One school of preparedness advocates that in addition to having US paper dollars in your preparedness stash, you should have some 'junk silver.' 'Junk Silver' isn't junk at all, but consists of older coins that have no numismatic value to a coin collector. Their entire value rests in the 90% or 40% silver content. In today's market these are worth MUCH MORE than the face value of the coin. For US coins, these include pre-1965 dimes, quarters and half-dollars. There was also a brief period during WWII (approx 1942 through 1945)when nickels had silver in lieu of copper. These 'War Nickels' would also qualify as junk silver.
There's a good list at this website:
You can also check the approximate value of the silver in your 'junk' by looking at the far right column of the table and adjusting it for the current value of silver, found here:
For example, if you have a 1944 mercury dime, the table says that if silver is $10/ounce, a 1944 dime in good condition is worth 72 cents. If silver is now $35 an ounce, then multiply the 72 cents by 3.5 ($35/ounce divided by $10 per ounce) and the dime now has $2.52 worth of silver at current price -- not the $0.10 face value of the coin. A well worn coin would have slightly less value because some of the silver has worn away, so the weight of the coin and its silver are less.
For most of us, buying one ounce silver coins at $30 to $50 each is not in our budgets. Junk silver may be within our means. You may be able to pick up three to four dimes for $10 at a local pawn or coin store. This could give you a few silver coins to tuck into your preparedness supplies in case you need something and the seller doesn't want to take bills (remember the pen to check for counterfeiters?) or your bills are somehow ruined or you run out.
Again, don't go into any debt. You will also need to check the price of silver occasionally so you have a general idea what it is worth before your local emergency so you don't overpay!
Disclaimers: 1. I do not represent or receive any compensation for any aspect of this blog. 2. I absolutely do not recommend going into debt, including credit card debt, to have cash or precious metals in your preparedness supplies.