Over 8.2 million people around the world have discovered that sometimes you can get what you want by leaving your wallet at home. Over 3,000 people in my city alone are members of Freecycle, an online network that makes it possible for people to give away or receive items for free. There are over 4800 groups worldwide, so there is sure to be one in your area. Simply visit www.freecycle.org and put in the name of your city. You can then join the group for your area and sign up to receive emails when people post items. The only catch is that no money be exchanged. Items must be offered free of charge. You may either post an item(s) you are wanting to give away, or post an item that you are looking for. I have used freecycle to give away a number of items, and have also picked up a few useful things, like dishes, Christmas decorations, diapers and a shelf unit.
You'd be amazed at the items people give away. If you don't mind an item being used, it's a great idea to check freecycle before purchasing it. It is also a good idea to ask a potential buyer to email you personally to arrange for pick-up of an item. Unless the item I'm giving away is too large, I usually opt to meet at another location rather than my home. Safety first!
If you do sign up for freecycle and receive an item for free, post your lucky find!