Friday, October 10, 2008

Frugal Living Friday: Freecycle

Welcome to Frugal Living Friday! Each week I will feature a tip that can help us stretch our budget and live more frugally! If you have a tip that you want shared on Frugal Living Friday, let me know and you could become a guest blogger for a day.

Have you heard of Freecycle? If not, you need to check it out. In a nutshell, Freecycle is an online community where you can give away and get items for free (in your own town) that are otherwise thrown away or given to charity. The basic idea is to keep all this stuff out of the landfill if it can still be used....if not by you, then by someone else. There are thousands of groups all across the country. It is amazing how well it works!

When I first heard of Freecycle, I thought it was an interesting concept, but I was willing to try it. I joined my local group and began checking it out. I was amazed at all the things that were being given away! Everything from empty baby food jars to books to Eddie Bauer double strollers. Many people are genuinely interested in keeping as much as they can usable, and helping out other people.

In the past 3 years I have been a part of my Freecycle community, I have gotten many things from generous people: new diapers for my baby, clothes in great condition for my kids, shoes for my kids, toys, books, art supplies, a toy kitchen for my daughter, crafting supplies, sod, 10 jars of unopened peanut butter...the list goes on. It really is amazing what some people want to get rid of. All of my experiences on Freecycle have been good. There have been times I asked for an item that was listed, I got it, but then changed my mind once I received the item. I simply then re-listed it for someone else to use.

I have also given away countless items on Freecycle. I really enjoy doing that when the receivers are genuinely thankful for the item. When I receive an item off Freecycle I hope I convey how thankful I am as well. In this tight economy right now, any little bit helps! In the past I have posted some wants on Freecycle and have had people email me back, telling me they have the item I want and that I can have it. Last year my cell phone pooped I posted a want for a working Verizon cell phone. I was not really expecting a response...but a sweet lady gave me a very nice working cell phone and charger! I was thrilled, and that saved me some cash!

Make sure when you join your local group that you know all the rules before posting. You have to post your offer and want in certain ways, and you are only allowed one want post per month (at least in my local group). Be courteous of others in your group and follow the rules. It is not the easiest thing to just get lots of items...usually you need to be the first to respond to an offer post. Then when the poster emails you back that you can have the item, you know it is yours. You then correspond back and forth about where to pick up the item.

I actually set up a specific email for Freecycle posts. That way I don't have to weed through everything when I want to see what has been posted. Every time I get into that email address, I can see what new items have been posted on Freecycle immediately. Makes finding things much easier.

Freecycle is an ingenious thing...don't miss out on it!



Stacy said...

I love freecycle. We had a bed that good will would not pick up and we had no way (truck) to take it to the DI (not sure if they would have taken it anyway). I posted on freecycle and someone came and got it. I was happy to help someone else out.

Adam & Jessica said...

Freecycle is awesome! I am a recent member to my local freecycle community but I have already given and received many items!

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