Seems so simple, really.
There's a deal at the store. A bit pricey for one family, but if you go in with another family or two, you get the deal and more than your family benefits. Yeah. That's simple enough, right?
I read many of blog post from all over the world where families are going in together on food and household items. Taking advantage of the 'big box' warehouses and saving money at the same time. I've even read about families who are part of shared necessities (ie car sharing, house sharing). There are definitely challenges in all of this, but from what I've read and heard, those involved in this kind of 'cooperative living' are enjoying their lives, making good choices and feeling good about it all.
I've tossed around many of the same ideas with my husband and different groups of friends we've had over the years. What has always stood out to me is the amount of 'sense' it seems to make, when talking about it, but how we've found no one, not one person, to join us in this. Really???
I've joined a few community coops over the years and have benefited from it. We've made new friends and learned a lot in the process. Still, I've always wanted to include those most close to me. The ones I know would benefit from it. The ones I love and trust.
Do we live such separate, independent lives that we can't even share a box of produce together??? A giant box of toilet paper??? A jug of too much peanut butter? Bag of 50lbs of onions??? Really???
So, I regrouped and decided perhaps this is asking too much of those close to me (tongue in cheek). And decided to take the idea to the other families in the homeschooling group in which I lead. We immediately engaged in a discussion, sharing ideas, places to find the best prices, recipes, etc. People started volunteering ways we could share curriculum, resources, even going in on memberships as a group. I was pleasantly surprised!! But with the busyness of life and, honestly, people saying more than they every actually commit to, that has yet to 'take off.'
Another friend of mine, one who has been around for a good minute, and I were talking about this the other day. We both have had similar ideas and have even attempted similar things with others. Bottom line: we both have learned a lot from these experiences and still want to create something. We starting going in on a couple of things our families needed and made our budgets go further.
So, the other day, as we were talking about food prices and meals/menus, what our children were eating vs what are husbands wanted and I said to her, "What are we waiting for? We've being doing this on a very small scale but why can't we just do it??" She immediately agreed and we started making a list of things we both used. We decided upon a start date and put it on the calendar.
This Monday after our homeschooling meeting, we dropped the kids off at her house and then went shopping. When I say that it was so much fun and we were able to secure so much more than our little budgets normally allow (even with just two of us)!! We both are on Pinterest and have been sharing recipes and food prep info so that none of the food goes to waste.
We have decided to invite two other families to join in with us--but regardless of what they decided--we are doing it!
Yep. We are the ones we've been waiting for.
I'm sure I'll share more about this in future posts.
It's definitely time to stop talking about living sustainably and communally and be about it!
Happy Home Learning!!
All photos/images found through a Google Search.