Use a neighborhood network to save money
Take five minutes to save money by asking to borrow or rent household items from neighbors. Ask your local neighborhood association whether they have a "tool-lending library," like that of the Phinney Neighborhood Association in Seattle. Or, rent expensive equipment for a project rather than buy it, says Susan Palmquist, who writes The Budget Smart Girl's Guide to the Universe.
"When we first moved into our house, the deck was in bad shape and we couldn't afford a new one or pay someone to resand and paint it," Palmquist says. So they rented a sander for the morning, which only cost them $20. "It got the job done and saved us money by not having to purchase something we'd probably only use once in a blue moon."
Next step: Send a quick five-minute e-mail to contact your social networks -- mom clubs, neighborhood association, friends -- to sell a no-longer-needed item, says Gina Lincicum, blogger at MoneywiseMoms.com.
"I've sold baby gear, household items and hobby supplies this way, bringing in anywhere from $5 to $75," Lincicum says. "I prefer this method to Craigslist so that I'm not meeting up with strangers."