consider it the most foolproof of ‘digital’ designs.

    3. David, retired country boy
      I believe that if you ask the question then there is some doubt, and ‘some doubt’ is enough to do something about it, correct? I would not trust a Digital Lock on anything that I absolutely need to get open if/when an EMP hits, why take the 1 in 1,000,000 chance?
      Just my 3¢ worth, cash of course.

      1. @ NRP

        Static electricity can screw up your electronic digital key lock. I don’t think a lot of people realize this. They are so worried about an EMP they can’t see the forest for the trees. My safes are manual dial combination only. I would NEVER use or have a safe with a digital lock.

        “I would not trust a Digital Lock on anything that I absolutely need…” You are so right!! I wouldn’t either.

        1. CrabbeNebulae
          Like you all 3 of my safes are Manual, My problem is all 3 have different combinations, AND I’m getting up there in age and ‘May’ be frying a few brain cells out, so I came up with a solution to remembering the combinations, and have used a Red Paint Pen to write the combinations on the front of the Safes so I can remember them….. :-) :-)

        2. I have a safe that takes a key and manual combination to open. I wouldn’t trust digital if my life depended on it. AND, it may one day.

          I also keep cash on hand although it may be hard to purchase anything in a grid down/CME/EMP situation. My concern with cash is civil asset forfeiture. I regularly make a withdrawal on the first of the month, make electronic payments on the first, and pay cash through th month. If need be I can make a deposit to cover an electronic payment during the month.

          A final comment, the EU is looking at allowing banks to freeze their assets to avoid a bank run. A disaster in the making for those who have no cash, or access to cash in their account.

        3. Yes, a grid-down/CME/EMP situation is definitely a whole new level of preparedness beyond the ordinary. I will be addressing this as we delve further into Level 1-4 preparedness.

          I read that ZH article a few days ago. People don’t seem to “get it”, just how bad it could get if and when the banksters need to shut it down…

        4. Ken, Steve, ALL
          Ya all need to get out and read this one…..
          Holy Moly…..
          Hence I trust the Banks/.Gov allllllll so much.

        5. NRP a couple of questions/suggestions. Are you sure you wrote the combinations on the correct safe? After all that sizzling sound in the background could be sautéing cerebral cortex and just Spam in the skillet. Perhaps, if you have a spouse, you could obtain the services of a locksmith to change the combinations to anniversary, birthday (spouse’s), birthday (mother-in-law’s). That way there’d be someone to REFRESH your memory and if they didn’t break both wrists during the refreshment process you’d have access.

    4. I have often wondered the same thing about the digital (electronic) safes. After talking with a local locksmith, I had the electronic pad removed and a good old manual combination/key lock installed. Cost was about $200.00

  2. Cash is King as long as civility is the normal. Depending on the reasons for a SHTF situation civility has about the same shelf life as frozen foods in a power out situation.

    Day Zero most will have little understanding of what happened and await Government help. Going shopping in a Team with cash, head lamps and a hand crank gasoline rated pump would work. Remember the 4 “P”s and make a working list. I would bring a calculator so the store owner can know he’s not being screwed.

    Day One of SHTF I expect from Hurricane Sandy observations people are dirty and tired and those folks who in normal times are aggressive (road rage anyone) will become trouble as in “Give ME your fuel and that pump”. They are clever enough pack up so thus you need a Team to avoid trouble. Some of the snowflake Social Justice Warriors will be active but have better communication skills to make YOU and YOUR TEAM the Horders STEALING everybody’s food and gasoline. What is your plan to avoid being the victim of a SJW mob?

    Shooting your way out sounds like a video game but if the power comes on in a few days or Goverment folks get involved you will find jail the Worst Situation to survive a SHTF situation. Personally I have Bear Spray and quarter staffs to clear my teams way out of a Mob situation. Guns are last ditch.

    So in short the value of cash depends on civil behavior and it’s value drops quickly as interpersonal aggression rise. Do any emergency shopping in a team with lists and ASAP.

    Just the opinion of an old soldier who has provided medical care in 3rd world countries.

