Thursday, October 13, 2011

No Cash Required, Part 1

I love bartering for stuff.  Not only is it fun, but a good way to stick it to the taxman! 

Although we don't do as much bartering as I wish we could, we did manage to do a little bit of it this year.
  • We've bartered milk for fish, goat feed and a bale of hay.
  • We gave whey and got fresh salad greens. 
  • We swapped home-canned pears for home-canned figs.
  • We got seeds and gave butternut squash & eggplant. 
  • We exchanged eggs for cucumbers. 
  • We traded zucchini for tomatoes.
Bartering doesn't even have to be obvious.  It's not like we say to everyone we see, "I got some nice fresh goat milk here, what you got?"  Just getting together with friends and neighbors can start the bartering's called Sharing!

So you may be nonchalantly bartering and not even know it.  Now imagine how many more opportunities you could have if you actively looked for bartering opportunities!  You don't have to have a farm, produce and dairy products to swap in order to barter for stuff.  I have a lady that comes for my goat milk once a week and she just mentioned that she had a lot of dental work to be done.  Her husband is a carpenter and when they were both in the dentist office, he noticed they were doing some remodeling.  After talking with the dentist, they are going to work out a trade; the dentist will do x amount of dental work for x hours of carpentry work.

Get out there and network with your existing friends!  They may not have what you're looking for, but I'm assuming your friends have friends (unless they are hermits like Paul dreams of being) and all it takes is a casual conversation for that "something" that you need to be paired with that "something" you have.

Although I don't utilize it as often as I probably should, there is always Cragislist, your local online paper and FreeCycle to check out and use as a way to advertise what items you have available for barter.

Sooooo......I've got this gawd-awful-stinky buck goat.  Anybody want to trade me something....ANYthing for him????


  1. Bartering is the way to go. We do it all the time, but our most recent score was paying our farm sitter (we're leaving on vacation in a couple days) not in cash this time, but in a cord of wood (since we have SO much and she wants to burn wood this year for heat). I love bartering because it really helps everyone involved.

    I am not a fan of freecycle (at least around here) since it seems that people are always posting WANTED ads (not OFFERS) and its always for things like Nintendo DSs, computers, know, things that just make you mad. When it started out it was "I've got a leftover roll of chicken wire..." or "I've got two chunks of plywood..." Now, I think depending on where you live, its just a joke. :(

  2. Trade you my stinky buck for yours...hahaha Love, love, love, bartering.

  3. I love bartering! I've been trading bread for stuff I don't grow in my garden recently! Uh, you can keep your stinky buck! LOL!!

  4. I think your buck would make a fine hubby for our Pygmy goat, Bailey. Wish I had something to trade you--I'd be willing to swap our escape artist mini horse (lol) except my daughter wouldn't let me.

  5. I do a lot of trading - mostly I bake for the barn crew to pay for help with hay-getting, etc. My Jersey is at the barn so I get her milk on weekends and the farmer gets it during the rest of the time. I wish we could do away with money completely and just live on trade. But then SOME of us would still have the advantage - but, hey, what would a Wall Street guy have to trade that any of us would want? Nada. Poor Wall Street guy. Homesteaders would RULE!

  6. When we barter, I always feel as if I'm getting something for free! In reality, of course, the other person/family gets something they want, too . . . for free! I guess that's the best part of bartering. It's a win/win situation!