I have a neighbor and a friend who regularly take care of Toby when my boyfriend and I are out of town. Both have declined money in the past so for one I make pie or cookies (I make a killer blueberry pie) and for Christmas we're giving him a gift certificate to the restaurant where we know he often eats lunch. We didn't stalk him, it's the restaurant where my boyfriend works. We decided it would be too creepy to make it for exactly the cost of his usual lunch.
For the other, we load up the fridge with specialty beer and he drinks a bottle each time he visits Toby while playing with him and providing company for the cat. For Christmas he's getting an awesome specialty beer mug for his personal bar.
I used to pet sit for a friend of my sisters and she paid me in gift cards to my favorite pet shop and complete set of LSAT books when my boyfriend was getting ready to take the test.
Now that it's the holidays and many people are getting ready to travel, I'm wondering if non-money is actually common or if I just hang out with a group of people more inclined to barter/trade than to pay. Any thoughts?