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Topic: Where is your everyday-place to find free stuff?  (Read 14211 times)
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« on: November 25, 2007 05:50:36 AM »

Most home improvement stores have really neat books that are free that I tend to take.  Some of them are tile books and they actually have small tiles in them (it's hit or miss with those).

The library (of course) to get free magazines.  My library has a list of people to take magazines and stuff that they get rid of.  Once a year, they have a "free book" day when they clean out their books.  Usually you are required to make a small donation (minimum is usually $5, I usually give $15) and you can take as many books as you want.

I'm in need of more ideas to find free stuff.  This is going to be a very stingy Christmas.

Where are the everyday places you can find free stuff? 

She sees shooting stars...
              & comet's tail
She's got heaven in her eyes.
"The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes." Proust
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« Reply #1 on: November 27, 2007 10:43:00 PM »

Not that this will help for Christmas gifts, but Krispy Kream donuts throws away what's left at the end of the day so if you catch the employees at the right moment you can load up on way more donuts than you would probably care to eat  Smiley

« Reply #2 on: December 01, 2007 05:27:10 PM »

our local dump has a recycling area that is like a giant free yardsale---bring in your cast-offs, take what you can use.(The volunteers do an AWESOME job keeping things organized.) But it is only open 9-12 on Saturday mornings.

a local Christian college operates a Blessing Shop a couple of day s aweek.  Same thing, bring in your unloved items, take what you can use.  They do not take larger items like appliances, but still you can find a wide array of goodies!

Friends. Found-alongside-the-road.  Dumpsters. Freecycle.

After that, I'm down to places that want money: Salvation Army, Goodwill, thrift stores.


I don't consider myself a book collector.  I just have books,
the way one has air to breathe.   -N. Hilyard

I cannot live without books.  -Thomas Jefferson
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« Reply #3 on: December 03, 2007 08:18:18 PM »

Maybe paint/wallpaper stores for old wallpaper sample books.Sometimes there's fabric in them,too.Paint sample cards-someone here folded them over,matchbook style,and made mini sewing kits.Wallpaper or paint chips-as a cover for blank books.Buy a plain one cheap,or cut up blank paper and glue/sew it together.Would a fabric/drapery store let you have scraps? Any place that sells used records-ask for broken or scratched ones,then melt them into record bowls,or make jewelry,or notebook covers.
Freecycle rocks-check it out.
Ask the used book store if they have any books or magazines too damaged to sell-then make book/magazine purses-lots of good tutes here on craftster.Old magazine pages make great paper beads for jewelry,too-also on craftster.Small or local stores will be more likely to help you out.For example-The big chain I work for-magazines have the covers stripped,to go back for credit.The 'zines themselves go in the locked dumpster-even employees aren't allowed to take them.The independant store I used to work for didn't care.Of course,that may be why they're no longer in business!
Look at the free section of weekly local papers,advertising,flyers,ect that a lot of places have-that's collage and bead material.
Do computer stores have free cd roms,like for aol?

"If you're going to go for tech that doesn't exist,think Willy Wonka,not Hoover!" Firefairy
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« Reply #4 on: December 20, 2007 01:13:12 PM »

craigslist - there is a whole "free" category where people give away allll kinds of stuff.  you can also post "wanted" for free.  i check that regularly, and found someone who desperately wanted my mismatched baby socks.  great, because i was going to throw them in the trash.  she makes kitty toys with them or something.

there are usually also classified ads in the newspaper, where people want to get rid of things for free as long as you pick it up.  (and remember that the newspaper is online, you don't have to buy it to read it!)
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« Reply #5 on: January 08, 2008 03:59:22 PM »

I admit it, I'm a garbage picker! I am a knight of the dumpster. A roadside treasure liberator. I love finding and collecting pieaces of what other people threw away and giving it new life as part of something else. I personally am tired of this "throw-away" society.
Here is what I did with a mannequin I found years ago that a renaissance festival booth threw out because it had a crack running down the seam of the should (easily fixed with an appoxy filler glue).
I gave her skin a fresh coat of green metallic spray paint. Appoxy glued a crazy Lion's Head door knocker I had been hoarding into her navel. Used some fabric paints to draw some texture, leaves and flowers on her (and write "tattoo" LIFEFORCE across the back of her shoulders). Used a knit doily thing for a headpiece/hat. Then we did a short photo shoot for Mother Nature!!!

Later she became my on the road mascot!
sorry everyone - I'm new so I haven't posted enough times yet to be able to insert the picture, I promise I'm not a spam bot!
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« Reply #6 on: January 20, 2008 01:16:18 PM »

Scribeorice,I love what you did with your mannequin!

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« Reply #7 on: January 25, 2008 12:31:29 AM »

I live in NYC where life is tough but the garbage-pickin is easy!  Just yesterday I was coming from from Trader Joe's with two bags of heavy groceries, and in front of a large apartment building were about 10 HUGE clear bags of household stuff. 

Apparently,  a resident had died and the building had just put her stuff on the sidewalk.  Well, it didn't take long for the vultures to circle but I was one of the first and managed to pick up some nice items including:  a signed hand blown glass paper weight, a lovely large cake plate and a new stove top teapot plus several other items which I'll use for craft projects -- a small hinged wooden box,  a small photo frame with a nice, wide flat frame perfect for embellishing, a cheap clear glass vase (inside painting?  applying broken pottery?),  a nifty little triangular knife for cutting/slicing cheese -- the handle is boring but a little Fimo will fix THAT right up!.    There were also coffee makers,  full knife set in a block,  lots of OK dishes,  even a vintage Pyrex mixing bowl...but hey, a girl can only shlep so much! As it was,  I had to stop every 5 feet to rest my arms. Halfway home my bag broke and I had to pop into a store and beg another one. 

I felt bad that this poor woman's personal effects were out on the street like that but hey, I suppose someday mine will be too...
« Reply #8 on: January 25, 2008 12:11:12 PM »

I pick trash too. The curb provides me with practically everything I need. I can hardly remember the last time I've been in a normal shop.
If you're interested you can read my blog about it, see sig for the address.

Read about my t-2-t adventures and my own ecclectic way of recycling:

Buy eco-friendly in my Etsy Shop:
« Reply #9 on: February 13, 2008 05:23:29 AM »

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