Let's revisit mindset (if you are not familiar with the term please click on the "Getting Down to Business" link above).
Shopping list mindset:
- Budget - You don't have to pay more than you are willing to pay. Don't settle. If you have a budget...stick to it! There is no reason to spend more than you want (or can afford) to.
- Abundance - There is more than enough of everything in the world. You just have to find it. If you go looking for it you will find it (eventually). We have.
- Patience - Finding what you want may take longer than you initially want to wait. This is part of the process and mindset of getting things for "as free as can be". People pay for convenience. If you have the money and are willing to pay...go for it. But, if you don't have the money to pay for it (or don't want to pay a lot for it)...wait for it! It will come to you. We know that some of you may not believe this. If we could tell you all of our stories, maybe you would begin to believe. Better yet, follow our blog and see where and how we get stuff for "as free as can be."
- Let go of perfection - No one is perfect. You won't make "perfect" things. Go with the flow and let things work itself out. It will turn out great in the end. Your goal is to make it as great as it can be but don't beat yourself up when it doesn't turn out exactly the way you wanted it to. Learn from what you didn't like about it and move on.
- Evaluate - After doing a project, think about it. Ask yourself questions: Was there something I didn't like? What could I have done better? Is there a cheaper way it could have been done?, etc. Evaluating will help you to fine tune and hone your skills.
- OPEN YOUR MOUTH - Tell people you are looking for free things (and be specific, you do not want a bunch of junk piling up in your home that you are not ever going to use). If you don't tell people that you are looking for free things, how are you going to get it? Tell people. The more helpers you have the better! People will actually become happily involved in helping you to acquire free things. Start recruiting!
- Trash-to-treasure (ttt) - Trash is an excellent place to find FREE items. ONE MAN'S TRASH IS ANOTHER MAN'S TREASURE. Look past what you initially see and look for the potential. IT'S ABOUT WHAT IT COULD BE not what it is. This is a key "mindset" to have in order to be successful at "as free as can be," (see the "Getting down to business" tab to read more about "mindset).
- Bulk trash-different neighborhoods put large items out on their driveways to be taken away as trash (FREE).
- Curb alert-often found on craigs list. An"alert" is posted when FREE items are put out.
- Random trash-people often leave items out on the sidewalk/driveway marked FREE.
- Dollar finds ($) - We love Dollar Stores (DS). Some stores like Target and Michaels have dollar and value sections. We also love Goodwill Stores (GW). GW has dollar days once a week. They also have half off everything in the store on certain days (contact your local GW store to find out exact days). Salvation Army (SA) also has dollar days that you can take advantage of. You can also find great deals at other stores as well. We try to spend a dollar or less on each item we purchase. We will pay more for an item but only if we REALLY want it (emphasis on the really). Larger items usually cost more than a dollar when purchasing (but don't limit yourself...we have come to find that we can get larger items for less). Pay attention to what is available in your area. If you are not sure about it...ask someone. Ask a random person you see at a store who looks like they might be an "as free as can be" shopper. Ask someone using coupons (it's a good place to start).
- Garage Sales (GS) - Garage sales are excellent places to find great deals. Don't be afraid to haggle your way to a better deal. What's the worse that could happen? They tell you "no" and you pay their original price. What's one of the best things that could happen? They knock down the price to a crazy, ridiculously awesome price that is "as free as can be". What's the greatest thing that can happen? They give it to you for free (yes, it has happened!)
- Hand-me-Down (HMD) - One of our all-time favorites. Friends give you stuff that they don't want or need anymore. It's one step up from trash-to-treasure. You don't have to go digging for it.
- Craig's List (CL) - Craigslist.com is an excellent resource to find things for free. It is a free website. They have a "free" page located within their sale item area. You can find great deals. We find tons of "as free as can be" stuff on Craigslist.