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Frugal living tip #21. May 28, 2009

Posted by ourfriendben in Ben Franklin, homesteading, wit and wisdom.
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Silence Dogood here at last with this week’s Frugal Living Tip here at Poor Richard’s Almanac. (We’ve been a little distracted this week, and besides, our friend Ben has been hogging the airwaves. But better late than later, right?) This week, I promised to share an interesting item I found in the Wall Street Journal on “Sites [that] Let You Swap Till You Drop.”

[Totally unrelated rant: WSJ, “till” is what you do to the soil. The correct spelling of the short form of “until” is ’til. As in, “Swap ‘Til You Drop.” Shame on you!]

The Journal reviewed three websites that primarily feature clothing and accessories swaps. (Swapped items can be “gently used” or new.) Basically, you upload a photo of the item you want to swap, review offers of swaps from folks who are interested in your item, and if you like something that’s offered, agree to the swap, ship off your item, and get the item of your choice in exchange. Like eBay, comments and ratings help keep transactions aboveboard and prevent “swaplifting.”

The sites are Swapstyle (www.swapstyle.com), Rehash Clothes (www.rehashclothes.com), and Dig’N’Swap (www.dignswap.com). The author of the article, Nancy Matsumoto, put up items to swap on each site and reported on her experience with each site in the article, as well as providing an at-a-glance comparison chart. (Look for the article, “Sites Let You Swap Till You Drop,” under “Cranky Consumer” on the Wall Street Journal website, www.wsj.com.)

The point of these sites is that they let you exchange that too-big sweater Great-Aunt Ethel bought you last Christmas (okay, it was handmade and probably pretty pricey, but just look at that color!) or the too-small shoes you absolutely couldn’t resist but only managed to limp to work in once for something you’re pretty sure you’ll love.

Yes, of course you could just take the stuff to your local Goodwill or Salvation Army, but the chances of finding something really good there aren’t so great. These sites let you feel like you’re shopping without spending any money, or at least any more money than it costs to ship your stuff. So if you love to shop but are in a money crunch thanks to our faltering economy, here’s a way to shop for (practically) free and get rid of unwanted stuff. Sounds like a deal!

              ‘Til next time,




1. Lzyjo - May 28, 2009

Cool! I’ve never done a swap, but I love Craigslist, in fact I’m getting an overhead projector today from there! Woohooo!!

Way to go, lzyjo!!!

2. David in Kansas - May 28, 2009

For me, an upside down tomato is all about avoiding staking of any type. Plus, it is supposed to help with bugs (they tell me aphids don’t fly) and such. Originally, back in the day, upside down tomatoes were grown in 5 gallon buckets fashioned for this task. Now, people fork over $20 bucks for one of those Topsy Turvy things (the wife wanted one, as did my in-laws so I got some at $9.99 at Home Depot).
Don’t feel too bad for a tomato plant. They are survivors and should really be classified as a weed.
One thing about these hanging tomatoes people don’t realize is that if you plant the tomato when it is small, it will grow UP not down. Eventually, when it is heavy with fruit, the weight will break the main stem and you will be done. This is why the Topsy Turvy will die as will all these 2 liter bottle planters out there.
If one wanted to grow tomatoes the way God intended, one would let them drag on the floor. Tomatoes want to be free. They send the vines out and they root and create new plants. I’ve seen this with tomatoes I could not keep up with.
Yep, hanging tomatoes is just another attempt to control a plant that resists control.

Yikes, I didn’t realize that about the tomato plants growing up in those hanging planters, then snapping off, but of course it makes sense. And you’re right, they do want to cover the ground. But I hadn’t realized they’d root and sprout! That does sound, well, rather weedlike…

3. scm - May 29, 2009

Thanks, Silence! Fears for my nerves and blood pressure (and sanity) prevent me from getting too close to finance-related news these days, so I’m delighted to hear about the swap sites. Sounds pleasantly subversive, too. I do hope you’ll try them and report back to us.

Just what I need—one more thing to do! I’m still trying to get it together to go down to the Salvation Army in Quakertown in hopes of finding a few tee-shirts! But maybe some of our readers will try them and give us first-person accounts!

4. Jen - May 31, 2009

Now why didn’t I think of this? Great idea. I used to get together with my friends and do this when I lived in the city, but now we’ve all become different sizes and live too far apart.

As for the upside down tomato plants? I would like to try them. But I want someone else to try them first. Guess that won’t be you 😉

Ha!!! Guess not!

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