Saturday, September 18, 2010

A Month of Free

Our first month, Shawn and I agreed that we would keep open minds to anything God brought our way for free.  Now, you may already know this isn't a huge change for us, since Shawn is a bit of a ..ahem..scavenger anyway.  But what we set out to do was find how many different things are out there for free.  This will be an ongoing journey, I'm sure.

Now, August was a great month to do this challenge, since there was lots of extra garden produce to be had.  We picked left over crab apples from a friend's house.  Normally I would never go to the effort of trying to do something with crab apples, but this year I made a zillion things to freeze and keep.  We picked raspberries to freeze as well, and put away more rhubarb than I am sure has ever been compiled in one location before!  Good thing we all like rhubarb crisp!  Of course, there was also lots of lettuce, cucumbers, carrots and zucchini to go around too.  What I found was that if I was willing to use what others had extra of, there is a lot of selection out there for free.

Cool as it is, extra garden veggies in August is not the surprising part.  When we got a phone call asking us if we'd like a commercial cooler, we said yes!  Now our informal meat shop that we as a family, and our circle of hunting friends use, has a huge cooler.  When we were asked if we would use a camper, we said Yes!  Now we will have a 6 person camper to use next summer.  Shawn found a lawnmower, several bikes and a powerwheels jeep.  I was given a huge load of hand-me-down clothes for our son, and a tricycle for our youngest that only needs a few bolts tightened to be as good as new.  We found that if we were willing to invest just a little bit of our time, to clean or tune-up something, we could have a great find.

I'll admit that I needed to get over my own pride.  Taking what someone else is done with, or has left over, was sometimes hard.  But why should it be?  Its greener and more economical!  This is a change in perspective for me.  Its not that I can't go buy something, its that I choose not to.  I am choosing to live simply in order to pay off debts quickly.

At the end of our first month, we haven't saved a huge sum, but we did not go into any more debt, which was an improvement I will take as progress.  By sending us so much for free, I felt that God was encouraging us to keep going, to trust that there will be more progress.

So, I challenge you....what can you find for free?

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