How I Bartered My Mad Painting Skills for a $100 Starbucks Gift Card

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paint on pants

Word on the street is I like to paint. I honestly have no idea how this {misleading} information got out, but apparently it has and in the past 5 days I’ve been asked by 2 different people if I would come over and paint a few rooms in their homes. And yes, these are both able bodied people.

This should be a lesson to us all NOT to post pictures on Instagram of us painting our kitchens because no sooner than it pops up in your friends news feed, your phone won’t stop ringing.

But hey, it’s not like I have anything else to do right now, right? ;)

laundry baskets

So when Mrs. Hillbilly asked if I would paint her daughters room, my mind started churning out questions like:

1. Why don’t you paint her room? {She didn’t want to. Plain and simple}

2. How much did you say the Painter Man was going to charge? {$500}

3. Did that include paint and supplies {Yes}

4. Does your washer and dryer work? {Yes}

lucy the puggle dog

5. Can I bring my {sneaky} dog? Really, she’s no trouble at all. {loooong pause}. ;)

6. Okay, I’ll do it for a $100 gift card to Starbucks. {Because getting paid cash is no fun}.

painting furniture black

So yesterday I loaded up the back of my car with 3 loads of laundry, Lucy the puggle trouble and headed back to my old neighborhood to paint Mrs. HB’s daughters bedroom and bathroom. It took me about 6 1/2 hours and she even made me a turkey sandwich {how sweet}.

While I masked off the walls and rolled on two coats of paint {bright colors can be tricky!} Mrs. HB painted her daughters bedroom furniture black {instead of buying something new} and by the end of the day we had caught up on the latest gossip and was able to spend some productive time together.

Starbucks gift card

Bartering your time for something frivolous is fun. Especially when it involves an unlimited supply of  hot cocoa and tea. Well, at least until the gift card run out that is…

~Mavis

Whats this best thing you’ve bartered for lately?

 

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How to Find, Swap, Share or Sell Local Fruits and Vegetables

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The other day while perusing the world wide web, I came across a new start-up company called called Ripe Near Me on Treehugger.  The aim of the company is to make finding local produce easier and more convenient, because let’s be honest, unless you have a year round farmers market {Go HERE for a directory to farmers markets in Washington} in your area, it can be a real hassle to seek out local produce.  Ripe Near Me hopes to create an extensive database that allows users to type in their area and find local produce, not just farmers markets, but also from local gardening enthusiasts with excess produce and known public foraging sites.  If this company can pull it off, I would totally be up for putting my excess produce on the site–AND swapping for other people’s.  Seriously, how cool would that be?

how to glean free plums

You already know how I feel about food waste.  It’s bad, bad, bad.  It seems to me that local produce is pretty abundant, we just need to know how to FIND it.  Last year, The Girl and I were able to get free plums from a local couple who had waaaaay more plums than they could handle.  We got lucky.  I saw a handwritten cardboard sign, “Free U-Pick Plums” and stopped.  You bet I did.  In return, we gave the couple some of our eggs and some heirloom tomatoes.

Foraging for Free Food – Where to Find the Good Stuff

Foraging on public lands is another great way to get local produce.  Last year, I found a website that locals could post free foraging locations in their area.  There are tons of public locations that have fruit trees, berry patches, etc. that you can forage for food, if you want to put the time in.  Most of the time, the food would go to waste otherwise.  The problem is, more often than not, you have to rely on word of mouth to know where the hot spots are located.  Having a map where other foragers share their finds gives you a place to start.  In an effort to pay it forward, if you know of good foraging locations, you should totally hop on the site and let other people know.

heirloom vegetable stand

You can also start by hooking people up with YOUR own excess produce {remember, you never know what you will be able to get in return–it’s always an adventure}.  Last year, I decided to make a little extra cash on some of my excess produce {while still giving my local peeps a steal of a deal}.  I set up a little table with heirloom tomatoes, garlic, potatoes, rhubarb, and lettuce.  I left a sign that said, “Fresh vegetables.  Pay or leave what you like in exchange.”  Wouldn’t you know it, I ended up with $33 and quite a few food products.

bartering food

And, of course, if you want to keep it simple, just start with the people you know.  Your neighbors may totally be willing to barter with you.  I’ve traded my garden veggies for all sorts of food stuffs.  It saved me a trip to the store, and they got fresh homegrown organic produce.  It’s win-win.

