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."
I agree! These groups are a wonderful way to connect in your community! I have given and received many items- some which I have gifted to others. It is wonderful and it doesn't cost a thing! We even got our doggie through freecycle! I can't wait to check out the other ones listed! Thanks for sharing!
In addition to the groups mentioned, you can also go to www.reuseitnetwork.org to find a group near you for offering and requesting free items.
Hello! Not only do I agree, but I just saw your location--hello from one of your fellow local freecyclers!
Something I've noticed recently is the increased use of shipping with freecycling. For years, freecycling always meant, in my experience, arranging a pickup meeting, usually at the donor's home. Only rarely was anything mailed, and that usually was only for coupons or something else that would fit in a standard envelope. With the increased awareness of gas prices, though, it's worthwhile for active freecyclers (and anyone else) to know your car's gas mileage and keep a handy chart showing you how much it costs to go various distances. My chart includes pro-rated costs of oil changes, etc., in the mileage cost, and at the 25 mpg my car gets on average, it currently costs about $0.15/mile for me to drive somewhere. That means that my "break even" round trip for something that will fit in a USPS Priority Mail envelope is 31 miles. It's even less for something that can be sent media mail. If the round trip is further (or about the same, since my time's worth something!) than the break-even point, it would be better for me to PayPal the postage and let the mail bring the item home.
Sending postage is really easy (and safe) with PayPal, but a couple people have recently sent me the postage by snail mail, too, and I've then sent their items to them. It feels weird, as a long-time freecycler, to include any cash exchange in a freecycle exchange, but I'm trying to get over that. If it's cheaper to mail than to drive, then it certainly makes sense to do it!
Further note: in my experience, lightweight items and anything that can be sent media mail is cheaper to send through the post office. Heavier items are cheaper to send UPS. The other shipping options (DHL, Fedex, etc.) so far haven't been the cheapest available method for anything I've sent.
Just FYI ...
And another big cheer for Freecycling! :)
Thank you all for your feedback. By the way, my son and his girlfriend were very surprised and excited when they received the bathroom items for Christmas. They can't wait to get the rest of the pipes, water lines and electric run so they can have their upstairs bath. We had also found a set of french doors smeone had set out by the road for free awhile back, our son just had to go pick them up.
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