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Barter and Trade System

Money Saving Tip of the Month (featured column)
submitted by Emilie

One way that I have found to save money is by using a barter system with friends and family.
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I asked myself: What are some things that I could potentially pay money for, that a friend or family member has the talent and know-how to do. Or vice versa? What are some things that I enjoy doing, or am good at doing, that I could do in exchange.

Here are some examples:  

1) I really enjoy cooking and have a friend who is really car-savvy and is able to do oil changes and minor auto repairs. I offered to cook a meal for him in exchange for the oil change. (Usually, I will do a casserole that he could freeze and portion off for a week or longer). It usually costs me $10-$15 for the food ingredients and would cost $30 for an oil change at a car dealership.

2) I also have a friend who is busy career woman yet extremely talented with knitting and crocheting. I have offered to care for her cats while she is out of town or clean her house for her in exchange for making blankets and scarves for me that I can use or give away as gifts. This is a tremendous savings for me since I only give up a few hours of my time and she saves having to kennel her cats or pay someone to clean her house.

3) A few friends and I get together for coupon exchange parties. On a Sunday afternoon we each bring a copy of the coupons from the Sunday paper, and clip and exchange. Since none of us are ever able to use every single coupon that comes with the paper, we trade for the things we use the most often. For me, the end result usually comes with having two, maybe three coupons for things that I use often in exchange for giving away the ones I would never use. The social time with the girls is great, too.

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