View Full Version : Free things

04-13-2011, 04:01 PM
What is the best 'free' thing you ever got that was really free?

Any really interesting free things you have discovered lately?

04-13-2011, 04:06 PM

Okay, okay. I've gotten a few books for free, and some really nice editions for one or two dollars at library book sales (donated books, not library editions).

Someone gave me a nice wooden storage barn a few years ago. I think those things are worth $1000 to $2000 if you have one built.

04-13-2011, 04:11 PM

Okay, okay. I've gotten a few books for free, and some really nice editions for one or two dollars at library book sales (donated books, not library editions).

Someone gave me a nice wooden storage barn a few years ago. I think those things are worth $1000 to $2000 if you have one built.

Man who thinks sex is free is dilusional

04-13-2011, 04:12 PM
I'm getting a mini food processor(new). The lady never bother to use it so, my mom's partner(it's his aunt) is getting it for me.

I've had many books given to me over the years, fabric for quilting... too much to remember actually.

04-13-2011, 04:13 PM

You pay for that!:tongue:evil

04-13-2011, 04:29 PM
The most interesting thing to spring to my mind is apples.
My host father in Mali would hide one up his sleeve every now and then and produce it like a magician after we ate dinner.
He knew I liked them, and they were very difficult to get in our village.
He was a bit of a sweetheart.

04-13-2011, 04:37 PM
Each and every cuddly hug from my kids.

04-13-2011, 04:41 PM
My first dog. I found her in a parking lot.

04-13-2011, 05:47 PM
When I was twelve I went trick or treating on Halloween, and someone gave me a stray tom cat.

I managed to sneak it home in the backseat of the car without my father knowing. Fortunately he was used to me spontaneously breaking out in weird cartoon voices, or singing off the wall songs, such as the Meow Mix commercial. The fact that he didn't pick up on the fact some parts of the jingle were in stereo attests to the fact he had long since learned to tune me out.

Tarantulas. I love it when my friends give me free tarantulas. :D

04-13-2011, 05:56 PM
*imagines some old cat lady tossing a spare cat in wicked's bag*

04-13-2011, 06:29 PM
A few years ago, a local radio station held a contest called Lunch & A Limo.

I won a *free* 2-hour cruise which included a fantastic lunch and a limo ride to and from the dock for my entire office.

That was pretty cool.

(Of course, the winner was chosen from the person who submitted the best essay stating why they thought they deserved to win - Who says writing doesn't pay?) :D

04-13-2011, 07:44 PM
Laverne, that's a seriously good freebie!

Mine are mundane. Books. A cat whose owner couldn't take her where she was going. Some wine glasses.

Oh, wait, I've got one, which I've received many times: really insightful critique and/or beta reads.

Maryn, who appreciates them enormously

Jess Haines
04-13-2011, 11:47 PM
My green ringneck parrot, Booger.

He's a delight. :D

04-14-2011, 12:30 AM
A piano, and mushrooms. :D

And unfortunately, a number of "free" cats, all given up by young people who just HAD to have a cat while they were at university, and found out when they graduated that cats live longer than it takes to go through school. Kids, please, please, please! Wait until you're somewhat settled in life before you take on the responsibility of an animal that will live for fifteen or more years, and save everyone some heartache.

As for the piano and mushrooms:

Written on October 19, 2006

I picked Ally and Irene (daughter and friend) up from their youth group retreat, and drove Irene home. Ally and I were heading home and we were about to turn the corner when we saw a piano sitting on the grass beside the side of the road.

Now, that's where folks usually leave stuff that they couldn't sell in a garage sale, hoping that someone will take it away, or at the very least, the garbage collectors will pick it up Monday morning with the trash. We've seen a lot of neat stuff by the curb, and picked up more than a bit of it, but I've never seen a piano before. It didn't look to be in bad shape, so I stopped the car.

I looked at the piano. Ally looked at the piano. Ally got out of the car and played a few notes. She came back and said, "Want to pull into the driveway and ask them why they've got a piano on their front lawn?"

So I did.

Happens he left it there, hoping someone would come along and take it away. He'd bought the instrument a few years ago when his kids decided they wanted to learn how to play the piano. They took two years of lessons, and then decided they wanted to get into skateboarding. Since then, the piano had been stored in the garage, but now he wanted the space.

