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Dec 252012
 December 25, 2012  Posted by  At Home, Home Improvement

Wouldn’t it be great if there were an easy way to give your unwanted but perfectly good stuff to someone who needed it? And a way to get stuff that’s perfect for you but doesn’t work for your neighbors any more?

There is, and it’s called Freecycle. It’s a great way to work with your neighbors to save money and save the environment by recycling within the community.

You can find a group near you at  Once your membership has been approved, you’ll receive an e-mail with instructions. Read through the rules and then offer items you’d like to give away and watch the postings for items you’d like to receive.

Each Freecycle group has its own personality and rules. It’s important to learn how your community works, so you’re better off reading the emails for a few weeks before you jump in.

Good items go quickly, and many Freecycle members have learned that it doesn’t pay to hold items for people because too many people don’t show up. It pays to be courteous and show up when you say you will.

If you’re not comfortable with having strangers come to you house, invite a friend over when you’re expecting someone to pick up you unwanted goods and take a friend with you when you visit other homes.

I have found Freecycle a good way to find new owners for large pieces of furniture you can’t sell on Craigslist, cleaning products, nonperishable food and other items I wanted to shed when I moved. In return, I’ve received a colorful Brazilian painting, the best lamp in my house and a full set of Crate & Barrel white dishes.

Teresa Mears

Teresa Mears is a website publisher, writer, blogger and editor who was raised to be frugal. In her 35 years as a journalist, she has written for papers ranging in size from the weekly Portland (Tenn.) Leader to The Los Angeles Times. She was an editor for the Miami Herald for more than 17 years, overseeing coverage of home, real estate, family and other subjects. She has also been a contributor to The New York Times, The Boston Globe, The Dallas Morning News and other publications. When she’s not writing about Florida deals, she writes and edits for MSN Money and does the Listed blog for MSN Real Estate. Teresa owns and operates Miami On The CheapFlorida On The CheapFort Lauderdale On The CheapPalm Beach On The CheapOrlando On The Cheap, Florida Keys On the Cheap and Jacksonville On The Cheap, as well as Baltimore on the Cheap and Washington, D.C., on the Cheap.

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