Bartering… the coolest form of currency.

Bartering – seems like something from the “olden days”, as my Grandmother would say.  Before I moved here, I had read a snippet about it somewhere…  and I thought, man – that would be so cool to barter one of my “talents” for something I wanted in return.

Well, I’m happy to report bartering is alive and well, here in Costa Rica!   I love bartering – especially because we are on a pretty tight budget now.  It is so cool, y’all!  You just exchange something that you can provide that another person wants, for something that you want that the other person can provide.  Sounds easy, right? Here’s an example:

Juanita has chickens that produce several fresh eggs for her family every morning.   
Matthew is a computer/website master.
Matthew loves having fried eggs for breakfast every morning.
Juanita has been having problems with her computer lately.
How many eggs would it cost Matthew to work out Juanita’s computer problem? 
Get together and work it, people!!  It’s that simple!

One time we had been coming back from the states, and were asked to “mule” something in from the US for friends of ours.  “Mule” is a term used by Gringos, that really just means to bring (fly) something back from the US to Costa Rica that you cannot find anywhere in Costa Rica.  In exchange for our “muling” efforts?  We were personally picked up from the airport at night (which is a 45 minute drive away and a hefty cab fare).  Deal!

These same good friends, are taking us to the airport again to pick up Greg’s Mom who is flying in to spend Thanksgiving with us.  They got to enjoy a few gourmet specialty items from Jen’s Bake Shop.

It’s not always a perfect trade-off – but you’ll typically barter again in the future, and if you weren’t friends already, you might very possibly become friends – how great is that?

So, if you live here, remember – I bake really awesome stuff…  just let me know what you have to offer me.  🙂  Ciao — Jen



I quit my job in my early 40’s, sold everything and retired early to live a simple life in Costa Rica!

Check out my book: "Costa Rica Chica" - the book.

Check out my Arm Candy: Costa Rica Chica Arm Candy.

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6 Responses to Bartering… the coolest form of currency.

  1. Jen Jen – I would have bet my entire net worth (which isn’t much) that I would never see or hear the term “muling” come out of your mouth! A term most commonly associated with the pharmaceutical business…ILLEGAL pharmaceutical business!!

    Hope you all have a Happy Thanksgiving and enjoy spending time with your Mom. I know she will be sad she is not in 4′ of snow and sub zero temperatures!


    P.S. Happy Thanksgiving to everyone at the DEA ,who is no doubt monitoring this blog now!

    • DAP… Let me correct you on a couple of points.

      Muling here, is a very common term among Gringos for bringing NON-narcotic, NON-illegal items into the country.

      I know that Dallas is cold right now, but I don’t think there’s 4′ of snow… Mom #2 (Shirley, Greg’s Mom) is due here later tonight – we can’t wait.

      YOU have a good Thanksgiving too!
      Jen Jen

      P.S. I know you miss me.

  2. Having been lucky enough to try some of your amazing treats before you moved I know that anyone that is doing their bartering with you is getting a VERY good trade! Also, this post reminded me of when I was kid because the day after Halloween was the day my sis and I would each organize our candy meticulously and then some very, very serious bartering went on. It was always soooo fun working out our trades!

    Ted and I are really proud of you, Jen!

    • Shannon – you are the sweetest! So cool about you and your sister – I love hearing stuff like that. Shirley is here with us now – so I just read your comment to her & Greg. Love you girl! — Jen

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