We were coming home from the bank one day last spring and rain was pouring out of the sky. I decided to meander home through one of my favorite neighborhoods and as I approached a four way stop, I spotted some furniture by the curb. There was a big sign that read, "Free". This was one of the pieces. It needed a clean up and still needs a little bit of work but for the cost of two glass knobs at Restoration Hardware, I had a "new" piece of furniture. It's perfect for the dining room to hold table linens in the drawers and wine bottles in the bottom. This is a great way to recycle. The people that didn't want it anymore could get rid of it without throwing it into the landfill and I got a perfectly functional piece of furniture. I'm always on the lookout for curbside finds. I brought a brass headboard and bed frame home from this very street the summer before. I got two wreaths for my doors and a perfectly good bird feeder from a house on my mom's street. We've also brought home some old windows that Mike is going to use to make a cold frame for one of my garden beds.
We have also received a few things (ok, a lot) from my friends, Paul and Pam. I think they have furnished a good bit of our house. I'll simply mention that I'm looking for something and the next thing I know, they have that item that they no longer want or can use. My new bed was their old bed. They moved and didn't need it anymore. Sometimes, just putting the word out is all that is needed. You can mention to a few friends that you are looking for a particular thing and it may take a while but eventually somebody knows somebody who's got the thing to sell or give away. Apparently, word of my frugality is becoming widespread. I now have people asking me if I can use their old castoffs. We recently got a 6 foot section of fencing that Mike has some uses for and another friend gave us some scrap lumber left over from a deck project. Word of warning!!! Beware of clutter. We try to only bring home things that we can use.
I just caught on to a new way to recycle called freecycle.org and they have a chapter here in Mansfield. I have signed up but haven't posted anything yet. This is a great idea. You post things that you no longer want and give them away to someone who wants them. They email you and make arrangements to come and pick it up. In turn, you can give and receive items for free. It's a big cyber swap meet. I love this!! Recycling and Frugality all in one.