Is this a barter system? 

In short "No".   It is like barter but better!
LETS Grow Free is about trading goods and services without dollars and where trades are recorded on a ledger.  It is similar to barter but operates way better than barter and grows community spirit in ways that barter never could!  A straight barter trade requires a double coincidence of wants between two people where as  LETS Grow Free  is a  “community exchange” which takes the pressure off a single person to repay the favour as any person in the entire exchange can repay the favour!  

What if I don't have anything to trade?

This is a very common first reaction! Registering with  LETS Grow Free  will help you realise that if you think outside of the framework of money, you do have things to offer and that you can be useful to others. Whether you are skilled or not, your time, energy or resources will be of value to someone. A few examples are shopping, answering the phone, dog walking, cooking, cleaning, gardening, child care, car lifts, home equipment or tool hire, to name a few. Start by asking yourself what you really enjoy doing, or sit down with a friend and tell each other what you are good at. Take a look at the list below to get ideas. You will probably surprise yourself when you begin to think about it!



  • Workshop tools
  • Garden tools & equipment
  • Your computer
  • Camping equipment
  • Sports equipment
  • Swimming/diving gear
  • Musical equipment
  • Event venues
  • Accommodation
  • Video equipment
  • Garage Marquee
  • Bed/bedding
  • Truck, car Bicycle


  • Breads Cakes, biscuits, buns etc.
  • Cooked meals
  •  Frozen meals
  •  Preserves, pickles, jams
  • Pies, quiches, tarts
  • Garden vegetables
  • Drinks
  • Herbs & spices
  • Fruit Snacks
  • Salads
  • Eggs
  • Meat
  • Cereals

Advice & Tuition

  • Parental advice
  •  Relationship advice
  •  Bicycle riding
  •  Surfing
  •  Singing
  •  Musical instruments
  •  Gardening advice
  • Colour and style advice
  • Legal advice
  •  Energy saving
  •  Extra lessons
  •  Dancing
  • Public speaking
  •  Art, drawing
  • Crafts


  • Painting
  • Handyman services
  • Plastering, tiling
  • Electrical repairs
  • Car washing & cleaning
  • Car repairs
  • Bicycle repairs
  • Photocopying
  • Photography
  • Printing
  • Carpentry
  • Heating, cooling
  • Information searching
  • Secretarial services
  • Plumbing
  • Gardening
  • House sitting
  • Writing, editing, proofreading
  • Disc jockey
  • Event organising
  • Window cleaning
  • Laundry
  • Sewing
  • Knitting
  • Cooking, baking
  • General labour
  • Graphic design
  • Web sites
  • Programming
  • Health care
  • Therapies
  • Medical services


  • Answering the phone
  • Shopping for others
  • Child care/babysitting
  •  Frail care
  •  Dog walking
  • Pet feeding/sitting
  • Fetching/posting mail
  • Delivering/collecting parcels/letters
  • Writing letters
  • Reading stories, storytelling
  • Car lifts
  • Fetching/taking children to school


  • Bicycles
  • Clothing
  • Shoes
  • Tools
  • Furniture
  • Curtains, carpets, cushions
  • Magazines
  • Books
  • Toys, dolls etc.
  • Bedding
  • Electrical appliances
  • Computers and peripherals
  • Paintings
  • Garage junk!
  • Jewellery
  • Electronic gadgets
  • CDs
  • Software
  • Kitchen utensils

What is the history of LETS?

LETS stands for Local Energy Trading System and as you know, trade/barter has been a part of the human experience for aeons.  LETS  first began in its current form in 1983 as a solution to financial hardship when a town on the west coast of Canada was  "out of money."   The Canadian initiative quickly gathered interest from around the world.  In 1987 several Australians from Maleny QLD, travelled to Canada to receive training and guidance in the trading system and soon after that LETS in Australia was born.  LETS has now been operating in Australia for almost forty years.  Today there are approximately thirty LETS groups operating in Australia. You can see all of the LETS groups in Australia here   LETS Grow Free currently manages five of the total thirty LETS groups in Australia.

How is LETS Grow Free different to other LETS groups?

