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My Frugal Life: One Man's Trash . . .

Have an occasional impulse to snatch something sitting at street side for the weekly trash pickup? Amazing what people throw out, but look for inherent value as the item may be more valuable in the future.

My Frugal Life

Here is a true story in that regard: A neighbor of my parents had spent years as a hobo. Along the way he learned how to be an elevator mechanic. When I knew him, he drove a Cadillac and his wife worked for the telephone company. He spent his weekends at a local swap and shop peddling items he found sitting by the street.

He had a collection - five or six at least - of museum quality Victrolas. These are the machines that create sound from a wax cylinder, have an ornate horn and were pictured on the old RCA advertising showing a fox terrier listening to "His Master's Voice". Remember those ads? These things were in perfect condition and simply magnificent pieces of work. He had found each and every one sitting by the street in the late 40's and early 50's as LPs came to be the new technology. What would the folks on Antiques Roadshow say?

By Tracy from Kansas City, MO

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October 4, 20100 found this helpful

When I was in college on the Upper W. Side of NYC it was well known that very interesting vintage furniture could be found sitting out on the curb on trash day! I found a 50's dinette table with chrome legs sitting out for the trash once here in L.A. & called a friend to come & get it.

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October 6, 20100 found this helpful

so happy now that we have local recycling groups where you can post things for free; as well as craigslist. And taking things to the Salvation Army who freely gives things to those in need! Stopping by yesterday, I got a wonderfully beautiful white wicker chair for $10! My aunt got a set of wicker from someone who was just going to junk them. Painted them, put cushions on them; super comfortable to sit on her patio, listen to the fountains and view her garden, and watch the birds! Before junking, try recycling!

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