Don’t have the funds to buy your own fire pit, plants or tropical island? Go ahead and hire them instead. Here’s how
With the cost of living crisis making ordinary goods increasingly inaccessible, it might be time to come up with some cunning ways to get what you want and avoid spending a fortune at the same time.
You might already be aware that you can rent clothes for a special event without having to pay for a designer price tag, but what about all that other stuff that’s available to hire? From cooking appliances to friends to four-legged lawn mowers, here are 10 of the oddest things you can rent today.
Lush plant and flower arrangements aren’t as affordable as one would imagine, which is why it might be a good idea to rent them instead. If you’re looking to add beautiful, natural touches to your home for a special event or for Christmas, companies such as Superplants let you to rent the greenery of your choice, from foliage to plants and trees. For artificial plants and trees, prices range from £3.50 to £350, while prices for living plants or the installation of living planting schemes vary and can be agreed upon after discussing with the company.
If your grass needs cutting and you can’t afford a lawn mower, why not rent some goats and let them get to work? UK farms like Crimsham Farm offers goats for hire, renting out only its friendliest animals to maintain your lawn from just £10 per hour.
Planning the ultimate event but missing that one thing that will give it an extra sparkle? How about renting a fire pit? There’s a surprising number of places that offer these spectacular pits for rent — from smaller ones to authentic, 1.5m-diameter Indian fire pits — so you’ll be sure to find the right flame to snuggle around during birthdays, weddings and other special occasions. Event Flame, Brookman Greene and Rent Event offer some excellent options.
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If you find yourself catering for dozens of people and don’t have the right cooking equipment, there are businesses that are happy to offer you everything from pans and baking trays to ladles, whisks and even kettles from around £7 per item. Check out Catering Hire or CSE Hire for more information.
Sure, this one’s a little grim, but death is part of life and not everyone can afford a casket for a loved one’s funeral. An increasing number of people are choosing to rent a casket, with low-cost funeral companies offering simple coffins for hire from £250. The rental casket has a removable interior — the body is placed in a simple wooden box, which is then placed inside the casket. After the service, the wooden box containing the body is removed for burial, allowing the funeral home to re-use the rental casket.
If you’re in need of a Christmas tree this year, why not rent it and avoid the cost of buying one that you’ll more than likely throw away at the end of the festive season? Christmas on the Hill offers sustainable, pot-grown rental trees for a maximum of 3.5 weeks. Or you can opt for a full Christmas decoration service, offered by companies such as Royal Things, to give your living room a festive makeover without lifting a finger.
Getting ready for the big day? There are various ways to cut back on wedding expenses, and the cake is a good place to start. A number of companies (including Fancy Cakes by Rachel and Clair’s Cakes) create beautiful cake dummies that are available for hire, so you can impress your guests without paying extortionate amounts of money. They’re amazing to look at and can easily be replaced with the real, reasonably priced thing when it’s time to cut the cake.
Read more: Save this Christmas with these affordable festive light displays
Tired of hanging out with the same people? Or perhaps you’ve moved to a new city and barely know anyone? Worry not, because now you can also rent a friend! Companies like Friend For Hire or Rent a Friend give you the chance to rent a pal to go to a movie or restaurant with (or perhaps to accompany you to that death metal concert you’ve had your eye on), discussing any event requirements and the dress code beforehand so you can find your perfect pal. Keep in mind this isn’t a dating app and there’s a screening process for those getting paid to be your platonic friend, to ensure fun and safe hangouts.
For those hosting a kids’ party, arcade games can be a great way to entertain youngsters and have some fun of your own. Classic retro games are usually hard to find, not to mention very expensive to buy. So why not rent some for a much lower price and keep everyone happy. Check out Pop Up Arcade (delivering to London and 45 minutes outside the M25) or Retro Games Hire (covering England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales) for hours of gaming fun.
Now is not the time to look for an island to buy, but what if you could rent one instead? There are several British islands you can rent for a night, a few nights or an entire week for a heavenly stay with your significant other. Some of them, such as Osea Island in Essex, will cost you as little as £50 a night, which is much less than what you’d pay for a stay in a lavish London hotel. Plus, most come with beautiful natural surroundings and luxury lodges. See some of the islands available for hire here.