Welcome to the second edition of Great Trash Finds, a scholarly photo essay in which we explore the finer points of scavenging items from the side of the road. Taking stuff otherwise destined for a landfill is not only a frugal win, it’s an environmentally sound means of recycling and reusing.
In this edition we welcome a guest blogger (sort of): my mom! My mom is the original frugalista and she and my dad have been frugal reusing fools since long before it was fashionable (it is fashionable now, right? right?!?). My parents espoused a thrifty, debt-free way of life that my siblings and I employ to varying degrees. We’re all very conscious of how fortunate we were to be raised in a loving home where we didn’t want for food, shelter, or fun.
When my mom read Great Trash Finds: Part 1, she immediately called me (actually she called, left a voice message, and then texted to see if I’d gotten her message. Love you, mom!). She asked if she could submit her great trash finds for publication and sweetly offered to mail me print-outs of her photos. I assured her that she could just text them to me. Mom wanted me to clarify that she can’t remember a lot of the stuff she’s pulled from the trash over the years, so these are just some recent greatest hits. My sister also wants to get in on the action, so we may feature her trash in an future installment.
I give you my frugal mom’s top 4 trash brags:
Mom’s Find #1: Patio Set!
Look at this thing! A gorgeous, glass-topped patio set that one of her neighbors had sitting by the side of the road for the garage truck to collect. My parents live in a very nice neighborhood, but, as my mom said when I interviewed her for this article, “there’s great trash everywhere.”
Mom’s Find #2: Kid Bike:
Apparently this beaut of a cycle is in dandy working order. Since my neices and nephew spend a lot of time at my parents’ house (my sister and her husband live 5 minutes away), it’s great for them to have this bike to ride while at grandma & grandpa’s.
Mom’s Find #3: Plant Stands:
Mom found this wooden plant stand–and some of the plants–in her friend’s neighbor’s trash pile. Mom reports that it looks great on their patio and is actually quite expensive if bought new.
Mom’s Find #4: Artificial Indoor Ficus Tree:
Not exactly my taste, but, my mom loves plants and she and my dad are very pleased with this free addition to their robust collection of indoor green things.
I was delighted to hear that my family and I aren’t the only frugal weirdos who consider other’s trash to be a source of treasure. Below are the illustrious trash brags you all shared following Great Trash Finds: Part 1:
DC from Young Adult Money found a Willie Nelson CD. You could say that he found it On The Road, Again.
Reader cheapRN found a pair of Timberland Hiking Boots. If you need me, I’ll be dumpster diving with cheapRN–hiking boots are expensive!
Holly from Club Thrifty found her husband’s swim trunks. Holly clarified that she did wash them thoroughly before putting them in her husband’s drawer. What we want to know is if she ever told her husband where those trunks came from…
Alicia from Financial Diffraction shared that her parents found a solid wood bureau. Gotta love it when thriftiness runs in the family!
Wade from Destination Financial Wisdom finds lawn mowers… a lot of them! This man takes it to a whole new level by fixing up and selling these trashed mowers. Now that is a great trash brag.
Karissa from Debt Free Kid found an aloe vera plant and a turtle-shaped sandbox. What is it with people throwing out plants that are still alive???
Will from First Quarter Finance found a 17″ Ford Explorer car tire. Will upped the ante by then carrying the tire home by himself. Having carried a car tire home from a junkyard with Mr. FW before, I can unequivocally tell you that those things are dang heavy.