Forage, Barter and simple frugal living – A great way to save more money

You could be saving hundreds of dollars a year by learning how to forage for food, barter with your neighbours and learning a few simple frugal living skills.

blueberry foraging - simple frugal livingWhen times are tough we need to look for other ways to provide for our families, or to at least do our little bit to contribute to the family budget. Some simple frugal living ideas, foraging for food and start bartering can save you money too. There are little bits that we can do to contribute to the family budget, and sometimes all it takes is a little bit of our own time.




Forage, barter and be more frugal

When was the last time you foraged for food? Or barter with your neighbour or a tradesman for goods or services? Are you being frugal enough in your household? Simple frugal living is a great way to get the whole family involved and to teach your children the value of money.


Saving money

We all like to save a bit of money. Some of us are more frugal with our money than others. Many families are dependent on living a frugal lifestyle. But have you tried foraging and bartering as well and incorporating those into your daily life also?



Imagine being able to save $50 a week off your grocery bill by just doing a little research and finding your local foraging spots.

Foraging for food has been around for hundreds of years. Foraging is when you go searching for edible plants and vegetables that are grown in public places or maybe grown in a community where you are welcome to help yourself. There could be apple trees, plum trees, hazelnut trees, herbs and lettuces.  All for free pickings.

Foraging for food - Simple frugal living

Or in the wild, where with the right knowledge you can help yourself to berries, nuts, fruit and more. Just be sure that you follow good practice guidelines, know 100% before you pick and if on private land, ensure you have the landowners permission first.

There are many foraging websites that can tell you where you can find apple trees, plum trees, and much more.
Some community websites list details of where you can forage in urban areas. Check out your local community website.

If you are lucky enough to live near the ocean, the beaches and rocks can provide ample opportunity for foraging.

Beach Foraging - Simple frugal living

Foraging makes a great adventure you can do with the kids too. As a bonus it’s free and you can fill a whole day out foraging while educating your kids at the same time!

There are plenty of books available to teach you the art of foraging and help you identify wild plants and what is safe to eat and what you should avoid in the wild.  Check out some of the Foraging books available on Amazon.

Bartering for goods or services

Bartering is a great way to save money. Often you will have something that others want, and they might have something you want. You might have surplus eggs you could sell from your backyard chickens, or vegetables from your garden! Even if you are not a keen gardener, there are some things that are super easy to grow such as carrots, tomatoes, silver beet and leeks.

My friend bottles her own tomato sauce and it is super yummy. I trade her soy candles and vegetables from my garden in return for her yummy tomato sauce and a haircut, as she is an ex-hairdresser too.

You can barter any skill set or product or craft that you can make. If you have a few fruit trees around, you could barter with your excess fruit.

You could volunteer in the community garden and in return receive some fresh vegetables.

My sister recently ordered three of my soy candles while at the same time I agreed to buy a cookbook that my niece was selling in a fundraising bid for their school hockey team. So we simply just traded the items, no money exchanged!

Don’t be afraid to ask. What’s the worst that could happen right?


Simple frugal living

To be frugal means to be savvy with your money. Always look for the best deal for the best value. Don’t take the first offer or option on something but to consider all the facts and figures before making a decision.

I consider myself frugal. It can take me ages to do the grocery shopping because I am always comparing prices and quantity to get the best value for my money. I shop at the cheapest supermarket and op shops for our clothes. We don’t buy brand new anymore either.

Often, when we are out, my kids ask for an ice block, as kids do. If we are on our way home, I would rather pop into the supermarket and buy one packet of 10 x Lemonade Popsicles instead of going to the dairy. At the dairy, they are more expensive. Nicer, but way more expensive.

By purchasing the pack of ten ice blocks, everybody gets two each (saved for another day), and they cost me a third of the price as if we got one each at the dairy!

When we have a roast for dinner, we always have a big pot of vegetable soup the following day. We boil up the remainder of the bones, along with the soup and chuck in some vegetables, whether it’s a chicken, lamb or pork. Kids love it!

How to Live off the Smell of an Oily Rag is a great book if you are looking for tips and advice on ways of living more frugal. It’s a great book and provides great pointers of where you can and should save.



If you need some more tips on simple frugal living, check out some of these books on Amazon or at Fishpond Bookstore . They are filled with some great ideas and there is bound to be some ideas that you haven’t tried yet.


Being frugal and being able to barter with our skill set has got us to where we are today. We now own a small lifestyle block, a family caravan and enjoy going on family holidays whenever we can. It was a long road for us because I wasn’t so debt smart at the beginning. But I am now and you shouldn’t wait 20 years to learn to be debt smart yourself.

Remember, to be frugal means to be savvy with your money. Watch every penny and to not overspend on unnecessary items. Track all your spending and add it up at the end of the month. This will help you see where all your money is going and see where you can cut back.

Related reading: Ways to save money on a tight budget and Paying off debt fast – Using the Pay it Forward system


Tell us your favourite forage story, best barter deal or your best frugal tip!

Tell us in a few words below in the Comments box below, some of your successful tips in foraging, bartering or simple frugal living.



Save more money! Learn how to forage for food, barter with your neighbours, and start practicing simple frugal living ways.

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