Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Consider bartering during the holidays
Bartering for goods and services has a long standing history in New England. We’ve all grown up reading stories about how the colonists helped each other out by trading products or services. Hey, I’ve got a dozen eggs – I’ll trade the eggs for help with tilling my garden.
These days, bartering is still alive and well. In my case, one way I save money by bartering is that I review books for a Web site. I don’t get paid for the reviews, but I get to keep the books, which then become gifts for friends and family. To me, that’s a pretty good tradeoff. Books are wonderful gifts and ones you can personally recommend are even better.
In another case, I have a friend who has offered to help us pick up the leaves in our yard in exchange for my setting her up an account and getting her going on Craigslist. Living near woods with lots of tall oaks, this is a welcome trade I happily accepted.
This season, think about how you might be able to barter for what you need. Can you provide a meal to someone in exchange for helping you figure out a software program? Can you watch a friend’s child for a few hours in return for help cleaning out a garage? Can your son shovel a driveway in return for some math tutoring?
With so much to be done in all of our lives and with continued limited funds, the time has come to be creative and think about how we can share what we have to help each other along.
More uses for eggs
With the holidays comes company. Here are some tasty recipes that will stretch your dollar as far as it can go by using those incredible, edible eggs. Which, by the way, we still have not gotten any more since that first (and last) one.
• 2 eggs
• ½ cup mayonnaise
• ½ cup milk
• 8 ounces shredded cheese
• 8 ounces imitation crabmeat, chopped
• Dill weed and chives, to taste
• 1 frozen pie shell (or if you are ambitious, roll a pie shell, or make a crust and place on a pie plate)
Mix together first five ingredients. Pour into pie shell.
Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. Let sit for 10 minutes before serving to allow it to set.
Serves 6 as a main dish.
(Recipe from Shannon Barnes, Merrimack)
UP ALL NIGHT COOKIES
• 4 egg whites, room temperature
• 11⁄3 cups sugar
• 1 teaspoon vanilla
• 12 ounces chocolate chips, about 2 cups
Mix, whip egg whites until stiff. Add sugar and vanilla. Mix.
Add chocolate chips, and stir.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Drop by teaspoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets.
Put in oven, close the door and turn off the oven. No peaking until next morning.
Makes 4 dozen.
(Recipe from Gale Taylor, Merrimack)
Send your money-saving tips and ideas to Wendy Thomas at email@example.com. She also writes at http://www.simplethrift.wordpress.com.