- TV & Video
- Renovation & Decorating
- How To
- Be Healthy
- home beautiful
January 29, 2007, 1:58 pm betterhomesgardens
In co-ops, many hands make light work. Why not join or create one and save money in the process?
If you've heard of cooperatives but are not sure what they do or how they work, you could be missing out on valuable help. Co-ops are groups of people who meet to share skills and knowledge to save time and money.
Alison Friend is a member of The Blue Mountains Permaculture Support Group, a gardening co-op. "Some people know about building while others are good on the horticultural side," she says. "Members share tools and recycle building materials. And, on top of that, there's the social side - at every gathering we share lunch or dinner."Swap skills and help each other
This co-op is fairly casual - there's no schedule or bookkeeping involved - and it shows that each co-op is different. For example, if you have some skills, such as plant knowledge, but need help building a garden shed, linking up with other people in your area could be the solution.Vegie value
Another form of co-op is built around shopping. Banding together with friends to buy food in bulk from wholesalers is a great way to get quality fresh produce at a budget price.
Members of one co-op we know pay $20 to get quality items for about half the price of similar produce in the shops. A weekly shop is done by one member to help time-strapped others, and that member gets free vegies in return. Co-op members just pick up their vegies from the shopper and leave a box and $20 for the following week. It's convenient and time saving for members because their fresh food shopping is done for them.
If you're inspired to find out more, check out your local library or neighbourhood centres for ads on community noticeboards.Or be brave and start up your own!
Better Homes is more delicious than ever. Try...
The team visits the world's biggest flower show...