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source: Beatrice Murch

8 Money-Saving Swap Ideas

The following post is from Kristia of Family Balance Sheet.

8 Money-Saving Swap Ideas at
source: Beatrice Murch
Would you like to have a date night with your spouse, but can’t afford a babysitter? Or maybe you want to add some new flowers to your landscape, but the cost is holding you back. Do you have closet full of clothes, but nothing to wear?

Organizing and hosting a swap with your friends, neighbors, and family members is a great way to save money, reuse resources, and socialize.

Here are a few “swap” ideas to get you thinking!

1. Plant and garden swap.

Spring is a great time to divide overgrown perennials and plant some new varieties. Have your friends and neighbors divide up their perennials and clean out their garden sheds. You don’t need to limit the swap to plants, people can bring anything garden related that they would like to get rid of, such as pots, soil, seed, books, tools, etc.

  • Give everyone a ticket for each item that they bring.
  • Take turns picking from the plants and garden equipment, one item at a time, until everyone uses their tickets.
  • Request that everyone try their best to label the plants and maybe even give some information about the plants, such as sun or shade.

2. Soup swap.

What a great way to fill up your freezer with some homemade meals. Just add a side salad and some homemade bread and dinner is served; so easy on those hectic nights.

  • Depending on the number of people involved, simply make enough soup to go around. I participated in a soup swap with four other moms and we each made 4 1-quart containers to swap. I came home with four different soups. We chose to make quart containers because we all have families with small kids, but you could increase the size.
  • Coordinate what kinds of soups people are bringing to avoid any duplicates.
  • Have everyone freeze the soups that they are bringing to exchange as this will prevent spilling to and from the party.
  • Tell your friends to bring a cooler to keep the soup in while you socialize.
  • Make sure to set guidelines in case there are food allergies or issues.

3. Dessert swap.

Cookies, brownies, bars, and cupcakes all make great treats for a swap.

  • Have everyone participating make either a half or full dozen for each of the other participants and package accordingly.
  • These types of desserts freeze really well.
  • Make sure to set guidelines in case there are food allergies or issues.

4. Babysitting swap.

Would you like to go to the grocery store without the kiddos? How about getting back into the gym? Or maybe a date night with you spouse? Your friends might be looking for a sitter too.

  • Set up an arrangement of equal time, maybe two hours, and take turns watching the kids. This gives you some free time without paying a sitter and the kids get some social time with friends.

5. Children’s clothing and toy swap.

I am always amazed how fast kids grow out of clothes and toys. Much of the time, these things are in great condition. So before you box up your items for the yard sale or thrift store, have a swap with friends.

  • Keep it organized by handing out tickets for each item your friends bring.
  • Pull names from a hat as to the order and have everyone pick one at a time until everyone uses their tickets.

6. Women’s clothing swap.

Why should the kids have all of the fun? Host a ladies night and swap clothing, jewelry, hand bags and accessories with your friends. Who doesn’t have some clothing in their closet that maybe they’re getting a little sick of, but can’t really afford to replace?

  • Follow the same guidelines as the children’s swap.

7. Coupon swap.

Once I go through my Sunday coupons I hate to throw the unclipped ones away. That is like dollars being flushed down the drain.

Round up your frugal friends and pass those booklets around.

8. Magazines and book swap.

My cousin and I have been swapping magazines and books for years. She gives me her Real Simple and Martha Stewart and I give her my Cooking Light and Organic Gardening.

Then, when I am done with the Real Simple and Martha I pass them on my neighbor.

Have you hosted an exchange or swap? What did you swap and how did you organize it?

Kristia is a wife, mother of 2, and the family office manager. She writes about family finances, home management, and food at