In my search for ways to stretch my family's hard-earned dollars further, I've spent a lot of time looking on the Internet.
The best thing I've found is an organisation called Freecycle. Membership is free with the only constraint being that everything posted must be FREE. I guess it's more or less a high-tech swap meet.
Membership groups are based around various localities so you are giving away and/or receiving goods from people close to home so you don't have to travel far to pick up or drop off.
It is for people interested in keeping good stuff out of landfills. It is open to all who want to `recycle' something rather than throw it away. Non-profit groups can also take part.
Members simply post the item they are offering and wait for interested members to contact them.
Maybe there are toys your children are no longer interested in, homewares you no longer have a use for, or you've got a new lounge and the old one is too good to throw away. A Freecycle member may be eager to give them a new home.
Visit freecycle.org for more information and to see if there is a group based in the area where you live. If not maybe you could start one? It's not only a potential way of saving money but also environmentally sound.
So far I've gained a huge bag of material in various sizes which I plan to use for a few little projects as well as pass some on to my mum who is a keen patchworker. I've given away a few things including a timber single bed frame and a child's tricycle with a parent handle. It's just a matter of logging in regularly to see what people are giving away or looking for.
There is a similar site with free membership called e-cycled.com but it was not active near my home so I went with the other one. Find it at http://www.e-cycled.com/
Please tell me if you know any others.