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20 unique ways to save money

Feb. 28, 2011, 11:25 a.m.
person picking orange from tree

Photo: jupiterimages

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Barter, swap and glean

If you enjoyed your swap meet, you're going to love all the swapping opportunities the Web offers. Check out these sites and swap away: DigNSwap, Neighborrow, Better World Books, Paper Back Swap, SwapTree, ThredUP and SwapItGreen

Want free stuff without having to give anything in return? Check out the "free" section of your local craigslist page or head over to Freecycle, a grassroots movement of people who are giving away free stuff. There may even be groups in your area who barter for goods and services, or check craigslist for bartering opportunities.

Gleaning can mean asking local farmers if you can pick the food that’s left behind in their fields, taking fruit off your neighbor’s tree or, in the case of the Freegans, Dumpster diving and finding usable food that grocery stores have thrown out. If you’re going to give any of these a try, we recommend asking permission first — and remember that you’re eating at your own risk.