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Recycling is good, reuse is better. Before tossing things out, see if someone else can use them. Post on Freecycle or Craigslist for free and see if your trash is someone else's treasure.
Here's an example. We take a lot of prescription medications in our house (even the dogs) and I always removed labels, washed, and saved bottles for our own reuse. When cleaning the cellar recently I found 2 bags of bottles - more than we would ever use. Before putting them in our recycling bin, I posted them for free on Craigslist just on the off-chance someone would want them. In an hour there were 4 replies! The first 2 people came for them, the other 2 asked me to save their email addresses and contact them when I had more. So not only did I find a home for clutter from my house, I can continue my habit of saving the bottles and someone will use them.
NOTE: Pharmacies cannot reuse the bottles because of the possibility of medications having leached into the plastic, so do not reuse them for food products (spices and the like). The folks who took mine were planning to use them for beads and for electronic parts.
Source: Inspired by a craigslist post by someone wanting plastic peanut butter jars.
By Soup-Lady from near Boston, MA
If you can't find an item on ebay, or can't afford to bid on ebay for the item, try searching the yahoo groups in the appropriate category for the item you are looking for; i.e. toy collectors groups, etc. If you find a group you are interested in, join the group and post your wanted item. Often, group members who might not have thought of selling an item, offer to sell to members of the group.
By Monica from Cortez, CO
I belong to several recycling groups in my community. They have a free website through Yahoo and site moderators. After you join, you write your own postings with items that are either "Want", "Need" or "Offer", but ALL items must be for FREE. I think this is a great idea for people to connect and help each other, plus it keeps many useable items out of the landfill. I'm surprised at how many people do not know about these recycling groups.
Source: This tip was from Yahoo Groups, Freecycle and Re-Use It. You can find these groups by searching in Google.
By gepe from Mesa, AZ
My husband became disabled in 1985 and then I became disabled in 2005. So we have had to think of ways to cut back and save money. I recently found out about some groups on Yahoo that have helped us considerable. You have to join Yahoo if you haven't already, then you can sign up for these groups. The groups are freecycle, petcycle, tag sale and barter groups. You need to offer something first and then you can put on for a wanted item. It is a good way to spring clean any time of the year also. They have a lot of these sites all over the place. There is even a site you can go to (www.freecycle.org) and pick your state or a neighboring state and it gives a list of sites in that state or county.
We have managed to get rid of some stuff sitting around the house and have received free items which this year helped us out with Christmas for my son and his girlfriend. We were desperately trying to figure out how to be able to get their Christmas presents so we offered some magazines (5 bags full) and put on a wanted ad for what we wanted. We got a well cared for oak medicine cabinet with mirrors, light bar(w/oak veneer)w/bulbs, oak vanity with sink top with fancy spigot and knobs, a toilet, 2 towel holders and a toilet paper holder. This is going to be given to our son and his girlfriend for Christmas so they will be able to realize their dream of putting a half bath in the upstairs of their home. The cost for us, only the gas to go pick it up. It completely changed our whole outlook on Christmas because we were pretty down in the dumps and this helped to give us back our Christmas spirit. We really enjoy seeing what is being offered and wanted by others and it has helped us clean out some of the stuff we don't use anymore. You know the old saying, "One man's junk, is another man's treasure."
Source: Go to Yahoo and register or if already registered sign in. You can search for groups on that site by typing in freecyle or one of the other types of sites I listed.
By Connie S. from Towanda, PA
There is an online Recycling group here in the Manatee County area of Florida (i.e. East & West Bradenton, Palmetto, Ellenton, Parrish, Myakka, Anna Maria, Holmes Beach and Parts of the Sarasota & Longboat areas)
If you've got more "stuff" than you know what to do with this is the place! If you want "stuff" and like the idea of not having to buy it this is the place! If your "stuff" is yearning to be FREE this is definitely the place!