How about YOU, how do you find local produce?

~Mavis

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Bartering with Neighbors

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mavis butterfield

Thanksgiving is right around the corner so I thought I would throw on my pilgrim outfit and do a little bartering with my neighbors this week. Because hello, who doesn’t need a little fresh produce right about now?

organic vegetables

I decided to stop by my neighbor Hulda’s house first.

Hulda is cool. She occasionally helps me in the garden, she babysits our chickens when we go on vacation, she’s a good cook, but most of all, she’s down to earth. Totally not one of those typical high maintenance suburban housewives that goes around sporting an orange glow {fake tan} at the wine bar while wearing her Jimmy Choo’s and talking about her latest manicure.

dried corn

Or so I thought.

Look at her nails!!!

Do you see what I see? She got one of those fancy shmancy gel manicures.

OH MY WORD!!

Good gravy Hulda, how are you suppose to help me dig up potatoes this week with nails like that?

mavis butterfield bartering

Okay, back to the bartering.

At first my neighbor Hulda tried to trade me some ornamental corn for some of my fresh carrots. But I was like “Hulda, are you serious, I didn’t just get off the boat yesterday, what else do you have?”

mavis butterfield pilgrim Thanksgiving bartering

And that’s when she brought out the ground elk steak.

Thanksgiving pilgrim bartering mavis

And fresh baked oatmeal cookies too.

bartering food

Now that’s more like it.

Fresh homegrown vegetables for elk meat, cookies and ornamental corn.

Who do you think got the better deal?

Mavis {and Hulda} want to know. :)

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Bartering with Mavis – Who Got the Better Deal?

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bartering with neighbors

Bartering wise, this has been a pretty busy week for us. After harvesting beets a few days ago I left a bundle of beets on my neighbors porch. I had never bartered with her before but had heard through the grapevine that she LOVED fresh beets so I said, what the heck, and put a few on her porch.

And then last night I found a package of Pete’s coffee, 2 Hubert’s Lemonades, 4 packs of trail mix and lychee and rambutan in a bag on our porch.

lycheeI have never tried lychee or rambutan before. Have you? What I’m suppose to do with them? The one on the left looks like a little sea urchin and I’m kind of afraid to open it.

heirloom beets
Anywho, I think I fared way better in the bartering department then my neighbor did {after all, she only received beets} so now I’m going to have to bring over some freshly dug potatoes tonight to even out the deal.

bartering basil

And then there is the barter I made with my buddy Selena. She stopped by the other day and when she did she brought along some lemon fizzy water, bay leaves, a canister of salt {how did she know I was out?} some piping bags and 3 cute little spice jars.

bartering veggies

I gave her some heirloom tomatoes, chard, pears, beets and potatoes.

I think that deal was pretty even wouldn’t you say?

organic vegetables

Here is the fresh vegetable box I put together fro my neighbor the Hunter. He’s a foodie and loves fresh vegetables. I’m hoping for some venison later this fall in return.

bartering

And last but not least, Girly Girl called and needed some yeast and tomatoes.

I went home with an 8-pack of sun dried mozzarella sausages {which I think we’ll have for dinner tonight}.

Do YOU barter with your neighbors? If so, what have you traded for in the past?

~Mavis

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Bartering with Mavis – Trading Garden Work for Rice and Sugar

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kids working in a garden

Yesterday I headed over to Girly Girl’s garden to do a little bartering. I used my love of pulling weeds {ha!} and mad gardening skills to tidy up her garden beds and plant her spring garden.