    NH Michael

    1. NH Michael
      You are 1000% correct, as I say this, someone that’s prepared should NEVER be going anywhere for ANY reason for a few-weeks/months after TSHTF.
      It will do you no good to have all those Preps, and get yarself hurt or killed because you want that last pack of Cigarettes.
      All the cash in your hand will do absolutely NO good when someone shoots you for that 5 gallons of gas you just pumped from that Station Tank.
      FYI, take a look at the shootings in Chicago this year so far, now think about when TSHTF and there is NO nada for people, you think that Father of 5 and a starving wife will not kill you for your food? Ya better think what you would do.
      Even worse, the Snowflakes without Starbucks….. And their Credit Card don’t work.

      1. Don’t Worry about the SJW they won’t be able to find the store without there smrt phones (that’s how i spell smart) let a lone get a ride with uber. Just kidding don’t under estimate the snowflakes, yuppies limp wristers etc… they will become just as violent very quickly.

      2. NRP, wait until they run out of opiod meds, then the games will REALLY begin.

  3. The reason I prepped was so I did not have to go shopping for a long while after an event. Avoiding people is much easier than fighting them. Days, weeks, or months later, will cash be of an value?

    1. If an National SHTF event goes more than a few weeks from what I’ve seen in 3rd world countries and read at Selco’s excellent website our greenbacks will have no real value. If the event is regional (thus the Reason to have Ham Radio or even a FM radio to know beyond local rumors) then the probable survival of the US Government and thus greenbacks is possible. HOWEVER PLEASE Remember the First Directive of any Government is it’s OWN Survival and every country I have visited has REISSUED Money (IE the STRONG Bolivar replacing 10 old Bolivars) to reduce it’s own debt or to better control “counterfeiters” or Black Marketeers and thus your cash on hand is useless. Skills and useful items to trade is far better IMHO.

      If you have a raging fever or an infected wound and know I can fix it am I Useful to you?

      NH Michael

      1. Shortly, and months, after a SHTF, I agree the Barter System will pop up, but again, if one is smart enough one should be ready for at least one year of solitude. That level is and will be VERY hard to achieve, but if you’re really serious about being prepared, than one year should be your goal.

        I happen to also believe in Cash, not only for after TSHTF but for now. Zero CC, and Debt, pay cash for your preps and don’t use those stupid “Store” cards, they (.gov) do track what you buy, even online someone will know that you just purchased 500 #10 cans of Augason Farms stuff.

        1. yes NRP

          No debt and pay your property taxes ahead. One year of comfort preps and then perhaps one more year of sustenance preps, then see what is left in the world to eat.

        2. If you are concerned about the government tracking what you buy with a credit card and knowing you are a prepper and I guess you’re presuming they have a mapper of preppers they can raid if SHTF and they need it. Why would you post or even visit a preppers forum? It is alot easier for a goverment to determine who is a prepper from their online posts and activity than through CC purchases etc.

  4. I have gotten a pretty good friendship going with a few small store owners. I feel very confident that they would still accept cash in a lvl 1 scenario. Beyond that, I know one that is a silver/gold bug like myself and could most likely work out a barter system with him for some metal or maybe even security for the shop during the outage. MY WIFE IS MORE THAN CAPABLE OF GUARDING THE HOUSE IF I’M OUT GATHERING SUPPLIES WE FORGOT/RAN OUT OF. Remember that eventually cash would no longer be king after a few weeks without an organized response from the .gov or NGOs.

    1. Self reply to identify myself. Another good idea is to keep foreign cash on hand especially if you near an international border. Their currency may still be good and possibly not facing the same issues as your home country just in case one has to TOTALLY bug out.

    2. Jon
      A question, and not trying to be myself here, How long would you expect the ‘Store’ to have supplies when TSHTF? All research I have done and have heard says 3-5 days of supplies. If TSHTF and the trucks and other supply sources are not running, is that Mom & Pop store really going to have that Coffee in stock? Is that Gold/Sliver going to be as worthless as Cash when there is nada to purchase?
      I’m back to Katrina, it took the .gov (5) FIVE!!!! days to get just water to the Superdome where they told the people to go…… 5 FRIGGEN days! When you get a chance, look up some of the great things the .gov has done in a catastrophe to ‘Help the People’. Look up the way they kept people at the Superdome, with AR-15s and the Military NOT allowing you to leave the “Camp”.
      I will say it again, do NOT expect help when TSHTF. it will NOT be there.

