Approximately 10 years ago I was working at the engineering office at a local university when a coworker told me about something called “Freecycle”. She described it as “somewhere you can get stuff for free”. Since at the time I was a college student, who wanted to save my precious income for important things like hanging out and going places with friends (hehehe), I became very interested in this service. Since then, I have not looked back.

For those of you who may not have heard of Freecycle, it is a “Yahoo Group” where you can join and receive emails (individually or as a daily digest) of items people are posting for free or in search of. I personally have the individual emails and while that can be cumbersome to someone who may not check their email several times a day, I have found it’s the best way for me to get items that I am looking for or may need.

When I was engaged and getting items together for my husband and my first home Freecycle was my first stop. Many people joke that I furnish my homes with Freecycle. I will admit, many items (from the sofas we had, to dishes, ironing boards, even our dryer!!!) was from freecycle. I continued to post items as I no longer needed them and have done so for the last 10years.

Many of you may not realize but my husband was unemployed for 17 months, during that time we were very blessed to receive food and other items we needed (clothes, shoes, etc) through Freecycle. Most recently I had been wanting a stand mixer (you know the kind that has the bowl and attachments and mixes on its own?) to help cook more homemade (and less processed) foods for my family. However as I found out those can be expensive, even the “low end” ones. Today I received an email from a lady who had one, complete with attachments and the owner’s manual that I could have. For free. I was so happy I could have cried.

Of course, I cannot do this post without mentioning that this IS the internet, and you ALWAYS must put your safety first while you are doing pickups/drop offs. Use common sense, if you must meet out somewhere instead of picking up items off someones porch please meet somewhere that is visible by others, well-lit, etc.

I strongly encourage everyone to check on Yahoo for a local Freecycle group close to you. Even if you don’t have items that you need personally, something you consider “trash” could easily be someone else’s “treasure”. Join the millions of others across the country who are keeping items out of landfills

Here is the link to the Freecycle website that can help you find sites close to you!!! Happy Freecycling!!!

http://www.freecycle.org

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