Isn't everyone interested in free stuff? I sure am. It's a way to save money, and that's part of my frugal living plan. "Free" is always a good price.
It isn't hard to get freebies. Here are a few ideas for you.
When getting free things, just make certain they provide high value, otherwise you won't be happy with them.
Free items that aren't of much use won't mean anything to you, so let's stay focused on added value.
Here is a list that I'll keep updating, so it will undoubtedly grow to be a very long list. I've organized the free stuff alphabetically, so it should be easier to find.
Computer help is something we could all use. Is there such a thing as free computer help? There sure is. Go see Sensible Computer Help and get a healthy dose of information about software and hardware configuration and troubleshooting.
The website also contains its own list of "favorite freebies" so this should be more free stuff than you bargained for. It's an added value for those frugal users of computer technology.
Discards are another way to get free stuff. Some call it trash picking and others call it dumpster diving. Either way, you're using what others have thrown away. It's the original form of recycling.
When I was very young, kids in the neighborhood used to go trash pickin' and I suppose it was a lot of fun because it was really a treasure hunt. Kids normally didn't have money to buy things, so getting free stuff was quite a thrill.
If you're trash pickin' in the more wealthy neighborhoods, you're likely to find things of relatively high value. Remember that one man's trash is another man's treasure.
There are other sources of discards behind businesses that you might be able to use. Such discards include: racks and shelves, pallets and various shipping or storage containers, doors, wheels and you name it.
I have a collection of steel drums with nice sealable tops that I use as energy storage devices in my greenhouse #1. They cost me nothing except the time and fuel to haul them. A new steel drum costs between $75 and $90, so getting them at no cost is quite a bargain.
A friend of mine swears that America runs on waste, so if you're looking for free stuff, this is the place to be. You never know what kind of stuff someone is going to toss out.
Fire wood is something near and dear to those of us with wood stoves. We're interested in keeping warm, and scrap wood is just the answer. Lumberyards, home improvement stores, hardware stores, and motorcycle shops are places where pallets and crates are used to ship things.
You can find a wide range of scrap wood at these locations, and people are happy to have you take it off their hands. If you don't, then they have to haul it to the dump or a recycling center, and that takes time, labor and fuel. These places would rather have you bear the expense.
It's always a good idea to ask first. Some of these types of materials will be in areas not normally accessible to the public, and they might prefer not to have people back there picking through their stuff. In any event, leave the area neat and clean so you'll be welcome back again.
You might be interested in how I went about getting 10 years worth of free fire wood. It's the ultimate in free stuff because it offsets a huge part of my energy costs, and for the next ten years I know exactly what it's going to cost me to heat my house - zero - and my rate will never go up either.
Household items can also be free. Let your neighbors and friends know what you are looking for, and they might just find a reason to give up that old refrigerator for a new one.
I had lots of furniture and appliances given to me when I was just starting out in my career because people in the office knew that I was a new guy just starting to set up housekeeping.
They were happy to help. They were happy to get rid of things they really didn't want, and I was happy to get free stuff.
Just be careful that this adventure in free items doesn't make you a "dumping ground" for others. Be selective and you're likely to get stuff you need and can use, and keep from accumulating way more than you bargained for.
Sunshine Whether it's sunrises or long-lasting sunsets, it's all free for the gazing in all it's wonder. The photo below is a sunrise as seen from my home just outside of Cheyenne. I can't think of anything more spectacular to wake up to.
The sky changes quickly, so you have to watch constantly if you're going to appreciate the hues and textures of the sky, whether it is at sunrise or sunset.
Most people enjoy the sunsets. It's the time of day we tend to unwind and take time to appreciate the wonders of nature. I love to watch as the bright yellow clouds start to turn orange and the entire sky starts to get a pink underbelly.
The last "curtain call" for the sun each day is seen as steel blue and gray slowly replaces the pink underbelly of the clouds, starting from east to west. It's like the sky is going to bed.
If you're above ground and have your eyes open, you can see this wonderful sight nearly every day. Bring a camera as some of the sunsets are quite memorable. Don't get caught up in taking too many pictures or you'll miss the whole wondrous event.
It's part of nature's free stuff, and you're free to make it part of your rich life of visual pleasures.
