Wednesday, January 6, 2016

What Have You Gotten For Free (Or Cheap) Lately?

    I started thinking about this after joining up Life After Money's blog...yes, another Brit. 

I love these girls -- not only do their everyday lives sound much more interesting with an accent -- I am fascinated by how much their markdown items cost. (Pence sound sooo much cheaper than pennies -- actually, I think they're technically about 2 US pennies each.) 

I pay a heck of a lot more for my clearance bin groceries, especially meat, than 50 pence or so.

Here are some of the things that were free or a Real Buy in the last six months or so:

*a penny and a nickel, found in parking lots. I don't do as well in this department as others, darn it. My brother and Daughter #2 are the best -- they've found everything from dollar bills to twenties. About the most I've ever found was a quarter -- and a wallet, which I returned. (She was thrilled.)

*$40 worth of bonus bucks each from money spent on Red Robin and Outback gift cards.

*free movies and cable series. The Brick figured out how to show these, via our WiFi system, on the television screen. So far, we can watch anything featured on Youtube (just saw a great WWII movie, Pimpernel Smith, featuring Leslie Howard), and a number of History Channel series, including Alone and American Pickers.
    In our neck of the woods (Denver, CO), the mountains largely block any television reception we could get with an antennae. And we went cable-free a few years ago. So being able to get these for free is just gravy. And if we get tired of those...

*Dozens of videos, from first-run to classic movies, from our library's used book room. One buck each...even if it's a series package, like NCIS. (Which I scored last month.)

*Pandora. So what, if we have to put up with a commercial every 30 minutes? This station plays everything from the Rolling Stones to Mozart -- for free. (And yes, the Brick has this funneled through our tv, as well -- which is also hooked up to a surround sound system given us by a friend -- who was given a system to replace his system.)

*A nicely-made lounging chair -- free for the pickup off Craigslist. I've scored some planting boxes the same way, and a beautiful black leather chair and ottoman for very little.

*a vacation to Puerto Vallarta.  Plane tickets - $259 roundtrip, including taxes? A hotel for $50 a night --with a kitchenette included -- plus a $150 credit for the stay? (Which we managed to stretch to cover several meals.) We found everything on Travelzoo -- if you haven't checked out this site, you should.

*20 pounds of venison (approx.), mostly ground. One of my piano student moms is swapping this for a month's worth of lessons. Lean, healthy protein I can turn into chili or stroganoff -- yum. If you've never had sage-grown wild venison, you've missed a treat.

*coupons for several replacement items: chips, frozen food and such. If it's not right, I e-mail, call or write a 'complaining' letter -- it works. (I only do this if it's the truth. I don't lie.)

*a free pizza -- after completing a review.

*an antique quilt block...and a WWII hospital coverlet. Given by people who'd heard me speak, and wanted to know that their old textiles would be treasured. (They will be.)

*Lots of free perfect or grubby vegetables. Given by our neighbors, who have rabbits and a regular pickup of discards at one of the area grocery stores. (They won't tell us which one.) For some reason, potatoes are at the top of the list -- we get dozens of pounds, mostly organic. The chickens love whatever we can't eat.

*pumpkins, pumpkins, pumpkins. These were easy to ask about, after Halloween and Thanksgiving -- my neighbors like getting eggs for their leftover pumpkins, and the chickens LOVE their orange goodies.

*$25 Amazon gift cards -- two of them. We earn from $40-80 worth annually each for using Swagbucks. (Click here for more, and you can enroll-- and give me a little extra boost, as well.)
     I haven't gotten the last of the 2015 SB cards yet...but we're close. Swagbucks isn't hard -- I just utilize it for the searches I would be doing, anyways.

I feel so proud of myself -- until I see what a pro can accomplish in this area.

Here are some of the items Life After Money lists at the bottom of her blog -- click on the link to see everything. (There's a lot more.)

  • Left over food from a buffet - I asked for it...Frozen fish and vegetables - given to me by a friend....Pair of black steel toe cap work boots - found in a layby....Crystal necklace on a chain - found on a grass verge.... Eiderdown - given from a friend....pair of slippers - given from a friend....3 cans of cider - found in the churchyard....17p in coins - found in the street while litter picking....Pile of magazines - given to me....Two bottles of water, a goody bag, and a medal - given to me for escorting my friend on her sponsored walk....Two golf balls - found while out dog walking....Two bags of usefull stuff - given to me from my friends declutter....Wooly hat and gloves - given to me....Coins total £1.10 - found....12 pearl beads - found....Yellow plastic dogs ball - found in a field....32p in coins - found on grass verge....A five pence coin - found on a footpath....A yellow Frizby - found on a grass verge....10p coin - found in the woods....Three course dinner and 2 mince pies - given to me....Plastic garden table - given to me....£1 coin, 5p coin, 2p coin - found in a car park....Four plastic crates from the takeaway - retrieved from skip.... A hard hat - given....A gigantic roll of shrink wrap, used for wrapping palletised loads - I asked for it....A plastic bucket and lid with emulsion paint in it - found in the hedge bottom....A tub of Lurpack spreadable - free with a voucher....Free dental check up....A free tub of golden syrup ice cream, my friend gave it to me....A box of chocolates - my other friend gave it to me....A 1p coin - found in the street....A bag of potatoes, packet of blueberries, packet of tomatoes - my friend gave them to me....A flower pot - found in the hedge bottom....Three plastic crates from the takeaway - retrieved from skip....

I think I need to get to work!

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