      1. We’re only talking Level-1 here. As we get into 2+ then things will be much different.

        That said, for a Level-1 event (hours, days, ‘maybe’ up to a week) chances are that it won’t be what we call SHTF (although it may be for some!).

        Certainly though, some supplies and foods will run out after several days or as it pushes a week. There are variables here depending on the specifics of the ‘event’.

        If this Level-1 event gets to 1-week then it begins to get pretty darn serious – but then we cross into Level-2.

        1. Ken
          Absolutely correct, Heck I have had Diets that lasted a week…. hehehehe

          BUT, as most research will tell you, 95-97% of people only have 3 days of food and water on hand (if that), so even a level one could get violent after only a couple of days…. and what % now days don’t even cook in the home anymore? A week without takeout food?
          Can ya imagine no Starbucks after a couple of days? And the World goes CRAZY-ER!

          I guess I have more of a Doom and Gloom picture even on a Level One Event.

        2. I hear what you’re saying, and agree especially if the event is very wide reaching such that you can’t just drive out of it.

          A Level-1 in my mind however is not one in which you can’t drive out of the region and get what you need. That’s getting into Level-2. But it’s still good to think about!

          Katrina and Sandy were NOT Level-1 events. What happened there was definitely worse (for example).

          A Level-1 newbie shouldn’t be scared off by thinking that they’re going to get their head bashed in after a few days. I suppose they might under certain conditions (e.g. an inner city outage, population-dense cities, “bad” areas… )

          Level-1 is NOT doom-and-gloom. It’s easily dealt with by some simple preparedness actions as I’m setting out in this series:

          Prepping & Preparedness Level-1

        3. Ken
          AND I definitely hope that everyone will please continue to prepare, A Level One Event where as no power for a day or two (example) surely would be a wakeup call for a lot of people.
          I know your working on a few additions to this Stage of preparedness and totally believe this is a very important learning process. I also understand that if we can get just a few hundred or many even thousands of more people thinking and preparing, the time and effort is well worth it.
          I, as you have suggested, would encourage people to have some Cash on-hand as with most everything that has been and will be suggested in this series.
          Ken has a HUGE amount of experience as do many here on MSB, Please PLEASE if you have questions or concerns on suggestions Ken/We present ask away OR Ken has a “contact” on the bottom of the page.
          And yes, I like to give Ken a hard time, sometimes, but again, it’s in the effort to get people thinking about how to better take care of yourselves and your loved ones/Family.

          NRP Out.

      2. @NRP
        This was for a lvl. 1 event. One week tops to my understanding. Yes, I agree that “stores” would be bare after approx. 4 days, and beyond that, $ would be nothing more than extra TP. Gold and silver would still hold value to some, but again I agree, not to everyone. My post never indicated I was look for help, but to form a short term “partnership” with a local place. Your criticism is well taken and thanked.

        1. Jon
          Again I regress, BUT I honestly believe that the masses of people would go crazy after only a couple/few days (Level One) timeframe.
          I remember the riots that accrue in a very short time at practically every disaster recently. Cash was worthless sitting in 100 miles of Traffic going nowhere fast.
          Agreed G&S and Cash will still basically hold there value AFTER the event is over. And as Ken suggest having some Cash on hand is very wise for the short run and Level One.
          This said, I still would caution any-every one to not make an attempt to get that last jar of Peanut Butter from Costco after a Hurricane hits.

        2. NRP, fully agree it would only take a few days for it all to go sideways. I watch a good documentary on the NY blackout in the late 70’s I believe it was, and it only took a few hours for the crazies to go out full force!
          Any “partnership” I form would be short term and only if I came out with a slight advantage on the back end.
          If you were one of the sheeple who tired to get crazy in a small store and some dude stepped out of the cooler (which puts you on their flank or behind them in most store layouts) with full plate body armor and an AR with a drum locked cocked and ready to rock, there would be a long pause for their shock of what’s happening to set in. Gives you enough time to react appropriately.
          I would never go to the big box stores as those would most likely end up as graveyards after about 7-10 days by my guess depending on what happened in the world to bring us to this.
          Thanks again NRP, your posts/replies really make me reevaluate my stash and plans!

