Friday, 25 October 2013

Love free stuff

As you might have guessed by now, I absolutely love free stuff. I love it that I am given stuff, I find stuff, and I gratefully accept stuff, from people who want to give away their stuff. I also give away my stuff that I no longer want or need, I give it to charity shops. Stuff should be mobile, it should move from person to person and from house to house, and be used until it is no longer fit for purpose. If possible, new stuff should be made from old stuff. Stuff should be re purposed, re worked, re designed, and re used. When it is broken it should be repaired if possible, or taken apart and used for another job.
Take my shopping bag for instance, I made ten of these from a gazebo roof that I found in a skip. It was the end of a caravan show and one of the traders had dumped their gazebo because the frame was broken. I fished it out and brought it home. My shopping bags will out live me, and hopefully get passed on to someone who can use them.  
This morning I walked past a house with a skip on the driveway, they were having a clear out. Me being nosey I stopped to chat and have a look at what they were throwing out. An elderly relative had moved into a care home and they were clearing the house. This galvanised potting table was on the lawn and they said I could have it. Wow, that was lucky, I went home and got my car out to pick it up. Then there was a hose pipe, and a garden tool, don't know what it is but I will pass it on if I can't find a use for it. Isn't it a smashing little table, perfect, just the job.
Then they said there is an office chair if you want it. Yes please, I love office chairs. I love the way you can push them around the room to wherever you are working. They are much more comfortable than an ordinary straight backed chair which you have to lift to move. There is a damp patch where the rain dripped on it, but that will be dry in a day or two. It's like new, no signs of wear and tear. I am pleased with my new second hand stuff.

Yesterday I took a box full of stuff to the Age UK shop, so some out some in. There is no need to buy new stuff these days, most things you can get second hand if you are not in a hurry and look around.

My lunch today was done on the cheap. I bought a cauliflower yesterday, and made some soup with the leaves. I added two dessertspoons of porridge oats, a veg stock cube, shake of curry powder, and a dab of garlic puree. Eaten with a slice of wholemeal bread. Very nice and very cheap.

I'm off back down the road to see what else they are putting in that skip, they said to come back later and have a look. I love free stuff.
Toodle pip.


  1. The garden tool looks like a draw hoe. I would use it for planting seeds directly into a bed. Hope that helps!

  2. Brilliant - lucky day today eh?! I agree with your sentiments and I love the gazebo fabric bag. If the damp patch leaves a mark you can always make a patchwork square to put over the top - I made one for our chair to keep it clean as the topper is washable. Good luck with your skip diving.

  3. I am impressed with your shopping bags, and no gazebo in the landfill.

  4. Fabulous free finds, I love them. The potting tray is brilliant, I had one on my allotment and it was so useful.
    As for moving around on an office chair, it's like I'm at the funfair sometimes in my workroom as I whoosh around to different areas, great fun and saves getting up and down.

  5. What lucky finds. We rarely see a skip out here in the sticks and if we did it would probably just have rubble in it and we have plenty of that already!

  6. When we take stuff to the tip it really IS rubbish!
    Love the potting bench

  7. Well done you, great finds, just need a bit of courage to ask, but when I have thrown stuff away, I would rather someone actually took it to use. I was surprised to learn that you can eat the leaves from the cauliflower (I do use brocolli stalks, and have often wondered about the cauli leaves)

  8. Wow, love the potting table. There are always skips around here. I once got a blue bathroom washbasin which was larger than mine and mine had what seemed to be the beginnings of a crack in. I got a plumber to instal it and it's great. I think I am the only house in our close with the original bathroom and kitchen.

  9. I love reading blog. You give such good tips and ideas on how to live frugally while still having fun. Thank you so much!!!

  10. Nice haul, Ilona. Love the table. The hubby and I rarely shop new anymore. We do charity shops and garage sales. It does take a bit longer to look through things and sometimes you don't find what you are looking for, but it beats buying new cheaply made and easy to break items. As for the chair they are also fun to spin around in. :)

  11. Can`t beat a bit of free stuff! That potting table is a great find.

  12. You MADE those bags? Do you sleep? What you are able to do is very impressive, Ilona. I feel embarrassed that I buy those reusable bags. Is there a pattern you use?

  13. I feel sorry for the elderly relative, all their posessions that they accumulated in their lifetime being skipped in a day. I hope that they were happy to know that you've given some of their stuff another life Ilona. In fact it just shows how throwaway stuff is even someones treasured possessions.

    I like the gazebo bag and the patchwork quilt is brilliant. As hunter gatherers, is that not what we are here for? Should we not be making and mending instead of buying and binning?
    You could make your own heat pump with the hose. Bury it a few inches in the sunnyest part of the garden and as the sun warms it up heat will convect into your house.


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