Day 14 of our Frugal Living Challenge is all about Learning To Share And Barter.

Bartering is one of my most favorite ways to save money and since I work the Farmer’s Market, I have the BEST opportunity to do it!

I was just thinking of how many things I have bartered for this year instead of paying cash. In the old, old days people bartered for EVERYTHING. When you have extra of anything barter it with a friend or for someone in need or just to be plain nice – give it away. 🙂

The following is from a post I did at the end of 2013 –

trading post

What is a Barter System?

A barter system is an old method of exchange. This system has been used for centuries and long before money was invented. People exchanged services and goods for other services and goods in return. Today, bartering has made a comeback using techniques that are more sophisticated to aid in trading; for instance, the Internet. In ancient times, this system involved people in the same area, however today bartering is global. The value of bartering items can be negotiated with the other party. Bartering doesn’t involve money which is one of the advantages. You can buy items by exchanging an item you have but no longer want or need. Generally, trading in this manner is done through Online auctions and swap markets.

Do you know where the term “buck” for a dollar came from? During the 17th and 18th century, colonists traded beaver pelts and deer skins for tobacco, corn, nails, etc…

barter piccute barter

Bartering clubs started up in the US during the Great Depression when money was scare and then a resurgance of clubs in the 1980’s where 100’s of clubs started up while we were all in that almost never ending recession. Over the past few years bartering again picked up and spread like hot cakes but there are STILL people that would not even think for a minute about trading something for something. “Oh goodness, the horror…uugghhh why would anyone want to do barter. I’ll just go BUY it!!!” Well I say “go right ahead, buy it!” and snicker that I was able to score a couple steaks for baking up some fresh bread.

barter 2

Do you have a talent or service to offer? Or do you bake, cook, garden, make crafty stuff, can homemade produce? Are you good at cutting lawns, chopping trees, cleaning houses, cut hair? If you answered YES to any of these, then you can barter too! If you don’t do any of the above, maybe you have a bunch of kitchen pots, pans, electronics, etc..that you no longer use but are in really good condition? Well trade those! I belong to a couple of groups locally that barter but you could also find some online groups with Craigs list or Ebay. For now, I will still with people I know but maybe in the future I will venture out. 🙂

Thinking back throughout the year, with money being tighter than ever, I feel very blessed for what I got through my bartering efforts and couponing. Here’s a list of goodies from 2013!

Mostly traded for homemade bread that I baked or herbal remedies:

5-6lbs pork chops

4 lbs water buffalo

Whole chicken

cube steaks, ground beef

lots of mushrooms!

many lotions and soaps

hand knitted socks

lots and lots of kale and other greens


pizelle cookies

liver  jerky for dogs


coconut oil

pounds and pounds of sweet potatoes and regular potatoes

pumpkins, squash – all kinds

fresh herbs – bunches and bunches

radishes, peas, eggplants, green beans, onions

muscadines, berries – quarts

a glass pendant

tomatoes galore(since mine did not do well this year)

seeds, okra

plastic bottles for lip balms, salves, lotions


canned items

knitted purse

36 ears of corn

glass bread pans, cooling racks

pampered chef clips, pictures


bouquets and bouquets of fresh flowers

dog treats

money off a conferences traded for volunteer hours

medicinal herbs

syrups, jellies,

drink mixes, fresh ground coffee.

Apples & Pears free from picking at friends farm.
Apples & Pears free from picking at friends farm.

So where do you start? Here are some helpful hints besides mine above, from Andrea at FG:

Where do I start?

Begin today, sharing with your friends and neighbors, by discovering ways to combine resources in order to save money and reduce wastefulness. For starters…we can stop holding on to our possessions with a clinched fist. Instead of thinking about ways in which to build fences, we should be working together to tear them down.

Here are a few things that will help:

  1. Exchange time, not dollars.
  2. Share yard tools between neighbors (i.e. lawn mower, leaf blowers, shop vac).
  3. Volunteer your services with a homeless shelter, crisis center, or any other not-for-profit organization.
  4. Car share or carpool (for work, errands, or any other time the use of a car is required).
  5. Make a meal for the family in your neighborhood that just had a baby.
  6. Put your creative ideas on a blog and share them with the world.
  7. Offer your assistance to the widow who just lost her husband.
  8. Share your knowledge of almost-forgotten skills with the younger generation before they are lost forever.
  9. Give those items that are cluttering your house to friends or charities that you know could really use them.
  10. Look into starting a community garden in your neighborhood this coming spring (now is the time to start planning).
  11. Become a member of a local CSA (community supported agriculture) or food co-op.
  12. Start participating on Freecycle. **or
  13. Perform random acts of kindness.
  14. Eat together with friends and/or family weekly.
  15. Don’t forget to show hospitality to strangers, for some who have done this have entertained angels without realizing it!
  16. Host a swap party — get your friends and neighbors together one evening, tell everyone to bring things they’d like to swap, and walk away with something new!
  17. When someone wants to repay you for something, ask them to pay it forward instead.
  18. Look into borrowing and lending things through Share Some Sugar.***Update – don’t think they are in biz anymore***
  19. Barter on Craigslist. Or you could try u-exchange, trashbank, or care to trade.
  20. If you must buy…always look to buy used first.
  21. Share your tips with others online or through a free ebook.
  22. Get a library card.
  23. Support and invest in a friend who needs your help.
  24. Give homemade gifts.
  25. Share your skills freely with others.

Now It’s Your Turn

Daily Goal:
List ways in which you can use the principles of sharing and bartering to help save money and build your community.

Comment here please and on the facebook group. Bloggers LOVE comments!!!!

Enjoy your fabulous day,


 Shared on Wildcrafting Wednesday!

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I love the idea of bartering – it is so people-sized and non-corporate. The biggest challenge for me is to get over the awkwardness of offering trades and negotiating. But I will!


It just takes practice 😉
You are so good with people Kjesti and if you want I would love to barter with you!!! If you want to make me your laundry sauce, I will make you bread, insect repellent, salves – any of my Etsy items – you name it. 🙂


We love the bartering system too! My husband has a wood splitter and we will cut up logs for those who can’t or have no time and then we split the wood. Also have traded our garden veggie produce for fruit produce that we don’t grow (like a crate of strawberries)…Thanks for sharing on the Art of Home-Making Mondays last week. Please join in again this week as new link up is up and running! I enjoyed what you shared 🙂


Thanks Jes! I will check in again this week. 🙂

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