Thursday, November 12, 2009
Frugal Tips #3 Free Stuff
1. Craigslist Most everyone has heard of Craigslist by now. I check it out a few times a week. Of course my favoite catagory is free. We have been picking up free wood all Fall so we can heat our house for free this winter. Check out 10 Ways to Find Free Firewood for ideas on how we are achieving our goal. I respond to the postings by calling or emailing. The people have all been friendly and helpful. I also list things I want like today I listed that I was looking for bags of raked leaves for the garden. A woman called saying her mother had 8 bags of raked leaves rotting away (the best kind) and her neighbor had some free wood. Bingo! I have also responded to job postings and sold things utilizing the Craigslist service without any problems at all. I appreciate the fact that I can hone my search to my city and surrounding area to save time and travel distance.
2. Freecycle Another great site to look for gently used items that someone else doesn't want anymore. I have found canning jars and white plastic buckets on Freecycle. Once they asked to post one of my articles on how to find free food. Freecycle does allow you to limit your search.
3. Kashless is new to me. It is similar to the other sites although so far they have not listed my particular city so I have to wade through more ads that are geographically outside my comfort level. They do have a feature in which you can let them know what you are looking for and they will email you if it is listed. I posted I was looking for walnuts to pick and we will see what happens.
4. Totally Free Stuff lists all sorts of free thing that you can surf.
5. Hey It's Free lists coupons and free things.
6. http://thriftycoupondeals.com/ is a site I subscribe to and get daily emails full of coupons and offers.
7. The 39 Dollar Experiment This fellow wrote 100 letters asking for something free and wrote a website about his experiment.
A tip for these sites is to open an email address just for advertising mail. It will keep your emails from family and friends separate from ads and promotions and newsletters.
I am just beginning to dabble in coupons. For the most part it seems like a lot of work. My area does not offer double coupon days. When I lived in Massachusetts there were occasional double coupon days which really made collecting coupons profitable. Most coupons these days are for items I do not use like processed foods and cleaning chemicals. Today I did save $6.50 with coupons at a Walmart store. I was pleased because I am committed to only spending $200 a month on food. I am collecting sites to download coupons and that way will be able to pick and choose items I will actually use. It is just not a deal if it is something I won't use. Seems like a no brainer to me.
One thing I noticed in Walmart today was that there were some items on the bottom shelves that had been marked down obviously to be blown out of the store. I found Dole's pineapple in the large can for $.75. We like pineapple chilled and served for dessert or added to jello. Is it their policy to put sale items on the bottom shelf to make you lean over to pick them up?
We then stopped at a grocery outlet store. I found a few things like canned tomatoes and canned green chilies at a great price. I carry a notebook with prices so if I am not sure I can look them up to have something to compare to. Today I did not need anything special so it was a day to stock up on odds and ends.
So my shopping expedition was fun and profitable. I will post the coupon sites when I have finished researching them. Please let me know if you have some tips because I am a novice at couponing.