The Frugal Festival was the first time I had been to any kind of swap. That day, as volunteers and I sorted through clothes, the anticipation built in the room. Come the swap start the anticipation turned to excitement as hundreds of people rushed in the doors to swap. I didn’t swap then, but got my first swapping experience this past weekend.
I was invited to a garden swap in the Milagro Allegro Community Garden in Highland Park, California where gardeners exchanged everything from tools to produce.
I must admit I was a skeptic. I didn’t think I’d end up liking it as much as I did. I don’t even like participating in Secret Santa come Christmas time because I usually end up with the worst gift. But not this time.
The swap was free of charge and was organized much like the Frugal Festival. There was a specific area for everything people brought to swap like plants, seeds, magazines, produce and “worm tea,” which is worm pee used for fertilizing.
I arrived a little late but was still able to exchange the seeds I had brought with me. I had all kinds of seeds including dill, broccoli rabe, kale, and lima beans. I also had seeds that I’d harvested myself like basil and cilantro seeds.
Here’s my haul and approximately how much I saved:
- “Organic Gardening” magazine – $3.99
- “Sunset” magazine – $4.99
- Heirloom cucumber seeds – $2
- Organic Plums (10) – $6.90
- Organic Tomatoes (2 lbs.) – $5
- Aloe Vera plant – $4
- Organic Bay Leaves – $4
- Organic Pineapple Sage – $2
Total Saved: $32.88
I am now a believer – swapping is the new shopping. If you’ve never participated in a swap, you must. BargainBabe.com writer Bobbi wrote a post on how to get the most out of a swap that is essential to read before heading to your first swap.
I already leafed through my magazines and found yummy recipes using my tomatoes and bay leaves, and I can’t wait to try my pineapple sage tea, which I hear is good for anxiety. The only thing I wasn’t able to get was the worm tea, but I hear the community garden is looking to have swaps every last Sunday of the month and you know I’ll be there.
What kind of swaps have you participated in and how much money have you saved?