There are three major differences;
1. We are the only Australia wide LETS group. Geographical location is not a criterion for joining us
2. LETS Grow Free is more than a trading platform.  We are a registered not for profit organisation. We support our members in their financial, physical, social/emotional recovery from the pandemic years. We assist our members to prepare for future challenging situations including possibly more pandemics, natural disasters, bank inflation and financial crashes
3. Our LETS Grow Free communities work in unison to share costs, resources and expertise.  We are stronger together!

Why do you call yourselves Grow Free?  Grow Free of what in particular? 

In the early days, some of our pioneering members were involved in another organisation named more simply  "Grow Free".   The Grow Free organisation is about sharing your home grown produce with your community.  It involves placing carts around the neighbourhood laden with home grown goodies with a sign    "Give what you can. Take what you need."    You can learn more about Grow Free here
We thought to include a  "LETS"  component to the idea of home grown goodies so that people could earn trade points for their diligence in growing such fine organic foods.  With the earned trade points, a person could then pay for a service such as a hair cut,  a cooking lesson or trailer hire.   These are only a few examples.  There are actually thousands of options for spending trade points!

The other reason for our choice of name is that LETS Grow Free is a comprehensive support network for members to grow free of hardship and create better lives for themselves.  Whatever the challenge, it is easier to go through it when you are not alone!  A healthy mindset and self-reliance through interconnectedness with local community is undeniably a winning combination.

How does your organisation help me to grow free of financial hardship?

  • LETS Grow Free can save you money by lessening your dependency upon it!
  • LETS Grow Free has a philosophy of  "pay it forward"  where our members have optional access to an interest free overdraft to pay for all manner of goods and services.  This is not viewed as a "debt"  and instead is viewed as a future commitment to contribute goods and services back to the community
  • We offer support to businesses in their recovery of financial losses due to lock downs.  We offer businesses promotional advertising on our social media platforms, through our newsletter and zoom calls as well as time limited "LIBBIES" offerings
  • We offer bulk buy foods at reduced prices..even cheaper than Woolworths and Coles!

How will joining LETS Grow Free help my Wellbeing?

  • You will be part of a like-minded community. End of story!
  • You will have access to our online Wellbeing Library where comprehensive information is filed under categories including; Nutritional Medicine,  Traditional Healing Remedies,  Mental Health, Detoxification of Self and Home, Healthy Lifestyle Choices, Pharmaceutical Alternatives
  • You will have the opportunity to attend regular Wellbeing Zoom calls with qualified health professionals
  • You will access low cost health and wellbeing products approved by our LETS Grow Free Naturopath(s)
  • You will access health professionals who offer services through trade rather than with dollars.  This encourages our members to manage their health and wellbeing as the usual barrier of finance is neutralised 

How much does it cost to join?

$20 yearly membership fee plus 10 trade units towards our Community Chest.  
Fees are kept to a minimum and members do recover their $20 membership fee very quickly through participating in our heavily discounted;

  • Bulk Buy Foods
  • Health and Wellbeing products
  • Book- No Grid Living
  • Book - The Lost Book of Herbal Remedies
  • plus more

Where does the money go?

LETS Grow Free is a registered not for profit organisation.  Our committee members offer their time as volunteers and do not receive financial gain or trade points (LIBS) for their service.  Membership fees are used to pay for general costs that apply Australia wide.  There are also localised costs as well.
Australia wide costs include;

  • Public and Product Liability Insurance for all of our members
  • Trading platform fees
  • Zoom, Canva and protonmail accounts
  • Advertising and promotions
  • Website 
  • Not for Profit registration

Other costs at a local level are multiple but include: 

  • Market day costs such as venue hire, equipment hire
  • Printing of fliers and brochures
  • Coffee Urns
  • Signage
  • Microphones 
  • First Aid kits

What do your existing members like about  LETS Grow Free? 

  • The overdraft of  500 trade units which allows new members to start trading immediately
  • That the membership number is all that is required to trade with other LETS members.  No need to carry any  "currency"  on one's person
  • That LETS Grow Free differs from other LETS groups that focus on trade alone.  LETS Grow Free focuses on two other major supports for its members, these being Self-Sufficiency and Wellbeing.  
  • The cheap products !
  • That LETS Grow Free is establishing a BnB directory where members can take a holiday and stay in homes and pay through trade points (LIBBIES)
  • That LETS Grow Free provides product and public liability insurance cover for members