Luckily a few of her kiddos were wager to help.

snow sled with weeds

I asked one of the girls for a weed bucket and she brought me a snow sled. Awesome!

spring potatoes

There were still a bunch of new potatoes in last years potato bed and the kids had a ball searching for them. I think it made the digging and weed pulling go a lot faster because they all wanted to find some potatoes.

garden clean up

It took us just a little over 1 hour to clear 2 garden beds and pull the weeds in the surrounding areas.

mavis one hundred dollars a month

Removing the brush alongside the fence was never part of the deal thankfully.

waxing a SUV

For those of you who were wondering what Girly Girl was doing while I was pulling her weeds, she was playing Karate Kid and waxing her SUV with her husband Chino the Handyman.

raised garden beds

This is what the garden beds looked like before we started.

raised garden beds

And here they are all cleaned up.

costco rice and sugar

Two hours worth of garden clean up {with help from the kids} on a wonderfully sunny day was bartered for a 25 pound sack of sugar and a giant bag of rice.

Sounds like a pretty good trade to me.

I love gardening, and especially teaching young children about growing food. This is the 3rd spring in a row I’ve helped Girly Girl’s kids get their garden started, and I really have a good time while I’m over there. So it really doesn’t seem like to much work to me.

Do what you love, and everything will work itself out.

Peace Out Girl Scouts, I’m off to go pull some of my own weeds now.

~Mavis

The Backyard Homestead

Looking for a great gardening book? Check out The Backyard Homestead and learn how you can produce all the produce you need on only a quarter acre.

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting One Hundred Dollars a Month.

Bartering with Mavis – 26 Eggs for One Pound of Butter

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mavis butterfield bartering

I stopped  by Mrs. Hillbilly’s house this afternoon with some of my excess eggs. I’ve been craving homemade cookies for the last few days but I was down to my last stick of butter and needed more.

costco kirkland butter

I ended up trading 26 fresh eggs for 1 pound of butter. Mrs. HB needed eggs, I needed butter. Having neighbors to barter with is really cool. It sure beats having to drive or walk to the store when you need just one item.

black lab

Oh, and Lucy the puggle dog also got a mini play date with her dog as well. What a bonus!

~Mavis

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting One Hundred Dollars a Month.

Bartering with Mavis – Francisco Cleans Out His Pantry

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francisco mavis neighbor

Last night my neighbor Francisco sent me a text:

Francisco: We are purging our cabinets are you interested in some non vegan goodies?

Mavis: Should I come over right now?

Francisco: Give us 15 :) if you are free

Mavis: K will do

how to barter food

So I quickly ran to our the pantry and found some loot. Please take special notice the the frozen log of polenta. Mrs. Hillbilly traded me that last summer. The vinegar, razors, soap, cereal, soba noodles and sesame ginger rice were all free. I think I paid $.25 for the whole wheat pasta.

bartering with mavis

This is what Francisco had to barter with. It was a take all or nothing sort of thing since he was clearing his pantry of all non vegan products. So I didn’t inspect things {re: expiration dates} too closely and happily took everything he offered. The highlights of course where the Dove chocolates and the mini containers of olives, cookies and crackers he had received over the Christmas holiday in a gift basket from a client.

However if you look closely, you will totally notice the roasted red pepper soup. I gave that to him last fall and you can see it here in this video. Hilarious! What makes it even more funny is that Mrs. Hillbilly gave it to me. So mark my words, the next time I trade with Mrs. HB I’m going to try and barter back the soup. Ha!

tofu scrambler

I did pass on his box of tofu eggs  though {OH MY WORD- can you say gag me with a wooden spoon?}. Believe it or not, I do have my limits of what I will eat. Even it’s free.

francisco

Here is Francisco with his new, cleaned out, vegan friendly pantry. Clearly he is not a prepper. But that’s okay, if there is an emergency and he needs more than a 3 day supply of food, I’ve got him covered.

Peace Out Francisco, it was fun bartering with you.

