PhotobucketWhy Be Frugal?

I consider frugality an art form and a religious conviction. I learned about paying cash for purchases, recycling and reusing just about everything and being generous to friends and those in need from my parents.

My faith instructs me all things are gifted by God and so I am compelled to be a good steward of my gifts. [The highest heavens belong to the LORD, but the earth he has given to man. Psalm 115:16]


Thursday, January 14, 2010

Bartering = "Free" Services, Merchandise, Advice

Bartering rather than purchasing new items or disposing of no-longer useful items is a great way to reusing, repurposing and recycling that puts resources back into our economy without adding a strain on our planet. The saying goes, "one person's trash is another's treasure."

Articles I've read on the topic suggest starting slowly, with a friend or two to see how comfortable you feel. I have a friend who details cars as a side job and I offered to advertise his business on my blog and website for free if he would keep my car looking sharp. Needless to say, he jumped at the idea and my husband is thrilled not to hear me complain anymore about my dirty car:-)

Bartering for several meals prepared and delivered or child care in exchange for small home repairs or tax preparation are two pretty safe trades to begin your bartering adventure. From there, who knows!

The October 2009 issue of Parents magazine suggested these three sites for "cyber-swapping": - Barter Planet is a free online community that allows you to trade what you have for what you need. Membership is free. This is a new site, only on-line for a few months. There were only about 20 posts when I checked the site this evening, but the site may grow over time. Services or goods to trade are listed by zip code/city. - Swapstyle claims their an on-line fashion swap party where you can Swap Clothes, swap accessories, swap cosmetics, swap shoes and lots more with people from all around the world. It's free to join and trades are unlimited. This site also offers to sell or buy items on the site. They do recommend members become "address verified" for a one-time fee of $10. This adds an extra level of security for parties to transactions.

My favorite site of the three is: - This site is home to a national network of parents who want to share their resources. You receive Zwaggle points (or Zoints) by giving your gently used things to other families, then use those Zoints to obtain "new" things for your family. This site is currently offer 25 free "zoints" for signing up!

Be cautious, start with small trades and start making a list of everything you can do, everything you have and everything you want. Then, have fun!

Do you have successful bartering experiences? Unfortunate experiences you'd care to share? Help others out. Leave a comment. I love it when readers share.


karen hopkins said...

HI Mary.. In my town, we have a freecycle group that we are able to give away or ask for items of any kind. is the website all over the world, so maybe there is a group like such in your town, as well. I like it because I have been able to give away lots of items that I do not want taking up space. There is a rule, no selling or buying or trading on Freecycle, so basically it is great - give away what you dont need, or post a wanted item you do - maybe someone has something out there that is free... Just thought you might like to know about it, in case you haven't heard of it before.

sarah said...

great post Mary and like Karen's too they have freecycle where people can exchange freebies. We also have free road curb where you can put things out at the curb a few times a year and people can take what they that too. Take gentle care. Sarah

Ally at Zwaggle said...

Hi Mary! Thanks so much for your kind words about Zwaggle! I love your post, and am so proud to be a part of this list! Have a great week!