Friday, February 11, 2011

A Penny Saved...

Back in the day, people then known as survivalists used to talk about the things that were critical to survival. "God, gold & guns" was the motto. I never considered myself a survivalist, and I still don't. I thought of myself as a "homesteader", someone looking for a rural, self-sufficient lifestyle. We always had goats and chickens, sometimes pigs and other livestock. There are many folks - survivalists, homesteaders, and those who are now called "preppers" - who maintain this lifestyle and love it. We loved it - it's a good life. But it's also hard work, and when there are no children to share the load, it is sometimes grueling work. Neither my husband nor I have the strength or vitality that we did 20 years ago, and last year, we let all the livestock go. But still we keep a pantry. We don't do it out of fear. We do it out of love for our families. We do it so that if things get bad for whatever reason, food, warmth and shelter will be available for those we care about.

For us, and for most people in our families, buying gold is just not an option. But we can create a hedge around us by storing food, essential items that make life easier or more pleasant and some forms of precious metals (PMs). We like silver - junk coins and 1 oz rounds - because it is more affordable. Today, we saw a great video on something even more plausible for the average family - copper pennies and regular nickels.

Though it is illegal to melt down U.S. coins at this time, the value of copper in each penny is 3¢. That means every penny made between 1909 and 1982 is worth 3 times it's face value in copper. This makes having pennies with those dates a very inexpensive and "do-able" hedge against hyperinflation or dollar devaluation. Who among us doesn't have a penny jar?