The following is a guest post written by Tori of Juniper and Grace.
Bartering: an exchange of goods or services without an exchange of money.
numbers in your checkbook may be subtracting by the day, but your life
is full of opportunities to multiply what you have and bless others
through the process!
We’ve all done it: traded childcare with a
friend, swapped good books or exchanged favorite recipes. This
practice has existed since the beginning of the human race, and is
experiencing a rebirth in our depressed economy.
Bartering is as easy
as deciding what it is you’re looking for, finding someone who has what
you need, and offering a trade. Check out your favorite online
communities or just call a friend to see if they're willing to give it
- Yard work- Not just for kids, raking or weeding can be a fun family project. Invite some friends over one weekend to help in your yard, then work on their place the following weekend.
- Meal swap- I have a friend who does a meal exchange with a few buddies. They each make dinner for all of the families once a week and deliver it. Two nights out of the week you’ve gained some time to spend on important projects, like your kids.
- Tutoring- Do you have an affinity for Algebra? Use your gift to help someone who needs some one-on-one assistance. I know more than few seniors who could really use some tutoring with computer skills. Play an instrument? Barter lessons!
Photo by Tavis Ford
- Offer your land for garden space- You could even accept some of the produce as your trade.
- Give up clothes you (or your family) don’t need anymore- consign them or give away what you can’t trade.
- Furniture- If it’s taking up too much space it could be someone else’s treasure.
hardest part of bartering is figuring out what your services or goods
are worth. Occasionally you will need to examine the labor time
involved rather than looking at the price tag value of the item.
example: an hour massage might equal an hour-long hair cut and style
(labor cost is the main expenditure, here, so time for time makes
Or an hour massage might equal $60 worth of children‘s clothes
(clothes have a cost value while massage is primarily a labor value- in
this instance you would want to put a dollar amount on your massage
You must discuss your terms with the person you wish to
barter with, while thinking of ways you could bless them beyond the
barter. This act alone makes bartering a valuable part of our
society: we communicate, discuss, share and collaborate our ideas in
the process of bartering.
is more than just getting what you need. When you offer your services
you identify yourself as someone who plays an important role in the
world. You may even discover some gifts and talents you didn’t know
Why let a depressed economy depress you? Get out there and
build yourself up while supplying your family with what you need and
getting rid of what you don‘t. All without spending a dime.
your tasty tomatoes with friends in exchange for their home-grown
Teaching your children that money doesn‘t make the world go ‘round?
Do you have a successful bartering story to share?
***Tori Maurer has many titles and job descriptions. Among them are writer, grassroots activist, mommy and wife. A Barefoot Books Ambassador, Tori loves to share her sense of adventure, wonder and grace with all around her. Tori blogs about parenting and life at Juniper and Grace and blogs about storytelling and reading at Barefoot Stories.***