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How To Find Free Stuff And Help Your Neighbors With The Buy Nothing Project

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We have all struggled with money at one point or another. Throw kids into the mix and you have a whole new category of expenses going out the door every single month.

Sure, there are tons of thrift stores, but what if you could find what you needed from your fellow neighbors for FREE? That’s why I’m telling you about this fantastic project called¬†Buy Nothing.

I have not been asked or solicited to promote The Buy Nothing Project. It has merely been a huge help with my family.

What Is Buy Nothing?

All of us are constantly looking for ways to save money. When a mom friend told me about this group, I was skeptical. There are a few online sources I look through to purchase used items, but each one of them has presented either a scam (hello Craigslist – no thank you!) or other terrible experiences (OfferUp).

But as soon as I joined my local Buy Nothing group, I was amazed at the generosity of my neighbors gifting furniture, used or new clothing, random baby supplies, books, and about anything and everything you can think of – all for free!

“Buy Nothing Groups = Random Acts of Kindness All Day Long” Buy Nothing Project

Buy Nothing is broken up into cities or neighborhoods (depending on the area) and is worldwide. All you need to do is search Facebook or check The Buy Nothing Project locations on their website. If a group exists in your area, just send a join request on Facebook, and you’re in!

Examples of items from my group being gifted this week.

How Does It Work?

Here is how it works:

  1. People post items they no longer need in the Facebook group.
  2. Anybody who is interested in being gifted the item posts a comment to be considered.
  3. The giver will then select a recipient, and that’s it!

The way the giver chooses the recipient (most use a random number generator or pull a name out of a hat) and the amount of time the giver provides for people to show interest is entirely up to them. If you are chosen for the item, you merely PM (private message through Facebook Messenger) the giver for pickup information and timing.

And if you have anything you are about to donate or throw out, you can post the item(s) to see if anybody is interested in taking it/them off your hands – I have rarely seen an item with absolutely nobody responding with interest (even lawn mowers in need of work and broken furniture some may up-cycle to something new).

Gifting items is always met with so much gratitude, no matter how big or small the gift may be. In this group, I also feel much more secure that I will not be scammed, and I have had very few less than great experiences (except for disappointment when I am not selected for something I would have really loved to receive).

In my group, I have been selected to be gifted furniture, lamps, clothes (toddler, maternity, women’s and men’s), baby items (play mat and toys), a rice cooker, fruit and vegetable juicer, cookie press, art supplies, shoes (women’s and toddler), books (board books and others) and others.  I make sure to pass it on by either re-gifting the items I was gifted after I am no longer in need of them or when I have something I no longer use.

My Buy Nothing group is broken down into about a three mile radius since there is so much interest in my area (which is very nice for travel time). Although I can’t guarantee the quality or amount of involvement for every group, I know that I am very grateful to my mom friend for sharing that this project existed. Feel free to check for a Buy Nothing group near you!


3 thoughts on “How To Find Free Stuff And Help Your Neighbors With The Buy Nothing Project”

  1. I echo your enthusiasm for the Buy Nothing Project. With Craig’s List I quickly learned that one out of every two people who said they would swing by got distracted somehow. It typically seemed to take two to three days to get things to migrate to their new homes. The convention on CL is that the first person who replies gets first dibs. Not so on Buy Nothing, unless you say “FLASH GIVE”. The beauty of the person being within three miles is things can be gone within fifteen minutes.

    My favorite give was to a clinic that asked for extra medical first aid supplies to go overseas; it made me happy to see the ace bandages were not camping out in my closet for five more years. They ask included Ziplock bags; I was _so_ happy to get them out of the garage and to a good home after two years.

    My impulse to invest in six boxes them at Costco Ziplock sounded great, until I realized that small plastic containers fit sandwiches and goldfish crackers perfectly. Those could go through the dishwasher and then it’s reuse, reuse, reuse!

    I did not knock on the door to say thanks in person, for doing the collection of medical supplies. I may be wrong, but it seems to be conventional on Buy Nothing to not meet in person. This is great to build online community, but it might be fun to meet environment friendly neighbors.

    Thanks for spreading the word about this Facebook page!

    1. I’m so glad that you also have had a great experience with the group! Sometimes I will see people doing a collection for an apartment building that burned down (toothbrushes, food, clothing, etc for the victims) or a recently homeless family living out of their car that desperately need food. It’s a very caring and wonderful community.

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