How to Find Thousands of Freebies

It has never been easier to get good stuff for free — from individuals and companies. Here’s how to track it down.

Want something for nothing? Go online, because Freecycle’s got company.

Free beauty products, children’s items, restaurant meals, furniture, electronics or even cellphone service – all you have to do is look.

Sometimes this means a one-time sign-up, but ongoing sources of goodies also exist, letting you browse whenever you have a minute. You might not even have to do the browsing, because reputable freebie bloggers will do the filtering for you.

Free stuff has never been so easy to get, according to Money Talks News money expert Stacy Johnson. Once you’ve watched his video, read on for more details.

Depending on where you live The Freecycle Network can mean a constant stream of fabulous freebie opportunities or a sluggish trickle of “meh”-ness. After all, people in wealthy areas have more to give than folks in less affluent communities. Another variable: Freecycle groups are not always very well organized.

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But, given that Freecycle is a volunteer organization, it’s a little hard to complain. Besides, when it works it’s fabulous. A relative has picked up furniture, children’s clothing and other goodies. When I lived in Seattle, I received canning jars and tree fruit.

I also used Freecycle to give away framed prints, a two-CD set of “The Nutcracker,” a paraffin hand spa and an unopened pair of anti-embolism stockings, which saved car-free me from having to lug all this stuff to the thrift store by bus.

Similarly, the “free” section of Craigslist sometimes yields some real keepers, as do trading sites such Listia.comSwapmamas (for kid-related needs), Swapstyle (clothing) and BookMooch. Sure, you have to pay for the gas to pickup Freecyle/Craigslist swag or pay for shipping from the trading sites, but do the math and balance the total against the cost of buying new items. It might be worth it.

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  • hannah h

    The sites you suggested have helped my family out greatly

  • Carolina Cooper

    Hi, Donna! Five years ago, when I was first laid off, I read about Heyitsfree in one of your articles. SInce then, I have gotten hundred of items from “Goob” who runs the site. I haven’t bought toothpaste, coffee, tea, calendars, shampoo etc. for YEARS. Plus, it is so much fun to find freebies in the mail, along with the inevitable junk mail. Thanks for writing about freebies again.

    • donnafreedman

      Nice to see you in this space, Carolina…! And I’m glad that the freebies are working for you. I love the idea of the mailbox as pinata. 😉

  • Don Lowery

    Another source of free books I have found locally is the local library. The reason is that with all the donations they get…there are many books which the library may have too many copies of or are too old to put on the shelf. For instance…having IT training in the past…I have gotten some almost new older books on programming and IT for free. For instance…found some programming books for BASIC (1979 textbook) and Visual Basic for the taking. They are old (the Visual Basic book still had the CD/DVD with it with a student version of Visual Basic on it)…but if you’re wanting to find a free way to learn programming…what more could you ask for? You learn Visual Basic…the foundation is there…so you could go to Python or C+.

  • Robert Connor

    Great we are checking out freecycle now!

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