When a neighbor discarded some household belongings on the curb, my daughter-in-love and I decided to take a peek. Trash picking is the ultimate frugal practice. Not only is all the stuff free, but it helps keep good stuff out of landfills.
We snagged a brand new dog crate, which is now Willie’s bed.
We also nabbed a like-new electric lawn mower (I had no idea this was a thing). This will definitely come in handy when I’m a single lady in charge of lawn care. It’s super lightweight and easy to use. Did I mention it retails for $125? The underside was pristine, as if it had not been used.
A wheelbarrow with the price tag still on it. I haven’t used it yet, but Ruby has enjoyed pushing Josiah around the yard in it!
We got a like-new potato masher (a kitchen tool I previously lacked), a large piece of IKEA wall art and a shoe rack.
I haven’t hung the picture yet, but it will look perfect in my laundry room.
We dragged everything home and sanitized it all. (My go-to cleaning recipe I owe to the marvelous GoCleanCo. I’m completely obsessed with them. Any other Dirty Bastards reading? For general cleaning, it’s a teaspoon of powdered Tide mixed in a gallon of hot water. For disinfecting, I add a splash of bleach. So simple, so cheap. I don’t bother with making my own cleaning products.)
Trash Picking: Nasty or Nice?
Some people would turn up their nose at activities like trash picking. This is what Amy Dacyzyzn, the author of the Tightwad Gazette, would call “selective squeamishness”. And I agree with her!
A few days later, a neighbor posted on NextDoor that she had just put out a bunch of household goodies and to come get it before the trash pickup. So I gladly obliged!
This is another plus of trash picking: you’re actually providing a service to your neighbors. It’s expensive to have trash hauled away, so you’re saving your neighbor cash.
We snagged a corner shelf, a full-length mirror with tags still on it, several books, a stainless steel trash can, and the piece de resistance: a Shark navigator vacuum.
I took the vacuum apart and cleaned the filters well, emptied and washed the dust cup, and took it for a spin. This vacuum is awesome. It’s somewhat self-propelled, and it swivels, making it easy to use under and around furniture. Big score!
Speaking of vacuums, this is the third one I’ve gotten free in recent weeks. One I gave to my son and daughter-in-love, the other resides in the downstairs apartment my husband lives in. And now I have two vacuums upstairs. I could sell one, or just keep it in case one stops working and I can’t repair it.
I wonder why people throw away perfectly good vacuums. It’s so easy to take them apart, remove a clog or get the beater brush moving again, or just to clean them well. Videos abound online that demonstrate how to do it.
The stainless steel trash can has a couple of scratches, but is otherwise in excellent condition. My old trash can is now in the garage. It’s perfect for tossing the detritus that ends up collecting in the car, before it comes in the house.
The corner shelf has a tiny bit of rust, but nothing a little Barkeeper’s Friend didn’t take care of.
The shoe rack makes a nice addition to the coat closet. Two is better than one here.
What about you? Any good trash picking lately or other frugal wins?