The following is a guest post from Kristen Cavaliere. Not only does it fit in well with the concept of frugality, but it also works perfectly for people who are trying to simplify their lives, own fewer possessions, and build strong bonds within their communities. Hopefully you’ll find some good ideas here, and be inspired to come up with more of your own.
Neighbors Can Be Frugal Together
These days it pays to be frugal. One untapped source you may not have thought of is your neighbors. If you have a close-knit neighborhood, you can use shared activities to financially benefit from each other.
How do you get started, you may ask? Simply invite your neighbors over for dinner or have a potluck over a long weekend or holiday to get to know one another. Then, TALK!! Once the ideas start being thrown around, it’s guaranteed more than one neighbor will be willing to become frugal together. Here are just a few suggestions:
Shared Resources/Shared Equipment
Trimming trees is so much easier with a great pair of shears. Instead of investing in a pair, ask your neighbor to borrow theirs. You can also talk to those in the neighborhooda about co-buying large equipment such as a ride-on lawn mower or edger.
For just a few hundred dollars, you can wind up with many years of use of a top-quality riding lawn mower and bear only a small fraction of the maintenance and expense.
Share your Green Thumb
If your neighbor grows a garden, meet up with them before planting season to discuss planting different things in each of your gardens and sharing equally.
Talk to several families about purchasing a butchered and packaged cow. Usually, you can get this far cheaper than retail at a meat locker. Sell shares of it and split up the meat so that you don’t overload your own freezer.
Neighbors that hunt together every year may also want to split their prizes among the neighborhood as well.
A great way to get to “eat out” with only the cost of one home-prepared item is by getting neighbors together to have rotating meals. Once every other week or so, one family cooks for everyone. This will work year-round but in the summer, cookouts are a great idea for getting together. Each family is assigned to bring one dish, rotating the families that bring the hamburgers, hot dogs or skewers. The kids and parents have a lot of fun, and it’s very affordable and simple to put together.
Offer to watch a neighbor’s children one Saturday night a month in exchange for them watching your kids once a month.
This can be especially valuable at Christmastime. It’s great to get the children out of the house so that the buy and wrap present, while knowing they’ll be having a grand time at their friends’.
Movie Night Out
During the summers, get together and watch a movie outdoors. This is a lot cheaper than going to the movie theater … tickets are free and popcorn consists of a few bags per family popped in your microwave. No one is sitting behind your kids asking them to keep it down either! If the kids get bored, there’s a built-in playground (a yard) close to you and you can still enjoy relaxing with friends and enjoying the movie.
In order to be frugal and benefit from each other, you cannot be shy! Some of your neighbors may have already thought of these ideas but are too timid to bring it up. When it comes to being frugal, you need to take the initiative to start saving in the long run.
Many thanks to Kristen Cavaliere for the the guest post.