Monday, February 22, 2010


For my Frugal Friends who might not know about it, Freecycle is a great group where you can give away stuff you might not want anymore, and be able to get things people are giving away, for Free!

I first joined Freecycle as part of my "Cleaning Out" project.
I have a long history of pack-ratting (not quite hoarding, but near enough). I am bad to take anything anyone gives me, keep things I think I might need or want later, keeping things with any kind of sentimental value, or hanging onto things I think might be sellable - residual effects from the hey-days of ebaying.
But when more rooms of my house became storage space than living space (and after watching marathon episodes of Clean House), I knew I had to make a change.

I was going to try yard sale-ing, that didn't go so well, but I sold some items at a Church Children's Consignment Sale and also listed some things for sale at Craigslist.
But some stuff just didn't sell for whatever reason, and then, too, some stuff just really wasn't saleable, like some older, worn books not good for trade-credit, but still readable, or out-dated home decor knick-knacks, stuff like that.
So I listed the stuff on Freecycle and it got a new home. YaY.

But we've also gotten some 'treasures' from Freecycle.
We got some free wooden pallets that we built our compost bins out of, and one person was giving away an old chicken fence/coop. I haven't got my chickens I want yet, but we were able to use the chicken wire to enclose our tomato bed last year to keep the varmits from getting to the tomatoes before they could get ripe.

My Aunt gave my son and his girlfriend a bedroom suit, but not her mattresses, so we were able to get a free set of mattresses for them. They were nice mattresses, from the person's guest bedroom, hardly used.
We also got my youngest son an almost new top mattress for his bed. His old mattress was lumpy and bumpy. So when a lady listed she was giving away a twin size mattress, I jumped on it. I didn't know it's age or condition, but didn't figure it could be any worse than the one he had. Turned out, it was practically new. The lady had bought it and ended up having back problems. I'm not sure why she didn't return it to the store, it was that new, but good for us!

Then there's the refrigerator(s) story.
Awhile back, our kitchen refrigerator went out, quit working. We just threw it out, went and bought a new one, just that like, no second thought.
Then one day I noticed our spare fridge wasn't fridging well. The freezer worked fine, but the refrigerator part wasn't getting cold. Well I didn't want to throw it out. I remembered back when we were first married and dirt-floor poor and my husband had no choice but to fix stuff when it tore up. So I got on the internet and put in the symptoms and found a solution and turned out it was a $28.00 fix.

So when I saw a fridge posted on Freecycle, we went and got it. J fixed it, and I was going to list it on Craigslist for $50.00. Right about that time, though, he'd talked to his cousin and the cousin's fridge had died, so we gave him that one. It was nice to be able to help them like that.
We picked up another one last week, with the same symptoms. Hopefully we can fix it and sell it. If we can't, though, we'll take the new part out and keep it, and can junk the fridge at the scrapyard for $10 or so.

Yesterday my hubby went and picked up some extra posts and chain link fencing someone had leftover from getting a new fence. We - well, our backyard neighbors - have really, really old wooden fencing between our yards, and it's rotting away and has big holes in it, which dogs come through into the yard. So J figures he can install small sections of this chain-link fencing in front of the parts of the wooden fencing to block off the holes.
It may sound ugly, but I have plans. Some years ago I gave my Aunt a cutting of some TeaRoses from J's Grandma's yard, and she rooted it and planted it in the front corner of her backyard. This rosebush grew up and over her chainlink fence, and a profusion (or explosion) of little pink roses "waterfalls" over the front of the fence in the Spring. It's a beautiful effect.
In the meantime, until the roses grow up, I plan to try to grow some pumpkins using the fencing.

I want to grow my own pumpkins, and have tried a couple of times. I do not have a green thumb, so gardening is an adventure for us. The first year I tried was a total disaster. First of all, we were in a terrible drought. Then, I sprouted several seeds in trays inside, but then when they sprouted, and we planted them, I didn't know what was what. At one point I thought I was growing a watermelon, and it turned into a cantaloupe!
I never did get any watermelons or pumpkins that year.

Last year I seeded some pumpkins by themselves, and planted them by themselves behind the tomato cage, so there would be no mistake. They grew well, vines went everywhere. I didn't like the vines growing along the ground. J couldn't mow the grass without cutting up the vines, so the grass grew all up in with the vines. I wouldn't go messing around in them because I was afraid of finding a snake.
Well, one of the vines had actually grown upwards, all entwined in the tomato cage. I had read about growing pumpkins "up" before, for people without alot of growing space, they can actually grow vine fruits/veggies up the side of a building. Anyway, a little pumpkin started growing, so I went out and tied a rag under it, making it a little hammock to sit and grow in, so it wouldn't pull off it's vine as it got heavier.
Then one day J went out weed-eating around the area, and accidently whacked the vine.

So the plan for this year is to cut the bottom out of a plastic plant pot and plant the pumpkin plant it in, at the bottom of the section of fence. It will grow up the fence, and the foot of the vine will be protected from Wild-Weed-Whacker-Man.

I planted 9 pumpkin seeds in peat-pots in trays yesterday. Should have sprouts in a little while, and be ready to put them out in a few more weeks.

That's what we get out of Freecycle, but people list pretty much everything on there: kids/womens/mens clothes, toys, appliances, home decor, furniture, and on and on and on. Whatever you're looking for, someone is probably going to end up giving it away. It won't be new, and in some instances you may need to clean or paint or fix something, but for free, you can't really complain. If you end up not liking it, you can always list it on Freecycle and give it away to someone else, right.


Cheap&Sweet said...

I hope you take pictures of your "garden" Im such a visual person I need pics. lol If you cant tell by my blog. BTW I love craigslist.

Melissa said...

I will take pics, but I meant the post to be more about Freecycle than my gardening, lol.

Cheap&Sweet said...

lol sorry I love getting off topick.
BTW the wipes are on sale for $1.99 hope I can help you for once. lol

Melissa said...

Thanks for info on the wipes. You helped my cousin, does that count? lol

Nooo, I didn't mean you got off's my train that runs off the track, lol.