Our mission is to keep "stuff" from our bulging landfills by making the free exchange of items from hands that no longer want it to hands that do. We promote the reduction of clutter in the lives of our members, and making new friends in the process.
Rich or poor makes no difference at all, for all are welcome here. It's just neighbors helping neighbors, one gift at a time.
They also have a frugal living share forum check it out.
By Destiny2dy from Bradenton, FL
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Here are questions related to Using Online Recycling Groups.
Is there anyone that is giving away furniture in west Philly or southwest?
By Kori from Philadelphia, PA
By Jacque 10/26/2010
Go to www.freecycle.net, look for your state, then the closest town. They will ask you to join the group. I have given and received many items from my group.
I live in Indonesia. My name is Adi. I really need a free used wedding dress size 10 for my bride. We don't have enough money to buy it and she really wants it. Can somebody help us? Thanks.
By Adi from Indonesia
By mary knight 04/11/2013
Adi, The best sources are local. Churches, community listservs (online "bulletin boards"), freecycle, Craigslist. You could also just "borrow" a dress. Check with Indonesian-American communities online; perhaps someone is returning to your area and could bring a freebie back for you. If all else fails, promise to have a second wedding in the future, the wedding of her dreams (people do that!). But I'm sure that someone will come through for you! Especially check churches in your area!
Can someone tell me how find bed and other furniture for a needed family?
By patvan 06/09/2012
Your local food pantry many times has access to donated household items; also church sponsored thrift stores will often have a list of things available. Don't hesitate to call because you have nothing to lose but a little time. Good luck.
Where can I get my children 2 queen mattress sets? They are 16 and 17. Please can someone help with ideas. Thank you.
By Bobbie from Southside
By Betty 02/10/2012
My Grandson sleeps on a blow up mattress. It thinks it's "neat" and has never complained. He shares a bedroom with his little brother where space is limited so when not in use the bed is either deflated or leaned up against the wall making room for play, etc.
Is there anybody in the Fredericksburg, Stafford, or Spottsyalvina areas that could help me with some furniture or clothes?
By Michelle S.
Where can I find free beds and dresses for my children?
By Lelia Jo Cordell 10/20/2011
I have friends who do the food-pantry thing. They get some really nice clothes there, and have brought me some. I still wash them before I wear them, though, just for safety's sake. I got an old refrigerator & a chair once at a ministry here. The fridge shelves were rusty, but I was able to scour it off. That fridge served well enough for two or three years before giving out. You may also be able to get information on how to get what you need by dialing the national information/referral hotline, 2-1-1.
Does anyone know where I might be able to get a used computer that works on the internet? It is for a 79 year old lady on a fixed income and housebound.
By kealey 08/31/2011
Contact the share project .com There's a woman for California that gives laptops and also desktops to those who can't afford them. Good luck
Thrifty Fun has been around so long that many of our pages have been reset several times. Archives are older versions of the page and the feedback that was provided then.
If you live anywhere near a large, or mid-sized city, it is easy to get free used items in a hurry! All you have to do is use your computer.
Go onto an Internet classifieds site, such as http://www.Craigslist.org, and search for "free" items under the "for sale" section. You can then search for the items you want by keyword; some of the ads even include photos of the item. When you find what you want, simply email the person who posted the ad; you do not have to join the site or even give your name!
It is important to contact people as quickly as possible, since the terms are usually first-come, first-served. If you can't find what you're looking for at first, be patient. New ads are posted every day!
We got our 20-inch color television and huge wooden computer desk this way; these were items that worked fine, but that the owners no longer needed. How nice to be able to pick up free items from my own neighborhood within a day of emailing these generous folks!
Editor's Note Please do not post personal ads in the feedback. They will be deleted. Go directly to Craigslist for those sorts of posts.
Freecycle is an organization that started out in Ariz. or New Mexico (Senior Moment is upon me) and has spread across the country. There are chapters all over. NJ has them by county or area, there are so many. Doesn't cost to join and no article may be charged for. Happy Hunting! (07/14/2005)