Monday, January 18, 2016

PLAIN Part 4

Today I am going to talk about bartering.
The Amish are community builders and they have been bartering with each other for hundreds of years.  They not only barter with each other, but they often barter with the English as well.  Often times the Amish need help that they can not get from each other.  They may need a piece of heavy equipment to move things, they may need 'taxi' service, etc.  Many Englishers, would much rather trade than charge.

The Amish may trade quilts, rag rugs, garden produce, homemade furniture, leather goods, help on the farm, lawn mowing, you name it!

Bartering comes from social behavior of the frontier and from the depression.  Many folks had no money, but they had needs, and everyone helped everyone else.  It was like "I have goods - you have goods - we both have a need - let's exchange."
It makes sense to me!

We, English, have many things to offer.  Computer skills, gardening or canning, baking, meal making, music lessons, painting, garage cleaning, painting, haircuts, photography, hauling, tilling, landscaping............................. geesh, the list can go on and on!!!!!!

Barter or exchange parties are becoming a big thing now.  Small groups of friends or neighbors are now having parties to exchange toys (like new), children's clothes, ladies clothes (like sized ladies), crafts, books, accessories, etc.  Everyone is encouraged to bring a certain amount of items, then everyone exchanges things for what they need.  Whatever is left, is donated to an organization that all agree on.  Sounds like a win-win situation.

Many people use Craig's List now.  I have never gone on it ( it kind of scares me), but I understand they have a barter section.  I simply typed in SWAP THINGS on the computer and found all kinds of groups.  There is always FreeCycle as well - not necessarily a barter site, but you can find all kinds of things for FREE!  Free is my FAVORITE four letter F word!!!!!!!!!  LOL
In our neighborhood (especially in the warmer weather), 'curb-side shopping' is a big thing too.  If you have something to get rid of, place it in the alley, and odds are it will be gone in a couple hours.  I have gotten lots of items for landscaping this way.

So the next time you need something - check around.  Goods for goods, service for services, or goods for services.  You may find co-workers, friends, neighbors or family who are willing to trade.  Always make sure that you give something of equal value (or better).  The happier you make the other party, the more likely they will trade again.



  1. I barter for eggs with a neighbor but so far that is all. Would like to do more of it. Nancy

    1. I am curious too, as to what you barter with on your end.

  2. Hi Nancy, what do you exchange with them?

    What I know is that the Amish here have cash on hand if needed. Probably because they barter up what they can so they don't have to pay cash on everything!

    One of our home delivery food services here says they buy loads of pizza with cash, bringing a wagon down to bring the cache up to their gasoline engine powered freezers. You are so right, Cheryl, the Amish here are very frugal and also know when it is time saving to buy and when to make. For me, frozen pizza may not taste as good as homemade, but it sure makes for a quick lunch (especially when the price drops below $3.50 a pie, which is my break even point for home made).

    1. Oh heck yes, they keep cash on hand. But I tell you they are some smart cookies - when it comes to hanging onto that cash!
      They are so ingenious when it comes to refrigeration and freezing. Gas or propane all the way. I think that is pretty neat.

      I agree I think homemade pizza is by far the best, but it does make for a quick and easy meal, when frozen.
      I am not sure if my break even point is that high. I make my own sauce and pizza dough. Next time I make I will figure the cost.