You’ve probably heard or read about bartering to save money, but you aren’t sure where to start, or how it works. I’m here to demystify it for you!
I barter all the time! Thankfully, a lot of my friends have large vegetable and fruit gardens, fruit trees, or chickens produce eggs. I trade my time and services that I can provide for these things. I love to trade my ability and skill with sewing for farm fresh eggs. The price of eggs in California is insane! A dozen eggs can be almost $6.00, depending on where you shop.
Here are a few tips that I recommend you try in order to stretch your budget with the use of bartering:
Step One: Make a list of the skills you have. Can you sew? Can you babysit? Do you have a lawnmower and some free time to mow lawns? There are lots of things that you can do the people need help with. Maybe you have a great eye for organization and you could help a friend or a neighbor organize their pantry or their garage. Maybe you Love to clean? You can use that skill to either earn money or to barter for goods and services that you need. Maybe you have an overflowing garden or hen house!
Step Two: Make a list of stuff that you need. Do you need help sewing, cleaning house, or do you need to stretch your grocery budget a little bit further with the help of homegrown fruits and vegetables, farm fresh eggs?
Step Three: Ask! Ask your friends or if you’re feeling shy post on your Facebook page or whatever social media that you use. If you’d like to get a broader reach you can even post on websites like craigslist or fiverr.com. You’d be surprised at what kind of offers you get!
I’d love to hear about the types of things you barter for!
Recently, our bed frame broke. Our bed is nine years old, and our bed frame was the cheap-y one that came free when we bought our mattress and box springs. I shouldn’t really be surprised that it broke, but it did and it was no longer comfortable to sleep in our bed. It’s sagged in the middle because the part of the bed frame that broke was the center slat that provided the support for the mid section of the mattress.
I began my search online for a new bed frame. I checked all of the usual suspects: JCPenney, Sears, as well as trusty old Craigslist. All I wanted was a sturdy metal bed frame. No headboard, no foot board, just a bed frame.
Finally I found one that fit the bill. It was this one here from Sears. It was sturdy, as it had extra supports in the middle (which is very important when you have a small child likes to bounce on the bed like we do), and it fit my budget. So I set upon trying to get it for cheaply is possible.
First, I checked to see if there’s any place I could get a free Sears gift card with points from various rewards programs I use. I checked my Mypoints account, and I checked my SwagBucks account, and finally I checked my RecycleBank account. Turns out I had enough RecycleBank points to get a $10 gift card from Sears. I cashed out my points and a few days later I have received via email a $10 gift card from Sears.
Second, I logged onto my Shop Your Way Rewards Account (through Sears.com). If you haven’t signed up for Sears Shop Your Way Rewards, it’s easy! You can do it at any Sears, Sears Outlet, or Kmart location. It’s like any other store club card. Scan your key fob or enter your phone number when you check out and earn points. Points can be redeemed for cash off purchases. Also- Shop Your Way Rewards members get access to great coupons, and sometimes even surprise points (Frequently they send out $5 in points- just for being a member!). I had a $10 off of $50 or more purchase good for anything in the home department, which happens to include bed frames.
Third, I logged on to all of my survey websites: PaidViewPoint, and PineCone Research to see if I had points I could cash out for a PayPal payment. It turns out I had over $25 that I could cash out at PaidViewPoint. I requested a PayPal pay out and within six hours I had $27 and change in my PayPal account. I also discovered that I had enough points to cash out for a $15 payment via PayPal through PineCone Research. I requested that as well. I had $42 and change to use!
Fourth (And Finally), I also logged on to Top Cashback as well to see if I can earn any cash back for this shopping trip. Turns out I was going to earn a cool 3% cashback on my purchase.
So here’s how I got it for free:
Bed Frame $54.98 + $3.60 Tax
-$10 Sears Gift Card
-$38.58 from Paypal. (Money was earned doing surveys online as I outlined above. It took me less than two hours combined to do all of the surveys and earn this money. This time with spread over about a months time.)
Plus I qualified for free shipping because the original price was over $49.99
The best part is, I earned 3% of my post coupon amount ($38.58) because I shopped through Top Cashback. That’s more free money to use in the future! So I got paid .30 to buy something we really needed!
The bed frame was delivered on Friday and I just set it up this morning. And we did give it a good test bounce after the bed with put back together. It’s very sturdy I’m proud to announce.
The point of this post isn’t to show off, “Look what I can do isn’t this cool?!?”, but it’s meant to inspire you and show you that you can-do these things as well. You can get stuff for free. And not just little samples of this and that, but you can actually get things that you need for your home for free.
Taking surveys does take time however with PaidViewPoint, and PineCone Research. The surveys that you will do you’ve been pre-selected for, and take less than 10 minutes each. So you’re not wasting time doing surveys you don’t end up qualifying for and the payout for both of those companies is so low you’ll be able to reach a payout in less than a month even if you only do a few surveys for them each week.
So there it is. That’s how we got a brand-new bed delivered to our house for free. No smoke, no mirrors, no hocus-pocus, or anything shifty or questionable. Just a brand-new bed frame delivered free.
I’d love to hear about the kinds of things that you have gotten for free or really cheap using the profits from surveys or even secret shopping. So leave me a comment and let me know what kind of awesome things you’ve gotten for free!