We all like new things and its tough when you don't have the funds. But do not despair! There are many ways to get things for only a few pounds – or even free!So next time you would like a new piece of furniture, an electrical item, stuff for the kitchen, don't let buying new be your first thought. There are so many things in the world already with life left in them and not being used.
And since the manufacture of all things increases the carbon footprint, buying second hand is much more environmentally friendly, and probably prevents a perfectly good item from going to landfill.
Freecycle is wonderful. Freecycle is a website where people exchange goods in your local area – free. Just go to www.freecycle.org and find your local group. Scan through the items offered. If you don't see what you would like, put in a 'Wanted' request for what you seek. For example when I wanted to try out a breadmaker I wasn't keen to invest £££s in something I was not sure I would use. And I had a feeling there would be some breadmaking machines in the back of some people's cupboards – so I put a request in on freecycle and within a couple of days I had one – which I now use all the time to make fantastic bread economically.
Downsides? Well normally the person wanting the item has to collect so that you may need to borrow or hire a van for larger items. You don't get to view it before you collect but you can request a photo and further description. When popular items are offered, you need to be very quick in replying as usually its on a first come, first serve basis.
Of course you may well have something you don't want you can offer on freecycle, hassle free. It's a good idea to give as well as receive, when you can.
There is also www.freegive.co.uk – in some areas only. Would love to know if anyone has experience of this site.
Charity shops provide a perfect win-win situation. Give to charity whilst getting a bargain! If you are in need of crockery, dishes, bowls etc. this can be a good place to look. And you may get something different and interesting rather than modern and mass produced. Some charity shops such as the YMCA also stock furniture.
Second Hand Furniture shops / Antiques
Second hand furniture shop or antiques warehouses can be fun to walk around as well as a great place to pick up a good piece of furniture or bric a brac.
Car Boot Sales
A fun couple of hours can be spent at a car boot sale – and you never know what you might find! Just be careful not to buy stuff that you don't really need or want – just because its a bargain!
The library is an amazing facility, and often underutilised. Use your local library for your reading books – free to join and free to borrow books (provided you get them returned or renewed on time.) You can order books not currently on the shelf for a small charge (around 50p). You can get to read the latest book by your favourite author for just this small fee. You will also be supporting a much needed facility – and help to keep it open. Books can be ordered and renewed online if you can't get to the library too often. You can hire DVDs and CDs too for a small charge.
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