Thursday, September 13, 2007

Cheap? Frugal? Resourceful? Tacky? Desperate?

I don't know what you call it but I LOVE it.

Last night, while talking with the neighbor she mentioned it was "extra" trash week. Since, we live in the suburbs we have these fancy trash cans that the trash truck comes by and picks up. Literally, the trash truck has a mechanical arm that reaches out and picks up the giant trash can. Everyone in our city has the same trash can. It is kinda weird. Anyhoo....since going to this particular type of can the city no longer picks up big trash items on a weekly basis. Instead they have designated two weeks in the spring & two in the fall as extra trash pick up weeks.

Now that I explained all that - back to my chat with the neighbor... She was happy because she was going to be able to put out her extra trash. I, on the other hand, was very excited because I like to drive around and look at other people's trash. I won't go off about how I feel Americans are so wasteful or anything right now but...I can't understand why people don't post things on Freecycle or take a short drive to one of the many thrift stores in our area and just donate the stuff....they'd rather fill the landfills! Ughhh!!! OK - enough of that. Jake is never too fond of the driving around thing. He says he is all for it but I think he is embarrassed or something. But last night we had to drop off library books so they wouldn't be late so I had the perfect excuse to go out and about. We all went, which, I must say did not leave a lot of room for loot. But we made out so well! We only drove down a few streets and found three great things. I can't wait to go back tonight!

Here are pics of other peoples trash!

Our first find of the evening is a dresser. It is solid wood and in good working condition. The hardware was removed and it needs to be painted. It will be a very cheap refurbish! We needed a new dresser so this is great!! Someday I will post an after picture.

The kids were the most excited about this find. We had to go home, drop off the dresser and come back for this. The kids were so upset because they didn't understand we were planning to come back for it. Jude said "through the dresser out and get the kitchen!" We were going to buy Elise a kitchen for Christmas. Now we don't have to! Great!

Oh...this is the before "dirty" picture.

The kids were begging to go out and clean this all day! First, we cleaned & rearranged Elise's room to accommodate the "new" toy!

It is so clean & lavender scented!

And last but not least....a Dora chair. It is brand new. Jude has a little folding chair like this and we've been saying we need to get Elise a lawn chair. Can you believe our luck? It looks brand new!

Elise loves her new chair.

Think how much money we saved...literally hundreds. Here are a few tips if you plan to trash pick.
  • Know your area and when the best times would be. Like I said - in our town we have designated weeks for big items. If you live near a college the end of semesters is a good time. Also, after Christmas is when people get new stuff and throw away their old things.
  • Go in the evening. Most people take their garbage out after dinner.
  • Don't go in the dark. You won't be able to see anything and people will think you are shady.
  • If you see the "owners" outside or looking be friendly. If they look at you like you are crazy you may want to ask them if they mind. Otherwise, give them a wave and a thank you.
  • If you want to be serious, take a truck. We don't have one.
  • Don't leave a mess. Don't open trash bags and don't spread things out.
Good luck. Let me know if you find anything good!


Mandy said...

Sounds like my husband lives in your area! He throws good stuff away all the time just to get it out of the way! I did happen to notice that it is never his stuff! Anyway, great finds!

~Jacki said...

If you want some help and company when you go to redo the me!! I LOVE redoing furniture! We have like 3 at my mom's house that I can't wait to get a chance to update and make beautiful again.

Stephanie said...

Fabulous finds! amazing what people throw out just because they don't want to deal with it.