Before there was money, people dealt with their desire for things they didn't own with trading. This allowed you to turn extra goods that you didn't want (let's say you're a cattle rancher. You would have lots of milk, cheese, and beef, but you'd be disappointed if you needed say a potato), into goods that you do want.
Now, there's a reason we stopped doing it this way. For one, you have to find someone who wants what you have, and has what you want. There's a famous German story about a group of Prussian officers trying to trade around their possessions, and some 62 trades have to be made to finally get everything they want. This is essentially the ancestor that famous red paperclip story in which a series of trades turns one ordinary, fraction-of-a-cent in value paperclip into a house, but has to do a lot of trades for things he didn't want in order to get there. Money, by contrast, is a singular store of value that I can trade for almost anything under the sun.
However, in the depression climate, Barter can be useful again. Many Americans have old, unwanted possessions from fatter times. What we need is money, and money is hard to come by, but I still think we can get what we want. By trading. Trade that old stereo that you're tired of to someone who has more booze that he can drink. Trade your old car to an enthusiast, who can give you, say, a new set of tools. No money traded hands, but as I understand Economics, all of this trading would make us all richer. Something we didn't want has been turned into something we do. And that thing need not be a good. There's no reason that services couldn't also be bartered.
See, wealth is not just dollars. Wealth is also having things that you want, and more importantly, need. A broken old car isn't wealth to you, unless you're a mechanically minded old car fan. A book on how to speak Russian isn't very useful...unless you need to learn to speak Russian. Maximize the wealth.
And when the depression ends, there's an even better thing you can do -- garage sale. You unload stuff that's worthless to you, in exchange for cold hard cash, and the people who bought it get it way cheaper than it would have cost new or in a secondhand store. Everyone wins, and that's pretty rare in Economics.