MomTalk.com January 19, 2021:   The women's magazine for moms about children, family, health, home, fashion, careers, marriage & more

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FrugalMom's Guide to Bartering and Trade

In our current economic climate, it is more important than ever that we stretch our dollar as far as possible. There will always be items that we need to buy, and by keeping an eagle eye out for good deals we can save money, and make sure we have enough to get through a tough situation. One of the ways to save on stuff your family needs is to take a page from the olden days when bartering and trade were used as currency.

Kids learn how to barter at an early age, when they trade items in their lunch box for things they like better. Trading cards, marbles and more are all used by children to get the things they want. As adults we can get things we need by trading items we have that are of no use to us any longer. With bartering and trading we can un-clutter our homes and save money. So how does one go about bartering?

First you have to identify things you have that may be of value to others. This could be anything: exercise and sports equipment, antiques or heirlooms, art, foreign currency, a weekend at your cabin or even your kid's outgrown clothing and shoes. You never know what you have that may be wanted by others.

Secondly, identify the things you need or would like to have. This could be anything, from material items or even services like landscaping or home improvement. Anything that you have lying around the house could be used to trade with others.

The last step is to find willing participants to trade items with you. A good place to start is your local classifieds. If there are items you are interested in you can always call the seller to see if a trade can be set up. Craigslist.org is also a terrific place for placing items for trade, or finding items you want. Set up your own ad listing the items you have and the items you are looking for. You can also indicate whether you are willing to accept or make a partial cash payment, in case the trade is not enough.

If you think that many people in your area may be interested in bartering you can look into setting up a website. Locals can post their items for sale or trade. By bringing large groups of people together the amount of items that get traded will increase, as people will be more able to find what they want.

If you are searching for services, try searching for "barter club" online. Here you will find people who each offer different talents in exchange for yours. For example, you may be able to trade your scrapbooking talents in order to get someone else to do your taxes.

If you would like to be nice to the environment while looking for things you need, check out freecycle.org. Once you sign up for your local group, you can post items to give away and items you're looking for. It will not be an even one-to-one trade, per se, but you can often find just what you want while disposing of space-eating items you no longer need.

No matter what you are looking for the odds are that someone out there can supply it, all you have to do is find them. Explore the world of bartering today, and see just how far you can stretch your budget, while still getting what you want.

by Angela Heidt

Categories: Just for me, Money & Work, Newsletter,

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