- Join your local library. Borrow books, magazines, movies and albums, depending on the library. Generally you can also reserve books if you're after something specific and are happy to wait.
- Ask your friends. Most of your friends will be happy to loan you their books (I know I love to know my friends are reading the same books as me, just be sure to finally return them), plus some friends will loan out their clothes (I borrowed one of my cousin's dresses for a formal, rather than buy a dress I'd only use once). I've even heard of friends who live close together than jointly own some rarely used kitchen appliances.
- Rent rather than buy movies. Stick to only buying DVDs of movies that you believe you'll re-watch (kid's ones frequently fall into this category). Otherwise choose from renting from your local store (watch out for coupons and find out about discount days to make it even cheaper), renting through an online site that posts the DVDs to you, or watch movies from over the web (although if you're outside of the US, lack of choice and download speeds may limit you).
- Hire that designer bag or frock. Here in Australia a number of websites have recently started up that will hire out designer gear to you for a few weeks, for far less than the cost to buy it new. Great for if you like new bags and dresses regularly, and don't like to wear the same thing.
- Hire the glasses for your next party. Many bottle (liquor) shops will allow you to borrow glasses to use if you buy enough bottles of alcohol from them, with the payment of a deposit. This means you don't need to own heaps of glasses that you will rarely use.
I'm sure you can think of plenty more ways that you can borrow (whether for free or with a payment) items. So before you buy something, think of whether you can get away without owning it permanently.
(image: Shandos Cleaver)