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Use Freecycle to Get Free Household Items

Need a New Couch? Pick Up One That Someone Else is Giving Away For Free

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Mother at laptop with daughter drawing
Paul Bradbury/OJO Images/Getty Images

Raising your kids on your own means that you have to be extra careful managing your money. Many times, your kids have asked you to buy something that "everyone else has," and you've had to say "No. We can't afford it this month." Unfortunately, that can feel pretty discouraging, but you also know that paying your bills on time, buying gas and groceries, and providing medical care are more important than fulfilling your kids' temporary desires. That doesn't mean that your children have to go without, though. With some creativity and extra effort, you pick up a lot of the things your kids need, and even some of the things they want, through a service called www.freecycle.org. Freecycle is an online list serve at Yahoo! Groups that allows you to place requests for the things you need and give away the things you want to dispose of. The benefit is that users save money while also preventing usable items from needlessly taking up space in a landfill. However, there are some things you'll need to know before you log on to Freecycle.

User Guidelines and Tips:
  1. You must become a member to read or post messages on the list serve.

  2. To join, visit www.freecycle.org and search for a Freecycle group on your geographic area.

  3. When you sign up, make sure you put your local zip code in the "memo" box so that the list serve moderators will know that you really do live in the area.

  4. Do not share personal information in your posts.

  5. When you're picking up items from another location, plan to go with a friend.

  6. When you're offering items for other to pick up at your house, consider leaving the items outside, clearly labeled with the name of the person who is picking them up.
Suggested Items to Request or Give Away on Freecycle:
  • Furniture
  • Dishes
  • Toys
  • Clothing
  • Backpacks
  • Computers
  • Cell Phones
  • Sports Equipment
Additional Places Where You Can Find Free/Inexpensive Household Items:

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