Bartering Was One Way My Grandmother Saved $$$

4 min readMar 6

My Grandma taught me many years ago that bartering was an easy way to get what you need, without needing cash.

She had learned many of her tips as a child of the Depression. Her mom and stepfather had raised cattle for many years. When they needed something, they had a big garden and cattle to trade with their neighbors.

They lived in a small community on a hill and were sometimes isolated from the rest of the town, especially in the winter. The community had to work together to survive, just like they did back in the 1800s.

Her entire life she saved her pennies, nickels, and dimes. She also saved valuable Exxon stock that had been given to her mother. When she passed, they found the stocks, and her three children inherited them. They also found cash in a safe that my grandfather had hoarded for years.

So even though they looked poor from the outside, they were doing things like gardening, hunting, and bartering. They were not wasting their money on fast food, vacations, and new clothes.

They did not care about keeping up with the Joneses’. To many, with their 30+ acres, they were the Joneses’. Their thrift blessed my mom’s generation and my own. And I’ll always be grateful to them for their foresight and wisdom with money.

Here are some examples of bartering:

  • A writer creates a resume in exchange for an oil change
  • A makeup artist trades a makeover for new tires for their car
  • A gardener trades a dozen tomatoes and zucchini for a bunch of gently used clothing
  • Someone has a collection of new holiday decorations. They trade them for a few cases of pet food.
  • A baker makes 2 dozen cupcakes in exchange for their grass mowed.

The sky is the limit! There are so many options when it comes to bartering.

So how do you get started?

A barter system is an old method of exchange. This system has been used for centuries and long before money was invented. People exchanged services and goods for other services and goods in return. Today, bartering has made a comeback using techniques that are more


New England born- now living in the Midwest. Blogger, author, influencer, history addict and genealogist in training