The Economy of Swapping

by Katy on March 24, 2019 · 11 comments

The following is a reprint of a previously published post. Enjoy!

I’m lucky to live in a neighborhood that provides pretty much everything I could hope for within easy walking distance. Restaurants, library, a Boutique Goodwill, food carts, groceries and one of my favorites, Old Portland Hardware. (Note – this stores has since moved.) My neighbor Nancy and I were leisurely walking home from a breakfast outing yesterday when we stopped in for a look-see. This store’s motto is “Pieces of history for your home.” although I see it more as “Eye candy for your home,” because the objects and creative reconfiguring of antiques are sweet enough to incur the wrath of dentists worldwide. Seriously, check out this photo:

I wasn’t there to shop, as my family’s finances are still reeling from this year’s tax bill, but this store is always worth a visit. I was wandering through admiring everything, when my eye fell upon a couple rows of the most darling antique Kerr canning jars from 1903. Wavy glass, air bubbles, hefty weight, these jars had it goin’ on! What drew me to these jars was the addition of the word “Economy,” jauntily flowing up at a diagonal. Priced at $4 apiece. But wait, I had a vintage faucet that my mother had passed along to me a few months back when she converted her clawfoot tub into a shower.

Thinking these would make the most adorable vases, I walked home and brought the faucet back to the store. The owner happily swapped out three jars for my faucet. No fuss, no muss, and no money switched hands.

Man, do I love my neighborhood!

Now your turn. What frugal things have you been up to?

Katy Wolk-Stanley    

“Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without.”

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{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

Kathy March 24, 2019 at 12:57 pm

1. After purging my closet for upcoming garage sale. I found two NWT items to return.
2. Brewing ice tea at home to use in my commuter cu
3. Reading books I already have
4. Sold an $15 item
5. Meals planned for the next few days


Jennifer Eldredge March 24, 2019 at 12:59 pm

Bartering is wonderful. I am currently walking a Chihuahua 1.5 hours a week in exchange for a 1 hour ($35 worth) Pilates class once a week. And I occasionally walk a dog of a neighbor when he works late. He pays me in money, and, on occasion, he leaves me a bottle of wine!


Lisa M. March 24, 2019 at 1:28 pm

5FF: Back on the NCS Saddle We Go

Having decided to attempt to post again, must not dally due to the rapid-fire nature of Katy’s postings. Recently weathered DH’s lay off, my lay-off from my 17 year non-profit job & the passing of my mother-in-law from a horribly protracted nearly decade long illness, so it is time to start to get back to some sense of normalcy. On that note:

1. Found a quarter in the melting snow at Aldi this week.

2. DH was finally able to start his new job. Positives include decreased gasoline/vehicle maintenance d/t using light rail for the majority of his commute & the fact that the office building is not in the epicenter of downtown, thereby necessitating he bring his lunch from home to prevent extended hoofing to get to a restaurant.

3. Have been fixing all meals at home, made easier by working one part-time job versus two.

4. Having reclaimed both weekend days off after the last 17 years of working at least 1 weekend day, I am getting more work done at home & enjoying bright spots of more personal time & project time.

5. Example of aforementioned project, I purchased a small loose gemstone years ago when purchasing my wedding ring thinking that it was an opportunity to create a special gift should I be fortunate enough to have offspring. My DM also gifted me a ring setting whose gemstone had been lost. I am planning to take these items to the jeweler to create a gift with a modern design for DD when she graduates from high school this spring.


Lisa M. March 25, 2019 at 8:46 am

Addendum: More Saddle Contents

Well, because I managed to drift from frugality in my previous post. But tbh, forgetting about the gift stone or being too lazy or hard pressed for time to deal with it would have been decidedly unfrugal.

6. Like other NCAs, we are staying put & working during this spring break week. DD contemplated various pricey & economical trips but in the end stayed home, working her regular job & even adding an all-night babysitting job to boot.

7. Last week I cooked dry beans in the crockpot in order to get another bean soup recipe made while the weather remains cool. I saved the bean broth & used it to cook rice to add flavor, nutrients & make our store-bought burritos go even further. I added shredded cheese, picante, avocado, sour cream, fajita seasoning & shredded Romaine on top of the burritos, quick & easy & a family favorite.

8. I sadly discovered that a few potatoes had gone bad while in the process of making a gigantic casserole of Shepard’s Pie last night. I forged ahead anyway & salvaged the good parts of the bad potatoes.

9. I was tempted recently to go to the local antique mall’s semi-annual sale, as well as a nearby, smaller mall that is open 4 days/month. I avoided both & instead got out some decorative items, knowing full well I have way more collectibles than I can display in my home.

10. Taking the little dog to the pet store for a nail trim later today & plan to use the rebate card offered by her heartworm medication company for purchasing a 12-month supply of chewable meds.

11. Rarely make desserts but d/t having a gazillion snack size dark chocolate bars, am going to make Toffee Bars & convert those little bars into topping for a nice size dessert.

12. As I spent hours doing laundry this past weekend, I was reminded that taking good care of clothing is very frugal to extend the life of garments & reducing excessive consumption.


Teresa March 24, 2019 at 2:30 pm

This is so great…it just reminds me that I don’t need to be afraid to ask. The worst anyone can say to any request is no! Thanks Katy!


Patti March 24, 2019 at 3:48 pm

My best swap ever…..I organized the finances for a friend to give to his accountanf for self employed tax planning saving him around $1500. He painted my car (to a professional level), saving me around $1500. Two VERY happy campers….


Jenelle March 25, 2019 at 4:47 am

Though I rarely have the chance to swap with anyone, I do try to keep all of our choices frugal (and probably sometimes cheap!)
1. Mended a sweet baby dress that I plan to sell on Ebay. I also sewed the corner of a well loved blanket back together.
2. Though it is not finished (because I became quite frustrated) I was able to take the tire off of one of my son’s ride on toys to replace the inner tube. I’ve never done this before so it’s a win to me. now to just find the patience to put it back together.
3. Happily brought home left over cupcakes from a birthday party!
4. Moved my dresser out to retrieve a dropped deodorant and found 4 more down there! I think I”m set on deodorant for a while!!
5. Frugal (environmental) fail. We opened up our travel trailer after the winter and found that those pesky little mice got in there! Had to haul out all the bedding, etc to be washed. So much extra water wasted.


Kathy March 26, 2019 at 7:51 pm

I’ve read that dryer sheets repell mice


Sandra March 25, 2019 at 7:18 am

How pleased I am each time I find a new post. Thank you Katy. You are always such a pleasure to read.


C March 26, 2019 at 10:10 am

I am a massage therapist and I have traded massages for other massages, haircuts, accounting services, reiki treatments, counseling, chiropractic adjustments, yoga classes and the nondenominational minister’s officiating of my wedding!

My friends and I often watch eachother’s kids when we’re in a bind- it’s the pact of working mothers everywhere.


Susan from Cincinnati March 26, 2019 at 10:13 am

1. Stacked CVS extra bucks plus coupons and got 3 stuffed Easter rabbits for grandkids for $2.91
2. Saved $9 with coupons and discount code at CVS with things needed for my daughter.
3. Bought son’s generic allergy medicine for 90 tablets at $7.46 on Amazon vs CVS on sale price of $14.99 for 30 tablets. 8cents a tablet vs 50 cents
4. Lots of books and DVD’s from library
5. Canceled vacation due to husband’s back problems and saved money plus wear and tear on car by not driving over 1600 miles. Had fun by doing lots of local things instead.


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