Friday, September 11, 2009

Just because it's free...

I had made a list on a sheet from a notepad that I got for free, and had finished with it. As I stood in line to check out, I folded the paper inside out and put it back in my purse. A woman standing nearby beckoned toward a trash can and I realized she was showing me that I couold throw the paper in the trash.

Not likely. I'd used one side of it - half of it. The other half was perfectly clean. So what if it hadn't cost me anything to begin with? It would cost something to replace.

That's the bottom line: How much will it cost to replace... whatever? Even if you got it free, take care not to waste it. A shampoo sample can give you more than one shampoo and sometimes more than two or even three. I once got a sample bar soap and used it for two weeks in the shower. That was two weeks I didn't have to buy another bar of soap.

Streettcchhh it. Make those freebies really count!


  1. I'm with you on using up paper. If any part of the paper is left un-used, I'll use it to write on. Crayons make good markers after both sides have been used. Maybe this goes to extreme, but that's what I do. When the paper can't be used anymore for writing on, I wad it loosely and use for starting fires. There may come a time when I have too many fire starters, so then roll the used paper into small logs. These work as good as wood. I make a chain from twist ties and use these to "tie" the paper logs so the paper doesn't come unwound.

    Quite a few people critize me for my "cheap" habits, but unlike the critics, I have no debt, and can afford a few treats without feeling guilty (quilting supplies).

    Regards, Peg

  2. You get, it Peg! :) When I had a wood stove, I did the same thing. There was never a piece of paper or cardboard that went into the trash. I have used the twist'm'ties to keep rolls of paper together, too. One thing I did was save small boxes and stuff them with paper, twigs, whatever I came across. They burn like small logs when stuffed full enough.

  3. Lol! I feel like I'm looking in the mirror! I do that with my livingroom fire/stove. I feel that empty boxes were made for stuffing with papers, I use the wrappers from butter, marg. and lard or shortening to grease my pans, then wad them up to go in the boxes. I feel then I've gotten my money's worth. I've used everything up, gotten heat from the garbage, and saved having to have that garbage hauled away. I use my coffee grounds in the garden and have the power company dump thier wood chips in the back yard for mulch. They come through about every 3 to 4 years and I get a couple of loads of mulch dropped. I have free dirt in a few years,and lots of woody mulch for my flower gardens. When you live in a rocky area and love to garden free dirt ( even free delivery!) is great. Then I can spend a little on a few extra seeds or an item that I wahted to try. But more and more I'm finding that as my garden grows, and I give perennials away so that what I still have has room to grow, more and more new to me plants find their way here.
    My latest way to spread perenials, is to dig them up, and If I can't find a taker, is to bag them and take them to the letter boxes. I leave a large note, FREE and what is in each bag. I have never seen any plants left after a couple of hours! But there are lots of yards around that didn't have flowers 5 years ago that now are looking pretty good! So I still come out a winner, as I pass their houses, and I don't even have to weed the flowers!

    Pat in Kitchener

  4. I'm still amazed when people don't laugh at me, but do the same things I do or have done! :) By the way, did you know that coffee grounds will burn well when they're good and dry? Try adding some of them to your boxes of paper this year.

    One year, we had a tree service dump their trimmings in back of the house and had quite a bit of free wood for the next winter. I cringe when I think of things like that going to the landfills.

  5. We had our old tree cut down and we piled the wood in the back. We can then put it in our fire pit in the yard this winter since it will get cool soon here in Phoenix. It will be great to sit in our back yard roasting marshmallows on a cold night with our free fire wood!

  6. That's the way to do it, "anonymous!" Free is the most frugal thing I know. :)

  7. I love freebies!! We try very hard to live frugally and use and spend less. My family, 5 kids at home and husband, always try to use our things wisely and repurpose things if we can.
    Thanks for your great blog. I'm adding you to my favorites!

  8. Thanks, MaryLu. I appreciate your comments. :)

  9. I agree, samples are a great way to stretch your budget. I also have quite a collection of shampoo/condition/soaps and lotions from all my travels. I assure you if I'm at a hotel every day for a week I don't use up a bar of soap in a week, but I definitely make sure THEY give me soap (and everything else) while I'm staying at their establishment.
    I don't think I'll need to buy personal cleaning products for at least a year with all the traveling I do.


  10. I've been using the same headphones that I got from JetBlue more than 2 years ago.