Now, if you've priced pianos lately, you'll know we're not talking a few bucks here--we're talking a few hundred even for a cheap one. And I had this empty piano-shaped space in my living room. No ways was I going to pass up the chance to fill it with a free piano.

We were at a loss at how to get it home. A piano is heavy enough to break the springs on a normal vehicle, even if the vehicle in question is big enough to hold the piano, and if you've got enough strong men to lift the piano or push it up a ramp. We brought back our neighbour's van, along with Ally's dad (Bill), but there was no way that piano was going to get into that van with just the three of us.

We asked him if he would store it in his garage for a day or so while I tried to round up some friends from work, so he brought out his dolly, we wrestled it on to the dolly, and lo and behold! The three of us easily (okay, with a fair amount of effort) were able to move the piano.

It's about 2.5 km from the place where we found the piano to home, but it was pavement all the way, so when David (oldest son) got home, the three of us set out to walk the piano home. Bill's sorry he didn't get a picture (we thought about it after the piano was home), but we were quite a sight.

I was sore for a couple of days afterwards, but for 3/4 of an hour's work from the three of us, I got a piano that's in reasonable condition, considering. It needs to be tuned, of course, and one string needs to be replaced when I decide to get around to it, but the sound board is in good shape, and the sound of the instrument is quite good for a small piano.

So I got a free piano on Sunday, and we took it for a walk. Doesn't everyone take their piano for a walk? :D

As for the mushrooms, a few years' worth of Saturdays later, my kids, my parents and I were at St. Jacob's market, when the guy in the mushroom booth started chatting with my parents. He said he'd give us free mushrooms if we sang, "Row, row, row your boat" for him. Dad started, of course. Next Mom, then me, then Ally. Bill and David wandered off and pretended not to know us. :tongue

04-14-2011, 01:55 AM
I love that piano story, Yeshanu. Enjoy!

Maryn, who had lessons 50 years ago

04-14-2011, 07:01 AM
I actually get a lot of stuff free. Free is my favourite price to pay for anything. :D

I have a fantastic washer and dryer, most of my furniture, a lot of my clothing...

Oh, and another great story is the Great Wool Caper of '95. Newly separated and lacking money to buy Christmas gifts for the kiddies, I thought I'd make them. So I advertised in the church bulletin, asking for odds and ends of wool to make gifts with. I got so many boxes of wool that my daughter and I just finished using them up last year...

Yet another story involves Christmas trees. Not the kind that you buy in the stores or a greenhouse waiting to be decorated, but the ones standing in the stores, fully decorated, to show you how Martha Stewart does Christmas.

One year, my youngest son's babysitter left her abusive husband. She moved to an apartment nearby, but it was really bare. And I longed so much for a Christmas tree to brighten it up. I looked in Value Village, but all I could afford was a cheap little plastic tabletop model that would do more to depress her than no decorations at all. So I cried, and I prayed.

December 24th, the phone rings. It's our minsiter, wanting to know if anyone I knew could use a fully decorated Christmas tree. Um...

The local Canadian Tire was giving away their show trees to needy families. So I said, "Yes!" and went down and picked out a really special one for Maria--it had candy cane lights and toy trains and all sorts of wonderful things. They delivered the tree and a turkey that afternoon to Maria's house. She invited us all for turkey dinner on New Year's Eve.

The following year, same phone call, and another friend was the recipient. The third and last year, I was selfish, and chose a tree for myself. The tree itself didn't survive the cats, but I still have more decorations than I can use, even after sharing them with friends and family.

Haven't done anything like that in a while. It's past time, don't you think? :D (And just writing about these exploits, which are only a few of the many that have enlivened my life, have made me realize that I'm totally weird. Anyone else get that impression?)

04-14-2011, 07:47 AM
Man who thinks sex is free is dilusional

Or woman.

04-14-2011, 07:58 AM
I don't get a lot of free stuff... But my mom won $1000 on a radio contest a few years ago. It was kinda cool. :)


04-14-2011, 08:03 AM
The office where I worked moved from this big building that had a kitchen to one that didn't. My bosses kept a lot of stuff there because they were super cooks and actually did these elaborate lunches. Anyway, they got rid of most of their stuff... including a Champion Juicer (http://www.championjuicer.com/). That baby was worth over $200, and they let me just cart it off home! Score.

