Sometimes All You Have to Do is Ask

October 28, 2008 at 9:50 am Leave a comment

Yes. We even got our cat Bella and our purebredd German Short-Haired Pointer Sophie for free!

Yes. We even got our cat, Bella and our purebred German Short-Haired Pointer, Sophie for free!

There’s something to be said for being open and honest. After all, what do you have to gain by pretending all is well in your financial world? These days, who isn’t struggling financially? I’m not suggesting that you go out begging for things, just that you open yourself up to taking advantage of happy opportunities. 😉

We spend a lot of time shopping at garage sales and thrift stores and often talk to friends and family about our adventures. We talk about bargains we’ve found and things we’re still looking for. Because people know what we are looking for and because they know we are open to previously-owned items, we’ve “lucked” into quite a few wonderful — and free — surprises:

  • Tons of hand-me-down clothes and toys from friends and family for the kids. Such a great help, especially when the kids were small.
  • A new (to me) computer desk given to me by our neighbor who was moving.
  • Loads of produce from a neighbors garden.
  • Several nice filing cabinets and a desk from a national politician’s local office after the last election.
  • A big mirror to go over the vanity in our bathroom (and one for the girl’s room too) when a local hotel was doing a big remodel.
  • A beautiful wooden king-sized headboard and frame.
  • A hot tub given to us by an acquaintance who was getting a new tub. The delivery people would haul away the old one when they brought the new one but if we’d take it out before they came, we could have it. It had been used in the house and was just like new.
  • A Ford Explorer! Yep. Free! My hubby’s boss had one about the same year as ours. He was looking to get rid of his and when he heard that ours needed a new transmission, he gave us his to use as parts. When it got here, it turned out his was in much better shape all around so we drove it and got rid of the original one!

Those are things we’ve gotten for free — just by opening ourselves up to the possibilities. Sure I could just run to the mall for the kid’s clothes or to the grocery store for produce but when you look at the money we’ve saved, you can see how the money we’ve saved by looking outside the box has improved our quality of life.

Put the word out. What do you need? Firewood? There’s probably someone out there willing to give you the wood if you chop it up and/or haul it away. Need new kitchen cabinets? Lots of people tear out perfectly good cabinets because they are tired of them or they don’t care for the style. A friend was able to carpet her (large) family room for free when she was able to find a carpet that had been incorrectly installed in someone’s house. The carpet store came back and replaced it and was just going to throw the brand new carpet away.

At the same time, what do you have laying around that you aren’t using? Is there someone out there who would be thrilled to have it? Wouldn’t you be thrilled to stop tripping over it?You know what they say, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure! Let people know what you want. You never know, you may just get something you need! A good place to start looking is Freecycle. Freecycle is a great way to fid just what you were looking for (or to find a home for some of that clutter piling up around you!) Be sure to check out your local Freecycle group.

Have you ever gotten something really great for free? Leave a comment and tell me about it!

Entry filed under: Random Musings. Tags: .

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About Me

I'm a stay-at-home mom with four great kids, three cats and two dogs. I want to live the good life but I want to save money too and I'm not willing to live on boxes of mac 'n cheese and hamburger helper to do it! I deserve to have a life ... a good life!

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