Friday, January 25, 2013

Bartering and Diving

 As a kid of a single mother there were times we had to go on wellfare and even at one point we "dumpster dived" I know..I know.. The thought of that might make your stomach turn but it wasn't like we were picking rotten mold food items from the trash. Back then the grocery store had a semi separate bin that was filled with the bread and chickens they did not sell along with meats and fresh veggies that were "expired" or past the sell by date. It was specific and only had food items that they store could not legally sell but they did not want to throw away.

Many of these items were not bad or really expired. The fruits were not moldy or rotten but just slightly bruised. 40 percent of food in america is wasted and thrown away, about $165 BILLION dollars in waste which takes a toll on the country's water resources and increasing greenhouse gases according to the NRDC.   Think of it like dumping 80 quarter pound burger patties in the garbage each month. Crazy!!

Food is too precious to waste.

Reducing losses by 15% could feed more than 25 million american each year. 25 MILLION.

I'm not sure when things changed or when it became taboo to do but clearly we need to do something different. This is food that is still eatable, still very much good but might have a bruised strawberry in the WHOLE box but instead of picking out the bad strawberries, they throw the whole box out! WHY?!

Now not all food items that are thrown away is good to eat, and I will always advise to dumpster dive at your own risk but you can find day old bread, milk, veggies, fruits, gourmet cheeses,etc . There was a documentary called Dive!   I suggest adding it to your weekend night movie, it'll open your eyes to the wastefulness of the US.

If diving is not your thing than maybe bartering might be.

Bartering can save your family money by exchanging items or services for things you might need. Some tips for sucessful bartering:

Know the value of your trade: Know your item and the trade item is worth. If you are offering more or less then the other person, negotiate. You can negotiate more items or cash but having an understanding of what items are worth is "priceless".

Be specific about what you have and what you want: Don't say you're looking for a sitter in exchange for lawn service. That is too vague. Say you are prepared to give 5 hours of babysitter service for lawn mowing and edging on ___ acre property. The more specific you are about exactly what you are will to give in exchange for it the less likely you will encounter problems or become dissatisfied with the result.

Keep it in writing: Facebook or email. Keeping it in writing keeps confusion away, everyone will be on the same page.

I've traded for items in the past and have great success with it and have decided again to pick up the bartering bit and hopefully save my family more money in the grocery area.

This was today's barter:

This is what I got..........

 In exchange for..........

What do you think? Was this a fair trade?

I'd like to hear your thoughts on this subject.

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