Thursday, January 17, 2008

Free Babysitting

Wow do those two words really go together? Yes, I did say free babysitting! To continue my Friday series on cheap entertainment I thought I'd certainly better address how to decrease the amount of money you spend on sitters!

Here are two options for decreasing the money you spend on babysitting:

- Family or close friends
- Form a baby sitting coop

I am very fortunate to live close to my in-laws so I have so far, not had to pay for babysitting! For those of you that aren't so fortunate, let's discuss one interesting option.

Basically a babysitting coop is a group of families who agree to trade babysitting. This can be very casual or a bit more organized depending on your preferences. A casual example of this could be just a group of friends who agree to trade babysitting services on a set night as their schedules allow. A more elaborate example includes families who trade poker chips for 1/2 hr. increments of babysitting time. Each chip is worth 1/2 hr. of babysitting for 1 child. The more you babysit for other families, the more poker chips you earn, and the more free babysitting you earn! If you run out of poker chips and need some you could buy a few back from someone by babysitting or paying a small fee for each chip. Of course this could be tailored to work better for your unique group. Each coop should decide what is fair together and agree to stick to the rules set by the group.

Here is a page with more detailed information on setting up a babysitting co-op. As I said, I am fortunate that I haven't even had to THINK about paying for a babysitter as I have lots of family and friends close by. If that weren't the case though, I would definitely consider something like this!

How do you arrange for free babysitting? Has anyone out there set up their own babysitting coop?! Take a look at this great site for more money saving ideas!

1 comment:

Cassie - Homeschooling Four said...

My parents live around the corner, so I have been fortunate as well. I also have my brother and brother-in-law in the same neighborhood. We trade off babysitting often. Great ideas for people wihout this resource.