Friday, June 10, 2011

Frugal Friday: Hire Local

Sometimes, the best deals are right under your nose. Or next door.

When we need services done at home, it is common to look in the phone book or Google online, but depending on what you need done, it may be easier to ask a neighbor. Paying a neighborhood boy to mow lawns is the most common way people do this, but consider other ways you can "buy local".

When I was about 8 months pregnant with my first child, I realized I could no longer comfortably scrub the inside of my bathtubs. I posted on my personal blog asking what housekeepers my friends recommended. To my surprise, my Relief Society president at the time, who also lived just two houses away (still does), saw the post and said she wanted the job. She did it for a lower price than a professional housekeeper charged and she appreciated the extra spending cash!

I've also paid neighbor women to watch my children and paid my sister to make frozen meals for us when I was pregnant with my second child. My husband traded computer services with a neighbor who is a roofer so we could have the shingles on our roof inspected and secured.

What other services can you pay a neighbor to do?

  • Do you need someone to walk the dog?
  • Have you considered paying the neighbor kids in lollipops to pick the dandelions from your yard or weed the garden?
  • Who can diagnose and fix your computer issues? Or design your website?
  • If you work, is there someone you trust to be your daycare provider?
  • Who is a painter or a plumber?
  • Do you have a neighbor who is a lawyer and can help you set up your will?
  • Is there a fantastic seamstress in your neighborhood you could pay to make your daughter's prom dress?

Not all neighbors will be excited to take on more work after getting through a work day, but a lot will be grateful for the extra cash or for the service or product you can give in return. Get to know your neighbors. Save money, and hire local!

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