        3. NOTE TO Jon:
          You mentioned to NRP that $ would be nothing more than extra TP. NRP is our resident TP authority, as such he would probably have to be at a level 15 event before he will run out of the genuine article and use FRN for TP.

        4. Steve, Jon, and all
          Yet another GREAT reason to have a few dozen extra ‘Bills’ around….. enough said HAHAHA

          FYI, at a Level 15, my TP will be worth a LOT more than those $100’s Ken has stocked up :-) :-)

  5. Set aside $1 per week (more if you can) until you have $50 in small bills in each emergency pack. I seem to remember someone here saying that if you’re trying to buy milk and you only have a $20, the price for that milk just went up to $20. I spoke once to a gentleman who was on a business trip in NO when Katrina hit. He talked about single serving water bottles being sold for $20. If there’s a short term emergency you WILL need small bills. Those $100’s will be pretty much useless.

    Long term is another story, of course. There’s some debate over whether cash will be accepted at all in that situation.

    1. AGREE, I have been setting aside 1’s and 5’s for a long time now in packets of $50. That way I have small bills at the ready.

    2. I’m glad to read that somebody finally said this. $1 bills reigns! I am unloading all of my $50 bills, which they check for counterfeiting. Small change is the best, as in: I don’t have $1, would you take .75c?

  6. With a one week power outage, I might still be expected to go to work, which might mean that I will need to buy gas, even if the tank was full at the beginning of the outage. Bugging in for the duration of the outage may or may not be an option. It would depend on where we are in the scheduling cycle.

    Many of the newer software programs for processing credit cards have the ability to process the card offline and hold the transaction in a queue. When internet becomes available, the whole queue is processed. I’m just saying that it might not hurt to ask if the store can process credit transactions​ before spending the last of your cash. Also, just two years ago, I worked at a place that still had some of the old “knuckle busters” around for temporary outages.

    I will admit that always having cash on hand does not come easily to me. I am working on it. Does anyone have any tips on how to have cash and not spend it? I’m quite responsible when it comes to credit/debit, but cash just seems to want to flow….

    1. Ski Bum
      first off if you have a problem with not being able to not spend cash you should really address that as a weakness. That being said, if you really feel you can’t control yourself wrap and seal some cash in plastic then put it into some kind of container filled with water and freeze it. If you have to thaw it before use you WILL leave it alone

    2. Have a close by family member hold it for you. Remember to keep a ledger signed by both you and them so there is no argument about the amounts later. That, or keep it as change making it less tempting.

    3. Hi Skibum,
      Since I do have a commute to work each day, I carry some cash in small bills with me strictly for emergency use only. At first, I constantly reminded myself that this cash is just for emergencies, not for convenience. Now, I don’t even think about it being there any more. I put in inside a little zipper change purse, then inside a zipper pocket in my purse that I NEVER go into… period. That way it is not in my wallet where it would mix with regular spending money. I do the same in my GHB, a small stash of cash in small bills just in case.
      But you do have to be firm with yourself – that cash is segregated for a reason – a TRUE emergency only. Once you get used to the idea that it is hands-off (especially if you have to go through a couple of zippers and really think about what you are doing to get to it), you will hopefully just leave it be and kind of forget about it.

      1. I do something similar! I have 3 sets of reserves….a 100 in a strange spot in my wallet, a packet of small ($50.00) in a zippered portion of the purse that I do not go to regularly and another $50.00 small in my BOB. I put about 60k miles a year to and from my jobs… could potentially get stuck somewhere 2-3 hours from home.

        1. Hi PW,
          We are on the same wavelength! A little bit here and there in odd places that keep me from accidentally spending it, and nothing larger than a $10 bill. I completely agree with Lauren’s comment above, if you need a bottle of water or carton of milk, and all you have is a $20, guess how much you will spend for that one item.
          I know Ken is on Level 1 here, so I guess for me that might be an area-wide power outage that backed traffic up so badly that I eventually burned though a tank of gas before getting home? Or, maybe stopping at our local store/deli to pick up more ice to keep some things from spoiling? Maybe having to pay a taxi driver in an emergency?
          I will say that years ago we took a Hawaiian vacation, and LAX and surrounding airports were fogged in on our return. We were flown into Ontario (a long way from our car at LAX) and hundreds of people were waiting in line for busses (yet to arrive). DH waved some cash at a passing taxi driver, and we hopped in and avoided HOURS of waiting in line for a ride. I’m not saying the wrong airport is a level 1 emergency, but there are some situations in which some cash on hand can buy you a way out of an unexpected predicament.