My lesser find, though more entertaining, was in the college dorms. I had this incredibly sucky desk chair that came with my half of a room. Well, one night my friend and I are out wandering around campus, when we spot this dumpster filled with old office crap. I look up and I say, "Hey, that looks like a nice chair." Thus began our dumpster-diving odyssey which ended with the two of us carting this ancient, hideously heavy metal chair all the way across campus and up multiple flights of stairs.

That chair was crap, too.

Kitty Pryde
04-14-2011, 08:14 AM

Other than that, I have won some great tickets on website giveaways--my sweetie and I have seen The Ditty Bops, Morcheeba, LL Cool J, and Lisa Lampanelli (the comedian) from various ticket giveaways. We both love LL Cool J and telling her I'd won the tickets and we were going to get to see him was half the fun. I was making her guess who it was, and I said it was like the hunkiest musician known to mankind, and she couldn't guess, and then I told her he is fond of licking his lips and she guessed LL before I had even finished my sentence :D Lisa Lampanelli had toured through town before but her tickets are really pricy and we had never been able to go so that was really rad too.

Other than that, bookshelves and other furniture and a computer and even a bigass tv. Funny story of passing tvs around: We had a medium size tv, and our friend had gotten a big-screen tv, then moved it to his room because his roommate hogged it, then the roommate got a big-screen tv for their living room, leaving our friend with a spare merely-huge tv, which we took. We donated Medium TV to the common room at my partner's work (apartment building for folks with disabilities, the common room is where the on-call night staff hang around waiting to help folks out). It was much appreciated and many bad sitcom reruns were enjoyed by all. Until one day partner's boss called her in to proudly announce that someone had donated a Really Awesome Flat Screen TV! And it could go in the common room! For everyone to watch! Awesome TV Of Awesomesauce! My partner brought the enormous box over to that building. Everyone was gathered around for the Great Awesome Donated Flat Screen TV Unveiling! Partner was already planning where she could dump poor old unloved Medium TV. All breaths were held as she slit the tape and rummaged around in the peanuts, only to reveal...a flatscreen tv the size of a notebook. In all the hullabaloo someone had forgot to mention it was a kitchen under-cabinet teensy tv. I think it's still sitting in the box in a closet somewhere. (In case you're curious, it couldn't be donated to any of her clients because they all own jumbo flatscreens.)

04-14-2011, 08:30 AM
H'mm, free things. We were given a van once. It was nice.

One year at my husband's job, someone got people together and donated a couple thousand dollars to us one Christmas. Been given lots of furniture. Matter of fact, I don't think I've bought much in the last few years.

Freecycle is awesome. Got a nice twin/full bunkbed, sofa table, roller skates, bathroom medicine cabinet, snow boots, CDs, et cetera, there.

Of course, those are just things, and very much appreciated in their way. My favorite free thing is when the kids come up and spontaneously give me a massage. And the extra hour I get after Daylight Savings Time. :)

Wayne K
04-14-2011, 08:38 AM
A house. Not to keep, for 9 months, but considering they only knew us for a few months it was very generous

Devil Ledbetter
04-14-2011, 05:23 PM
Two great free things:

1. An upright Story & Clark school piano. My husband's school, which can no longer afford music programs and had no teachers who played (:() had several to give away. My husband asked the custodian what they would do with the pianos nobody took. "They make a great bonfire," the custodian said.

We paid him $50 to deliver one to our house. That was in 2006. Both of my children play that piano every day.

2. A KitchenAid stand mixer, inherited from my MIL. We use it two or three times a week. Love that thing! It's a workhorse.

04-14-2011, 08:20 PM
I just got a free lunch. Went to MacDonald's and found out my bank account was $2 short of what I needed. The cashier (who happens to be a friend) spotted me for the lunch. She said she wouldn't get in trouble--that the managers do it all the time. The manager was right behind her and smiled at me and told me to enjoy my meal, so I'm guessing she's right. I sure hope so.

04-15-2011, 01:25 AM
Oh, yes, we got a free full size keyboard once. The middle school my husband works at were upgrading to new ones, and just gave away the old.

They also gave away air hockey tables, and I could kick myself for not snatching one of those!

04-15-2011, 01:34 AM
A kitten followed me home from the school bus once, and stuck around for about 10 years.

I've won two iPods in my time as well. That's about it for freebies.