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Your Money: Top money saving tips for students from students

“The amount of money my friends wasted on transport when they needed to get to a lecture was crazy in my eyes. Look on Freecycle to get a bike for free. That’s where I found mine – it just needed new brake pads.”

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Bristol Herald Tribune:

Free Malaysia Today:18 things you can receive or donate in ‘Freecycle Malaysia’

The Freecycle Network (TFN) is a non-profit organisation registered in Arizona, US and as a charity in the United Kingdom. TFN coordinates a worldwide network of “gifting” groups to divert reusable goods from landfills.

Freecycling is a combination of two words – free and recycling. The whole idea is to offer items in good condition to other people, for free.

Indirectly, you get to save money and encourage community interaction, too. It’s a great concept.

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WTNH.com: Freebie Friday: Saving money on school supplies

Now if you’re logging on to shop – check out freecycle.org. This is a great resource when you’re looking to get rid of stuff – or find something at a discount. Check to see what’s available in your area. Teachers are also putting wish lists up there is you want to help them.

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The Guardian: Forget profit. It’s love and fun that drive innovations like Parkrun

If you want to get rid of your old table or cot, you might advertise it on your local Freecycle board. The world’s largest nonprofit recycling network, Freecycle has 5,000 gifting groups with 9.4 million members in 110 countries, including the Palestinian Authority. The global HQ for this vast operation is in Tucscon, Arizona, and has a grand total of two employees, including the chief executive. (They share the office with two other nonprofits, and if you ring, the CEO has to go outside so as not to disturb anyone.) They rely on 2,000 or so moderators, who run their boards for their communities for free.

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Dubois County Free Press: New online community helps people share, recycle

new online community designed to help people share stuff for free was recently launched by a Huntingburg resident.

Andrea Himsel decided to create a local FreeCycle group to support the community. She moderates a group on the FreeCycle site called “Huntingburg FreeCycle” although posting on it isn’t limited just to Huntingburg area. All surrounding communities are welcome to become members and use the service.

“I’ll accept members from Dubois, Martin, Crawford, Pike, Daviess, Orange, Spencer, Warrick and Perry Counties,” Himsel said.

It’s just getting started so there aren’t a lot of members yet

FreeCycle is a nonprofit company that launched in 2003 to allow people to connect to share things — household items, advice or help — for free with some semblance of anonymity if so desired.

According to the company’s website, the founder hit upon the idea of the online community while working for a nonprofit that helped businesses recycle unwanted items and equipment. He and other members of the team would approach various local nonprofits to see if they could use the items. They then decided to take the idea of sharing online and launched Freecycle.org through an e-mail group.

Himsel experienced first hand how helpful FreeCycle was to her when she headed to Indiana University after graduating from Jasper High School. She was attracted to using the service because of the recycling it helped to foster but also out of her own personal needs.

“Struggling financially and supporting myself while attending IU, I posted, ‘Wanted: Hard-boiled egg cooker,’” she explained. “I did not get a cooker, but some responses said, ‘Hey, you can just boil them in a regular pot!’”

Seems helpful but then she didn’t have any pots. However, that was remedied quickly with a couple more posts on the Bloomington FreeCycle page.

With pots in hand and eggs boiled, Himsel saw the benefit of the community.

“It was my first apartment my sophomore year and I spent a lot of money buying my textbooks so I started from scratch with my kitchenware,” she explained. “FreeCycle really made it a little easier after being shell-shocked moving from Jasper to Bloomington and experiencing homesickness.”

In addition to pots and pans, Himsel was able to find measuring spoons, dishes and other items needed for someone just getting started on her own as well as a trashcan for a friend. “The majority of what I asked for I received from like-minded people,” she said adding that wasting or trashing something should be a last resort. “Many things can be salvaged and made to look like new again with a little TLC.”

FreeCycle is similar to the free classifieds on Craigslist. It works well because it is moderated and with email, communication is a cinch. “No one will know your real name — only your email address and FreeCycle username — or your address unless you reveal it to them,” Himsel explained.

After becoming a member, you post an “Offer” of something to get for free and meet with a person who requests your item in a mutual location (such as at a park or another public place). Then, when you want to request something, you post a “Wanted” message for all the group’s members and, if someone has that item available, they can send you a message letting you know and you arrange pickup of the item.

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AARP: 25 Ways to Save on Shopping

20. Find free recyclables. Join your local chapter at Freecycle.org. Then see if someone wants to give away stuff you are about to buy. The New York City chapter recently listed a free “hardly used” portable crib that cost $60 new.

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The Times: Where can I buy a used mattress?

You may find a good secondhand one for nothing in a local Freecycle group (freecycle.org). You can advertise for a “want” or browse to see what’s on offer. I gave away a good mattress that way. Some people even offer to deliver.
Jane, via email

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The Week: Finding Free Stuff Online

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Stuff.co nz: There are some things charities just don’t want

Another way of redistributing your old stuff to people who need it is to hold a garage sale or give it away on a site like Neighbourly or The Freecycle Network.

According to Neighbourly Operations Director Sarah Moore there are lots of benefits of using the site. “Firstly – it’s completely free, we don’t charge for items to be traded,” she said. “Trading within your neighbourhood also means that items are generally pretty quick to be picked up and you’re not waiting for someone on the other side of town (or the country) to come and grab your kitchen sink!”

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