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Wednesday, September 16, 2015

My Sharing Economy: Getting By at the Office for Free!

Give and Take at the Office

My Sharing Economy

The other day, someone at the office offered me a piece of candy, and of course I took it.  For one thing I was starving, the candy was free, I wanted it.  For another thing, it is sort of a bonding event to share stuff at the office with coworkers and I wanted to participate.

Of course to really participate, I would need to share something too.  I looked around my office thinking about what I could share that wouldn't put too big of a dent in my wallet, and my gaze fell upon a bowl of cherry tomatoes that I brought for lunch.

Perfect!  I had way more tomatoes than I could comfortably eat.  I washed each cherry tomato carefully, removed the stems, and even tried them off with a paper towel.

I walked around offering cherry tomatoes and telling my story about how I grew the tomatoes in a straw bale.  This is actually true- you can read how I grew my entire garden by planting in straw bales this year.  I even put some tomatoes in paper coffee cups and left them for people who were away.  It became a game for people to figure out where the tomatoes came from while they were away from their desk.

Everyone liked the tomatoes- from what I heard, none of them made it home with anyone.  They got eaten almost immediately or in the car on the ride home.  I am starting to want more of those cherry tomatoes as I read this.

I picked some more tomatoes tonight to take in to the office.  Not only are cherry tomatoes from my garden free, but they are healthy for people.  Maybe they will offset the effects of everyone eating candy today.  I also like that I have a unique thing to share.  I guess someone could buy a bunch of cherry tomatoes at the grocery store, but this would be expensive and they would be nowhere near as fresh as mine that are straight from the garden.

For me, I enjoy sharing something that takes a bit of work rather than spending money.  I think most people would rather buy a box of donuts or a bag of bagels to bring to the office and be done with it, even if it costs $20.  I can grow a lot of vegetables in my garden with $20 worth of investment.

Sharing produce from my garden works great during harvest season, but what the rest of the year?  I have shown up at office events with canned salsa made entirely with produce from my garden.  Another neat- and cheap- thing to bring to the office is a fresh loaf of bread to share.  When I had chickens, I always had eggs to share- this was popular and cost me nothing since I had extras.

Protect your wallet by thinking about cheap ways you can participate in the "sharing economy"!

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  1. Sharing is caring :) Nice way to give back.

    1. This is a win-win for me- I get to share something that I have available for free, and people enjoy receiving it. You can be frugal and still share stuff!