Let’s Bring Back Bartering

As homesteaders, we must realize the importance of bartering.  Because if you are like us, you ain’t got a whole lotta’ money floatin’ around!

What exactly is bartering?

Bartering is trading services or goods with another person when there is no money involved. 

What you first need to realize is your useful talents and goods that others just might need.  For goods, normally we are talking about garden produce, meat that you raise, fruit from your trees, fresh milk, eggs, any value-added products such as jams, etc. 

Services can include woodworking, baling hay(or using hay equipment), fence-building, mechanical services, cabinetry, plumbing, well-digging, chicken butchering, breeding services, etc.

Bartering has been around since the beginning of mankind.  It has become somewhat of a lost art due to most people being money-only oriented.  But when you don’t have much money, which is the case with many homesteaders, you have to think of creative ways to get the things you need.

Plus, when times are hard or if the economy takes a nosedive, we know that all is not lost.

Now, this doesn’t mean becoming a shyster.  We know a few of those types who think bartering their five year old hens for a whole days work from you is a fair trade.  They are out there, so you must be careful who you barter with and don’t be afraid to say no.  Been there, done that and it sure makes you feel violated!

But, when used properly, it can be a glorious thing!  We have had some pretty good things come our way due to bartering.  Here are a few:

1.  Traded a used couch for about 5 months worth of chicken feed.

2.  Traded my soaps and lotions for numerous things including services, but what fun it is to barter at a craft fair with other vendors!

3.  Raised a pig in exchange for a 1995 Chevy Beauville van(under 100,00 miles).

4.  Raised a pig in exchange for installing windows and trim work.

5.  Raised a pig for building bookshelves and a work area in our homeschool room.

6.  Traded butchered and cleaned meat chickens for help with butchering.

7.  My kids cleaned out horse stalls in exchange for using a horse trailer.

8.  Traded pullets in exchange for some fresh fish.  Yum!

Bartering is one step in the right direction in becoming more self sufficient.  Instead of relying on money which usually includes paying taxes, we are relying on our own sweat and hard work.  Money doesn’t have to buy everything!

Plus, when done successfully, it’s a win win situation and both parties are quite satisfied.

Come on homesteaders, let’s keep this lost art going, shall we?

I would love to hear about your bartering experiences in the comments section below.

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