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The following is a guest post by Lisa @ Frugal Living, a personal finance blog which offers money saving tips, along with solid budgeting ideas.

Combining forces is one way frugal families can take advantage of buying in bulk, and in supporting one another in maintaining their monthly budgets. While some families share or trade with their extended family members, bartering or trade with their neighbors is another way to avoid cash outlay for services or products. Read on to find four ways to live on less.

Power in Numbers

Saving money is obviously a game of numbers.  In an economic downturn, everyone wants to save money and lower expenses, while still living comfortably.

You’ll find frugal living tips and ways to spend less all around, from getting rid of cable/satellite and dropping your landline phone, to eating out less and keeping a watchful eye over your grocery budget.  While these are powerful and relevant tips, taking it a step further can make the difference between getting by, and getting ahead.

Whether or not you have a membership or easy access to a store to buy in bulk, it might not matter.  You or your family simply might not be able to make the most of products in bulk. While a 12 pack of paper towels might cost just under $20 at your local grocery warehouse, not everyone has $20 to invest in paper towels. Therefore, buying in bulk and splitting the pack makes sense for some families, as well as singles.

Families, neighbors, co-workers, etc. can join forces and combine in the power to consume.  What if you shared the cost of buying a large package of basic food-related needs or other household items.  After all, maybe it’sunreasonable for your family of three to use that much toilet paper over the next several months, but what if you could split that with your neighbors – and spend a portion less?

Join Forces with Your Neighbor/Friend

Bulk warehouses aside, there are numerous other ways for friends, family, and neighbors to split the costs on everything from necessities, to entertainment. The butcher shops sell sides of beef or whole hogs for much less than the chain grocery stores do. And better yet: the meat is usually raised fairly close to home – so you’re supporting the local economy, as well. Check into splitting with your neighbor. If you don’t have a freezer large enough to store your portion, maybe they do: so comp them a bit more of your butcher shop treasure, to compensate them for storing it for you.

Family entertainment often comes with a high price tag… but not if you can buy in bulk. Bulk,as in season tickets. From water parks and amusement parks to sporting events, season tickets save money and allow your family to enjoy group entertainment, for less. Sporting events, especially, make for a great networking opportunity – especially when you get to know your seat mates within the section you attend. These experiences are great memory-makers, for family members of all ages!

Getting it Done

A hundred years ago, depression-era families thought nothing of trading with a neighbor: meat for milk, produce for eggs, handy man labor for sewing skills. Today, with the cost of pretty much everything at all all-time high, why wouldn’t we want to capitalize on our existing skills and talents, in exchange for like services? If the mechanic down the street can offer auto repair services, in exchange for electrical work by the contractor on the block, everyone comes out happy. It’s a win-win situation, especially when details like price range and compensation can be worked out without any hassles. Trade lawn mowing or yard work for house cleaning or home-grown vegetables. The possibilities are endless… limited only by our pride – or lack of communication with our neighbors.

How do you connect with your friends, family and neighbors to help cut the cost of living? Share your tips with us here!

Article publié pour la première fois le 09/11/2011

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