    4. Skibum
      Please I’m very willing to help you with the ‘Cash’ problem. I will ‘hold’ your cash in my possession until TSHTF, for you…… :-)
      Something you may try, As poorman suggested, with a little twist, Freeze ALL of your CC and Debit cards in water and put at the bottom of 300 pounds of frozen food. Use cash for everything. This will do two things, it will in a few weeks this will slow the spending considerably and two, it will make one see the $$$$ going out and not saving. Writing a check to pay a CC seems easy, forking over $300 cash is a little tougher.

    5. @Skibum, “Does anyone have any tips on how to have cash and not spend it?”

      Yes, it’s called will power.

      1. Ken
        I like MY first idea better…… :-)
        Is it any different that what the Banks do? remembering that they now pay ZERO interest on your deposits, AND once one deposits their “cash” it now becomes a Loan to the banks and may or may not be available to you. PLUS a 10 day hold.
        AHHH and let’s not forget the harassment by Banks when you have a slightly larger amount of cash, such as you are now a criminal in the eyes of the Banks AND the .gov……

    6. Well, pooh….just wrote a long reply and received a “500 internal service error” when I hit submit!

      1. Here’s my second attempt.
        A couple of suggestions for how to accumulate cash:
        – get an empty 5 gallon water bottle and empty you change into it every day. When I rolled and cashed in mine, it was about $2500 and paid for a really nice vacation. Also heavy enough you’re not tempted to move it to raid it.
        – ATMs spit out $20 bills. Pay for everything with a $20, then take the $1, $5, $10 bills and put them aside in an “out of sight, out of mind” location.
        – If you have a gun safe with a manual combination, stash your cash there and as you’re dialing the combo, talk yourself out of raiding it.
        – saving is like dieting or stopping smoking….distraction until you build up your will power muscles.
        Hope this posts!

        1. We do the same thing with the 5 gallon jug. There are also a few small pill bottles that fit in there with bills rolled up in them. I haven’t tried yet, but I can see it being hard to empty cuz the pill bottles just barely fit and would act as plugs trying to pour out the change. After a while, IF YOUR GOOD, you won’t even remember all of the bills in there as they get buried in the change!

    7. Thanks for the comments and suggestions, everyone! I really don’t think I need to go quite to the point of having “cold hard cash”. I now have some cash in my GHB and in the deep pantry. I bet that simply having emergency cash with emergency supplies will be enough to reframe it as such in my mind, instead of as “accessible cash on hand”. Sometimes it just takes another perspective to see an obvious solution. Thanks!

  7. Our local bank closed in June & the next closest is 40 miles away. My egg lady, local bake sales, etc. don’t accept plastic so I am even more motivated to keep cash on hand even without a power outage.

    1. De
      There is not ‘print’ function on MSB for Ken’s choosing, I would suggest you ‘Cut/Paste’ the requested info to a program like Word.
      As a sidebar, most sites with the ‘print’ function do not print the comments also.

  8. We don’t keep as much cash on hand as we did at one time. We would rather spend it on items that will likely hold value after the SHTF. We keep enough to fill the gas tank in the car and to fill a few gas cans. We already have most of our ducks in a row so there should be no reason to run out for supplies. We still have our wish list with things we could use but if we don’t have them no great loss. We have all of the critical needs filled. I think that the currency is more likely to crash long before we get to spend it.

    1. Sounds like you’re all set! That’s great.

      Cash is a great thing to have on hand for Level-1 preparedness. Not saying you need a big stack, but that’s an individual choice. I personally like to have plenty, which is kept in a safe place. I simply prefer paying for things in cash as part of the normal way I do things.

      To depend upon electricity for being able to purchase food and supplies during a Level-1 is something best mitigated.

  9. I have a lock box within my truck that contains mostly bills that are no larger than $20.00 and have a good supply of 10’s , 5’s and singles on hand. It proves mighty handy when the computer that replaced the cash register goes down butt the power grid is still up. This scenario happens an awful lot these days. (more frequently than total grid collapse.)
    Fortunately, within a large and busy store, there is usually some one with brains who will open a lane for cash transactions only. (sorry folks, the computer is down. We are fixing it but it may take a while.). Times like this, I just minimize my purchases and leave the area before some irate customer flips out at the checkout line.

