You can take the GRITS out of Florida, but you can't take Florida out of the GRITS!

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Creative shopping - 101

I don’t have the money to spend on non-necessities or big ticket items. I’m broke 95% of the time. I’m actually used to being broke and tend to somehow manage, so don’t feel bad for me or anything like that. That’s not what this post is about anyway. It’s about the cool things I have found as a result of my forced frugality.

First, freecycle.org. This website gives you an easy way to recycle your unwanted or unused things. You can also request things that you may be needing or wanting. A few months ago, I needed 5 gallon buckets, so I posted a “WANTED: 5 gallon buckets” and the next day, I was contacted by 2 people and ended up with 6 buckets! It was so easy! Since then I have given away a few things and received a few things. Some things I have acquired through Freecycle are a beautiful lamp for my baby’s room, a large unused stock pot, a new set of SpongeBob sheets complete with a matching comforter, a treadmill that works perfectly and the nice office chair my ass is currently sitting in. All for free! Like they say…one man’s trash is another man’s treasure! Oh, I forgot, one of my recent acquisitions, and definitely the strangest, was a pair of women’s combat boots. They fit, they’re broken in, they are in great shape, and they are perfect for caching in the sawgrass (that’s why I got them). Yes…I am weird.

Another site I love is craigslist.org. It’s a humongous online classified add, broken down my city and types of items. My big one to check out everyday is the furniture section. My leather couch that I paid dearly for turned out to NOT be 100% leather, and all the non-leather areas have split, torn, broken up and just look like crap. It’s embarrassing. But with the little guy still spilling drinks and running around with crayons and markers, I refuse to buy another brand new couch. Enter craigslist! Tomorrow I’m picking up a beautiful, practically brand new couch that a woman is giving away just because she decided to redecorate. She isn’t even selling it…just giving it away. I saw pictures and I love it. I was the first person to respond to her add, so tomorrow we’re going to pick it up. Awesome! And tonight we just picked up a small, dorm-size fridge in great shape for $20. Not, it’s not going to be a beer fridge. It’s going to hold my husband’s and my medications that need to be refrigerated thus clearing up some space in our real fridge.

Now the next place I’m going to talk about isn’t online. It’s an actual store and the name may strike disgust in the hearts of many of you…Goodwill. Last year, my oldest son was taking music lessons once a week in the evenings. While he was in the lesson, I’d walk next door to the Goodwill Superstore just to kill time. Every now and then I’d buy a book for $.25 or some silly odd thing just for kicks…but one evening, I made the best buy EVER….a queen size down comforter with a beautiful duvet for only…are you sitting down?...$4.00!!!!!!!!!!! Holy CRAP! I mean, the thing was perfect…no stains, no tears, no nothing! I laughed all the way to the register, then laughed harder when the cashier told me “$4.00”. I sooooo love that comforter. When it is cold outside, I pull it out of the closet and snuggle up in it. It is so soft and luxurious feeling. By far, my favorite “find” so far! I haven't been there in a while now, since my son quit taking lessons, and I actually miss my weekly treasure hunts.

I am friends with a couple that goes to auctions quite often. I’ve only been to one, but I enjoyed it. It was a completely new experience for me. I got outbid twice (I made a point to set spending limits before I got there), but did leave with one thing I really wanted. My friends have gotten some real deals at auctions, so if you ever see one near you, you should at least go and check it out.

Thanks to Ann, the host of last week’s Fun Monday, I am now totally hooked on bookmooch.com. If you like to read, I highly recommend checking this place out. It’s a book swap of sorts…you get points for how many books you offer up and [points for how many you send out. It may sound confusing, but it’s really not. A very cool idea and I’m completely taking advantage of it!

Oh, and don’t forget your public library! My library system has a very nice deal. You can go online and request specific books. It will show you where that book is, if it’s checked out or not, if someone else is waiting for that book, and if so, how long the line is. You can request that the book be sent to any library you choose as soon as it’s your turn. It’s so easy and saves so much time! I love it! You should check and see if your library does anything like that.

So, to sum it up…I have gotten some really nice stuff, some odd stuff, and some stuff I actually really needed for small amounts of money, if not totally free. What can I say? I get a kick out of looking for “treasures” and an even bigger kick when I find a great deal…so if you’ve never checked out any of these site, do it! You may just find yourself hooked ;)

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Love your shopping, You should see if you can find a cast iron duch oven. Great for stew, cakes, soups, just about every thing if you cooking with an open flame, like camping in the everglades or some such sillyness like that.

Hugs and Kiss

SwampAngel65 said...

Hmmm...I'm actually leaving right now to pick up a large stock pot. Not cast iron, though :(

Why are you on here when you're supposed to be skiing???

lisa's chaos said...

I tried freecycle up here when my daughter was pregnant and we picked up a bag of maternity clothes. They all stunk really bad and were stained. Basically I wasted gas on trash. :( Same thing with a bag of baby stuff. We decided no more. It's great that it works somewhere though.

I just discoered Craigslist a few weeks ago. Keeping our eyes out for photography ops. Thinking about advertising in it as we need to build a portfolio.

nekked Lizard Man said...

I have a couple of ideas for you. - but first, I agree that Goodwill can be a great mecca of bargains. I have to wear a suit and tie to work - manager's stuff, and ties are expensive (minimum $14 on up). Well, you can't wear the same tie - people notice. At Goodwill, I not only found suits for less than $10 but an array of outlandish ties for every occasion for about a $1 - maybe $2 a piece! Staff come by my ofice just to see the tie of the day!

Secondly. Consider looking in your local paper for Unit Storage Auctions. I have found this beats garage sales in a wicked way. For one thing, the owner just wants the deadbeat renter out - and the deadbeat owner won't get the stuff or in some cases might be dead. So to get some sort of money back, they hold an auction. You won't believe what some people will leave behind. It's a fun scavenger hunt.

Well, I have taken up enough of your post, but will tell you I also have some coupon sites if you are ever interested. I have no money either... NLM