Bringing Communities Together with Bargains

Bargains Bringing Communities Closer?We often ask ourselves what we can do to save money, but hardly ever do we look around and think of our neighbourhood in the same way. Sometimes, we are so wrapped up in our own worlds and managing our own finances that we neglect to think of our neighbours, who are most likely having the very same discussions at their kitchen table. The truth of the matter is that saving doesn't have to be a one-person job at all - not even close! There are a multitude of ways to use bargaining to bring a community closer together, and even save more money in the process for all involved.

Buy in Bulk

First of all, think of items that everyone uses. Toilet paper, paper towels, certain medicines, paper plates, etc. are all bound to be found in almost every household, right? You know that buying in bulk is cheaper, so why not involve the entire neighbourhood? Either take it in turns to purchase these basics or have every household that wants to participate give a little cash each time. You will save hundreds of pounds over the year on items that you use every single day.

Combining Stacks of Vouchers

Every ‘bargainer’ knows the value of a good voucher stash, but sometimes, you might have a hard time keeping vouchers that your family actually uses on hand. If you know that there are other people in your community who rely on vouchers as much as you do, you can easily set up a voucher swap in your area. This is the best thing for a group of people who enjoy bargains, because you can both receive vouchers for things you really need and give vouchers to other people who could really use them.  Remember that sites like freestuff have sections on free printable vouchers - so take a look and make the most of them!

Car Sharing

Car sharing is another option that is incredibly smart and will save you not only money on petrol, but also money on wear-and-tear of your car. There are several options for this, but the best is to take it in turns who does what errands for the community. You might not particularly like the idea of going food shopping for more than just your own family at times, but look at the bigger picture: there may be a day in the following weeks in which you either can't find or don't have the time to go yourself, and you won't have to! If you are a close community, another option is to downsize the number of cars in your neighbourhood by sharing a car with a neighbour or two. The only disadvantage to this is if an emergency crops up and someone needs the car while it is being used by someone else.

Trading Skills

Skill swapping is another great way to save money - say you need to get something done - a faucet drips, you need some new bedroom cabinets, etc. Instead of going to find a "professional" via a large company or internet site, ask around your neighbourhood first. You might be surprised what sorts of things your neighbours can do. Think of what skills you have while you're at it. In the old days, people bartered goods and services; they didn't pay for things with money. That's the whole idea here: if someone can fix your leaky sink, you do a service for them in return - maybe you can sew up a ripped pair of pants, or fix their laptop. You entire community will save tons of money if you don't have to spend the pounds on outside sources, and you will grow closer together in the process.

A Communal Allotment

A community garden or allotment also has potential to save you and all tons of money on groceries. Sometimes, gardens seem more effort than they're worth, but that is certainly not true. If everyone pitches in on seeds, fencing, and helps take care of the growing and cultivating of the food, the entire neighbourhood will have fresh, healthy, and cheap produce on hand whenever they need it. You can include the kids in this one, too, making it educational and fun. When it comes time to gather the produce, simply involve everyone in harvesting - maybe even have a neighbourhood bonfire that night with a sampling of the freshly-grown food for everyone. It will help you save money and strengthen the bonds within your community while taking great strides towards improving the overall health of your neighbours too!

Selling on Bulk Buys

Another great way to bring your community together through bargains is by the simple process of buying bargains in bulk and then selling on. Whether you want to help a local charity or simply save the money to do something nice for your neighbourhood (like that garden, perhaps?), buying excess and selling what you don't need is the very definition of a smart shopper. This is especially beneficial if several, neighbourhood shoppers hit up a variety of stores and deals at one time.  Here is a good article from the Guardian that highlights some ways you can 'buy big and save money'.

Bringing Baby Sitting Back

If you have kids, you are definitely going to want to lean on your neighbours at times. It takes a village to raise a child, right? By now, you probably know which of your neighbours have kids, and odds are, their kids already play with your kids. Don't waste your money on hiring an expensive sitter, or nanny. If you both take turns watching each other's children, you will save money on child care costs. This way your families will grow closer as you watch your children grow up together and stay good friends.

The Give-and-Take to make it work

The main aspect of bargaining with an entire neighbourhood is the give-and-take of it all. There will be some days where it seems you may do more than your fellow neighbour, but you shouldn't look at it that way, because soon enough, it will seem they are doing more for you. Really, it's all about sharing. A sense of community doesn’t just come from living in the same area as someone else. It comes from being involved in the lives of other people, from caring about them, and from letting them care about you too.

From raising children to food shopping, there are a lot of things human beings can do for one another, things that seem little, but are actually important and have a huge impact on our lives. Try out some of our ideas for building your own ‘bargain community’ in your neighbourhood, and watch the positivity from saving money and helping each other result in your community growing closer together, day after day.

Verdict?

MoneySavingPigHave you got experience of trying to save money working with your local community?  Have we missed something in this post?  We're always open to feedback so let us know using the comment section below!

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