    To NRP whose mother lives in Portland, Oregon: My wife gets suspicious because she thinks it is my “Strip Club Fund”. sorry to disappoint but most of the working girls would be mighty disappointed at the short “rainstorm”. and so the drought continues. (not enough money to “make it rain”).

  10. By the way, I keep nothing larger than 20’s.

    Most of my cash stash consists of 20’s, however I do have an amount of 10’s, and singles for change if need be.

    1. This my biggest fault….all 20s that have been recently changed from 100s after reading a lot about saving small bills; just a few 100s left.
      Now, I do need to change 20s into 1s, 5s, and 10s….but let us just say, that’s gonna take a while.
      I don’t plan on using a bank–my plan is to use nothing but 20s on purchases for a while even for a loaf of bread; see how that goes.

      1. See, preparednana didn’t even think about it too so I’m not alone–it’s just so much easier to save 100s.

      2. I pay with 20’s for just about everything. It generates plenty of change each time and it adds up to a nice stash of smaller bills.

  11. I recently converted a portion of our savings into cash and “deposited” into a lock box here at home. However, I never once thought about the size of the bills I hold, mostly BIG bills. I do have a large stash of quarters, hold over from the collection of State Coins but no other coinage. So, my new plan is to take part of the stash into the bank at different times and exchange it for small bills and more smaller coins. NRP, probably can’t use the coins for TP but won’t be paying $20 for a loaf of bread either. Only problem I have with all this is coins are pretty heavy as is G&S. Bills get heavy if you have lots of them also but think the need outweighs the problems created.

    1. 4 stacked and taped up quarters work pretty darn good out a wide fork slingshot for small game.

    2. Someone earlier in the conversations said….”use a twenty to pay and separate the change into stash” this is exactly what we do. Every Friday I move the 1’s and 5’s and occasional 10’s to a different location than our wallets!

  12. Just because “an event”,, isn’t occurring in YOUR immediate area, doesn’t mean the pay point grid can’t and won’t go down. Happens a lot more frequently than you think.
    If you want to confound the “tracking authorities”, just regularly take out X amount of dollars in cash back when buying groceries, stash the cash in a fire proof safe INSIDE your gun safe/s.
    You will be surprised at how much of a cash nest egg you can build up in one year’s time alone. We use this method all the time as our preferred method for “road trip” cash,emergency fund/s, etc.
    It is great to see those envelopes on hand with the receipts for the cash, gives great peace of mind.

  13. A caution about small document/money safes. Sentry, and every other small safe I’ve investigated use a fireproofing that emits moisture into the safe. It’s in their instructions. Leaving one of those safes closed for long periods of time could destroy the unprotected contents.

    I’d suggest double sealing valuable papers and cash in plastic, throwing in a few moisture absorbers, and checking it at least every few months.

    1. I should mention that moisture absorbers/dessicants are reusable, just put them in a dehydrator at max, or in the oven on a cookie sheet at 175 degrees. Good as new.

  14. My D-bil’s heat went out last winter my husband picked up a part for him & fixed it. In between him & his wife they were not able to come Up with under 30 dollars, with out going to the bank. When we left their house we were both shocked at that they had no cash on hand. We both carry more then we probably should.
    I use a digital safe at work, I open it 2-3 times a day x 180 days. I have never had one last more than 1&1/2 years. Most years by the end of the school year my safe has already been replaced. They buy the mid size, probably 100 pounds, brand name safes and the digital parts just don’t hold up. We only buy manual locks for our personal use and keep a good supply of small bills on hand.

  15. As others have said:
    Pocket change goes in a big coffee can, when full roll and convert to bills then into the GHBs.
    Every pay period pay myself first, withdraw same day and into a safe, various denominations.
    Also monthly payment to an emergency/unexpected event fund, only used for the fund title.
    Any weekly allowance (yup, at 65 I get a weekly allowance), what I save out it is mine to keep. I squirrel the extra away-walking around emergency cash.
    Predict, track and adjust the cash flow,
    Try to live 40-50% below your means, may not achieve it but the effort will generate cash you didn’t have before.

