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Frugalities – Freecycle

12 December, 2007

If you don’t know about Freecycle you are going to be wondering where you have been all this time! Freecycle is a world wide network of smaller groups, based on geographical location.

The way it works is that you join and email list. Members post offers of items they no longer want or need. For example, if someone has just upgraded their computer, they may have an old monitor they no longer need and post it on the Freecycle list. If you are in need to a monitor you could then reply to the person offering the item to express your interest. It is generally common courtesy to suggest some pick up times when you reply.

Group rules state that new members must post an OFFER before they accept another offer. WANTED posts are allowed, but there are usually limits on them. For example, our street directory was damaged (water leaking from blocked air conditioner and it got mouldy) so I posted on the list for anyone who had an old street directory they no longer needed (as many people upgrade each year) that I could collect. It is generally poor form to request items such as electric guitars or ipods (but you wouldn’t believe the number of people who do).

The point of the group is recycling and keeping items out of the bin and in circulation. An old washing machine that doesn’t work may be useful to someone who has the skills to fix it, or can use it for parts. Glass jars you’ve collected from peanut butter or salsa may be useful to someone who makes their own jam. Clothes your children have outgrown or toys they have had enough of can go to someone who could use them.

There are many ways to save money by using freecycle. The most obvious is to receive goods (clothes, wool, fabric scraps) you would have otherwise had to pay for. However, there are other potential savings, such as not having to pay removal and disposal fees for something you no longer need. Tyres are a good one. When you get new tyres, part of the fee is a disposal cost. If you tell your mechanic that you will dispose of the tyres yourself, he can waive that charge. Then you can offer them up on freecycle if you have no use for them yourself. People use them for garden borders or to make pots for growing potatoes or compost bins.

So what are you waiting for! Jump on the freecycle site and join a group near you!

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