Free Stuff, At What Cost?

While getting free stuff is awesome, is it always worth it?  I’m obviously talking about time and convenience here, not money.  Free is free, right?

Don’t get me wrong, I love free stuff!  I get hand-me-downs from friends all the time and I feel like a kid at Christmas when I get a whole bag to look through!  It’s easy when the free stuff is coming from people you know, but it’s a different story when you’re dealing with strangers.  I’m in my local Freecycle group and am in a number of free/for trade Facebook groups.  If you’re lucky enough to be the recipient of free items, you have to take the time to schedule a meeting with a stranger.

Will they deliver or do you have to pick up?  Will it fit in your car?  Do you have any friends with a truck or do you need to rent one to pick up furniture?  Do you go to their home or is it safer to meet in a public place? How far do you have to drive?  How long do you wait if they don’t show up?

While I’m more likely to be giving away free things in these groups, I recently jumped on the opportunity to score a free cardboard cat scratcher, catnip, and some cat toys.  Any unused toys would be donated to the shelter I volunteer at.  So we set up a public meeting place for the next day during a 15 minute window.  My husband and I get there early and stay about 10 minutes after the window passed.  She didn’t show up.

So not only did we wake up extra early to pick this stuff up before my husband had to be to work at 6:45am, we wasted 30 minutes, and we wasted gas by sitting in a parking lot while the car was running so we could have heat.  The lady apologized profusely and offered to reschedule but at that point, it wasn’t worth wasting anymore of my time.

Free?  At what cost?

My cats didn’t really need catnip or new toys, but the shelter I volunteer at really could use more.  My cats sure could use another cat scratcher though, I guess I’ll have to make my own!  I’ve got enough cardboard boxes sitting in our storage closet to make one of these (actually more like 10).

Homemade Cat Scratcher by PlanetJune

Are you part of any free stuff groups?  Have you experienced a “no show” either selling or picking something up?

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2 thoughts on “Free Stuff, At What Cost?

    • I’ve pinned one on Pinterest for a round one but I imagine a rectangular one would be easier. Just cut long pieces of the same height (an inch or so) and glue or tape together. Maybe I’ll try making one tomorrow!

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