It's not really a revolutionary concept, but more and more people are beginning to see both the financial and environmental impact of sharing, reusing, or buying secondhand. As the economic strain tightens, people are finding that cheap, terrific products (and even services) can be easily obtained through a friend, or a friendly stranger.
Although many of us use sites like Craigslist to find jobs or a new place to live, keep in mind that there's a thriving community on it that is happy to barter for what you need. Sites like swap.com (mentioned before) are also terrific ventures for sharing.
Not crazy about the idea of exchanging information or products with a stranger? Make your own community swap. If you're desperate for a night out, arrange with another parent to share a babysitter to get more bang for your childcare buck. Better yet, swap babysitting duties with another family so each of you can have a night out fee-free. Organize groups of friends for clothes swaps, but don't stop there. Your living room is crowded with furniture, but you're in desperate need of a kitchen table. Your neighbor has been pining for a new easy chair but isn't crazy about the big oak behemoth that takes up the dining room space. Instead of buying expensive new (or even used) furniture, just swap it.
If you're looking for more ways to stretch your family's dollar, look no further than the next page, which provides lots more information about how to live frugally without sacrifice.