Monday, March 5, 2012

Money Monday: Free Stuff from Freecycle

I have witnessed it firsthand - one man's junk is another man's treasure. And putting this adage to use is a great way to save money.

I'm talking about Freecycle, the bulletin board/email list where people give and receive stuff for free. I joined the Los Angeles group last year and have marveled at the neverending flow of things people don't want that you can just have. Just because! I've seen big stuff like televisions, computer desks, and patio furniture to small stuff like magazines, printer cartridges, and shampoo. And moving boxes - lots and lots of moving boxes.

All unwanted things would normally end up in a landfill. But thanks to Freecycle, all that junk is connected with eager treasure hunters like me. I get my Freecycle posts in individual emails, which get automatically filtered into a special folder so they don't clog my inbox. I'll browse every day to see if there's anything I want.

Most recently, I scored this Logitech Cordless TrackMan Wheel - the exact ergonomic mouse I've wanted to buy for almost a year. The price tag on the box says $49.95. And I got it for free!

I've given away many, many things on Freecycle - my old George Foreman grill, back issues of magazines piling up around the house, fabric scraps leftover from sewing projects, etc. - and I'm always amazed that someone wants them. I usually leave the items hidden in my carport for people to pick up, so it's super easy for all involved.

Freecycle is an artist's best friend. Actors can furnish their whole apartment with free stuff and save their money for acting classes and headshots. If you're a production designer for a film or designing a theater set, you can find prop pieces and furniture galore.

So sign up for Freecycle today! I don't get any commission - this is just a really good idea.

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