Being frugal doesn’t have to be a solo operation and it can be a lot more fun if you involve your family and friends. Not to mention the ideas that flow when you get together a group of people on a mission. You might be surprised to find out what others are doing to save money in their home.
Here are just a few ideas for saving money with others:
- Put together freezer meals with a group of friends – One person provides the location and then each person brings a couple of ingredients (pre-chopped veggies, meats, spices, etc) and/or supplies (tins, baggies, foils, wraps). Then work together to make up a couple of dishes you can take home and pop in your freezer for later. You can have lots of fun with this one and save a great deal of money over what you would spend at one of the local shops that does this for you.
- Trade, Barter and Assist – this is different from beg, borrow and steal and is the way people operated in the “old days”, what a great way to do business! Do you have a business, special skill or talent? Everyone does and everyone is interested in saving a few dollars these days. Maybe you can trade babysitting services for piano lessons? What about offering to mow someone’s lawn if they will take a look at your computer problems? How about trading mechanic services for a few haircuts. The ideas are endless!
- Get group pricing for trips and events – If you and your family are interested in taking a trip, seeing a show or visiting an amusement park there are ways to go at a fraction of the price. This may take a little work on your part but if you have the time and energy, this can be a big money saver for you. Before you plan your trip, be sure to call ahead and find out if they offer group pricing and, if so, what are the particulars.
- Organize a clothing and accessory swap – Do you need a new wardrobe or maybe just a few new accessories? Get a group of friends together, each of you bringing a few items of clothing or accessories that you no longer love (or even a bag full, depending on what you decide). Each of you takes a few minutes to display your items and then everyone goes shopping – no checkbook or credit card required. What ever is left can be boxed up and donated to a local charity.
- Subscribe to Groupon. Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve probably heard of Groupon. But just in case…the premise is that local businesses offer discounted pricing to those that purchase the offer of the day. If enough people chose to take advantage of the offer then the “Deal is on”. When you subscribe, you get a daily e-mail detailing the Groupon offer for that day. On most days the deal doesn’t interest me but I have found great savings on those things that do. For example, $7 tickets to the Maryland Zoo (regular price $14); $12 for 3 buckets of balls at the local driving range (regular price $24); $12 for 5 games at the local mini-golf (regular price $30). It doesn’t cost anything to sign up and you can choose from a list of cities in order to find the deals closest to you.
I’ve mentioned the Money Saving Mom website before and I have to say that of all the sites I visit, this is one of the best. I highly recommend that you check it out. Just recently, one of the MSM readers wrote about her “Frugal Club“, describing what they do and how to start a club of your own. It’s a good read and a fantastic idea.
I challenge you to talk to your friends and family to find out how you can work together to save a few dollars. When you figure it out, come back to tell us about it. Send your stories and photos to firstname.lastname@example.org. I’d just LOVE to hear your ideas!
I have tried a variety of money-saving ideas over the years, some that work and some that I didn’t feel were worth the time and effort. I hope that you will come back each Friday to learn my tips and tactics for hanging on to your hard-earned dollar. I also hope that you will share some of your tips with me by sending them to email@example.com.