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Where to find free/cheap stuff to recycle/repurpose  RSS feed

 
Rob Mc
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So, my wife and I are somewhat new to this 'repurposing' thing...we like it. We have found/bought things at garage sales, estate sales, flea markets, & swap shops. Any other ideas to get some of this stuff a bit cheaper? Do I dare dumpster dive Ideas please...
 
Shaz Jameson
pollinator
Posts: 146
Location: Hilversum, Netherlands, urban, zone 7
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Do you have a local 'buy and sell' listing online? I believe an American version is Craigslist, here in the Netherlands it's called Marktplaats (Marketplace).

Have a look and see if there are any alternative currency networks in your area, for instance a network where people sell and buy gods and services for virtual coupons which can be swapped around. That's awesome.

If you're looking for so eying in oarticular, put up an ad on the pinard in your local supermarket.
 
Joel Bercardin
Posts: 251
Location: Western Canadian mtn valley, zone 6b, 750mm (30") precip
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Have a browse through this thread...
http://www.homesteadingtoday.com/specialty-forums/general-chat/499466-thrift-store-craigslist-etc-finds.html

Also, certain specialized dumpsters can be good. For instance, around building-constructions sites (if access is easy).

I once went to my industrial-supply store and checked out their dumpsters for off-cut steel bar, tubing, rods, etc.. One of the friendly employees saw me doing it, so a little embarrassed I explained what I was up to, and he smiled sympathetically and told me it was no problem. There might have been some extra-good stuff down at the bottom of the bin. However, I didn't climb down into the bin with the employee driving the forklift around in the nearby yard, because I thought my scrambling around loose might give him a case of nerves over possible injury liability.

Another possibility for useful metal or wood off-cuts might be dumpsters at technical-school or college trades-training departments, where students are learning carpentry, woodworking processes, or welding, etc.
 
Kate Muller
Posts: 212
Location: New Hampshire
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Let your friends and family know what you are looking for. I have had garden tools, canning jars, quilting fabric and other things came to me free because friends knew I was looking for it.
I got 12 cases of unused canning jars from a friend who didn't want to store them anymore because she knew I canned.
Sometimes I will get a call because someone found a deal at a yard sale and wanted to check if I still needed it. My in laws are retired and they call all them time about things they think we may want.


Thrift stores and flea markets are really hit or miss. You need to stop in regularly and find out when they run sales and mark stuff down. It is even easier if you have a friend who works in one.
I the summer I go with a couple of friends to a flea market. Sometimes I come home with stuff and other times I don't. Going with friends makes it a social outing so I have fun either way.

In my area we also have a couple of facebook groups for getting rid of stuff or looking for stuff. Prices vary but I have snagged some deals this way.

Craigs list is great for those with time and patience. I have a friend who gets the best stuff off from Craigs list because she is in a small city and works from home with a flexible schedule.
She built her shed, deck, and pergola from stuff she got off of Craigslist. Search the free listing and curb alert. People put stuff on the street around here and label it free.
They post it on Craigslist and the stuff is usually gone in under an hour so you need to move quickly.


 
Mike Cantrell
Posts: 555
Location: Mid-Michigan
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It's going to be different from place to place.

I lived in NW Arkansas for a little while. It's an interesting place, because lots of young people move there for big (relative to the local cost of living) salaries, and then move away again in a few years. You can google whose headquarters is in Bentonville, AR.

Anyhow, that means they buy lots and lots of brand-new stuff. Furniture and housewares and clothes and vehicles. And then since those things are expensive and inconvenient to move to the coast, they leave them behind. The thrift shops in the area were so full of awesome, expensive, barely-used goodies that they wouldn't even stock it all. They'd just throw things away.

The dumpster behind the Goodwill, we called it the Golden Goose. You go peek in every once in a while, and there was always something magnificent.


Now we live in Michigan, and what's on the shelves in the Goodwills here is inferior to what was in the dumpster there. It's just different place-to-place.




In both places, I've had wonderful luck at recycling centers. The kind where they keep big bins, and you drop off your recyclables there? I hear the center gets paid $14/ton for glass, so the employees at all the different places were perfectly content to have me take away all the glass I wanted. Cardboard was similar. Metals have much more value, but that's mainly aluminum and copper, not so much steel. So steel coffee cans, I could always have as many of those as I wanted. I never asked for any aluminum.

 
Emilie Thomas-Anderson
Posts: 50
Location: Ben Lomond, CA
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There may be a Buy Nothing Project group in your neighborhood (http://buynothingproject.org/find-a-group/), which would be a great place to ask for miscellaneous items that your neighbors may be done with, but that you're interested in repurposing!

Also, make friends with someone who manages an apartment complex. I have a friend who does this, and has to clean up after people who have left their apartment with all of their stuff in it much more often than you'd imagine. He's always bringing me random things that otherwise would have gone into a dumpster - most recently, a huge piece of leather cut from a couch that someone had left.
 
Rick English
pollinator
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Location: Central Pennsylvania, USA
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Maybe you also have a local freecycle group you can subscribe to - it is a great way to get stuff for free and to give away your unused stuff to people that can use it:
www.freecycle.org
 
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