Hold a Family Swap Meet
In these tough economic times, families are looking for ways to save money while still getting the things that they need. One way is to develop a trading system like the family swap meet. In case you don’t know what a swap meet is, it’s a place where you trade goods. It goes back to the bartering system of trading. To save a little dough, host a swap meet for your family members.
You might have things that you don’t use that someone else in your family might need. You’re just holding on to it because you either forgot about it or are waiting to throw it away. Before you add to the garbage pile, see if someone else in your family can possibly use it.
They say that charity begins at home. A family swap meets the needs of everyone and keeps many items from littering the landfill. You’ll want to get your extended family involved so be sure you let your parents, grandparents, siblings, aunts & uncles and cousins, etc. know about it. To make it easy, come up with a system that your family households can use.
One idea is a newsletter. Each household will list what they have to swap and include pictures if they can. The newsletters can be sent to every household. If you see an item you want, offer something of yours in trade. This works best when the family members are living in close proximity to each other. You don’t want to have to spend a ton of money shipping items far away.
This method is easier than hauling boxes of items around to see if anyone wants to trade. All of the trading details are worked out via email or phone and you set up a time and place for the items to exchange hands.
Once a month, you can gather at someone’s house and “set up shop” so to speak in the living room or back yard (you don’t want the neighbors thinking you are having a yard sale). Each family member can barter for something they may need or want.
Family swap meets can be fun for everyone. Kids can swap their toys and learn about the bartering system. You can avoid buying baby clothes, toys and other apparel by shopping at your cousin’s or brother’s house.
You aren’t limited to goods at a family swap meet either. You can also swap services. Let’s say that your brother-in-law has a repair shop. He can offer to fix your washing machine in exchange for another service. If you can sew, offer to mend some clothes or make curtains. How the system works is up to you.
Think of the money your entire family can save using this idea. Before you hit the stores for new items, check to see if a family member has that item and is willing to part with it.
Other Earth Day and Going Green Articles