I’ve been brought up to be frugal with my money and to hunt down bargains. And with so much talk about the environment these days, its good to make use of things that would otherwise go to waste if you can, and if these things happen to be free, all the better!
I’m sure most people are aware of freecycle and freegle and other such websites. But sometimes the best place to get free stuff is less technological. Freecycle and freegle can mean you have to do a lot of travelling to get to the free stuff, and sometimes that isn’t practical. But at times you can get some amazing stuff off them. And also to pass on your unwanted items to a new home.
One of my best finds was a greenhouse, free in my local area, it was so local, we were able to carry it home, through 2 alleways and over a busy road, but much easier and cheaper than hiring a van. It was advertised in the local newsagents window.
I’ve also got free things by asking, by letting people know what I’m looking for. By my mum chasing recycling lorries down the street. (for 4 boxes of brand new tiles) Often things are left by bins, as people leave them out in case someone wants them, I’ve had a bookshelf and a bedside table this way, as well as some paintings. In some areas there is often furniture left on the street, for people to take. One friend got a working dishwasher like this. There’s no shame in taking it, but its a big shame if it goes to waste!
Recently we got some free wood chip, because we asked the tree surgeons who were working next door. We’ve also got some cardboard boxes from shops, as we asked a shop assitant to save them for us.
If the item are on someone’s property or not obviously dumped, it’s best to ask permission first. My mum was once dangling precariously in a skip, when a voice shouted “Oy what do you think you’re doing” She nearly jumped into the skip with fright, turns out it was the Dad of one of my friends. So obviously he didn’t mind, but its polite to ask, and saves any embarrassment- if they hadn’t actually intended it to be taken.
I once got some gardening tools, which were left outside someones house, with a note “please help yourself”, don’t mind if I do I thought.
One other great place I know is scrapstore, my mum volunteers in one near where she lives and there is also one fairly local to me. They aren’t actually connected, but have a similar principle and there is various similar places around. They are basically a charity that takes waste materials that can be used by schools and craft people, to save it from going to landfill. Scrapstore collects them from various places and puts them in a shop. They are either given away free to members or sold cheaply. There is all sorts of stuff in it, some useful and some bizarre, but always worth a look. And I’ve got various tins of paint and scaps of fabric free, so great for doing up your house cheaply. And any left over paint/ wallpaper other bits will be gratefully received.
And charity shops often have second hand furniture for very good prices. Some places have other stuff in the back if you ask them, or they may be able to let you know if something you’re after turns up.
And don’t forget the things you have, maybe they can be refashioned, repainted, redesigned into something new. And getting things in this way, means your house wont look identical to everyone else’s house, you’ll have something much more unique and much more you!