Bartering can be an incredible way to give when there is an overflow. It also allows us to receive from others when they experience this. And if you’re wise about it, it can also be another means to save.
A real life example? My church is made up of many farmers and gardeners. We have benefitted from their overflow of zucchinis, oranges, chestnuts, figs and even iris bulbs. Most of these we take when they’re on offer for free and find that it can substitute for other ingredients we’ve already bought that will last longer – or for when we needed to do a shop! The fresh produce we use quickly in meals, to support our family of four. And consequently, we don’t have to buy certain foods for a little longer – so we save money that week.
Now we’re not often in a position to be able to bring things to church to share because of an overflow of produce in the garden. However, we are able to give of our time and finances. And when we benefit from someone else being generous with their extra, we are able to save more because we spend less for that given week.
I have a group of girlfriends that work to benefit each other. If we have too much of a veggie in the garden, or we find that food producing seeds have generated more plants or seedlings than we need, then we offer them around the group. The same is true for when our chickens produce more eggs than we need! In this way, we give because we have more than we need. And in time, in return we receive some other product that benefits us. Sometimes we barter – eggs for broadbeans, for example. But more often than not we just choose to give and not keep score about who has given more in a particular time frame. When others are generous in your church or circle of friends, if you are wise with what you receive, it can lead to saving even more at particular times.
You may find that you can offer your time or skills in exchange for something you need, rather than money. Then the money you would have paid for this can go into savings instead. Think of creative ways you can pay for something without necessarily using your hard earned cash.