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Try Swapping Instead Of Shopping

by Marie Vonow (follow)
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Image:Marie Vonow


There are some items, such as food we need on a regular basis. Sometimes we donít actually need a particular item but we feel like a change. When you are following a strict budget it can be nice to get something extra to add to your homeís dťcor or go somewhere different to add some variety to life. Sometimes you donít need to spend money but can get what you want by arranging a swap. Here are some ideas to consider:

Organise a swap morning

Invite a few friends over for morning tea. Ask them to bring things they no longer want so they can swap for other goods. Items could include clothes, household appliances in good working order, ornaments, linen, books, magazines and plants. This works particularly well if you have a group of parents who can swap childrenís clothes and toys or people with a common interest such as gardening. If you donít know many people who would be interested, ask each person you invite to bring a friend. It is a social occasion and you end up with some different things to brighten up your day.



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Items for swap morning. Image:Marie Vonow


Join a swap group

Swapping goods is becoming more common as people are looking at ways of being frugal and more environmentally conscious. In some locations community groups meet regularly to swap items such as garden produce, eggs, plants, books, jars and egg cartons. You take along what you have a surplus of and swap for things you need.



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Items such as jars, egg cartons, herbs and vegetables can be swapped. Image:Marie Vonow


Information is often exchanged as well. This is a great way of getting to know people in your community as well as exchanging things you do not need for things you want such as fresh vegetables. No money exchanges hands.



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I brought this plant home from our local swap group. Image:Marie Vonow


Swap furniture or electrical goods

Sometimes you can swap furniture or electrical appliances with neighbours, family or friends. Your needs may change as children grow up or when you move house. Perhaps that big television is not a suitable size when you move into a house with a smaller living room but someone you know is happy to swap for one that suits you better. Alternatively you may organise a swap for something different you need.

Maybe you are tired of your coffee table but canít justify the outlay on a new one. After all you donít need a new one. A relative may be starting a family and be happy to swap their glass topped coffee table for your wooden one. Let people know you are happy to consider swapping.



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A household with a young child may prefer a wooden coffee table. Image:Marie Vonow


Swap houses for a holiday

You may be able to arrange to swap houses for a few days with a friend who lives in a different location. Take a look at organisations such as HomeLink for more details.

Advertise to swap rather than sell

It is often possible to get better value by swapping rather than selling. Watch community notice boards for ads. Gumtree and other online sites advertise items people are willing to swap or you could place your own ad.

Swap around what you already have

If you just want a bit of a change this can sometimes be achieved by swapping around items you already own. Curtains swapped from one room to another can make a difference to the look of a room. You may have a few things in storage that could come out and be put on display.

It isnít always necessary to spend money to get things you need or want.

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