Tuesday, July 26, 2011


For me, a big part of being a good homemaker is to create a happy, healthy, relaxing home on a minimal budget.  You don't have to make 100 grand a year to have a classy home.  It just takes time, ingenuity, and patience.

One of my favorite new resources is Freecycle.  Definition: "Freecycling, also known as Free Recycling, is the act of giving away usable unwanted items to others instead of disposing of them in landfills."  I've made some great finds on Freecycle since I signed up four months ago.

  • My husband wears weird pants sizes.  I have not yet found any jeans in that match both is length AND his waist.  However, his waist size is common, so whenever I see jeans given away in his size, I make them into shorts.
  • I accepted some sheets that were being given away.  They were in excellent condition, with a modern clean floral print that wasn't overly feminine.  I'm making them into curtains for the living room.
  • An older wheelbarrow, which is going to save my back with gardening.  It also helps a lot when I carry a heavy load of wet laundry out to hang on the line.  
  • I am now the proud owner of several pairs of very nice, nearly new shoes in my size.  I've always admired pretty feminine shoes, but am too practical to have ever bought them for myself.  But now, for the first time in my life, I own four pairs of pretty, feminine footwear.
  • I've gotten three garbage bags full of clothing - most of it in my current size.  Since I'm losing weight, I've stored the smaller sizes in my closet - I now know that I shouldn't have to buy a whole new wardrobe for each dress size I lose.
  • A rice cooker, which saves us money as we now feel comfortable buying rice in bulk.
  • Plant cuttings - including willow switches, which means I won't have to spend any money on basket-making materials this fall when I start to teach myself how to weave baskets.
  • Free tickets to Six Flags.
And today, I received a remarkable find on Freecycle.  My husband has been wanting a kindle ever since I received one for Christmas last year.  Now, all our "extra" money is having to go towards vet bills for our new puppy, and he was a bit disgruntled that he wouldn't be able to get himself a kindle for his birthday.

I figured chances were slim, but I put a request out on Freecycle anyway.  My request was answered this morning by a nice woman who had an e-reader gathering dust - she hadn't used it in six months.  I figured it was an older model, but more than sufficient for Sean's needs, so I arranged to pick it up this afternoon.

You can imagine my shock when I opened the bag and found a color touch-screen multimedia e-reader.  This thing looks brand-new - and I don't just mean it's condition.  It looks like something that is currently being sold at stores!  I did a bit of research when I got home and found it is a fairly new e-reader, less than a year old and very popular.  I'm so excited, I can't wait until August to give it to my husband - I'm going to present it to him tomorrow when he gets home from work.

Freecycle goes both ways.  I'm able to post an offer about items I no longer need, but that are still usable and in good condition.  It makes me feel great to be helping other people, as well as keeping good items out of the landfills.

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