Smart Buying

3 Surprising Things You Can Rent

You won't believe what you can find on the rental market these days.

Cars and tuxedos are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to things you can rent. In some cases, it does make financial sense to rent rather than buy. But keep in mind that renting isn’t always a money-saving prospect.

We found several surprising things you can rent -- from your own personal entourage to a backyard chicken coop. Here are three of them:

Wedding dresses

Weddings can be really expensive. Brides spent nearly $1,300, on average, on wedding gowns alone last year. That’s a lot of money for something you’re only going to wear once. So, renting can make sense in this case. RentTheRunway.com rents dresses from knee-length to fitted gowns for as little as $30. BorrowingMagnolia.com offers a more traditional full-length dress lineup. The Web site charges you $99 to send up to three dresses to try on, and it will credit that amount toward your rental. Most dresses on the site cost $450 or more to rent.

Garden plots

If you have a green thumb, but no green space of your own to exercise it in, consider renting space in a community garden. These communal gardens can be found all across the country and allow people to rent small plots to grow fruits, vegetables, herbs, flowers and more. In Bloomington, Indiana, for example, residents can rent a 100-square-foot plot in one of the city’s community gardens for just $37 a year. To find one near you, do a search online using the term "community garden" and the name of your city.

Caskets

After you pass away, spare your family the expense of having to buy a casket, which can cost between $2,000 and $5,000. Instead, tell them to rent one. Many funeral homes will rent caskets to be used during a viewing or funeral service for $750 to $900. You’ll pay another $150 to $250 for a simple wooden box insert that can be used for cremation.

From goats to Christmas trees, take a look at our complete list of surprising things you can rent.

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