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It is amazing how much usable stuff we have been able to find for free! — The Grow Network Community
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It is amazing how much usable stuff we have been able to find for free!

OwlOwl Posts: 240 ✭✭✭

I had put this in another post and it occurred to me that it bears repeating (or reminding) for us all. I have a friend who does lawn maintenance for people and he has to bag up the leaves and clippings each time. We have a deal worked out where I keep him in eggs and he keeps me in non sprayed or treated leaves and clippings. It’s a fine deal we have been enjoying for a couple of years now. It’s amazing what you can find that other people want to get rid of. My hubby followed a tree service truck around town one day and talked to the driver. We gave them permission to drop hardwood on a corner of our property and we have been blessed to be able to provide, from that chance meeting, firewood for several households and there’s still a huge pile. We got a couple of loads of wood chips the same way. The drivers were happy to have a local dump site and we’re thrilled to get free, the things we use extensively around the farm. I wanted to get the local electric service company to dump their chips here but after talking with them, realized that they are spraying their power lines with herbicides so I can’t use that. Have a great season!



  • ltwickeyltwickey Posts: 329 ✭✭✭

    Amazing what can happen with just a conversation! All you have to do is ask!! Great reminder to reach out and connect with others!!

  • Denise GrantDenise Grant Posts: 1,980 admin

    I dropped off some snacks for my newphew the other night, His metal shed collapsed this winter. I asked if he was putting it back together (it was a freebie for him) and he said no.

    So I asked if I could buy it and repurpose it (I have been needing more metal for pen roofs) and its is mine, being delivered even - tomorrow. And it was free. Well, I have a ham here for him, lol

  • Annie KateAnnie Kate Eastern Ontario, CanadaPosts: 520 ✭✭✭✭

    Once the ditches were getting deepened around here, and we got 7 dump trucks full of dirt that helped with a hillside that was eroding away. My husband just asked and they were thrilled to have someplace close to drop it off, especially because the spot they were planning to dump it was too wet for the trucks to drive in.

    Another time we had a small caterpillar on the property for septic work, and on the lunch break the contractor had fun getting rid of some junk heaps we had been hoping to smooth out over the next few years.

  • Denise GrantDenise Grant Posts: 1,980 admin
    edited March 21

    This summer they are cutting the electric line right of way. I have already talked to the main guy and have a good relationship going there. I hope to get a lot of chips from them and then the left over wood from the trees.

    There's a nice landing by the road but it needs leveled. Hmm... Maybe we can make an arrangement

  • Denise GrantDenise Grant Posts: 1,980 admin

    @Annie Kate Nice, soil and leveling! What a great deal

  • RustBeltCowgirlRustBeltCowgirl North Coast OhioPosts: 855 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Isn't it cool that the metal roofing material was so close to "home"? You never know what will show up in the family.

  • VermontCathyVermontCathy Posts: 611 ✭✭✭✭

    Some places really have free exchange as part of the culture, and some don't. I remember back in North Carolina that a neighbor passed on a free wicker circular chair/lounger that was very comfortable on our deck. I think he found it at the dump! :-)

    Vermont is very much part of the frugal, free exchange, do-it-yourself culture. Driving around the neighborhoods, you often see useful items at the end of driveways with a FREE sign on them. Sometimes it will be wood pallets, sometimes worn but usable bicycles, sometimes other things.

    Oddly, I see far more junk-junk at yard sales than offered free. I don't know why.

  • Annie KateAnnie Kate Eastern Ontario, CanadaPosts: 520 ✭✭✭✭

    Yes, I love that. Free exchange is a cool thing, but I suspect that those who are suffering financially are trying to make a dollar at their garage sales if they can. I've been both places, and the free exchange one is far better @VermontCathy

  • nicksamanda11nicksamanda11 Posts: 228 ✭✭✭

    I am a dumpster diver from waaay back! I cannot recount how much stuff I've gotten free. Inside and out. It's just so wasteful for me to buy new stuff when I can find cheap or free used stuff everywhere!

  • monica197monica197 Posts: 804 ✭✭✭✭

    We should start a club - Club DD - short for Dumpster Divers

  • RustBeltCowgirlRustBeltCowgirl North Coast OhioPosts: 855 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited March 25

    Add me to that list.

    I also do a lot of "roadside shopping".

  • JennyTJennyT Posts: 469 ✭✭✭✭

    When we move to our property and are working on the house/land I hope to be able to do this very thing. Still haven't quite found it yet but I know we're going to be busy getting things done. And we'll want all the free/found items to help along the way.

