Thursday, January 29, 2009

Barter; It's Frugal!

Recently, I made a suggestion to someone about bartering.

15 years ago, I had no idea what that even meant!

But several years ago, I had a very kind friend whose husband was starting a new dental office. (They had been in missions as dental workers.) They were likely on a strict budget, coming off the mission field, and they had a young daughter too. They had attained a building but needed several things done to get it fixed up and ready. I volunteered to help her paint and anything else that I could do to help. I just had 3 children at the time and they played with her daughter while me and my friend painted. We took turns overseeing the children, the whole while painting and cleaning. After I had helped her some, she brought up bartering and said that she wanted to repay me by offering me free dental service if I needed! What an exchange, huh?!!!?!

I also have a couple of books here by Ronda Barfield which I have enjoyed very much. It gave me a great place to start on living more frugally, years ago, as a young and unlearned mother. Her books mention bartering in several places.

I've also heard from many ladies who go pick fruit and other things, in exchange for a couple of jars of jam (when they often are allowed to pick bushels!).

My neighbor gave me some apples and pears last year that she had picked somewhere and just ask for a jar of 'preserves' or 'something' in exchange! What a blessing!

There are several online "Bartering" sites that you can sign up with and list your services and ask for services. I heard of one man offering to do 'home repairs' for dental service for his wife! And there is soooo much more and there are many of those sites!

There is also Freecycle on the net. You can sign up by county, even those surrounding you, and get emails when new listings are posted. The ONE RULE is everything MUST BE free! But you can make requests for things that you need as well as make offers of things you are looking to get rid of. Yesterday in my county, someone was looking for some twin beds for free and there was someone giving away free kittens. Another day you may find someone offering free kid's clothes and yet another asking for some. It's a neat system!

Bartering is a great and frugal way to attain things that can seem out of reach! Perhaps you could start a bartering system with your close friends? Make a list of things you have to offer or services that you can provide, and then attach a list of things that you would consider bartering for; then send it around to your friends and family whom you know to be frugally minded!

Perhaps we should do this in blogland? I don't know but the possibilities are endless!

But be creative! And think!
Can you sew, clean, mend, cook, walk a dog, board a pet, babysit, tutor? type? bake? knit? teach a few ladies a certain skill- cooking or gardening? make soaps? etc?
What do you have extra of? garden foods? food from your favorite hunter piled up in your freezer? extra fabric stacked to the ceiling? old homeschool material? kid's clothes? adult clothes? video games? toys? fresh baked goods? manure or compost for gardens? coupons that you won't use? home decor? kitchen gadgets that you won't use?

You gals remember me telling you about one of my bartering friends? (Just in case you haven't, you can look under my sewing label for more about that.)

If you can't think of anything, ask the Lord to show you!
He's a big God!!!


Joy said...

Ok Donna I am really excited about this! I was talking to my sister last night about this and lo and behold her and my father had had a discussion about bartering and how we should try to do that! You know in the Amish communities it still goes on very strong. How are we any different?
Anyways as I was pondering off all you had to say the other day and I was prayerful about bartering I am thinking what I would like to do is just what you said in your post!
Lets start a bartering "club" or whatever you want to call it! I know at least 2-3 ppl who would love to be involved and they are good christian women as well. So what should we do to get started? I am sure you want in as well? Lets start something. I am still praying over our situation here, what you and I discussed and I know God will take care of us He always has!

Donna said...

Will write you to discuss this more!

Organized Nutrition said...

OH, How I LOVE LOVE LOVE to barter!
We gained over 200 LBS (yes that is right pounds) of apples last fall.. .in exchange for my hubby trimming the apple trees (yes, TONS of them) and some jars of applesauce and beans from our garden (OK, they would have just given to us like always, but we alway feel guilty and MUST give back!)
I Think this world would be sooo much better if we went back to the way things used to be... a FUR in exchange for some shoes!

Donna said...

I couldn't agree with you more!
You don't live in TN do ya? ;-)