Friday, November 9, 2007

Frugal Fridays - Trade, Barter, Work It Out

I've found that many times in our frugal journey we see more results if we are just open to what we need. When a huge limb fell from our tree and we needed a saw what were our options? Sure, we could just run out an buy an expensive saw from Home Depot, but when a man at our church has the same saw and is perfectly willing to let us borrow it, why buy it?

Whether anyone should actually be willing to loan Prince Charming power tools is a question for another day.

What about child care? I watch a little girl several days a week. The money I earn is just icing on the friendship cake since my girls really enjoy playing with this girl. When we need a night out - and boy do we need a night out right now! - we swap with these same friends. One night is their turn and the next week it's ours.

We haven't pointed out to them that they're getting the short end of the stick with our three bundles of energy to their one. They must be able to do the math. I know, I know: we have some really good friends.

What about car-pooling? As homeschoolers this probably doesn't come up quite as much but in our extended family we trade driving back and forth to Tae Kwon Do, various places of employment, and certain shopping trips.

Other possibilities:

- Maternity clothes. Everyone in your acquaintance cannot be pregnant at the same time. If they are, Don't Drink the Water. Keep those dresses, special occasion sweaters, and comfy denim skirts circulating! Each lady of childbearing age should only need to own the maternity wardrobe basics if we shared the "extras".

- Yard Equipment. Does everyone on your block need to own a weed-eater, snow blower, leaf blower, or the like?

- Baby stuff. Cribs, changing tables, and baby clothes ought to be out making the frugal rounds right now. Be wise about safety, of course, but otherwise, never refuse hand me downs. If you can't use them, pass 'em on!

Offer to pick up groceries for someone or run their mail to the post-office, if you're going. If you need a sewing machine just for one project (ha!) ask around.

I'm all for being independent, especially from the government, but lets be willing to admit we can't do everything ourselves, that we occasionally have needs others might be able to help us meet, and that we can help out in turn.

Be sure to check out Biblical Womanhood for lots of great frugal ideas.

1 comment:

Western Warmth family said...

I really agree with this! I think we need each other and can really help each other. Maternity clothes, babysitting, bringing in dinner, it is the little things that really bless each other's lives and the way to be Christian (feeding the hungry, clothing the naked--and pregnant, etc.)

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