They say beggars can’t be choosers – I say what a crock! When you’re trying to save up – for a homestead fund in my case, but it can be for anything at all – then you want to cut back on your spending…sometimes, a LOT. This often means finding the things you need, used…at a big discount, and sometimes even for free! It DOESN’T mean that you should sacrifice quality because you’re spending little to no money. There are may places where you can acquire used items for free, or for next to nothing (check out freecycle, craigslist, kijiji…and if you live in the Halton Hills area of Ontario, Georgetown has a hidden little gem called WasteWise, where you can find tons used stuff at rock bottom price if you’re not afraid to get your hands a little dirty!)… but you should be diligent in make sure you’re not taking on someone else’s problem, or something that’s broken or only works some of the time.
Case in point: At our new showroom, there is a loft attached to the workshop where we build the cabinets. The loft only has a half-wall, and so a lot of wood dust and dirt gets up there. We want to use this space as a sort of Staff Room, so we can’t have dust and wood chips flying all over the place… and yet, we don’t want to spend tons of money to equip this place. So easily enough, I found a few things we need online – a FREE pair of floor length curtains someone was getting rid of ….Free is good, but not if they’re ripped or torn or stained beyond repair. They were in perfect condition…other than an almost woven-in odor of curry…nothing a good wash and a few hours on the clothes line won’t fix… I hope! So that will help fix the issue of dust by covering the opening above the half-wall. I was also able to find a refrigerator for $20, a microwave oven for $10, and a coffee maker for $10…all older models, but all in perfect working condition.
Also, don’t let your pride get in your way…if you need something, get off your high horse and get it. In our town, we have “bulk garbage” day once a month…this is where people will put large pieces at the curb – appliances, televisions, furniture – most often in good shape, they just don’t have any use for it and it saves them a trip to the thrift store. Don’t be too proud to take it …nobody will laugh or point fingers, even though you may strongly believe otherwise. Our partners found a huge black leather sectional sofa that way, with absolutely nothing wrong with it! It cleaned up perfectly and now resides in the loft. In no time at all, we’re have a perfectly equipped staff room, and we won’t have broken the bank to get it! We may be beggars (of sorts), but we are also most definitely choosers!