Buy Nothing Groups

In my post about quitting Amazon, I completely forgot to mention a crucial change I made that has also helped me save money in the process. I joined a Buy Nothing group for my neighborhood on Facebook that has helped me score a lot of things that I would have normally wasted money trying out and maybe even later realized they weren’t what I expected or suffered as my kids inevitably made a mess on some of these brand new items. What you do is search Facebook for “Buy Nothing” followed by your community name or neighborhood. You can also join a regular neighborhood Facebook page and see if any listings get shared on there was in the case that your neighborhood hasn’t made a Buy Nothing page yet. If you are looking for something in particular, you can make a post writing “ISO” (in search of) followed by what you need. If someone posts an item, they usually want you to commit to picking it up within the next day and be punctual about the time you agree on. I saved about 600.00 in one month by keeping my alerts on for this group. I was able to land myself a couch, pregnancy pillow and a play mat that were all on my shopping list anyway. The couch and pillow were both practically new and the play mat just looks like any item that has been used by kids in the past. Some people are skeptical about getting used items but the warehouses where you often get your new shipped items from aren’t always spic n span. They often use formaldehyde on clothes to keep them from getting musty so you need to do a wash when you get them anyway and there have been cases where people get new items that have bugs in them. Just this past weekend I saw an Instagram post circulating where some website, I think it’s called something along the lines of Pretty Things, shipped clothes with fleas in them. If your item has a hard surface like the mat, you can just wiped them down with Clorox wipes or get an alcohol spray bottle and paper towels to clean them. With a large item like the couch, I did both disinfect it with sprayed down alcohol and a rag as well as extensive vacuuming. Something that you May want to invest in when you are going to be thrifty is a good vacuum with a suction nozzle such as the ones meant for pet hair and perhaps even a steamer. If you are concerned about bugs, make sure you vacuum as meticulously as possible, then empty the contents into a garbage or ziplock bag and dispose of it immediately.
I have to say that I babysat for years before having kids so I’m a cheapo with furniture because I know what kids do to it. I’ve gotten snide remarks about it before. The couch came from someone in the neighborhood who was moving and didn’t manage to sell her practically new couch in time so she offered it for free in the neighborhood group for whoever would move it out of the apartment by the time she needed to leave. We now had a nice new couch and within a week someone spilled something on it. Later on, my daughter threw up on it. If we had spent 500-1000 on a couch and that happened I’d be have been grouchy but I’m a friendly TV like mom, googling the best way to get stains and odors out of upholstery because all it cost me was some manual labor in moving it in. It’s at times like this that I congratulate myself for having foresight and sticking to my guns. That’s what gives me the strength laugh off “subtle” comments. It’s also why I stay in those neighborhood groups despite the occasional nosy neighbors and Stars Hollow like characters that show up.

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