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3 Quick and Easy Tips on How to Find Free Stuff Anywhere

David has had a variety of life experiences, which he loves to share with his readers.

Just some of the free stuff that can be found on Craigslist.

Just some of the free stuff that can be found on Craigslist.

How to Get Free Stuff

So this isn't literally finding free stuff in your own backyard, but it's pretty close. You can find free stuff all around you, including on the internet.

Nothing is easier than to Google how to get free stuff. However, not all articles are for your own benefit. In fact, a lot receive pay for pushing free products that may not actually be free.

Instead, this article actually covers ways that you can find free stuff.

I'll do anything for free stuff.

— Sandra Bullock

This lava rock was just some of the free stuff I have found on Craigslist.

This lava rock was just some of the free stuff I have found on Craigslist.

Get Free Stuff on Craigslist

Craigslist is one of the most common places to find free stuff. At one point I needed some lava rock and I found some for free on Craiglist. However, there are some catches with obtaining free stuff on Craigslist.

  • You will have to go pick up the free stuff yourself. In a smaller city that won't be too much of a trouble, but in a larger city that can be quite a drive. You will have to ask yourself, will the cost in gas and time be worth the free stuff you are about to get?
  • You really don't know what you may get. Even with a picture, you really don't know the condition of the item until you go see for yourself. If it's in bad shape or not as advertised, then you will walk away empty handed. You can't complain either, since it was free stuff in the first place.
  • Meeting people on the internet is dangerous business. There have been numerous stories of bad things happening when people meet based on ads formed on Craigslist. If you do plan to go this route, try to bring someone else with you and let others know what you are doing.

Phone apps like Nextdoor and Facebook can also be utilized to get some free stuff.

A typical alleyway where you can find free stuff.

A typical alleyway where you can find free stuff.

Find Free Stuff in Alleyways

Alleyways can be another good place to find some free stuff. People typically dump their bulky items they don't want anymore in the alley. Why? Because they know most times people will take it away and use it for themselves. I have found some great free things in alleyways. However there are some dangers in that as well.

  • Do you know where the alleyways are in your city? Not all cities have them. I was fortunate enough to move into a house that had a alleyway behind it. You may have to drive around your area or look at a city map to find them. It may be too much work though.
  • Alleyways can be dangerous places. If people want to avoid being seen, they will go down an alleyway. So if you plan to go down an alleyway, do so in your car and go very slowly to avoid hitting anyone. If you see something you want, jump out of your car (taking your car keys as well), toss it into your car, and drive away. Don't spend time looking at the item. Just take it and go.
  • You never know what is wrong with the item. You don't have the advantage to ask about it. You don't know how long it has been in the elements, so you have no idea what could be wrong with it when the person threw it out. It's good to clean the item before you use it.
  • Go behind businesses. Businesses tend to have their own alleyways. They throw out boxes, garbage, and other things that you can salvage. Most don't mind it as it's less waste for them to have to deal with. You can also ask store employees when they dispose of items so you can be prepared ahead of time.
Someone doing some dumpster diving for free stuff.

Someone doing some dumpster diving for free stuff.

Go Dumpster Diving for Free Stuff

Probably one of the more popular ways to get get free stuff is going dumpster diving. It's risky, but can be well worth it if you put in the effort.

  • Dumpster diving could be illegal. You need to research the laws behind it before you start doing it. Depending where the dumpsters are at, like an apartment complex or business, they may prohibit dumpster diving.
  • You are digging through trash. You may push past used diapers, rotten food, or anything that you throw away on a daily basis. Most people tend to use a stick or a grabbing device to grab what they want, while avoiding the disgusting trash around it. But you have to clean the item very well before using it.
  • Take a phone with you. This allows you to look up stuff you find to see if it's valuable or worth reselling. Plus it's a good way to track routes to hit the most dumpsters in the shortest amount of time.
  • There is a stigma behind dumpster diving. People give those that dumpster dive looks and think less of them. So you probably don't want to admit you dig through dumpsters to find the free stuff that you do. Then again, it's a common thing now a days, so some people may not even care.

Even More Free Stuff

Like I said in the beginning of the article, you can Google how to find free stuff and you will find numerous articles and videos that tell you how to do it. Not all of them can be trusted, so that is at your own risk. Sometimes free really isn't free at all.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2012 David Livermore


David Livermore (author) from Bakersfield, California, United States on November 07, 2012:

I know I never socialized in my apartment complex, yet people would always dump good pieces of furniture by the dumpster. I had a good view of it, and sure enough it would be gone within a few hours! Thank's for your comment.

Kawika Chann from Northwest, Hawaii, Anykine place on November 07, 2012:

Lol... dumpster diving... nobody admits to it but everyone's been tempted a few times... lol. Awesome piece. I agree on driving through apartments - a little more upscale ones will have furniture and other items that they just can't take with them, and sadly most people in apartments don't socialize. Ergo, items are always left off of the truck. Nice work. Voted you up and funny. Peace. Kawi.

Jessica Peri from United States on November 06, 2012:

I never would have thought of compiling this sort of information in one place. And I certainly didn't know people put free items on Craigslist! I know here sometimes people leave unwanted things on the edge of their driveway, especially close to a bulk day. Thanks for sharing!

Robin Edmondson from San Francisco on November 06, 2012:

Craigslist has always been the best option for us; I'm definitely not up for dumpster diving! Have you ever tried freecycle? I actually haven't, but have heard it's a great website for finding free things. Thanks for the information!