I am a big fan of free stuff always have been. I am sure there are many folks besides myself who appreciate getting stuff for free. You have many options for obtaining things for free in your area - legally, no shennanigans here.
There are several websites, namely freecycle.org and Craigslist.org. My favorite is Craigslist, the website has gotten a bad rap due to some of the fraud that goes on BUT in my area it is a great resource for finding free stuff and for finding out about estate and garage sales.
I have gotten a lot of stuff in the free section of Craigslist, namely fire wood and scrap wood for burning in the fire pit. Many folks post about downed trees in their yard, companies post regarding scrap wood in their lots, etc. It is a great resource for getting stuff on the cheap or FREE! Friends have gotten free baby clothes and toys on the site as well as many other items...most which just need a little TLC to be usable again.
The biggest issue is getting to the place before everyone else...although in the case of wood there has always been a large amount available to grab (along with other folks).
That being said as with any portion of the Internet one does need to be careful and use common sense when dealing with stangers...I for one would never let my wife go alone to pick anything up, I would go with her. If you are careful you will be fine and to be honest I have never had any issues myself and have used the site many times.
The recycling centers (nice word for town dumps) in my area have swap areas where people can leave usable items for others to take, with the expectation the favor will be returned when you have something you no longer need (but may be useful to someone else).
The good old fashion newspaper classifieds have a free section in my area where people can post items they have and want to get rid of, so I check there from time to time.
Our neigborhood is good about keeping items in the area or offering up items no longer wanted to the folks in the immediate area first before posting them somewhere else.
Another tip is visit garage sales just as they are scheduled to end, you get STEEP discounts and sometimes people will be happy to give you items just so they don't have to bring them back into their house. I have done this as well and it does work!!!
All in all getting things for free can be challenging but we look at it as a game. I only take things I would use and let other folks claim the rest. There are many items out there for the taking, it just requires an little time and effort on your part to get some good stuff, very cheaply or even for FREE!!!
...that is all.
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