How to swap and save

How to swap and save

Remember watching Swap Shop with Noel Edmonds and Cheggers on a Saturday morning? Well, like all things Seventies, the swapping craze is having a revival, with lots of swap shops being set up for you to exchange everything from seeds to skills.  

Skills and odd jobs is a fun way of getting to know your neighbours by sharing and swapping skills, odd jobs and useful things such as ladders or tools. You could get a neighbour to do your plumbing in exchange for giving piano lessons, or get some garden furniture in return for helping someone with their DIY.

Secondhand books

Bookworms can swap old reads for the paperback they’ve been itching for on It’s completely free to swap, apart from the cost of postage – just remember to get a Certificate of Posting from the Post Office. lets you give away and receive books without doing a direct swap. Instead you earn points each time you trade a book, which can either go on a new read or be donated to a charity.

Home and away

Planning a summer getaway? Rather than booking into a hotel, why not consider a house swap? Homelink ( matches like-minded people around the world who swap houses for their hols. Not only could this save you money on accommodation, house swaps tend to be more homely than a B&B and let you live just like a local.  Some swappers throw in a car exchange, too. A word to the wise; don’t forget to inform your home insurance company if someone else is staying – for most insurers this isn’t a problem.

And for those planning a more permanent move, check out UKPropertySwap (www.ukproperty – the site that lets you exchange properties with other buyers, freeing you from the complicated housing chain of normal sales. In some cases, you can actually cut out agent costs, too.

Let your garden grow

Seeds, pots and plants can all add up, but sprucing up your garden needn’t be expensive if you swap your old gardening stuff for the things you want, which you can do on

If you grow your own fruit and veg, join a local food swap and exchange excess produce.  Ask your local allotment if they’re interested in hosting one or visit to find existing food swaps.
Check out local noticeboards for details of seed swaps – the best known ones are The London Potato Fair (Feb 16-17, 2016) and Brighton’s Seedy Sunday (Feb 7, 2016).


Tired of your old motor and looking for a different model? lets you trade in your car for someone else’s, without dealer fees. Drivers can also join a car-sharing scheme such as to buddy up with someone who needs a lift. The passenger pays towards petrol, or you can arrange a lift for your own journey.


Swishing parties let you bag a new wardrobe in return for giving away clothes you no longer wear.  To organise one, just gather friends and ask everyone to bring one item of quality clothing they want to get rid of, then do a swap!

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