Virus protection is another thing that we all could use. I have been satisfied with AVG virus protection, and they have a free version you can download. It's a basic version, but it works. In my estimation, AVG is recognized as an effective product, and they update their product every few days. I use their product on my laptop and desktop machines.
Using AVG will likely keep you from getting other "free stuff" that you don't want in your computer.
Wind is something we know all about here in Wyoming. It blows road signs over - road signs that are designed to withstand high winds. It's been blowing now for a couple of days and it just doesn't seem to know when to stop.
We usually don't recognize high winds as wind storms up here. We just say it's a windy day. It could be 50mph or 80mph, and we just call it windy.
What with all this free wind, you could generate electricity with wind turbines. It costs something to invest in the infrastructure, but the power to generate electricity is all free.
Below is a video of a homemade wind generator. The application is unknown, but it serves to show that these type of power generating devices can be made in the home workshop with the right knowledge, skill and a modest investment.
Build one of these, or something similar, and electricity from the wind becomes part of our list of free stuff.
Don't curse the wind - harvest it. It's all part of nature's free stuff.
Doggie attention is always free and it's never in short supply. I have a wonderful Boston Terrier named Humper (a.k.a. Dude), and he is a constant source of entertainment and companionship. I can't say pets are part of the free stuff in life because they certainly have their price, as does everything.
Nevertheless, I include them here because dogs and cats are some of the most wonderful creatures on the planet - often much better than people you run into each day. My dog just wants to play and lick. His full name is registered as Humper Go-play Lickerson (a.k.a. Dude). I'm not kidding at all.
"The Dude" is the best companion a man could ever hope for. He is well mannered (despite his name), loving, playful, eager to please, and a bundle of energy ready for a run or to chase a rabbit.
Photo right shows Humper roughhouse wrestling with Tugger, his best buddy who lives across the road.
If he's not engaged in "all play all the time", the Dude is in his bed snoring away under my desk, keeping warm near the kitchen fireplace insert, or laying in the sun.
Dogs are part of the enjoyable free stuff in life, if you take the time to appreciate their contribution to your mental health, and the wonderful example they set regarding just how fine your life really is.
This website isn't big enough to capture all the wonderful pictures of the "Humper Dude" at play, at rest, and trying to please the "pack leader". I paid a $150 adoption fee at the animal shelter to take home this wonderful Boston Terrier, and he's freely given me joy and affection and companionship.
At over 50, I'm like a kid with his first dog. And, he really is my first dog. The Dude and I go nearly everywhere in town. He's a well known visitor at Home Depot, Sutherlands, the UPS Store, Tri-couty Bank, the tire shops, and the auto parts stores. We stroll in together and he goes off visiting with customers and employees while I get what I need.
His favorite trick is to crawl on his belly and sneak under the teller door at the bank where he can go behind the counter and get a dog biscuit from one of the tellers. You see, even the Dude is well acquainted with how to get free stuff.
His second favorite trick is destroying stuffed animals that we get for him at garage sales. Thankfully, these stuffed creatures only cost 25 cents, because they don't last long at all, especially if Tugger comes over for a tug-of-war with the Dude.
The little stuffed animals don't stand a chance.
Don't look so innocent as if you weren't responsible for this "cloud cover" in the dining room.
In such cases, it's not really free stuff, but free floating stuff. Don't worry, the Dude has me well trained - I clean it up pronto so it doesn't get in his way when he decides which one he'll pull the stuffing out of next.
For those of us focused on frugal living, free stuff is right up our alley. Just be sure that what you're getting isn't adding burden to your life. Make certain it adds value, or in the case of a pet, lots of joy.
There certainly is a broad scope of topics here at Frugal Living Freedom. When you think about it, money permeates so very many activities in our lives, therefore, being frugal encompasses a wide range of interests, from being employed to taking a vacation, and just about everything in between. Enjoy the variety, pick up some new ideas, and start making frugality a part of your signature.
I'm a big proponent of being debt-free, and I mean entirely debt-free - no mortgage payment. It's not essential for financial freedom, but you'll love the feeling once you get there. If you didn't have a rent or mortgage payment, how much more could you do for yourself with your current level of income? I suspect plenty.
If you ever hope to see an abundance of wealth, you need to plug the hole in your boat. The wealthy don't necessarily make lots of money, instead, they know how to hang onto what they make, and make it work for them.