  16. Something I would share with all……DH is on SS, I still work, but NOT for much longer on a regular basis….I have the luxury of cutting my load to whatever I might choose as self employed, but really looking forward to SS next month. That being said, I can only encourage folks to be FRUGAL. I know many of my posts make it seem as if we are living in comparative luxury….but we got here the “hard way”. Lots of physical labor, sweat and tears. Just take all your coins each Friday, all your small (1’s and 5’s) each Friday and you WILL see that they add up over time. Put it all someplace safe and leave it alone. ADD to it every Friday or Saturday….whenever your week ends. DO NOT COUNT IT, as that creates temptations. Just park it away safely each week. I have found I can put away about $50 each week between small and coins…but that is a personal issue. You may only put away $5 each week….but IF YOU LEAVE IT ALONE it WILL add up to be there for you! Peace, and I hope we NEVER have to use any of it…..(I did cover DH’s new lens for his eye though, and oddly, didn’t even dent the stash. sure surprised him!

    1. Pioneer Woman
      Excellent advice, I also will be bailing from the ‘working class’ soon, and hitting the SS club, I greatly suggest to all get OUT OF DEBT NOW, put a little away, and enjoy life.

      1. They just started taking medicare out of my SS this month. Medicare and the supplement comes to about $250 a month. Although that is a lot less than most are paying it is a lot out of a retirement income!

        1. I never paid the supplement–just the 105 at the beginning and now.
          Got tons of mail about it–but not doing it.
          I am drug and prescription free, thank the Father.

  17. I don’t plan on leaving my house for three months or longer when the balloon goes up. Will lock the gate and drop a tree across the rear deer trail at the back of the property. Best to let the zombies have at each other for a few months and there will be a lot less of them to deal with. In our township and county they have marked down every house with solar panels on tax rolls. I think the plan is to go around and take them so the police, city hall and fire department will have power. We will all be truly on are own.

  18. I also add a cash withdrawal when buying groceries, etc. One time in Walmart, I wanted to withdraw $100. The clerk gave me a 100 dollar bill. I said I did not want the 100 dollar bill, wanted 20’s instead. He snarkily replied “That’s all I have”. I simply said “wait a minute”, reached behind and picked up a candy bar and paid for it with the 100 dollar bill. Got my change that way. He was not happy.

    1. Brilliant!!! I am needing to convert a few 100s into 20s and also 20s into 1s.
      I will get 10s and fives in return, but can ask for 1s.–may not get them, but still.

  19. I live in a small, high desert town with only a small grocery store & a Walmart. The nearest city is over 50 miles away. It’s not unusual to find empty shelves at Walmart. Sometimes it’s milk, often it was most produce, last week it was sugar. Even though I know it’s just a matter of waiting a day or so for a truck to come in it still gives me a gut-clinching moment to realize that someday this might be the norm.

  20. Many moons ago in the last century when I got out of high school, most guys would carry an emergency $20 in their wallet. Prior to being married I usually had at least $4000 (the max my wallet could carry) on me at all times. After getting married my wife did not want me to have lots of cash. Today I try to always have an emergency $100. A hundred bucks can solve many short term emergencies. In twenties is best.

  21. To Malcom X:

    When people ask me for money, I tell them my wife takes ALL my money. At that point, they smile and walk away.

    1. Live in Illinois, married with a son. Cash is a luxury my other half holds.

  22. When we married (48 years ago) we discovered having 2 checkbook didnt work out so good. She used the book as I used cash. I also saved all my change. I have rebuilt everything on my 77 f250 4×4 over the years except paint, glass and carpet, paying for everything with change. People look at you funny but money is money. I still have several cans full that I cannot lift. Since his birth all our change goes to the grandson fund.

    I used to read a lot about money, I found that in the history of a paper/coin system the paper always goes away. The old paper will be replaced with new paper and the coins, (because they are expensive to mint) will move to the new system at full value. Digital money will blow that theory out of the water though.

  23. Forgot more, one of those weeks I guess, received the order for two emergency whistles, DW saw a squirrel stampede, early morning’s about crack of dawn, 10 to 15 came pack running out of the woods hell bent for Lexington, crossed the yard, road and into the woods, very spooky.

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