    Thank you all, for the suggestions I will keep those in mind.😊

  • Denise GrantDenise Grant Posts: 1,980 admin

    My one email address was IMADDDEVA. Those who knew me got it right away

    I love roadside shopping

  • Michelle DMichelle D Posts: 325 ✭✭✭

    Road side shopping is my husband's specialty. He finds a lot of cool useful things. A few days ago he got a Dewalt power drill. It isn't pretty but it still works perfectly. We already had a Dewalt set with extra batteries (also rescued from a dumpster years back) so we didn't even need to purchase batteries for it.

  • jolanta.wittibjolanta.wittib Posts: 522 admin

    I think it is so ecological to give things another life rather than to dump them. During this calm winter with spending a lot of time inside I looked through the things which I do not use and put them on the internet flea market - some for sale, some simply giving away. I am so glad getting more space at home and somebody is happy obtaining a still good thing.

    When I need something I look at second hand markets and buy a new thing when there is none.

  • Lisa KLisa K Posts: 607 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Several years ago my dad's neighbor was remodeling their house and needed to get rid of the deck in back, so he offered it to my dad. So my dad and I took it apart and then he used the wood to build his deck and a table/chair bench for the deck. With exception of the screw the rest was all free. 😀

  • Denise GrantDenise Grant Posts: 1,980 admin

    The tree companies are not cutting regularly yet (my go to place for wood chips) but the road company trimmed branched and ground up some of the tree branches and stumps.

    So I came home with a truck load of cut wood, good for outdoor fires and cooking and will head out tonight to get wood chips for my raised beds and pathways. The wood looks to be birch and popular. And no signs of poison ivy.

  • frogvalleyfrogvalley Posts: 591 ✭✭✭✭

    I could be a hoarder you see on one of those streaming channels. Isn't it so easy to see a potential in things? So much fun starting to work my way through all of those "projects" I've saved from the trash bin.

  • Denise GrantDenise Grant Posts: 1,980 admin

    I have to be careful and ask myself when I get something. Will I sell it asap or will I recreate with it and how soon? If its not soon I pass it by

  • shllnzlshllnzl Southwestern UtahPosts: 1,531 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Denise Grant I am also evaluating whether I can re-purpose or craft something in a reasonable amount of time. I have concluded that I need to live to be 150 in order to complete all of my interests. As a consequence, I am starting to give away or donate items that fall lower on the priority scale.

  • Denise GrantDenise Grant Posts: 1,980 admin

    @shllnzl Well, if you keep it all you know you'll live to be 150. ;)

    All those great ideas but only so much time...

  • karenjanickikarenjanicki Posts: 655 ✭✭✭✭

    That's a really great idea. Speaking of free I heard Lowes is giving away some sort of gardening kits for free during April I think on Thursdays.

  • Melissa SwartzMelissa Swartz Posts: 268 ✭✭✭

    Check out this site: https://www.freecycle.org/

    Go to the site and see if there is anything nearby. Everything listed is free and you can also post stuff you want to get rid of on the network.

  • frogvalleyfrogvalley Posts: 591 ✭✭✭✭

    I'm having such a dilemma. There were two boxes of clothes that I thanked and removed from my wardrobe. The dilemma? Cut them up and turn them into usable items like quilts or donate them. I can see value in both, but there are also downsides to both. Some clothes in those big metal containers in parking lots get shredded and turned into $ overseas, but keeping them doesn't mean the quilting fairies will appear. Any thoughts?

  • OwlOwl Posts: 240 ✭✭✭

    I understand your dilemma well. I have lost a bunch of weight and, while I saved some favorite clothes as I gained, I absolutely refuse to save clothes 2-3 sizes too big regardless of how much I love them. I will never allow myself to gain that weight back as long as I can get out of the bed! I truly wish I had the physical ability to quilt, I think that if I did, I would never donate the huge amount of clothes I do. My grandmothers were both quilters and they created some really gorgeous heirlooms! I inherited their frames but my body is not as willing as my heart.

  • Denise GrantDenise Grant Posts: 1,980 admin
    edited March 30


    Keep one box and donate one box but put a time limit on how long you will keep it.

    Is the material the kind that would make rugs? Even when I am busy I can usually find the time to make a floor rug while listening to music or a tape.

    Is there a church or more local thrift shop that will be able to use them faster? We have a veterans association here that is really good about getting such things in the right hands and used.

    Sometimes I will save something like that aside for a family that had a fire or flood but put a time limit on it. Time limits are my way of keeping things moving. Use it or lose it.

  • nicksamanda11nicksamanda11 Posts: 228 ✭✭✭

    I will comment again on this because HECK YES FREE IS AWESOME! That's probably why foraging really sits well with me. I mean free food and medicine everywhere- literally everywhere. I'm gonna pass out it's so exciting!

  • karenjanickikarenjanicki Posts: 655 ✭✭✭✭

    I like freecycle. They have all sorts of free things that can be put to good use.

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