~Mavis

The preppers pantry
The Prepper’s Pantry: Building and Thriving with Food Storage

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Bartering with Mavis – Organic Deer for Dry Goods

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About a month ago, Chino the Handyman went hunting with his brothers and bagged a deer. When I had asked him what he was going to do with all the meat, he offered to barter some of it with me when he picked it up from the butcher.

Yesterday, when I came home from running errands, Chino the Handy Man had dropped off a big bag of goodness on my porch. 17 pounds of free range, organic deer meat to be exact.

Here’s what was in the bag:

  • 3 Roasts {2-3 pounds each}
  • 4 packages of ground meat {1.5 pounds each}
  • 3 packages of deer chops {what are deer chops anyway?}
Hot diggety! 10 packages of meat. Wahoooo!

Chino made me work out the details with Girly Girl.  So I called her up, stood in my pantry, and started rambling off the things I thought she might like. Pasta, squash, canned pears, a 2 year old bottle of maraschino cherries, batteries, flour sack towels, cupcake liners, quinoa, a coupon for $25 off at Pottery Barn, Boboli pizza crusts and more.

I’m really happy with the deal because organic meat is my favorite thing to barter for.

What do you think? Who got the better deal?

Mavis, or Chino the Handyman?

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting One Hundred Dollars a Month.

Video – Bartering Babies?

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I think they’re bartering, what do you think?

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting One Hundred Dollars a Month.

Bartering with Mavis – Free Beef

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This morning I got a call from Mrs. Hillbilly.  She wanted to do some bartering.  Mrs. Hillbilly made her menu plan for the week and had discovered a few things missing from her pantry. On her wish list; diced tomatoes, onions, black beans, and pasta.

So of course I showed up with a few extras.  Annie’s Pasta {free from Vitacost} was a total no go, as was the boxed oatmeal.  She also turned down my canned water chestnuts.

So in the end, this is what was up for trade.

  • 1 bags Arrowhead Puffed Rice {free with coupons}
  • 4 boxes Barilla whole wheat grain pasta {free with coupons}
  • 1 box Wheat Chex {free with coupons}
  • 1 container of jalapenos {free with coupons}
  • 1 container Planter’s sunflowers {free with coupons}
  • 1 can black beans {cheap, I can’t remember how much I paid}
  • 1 gallon diced tomatoes {purchased from Costco 2 years ago}
  • 1 panty hose leg full of onions {scored a deal at Costco}

We decided to split the giant can of diced tomatoes.  Mrs. Hillbilly plans on making homemade tomato sauce with hers, and I’ve already decided to what I’ll be doing with mine {you’ll have to check back tomorrow to find out}.  So after we divided the tomatoes up, I tried to figure out what I wanted in exchange.

The only thing I knew I wanted for certain was ground beef.

After grabbing the beef from her freezer, Mrs. Hillbilly suggested I take a look in her “gift closet.”  At first she tried offering me some disgusting candles that only old ladies with gobs of perfume and big hair would like.  Seeing I was dissatisfied, she then reached for a Burt’s Bees Gift bag.

I almost wet my pants.

It was the same Burt’s Bee gift bag I had given to her last year for Christmas {the Mad Scientist had given it to me at her Hunukkah party only a few days prior to  me re-gifting it to Mrs. Hillbilly}.  I was laughing so hard I could barely get “Hey, I gave that to you last Christmas.” out of my mouth.  It was AWESOME!

Then I took a whiff of some nice smelling peach soap {another re-gift she was trying to pawn off on me}.

In the end, this is what I came home with:

  • 5 out of 8 Starbucks peppermint hot chocolate packets
  • 1 bottle Log Cabin syrup {sugar free, gag}
  • 2 cans of beans
  • 1 box of corn bread mix
  • 1 smelly peach soap
  • 1 frozen pouch of guacamole
  • 2 pounds of ground beef

So what do you think? Who got the better deal?  Mavis, or Mrs. Hillbilly?

This post may contain affiliate links. These affiliate links help support this site. For more information, please see my disclosure policy. Thank you for supporting One Hundred Dollars a Month.

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