transfer your domain to another domain Registar that doesn't have a domain auctioning business
That is not going to be very likely--just about every domain name registrar is now auctioning off their domain names when they expire, or have an agreement with other services to do it on their behalf.
Whether or not you pay the $269 or not may depend on the domain--if it's a domain that is not likely to be picked up by someone else (a very uncommon word/phrase and it doesn't have much SEO value), then you may let it drop fully. You might want to add some backorders on the domain, just in case. There are several services out there, I would backorder it on them all (you only pay if they get the domain for you).