Mr. Frugalwoods and I are not above taking things out of the trash–in fact, quite the opposite. We fancy ourselves experts in the procurement of others’ unwanted goods, specifically those found on the side of the road. After all my frugal friends, why pay when you can find it free?!? Am I right?
There’s a lot we don’t glean from the trash: used mattresses, musty shoes, and couches of questionable provenance. But there are simply amazing finds to be had in our urban neighborhood. The Frugalwoods-mobile is integral to our strategy as anyone who has tried to carry furniture home via bike or human arms (both of which we’ve done) well knows.
People have called us tacky for engaging in this lowlife behavior, to which I respond: I’m tacky and I know it.
To prove just how tacky I am, I’m starting this photo essay (see? I’m highbrow) of the greatest things we’ve plucked from the trash for all the world to see.
In case you’re wondering, we don’t get everything from the side of the road (I wish!). The vast majority of our earthly possessions stem from one of the following sources.
- Thrift stores
- Garage sales
- Cheap stores or stores to which we’ve received a gift card
- The Greyhound Rescue (1 greyhound, pictured at right)
- Hand-me-downs from friends and family (anytime someone offers us something for free, we say YES because we’ll either use it or sell it on Craigslist)
- Side of the road finds
- Gifts from family (our Christmas wish list is always peppered with useful household items such as a pot, a pan, or a spatula)
And now, for the first installment of Great Trash Finds!!
Find #1: Brace yo’self for my greatest clothing scrounge ever:
Found this amazing, near-perfect condition, 100% down-filled women’s LL Bean winter coat atop a box of giveaways last October. I washed it with special down wash at the laundromat (you can’t use down wash in a conventional home washer) and wore it every day this winter. I’ll wear it every day next winter too.
Downsides: it’s a size too big for me, but it’s a coat so who cares! Also the zipper doesn’t un-zip all the way, so I must step in and out of the coat (our friends are used to me doing this by now). And, it does zip up all the way, which is the real pièce de résistance for a coat.
This is warmest, nicest coat I’ve ever owned PLUS it’s waterproof! If you’re not familiar with the new coat market, an LL Bean coat of nearly identical specs retails for $199!!!!
Find #2: Two Charming Bookcases:
I rescued these babies from our neighbor’s trash pile! They’re currently in our basement providing a home for our fancy-pants plates and glassware that we don’t use on a daily basis.
Find #3: Highly Questionable Pottery:
And finally for this installment, I give you a hideous piece of pottery that my sweet Mr. Frugalwoods triumphantly brought home with him one day last month. It has yet to, ahem, find a permanent resting spot within our home. It’s currently chilling in our basement. I didn’t say everything we found was ideal
(Mr. Frugalwoods here. I feel I must stand up for my misunderstood roadside pottery find. Just gaze upon its awesomeness. How many times have you watched Antiques Roadshow (free, on PBS!) and thought “That ugly piece of pottery is worth WHAT?” Plus, it’s not a sex toy, which is what I initially thought when I saw it in the trash pile. So that’s a plus.)