If a global economic/social collapse where to happen, and if you and your family managed to survive the short-term chaos, what do you think would be so valuable later that you would consider spending a few of your scarce dollars on some now, to salt away for later? To me, this is a real dilemma if your budget is tight. What would salt away if your budget was not so tight? My best thought is to first invest in tools (defined broadly) to produce things of value. What kind of tools? My cheapest answer: skill to tan leather hides, along with heavy thread and hand needles for sewing leather. Could things ever get this bad?