How to Get Everything For Free | Buy Nothing Groups, Time Banks, & Craigslist, Oh My! – EP 31

FREE; it’s our favorite four letter word! Even better than spending less, is spending nothing – and today we’re talking about how you can get everything you need for free! From ‘buy nothing’ groups, swaps, time banks, freecycle, and Craigslist – there are plenty of options for finding resources and items you want without spending a dime. Join us as we explore all the ways we can experience the joy of free!!


  • Cook Smarts: It’s a meal planning service that provides recipes, instructions, weekend prep options, and a shopping list for 4 meals per week.
    • You can start with 3 free weeks of meal plans if you sign up at
    • AND use promo code: frugal for 25% off your purchase!
  • Groups: looking for information that you can’t find on Google? Ask a group of people. You can find groups on Facebook, at Panera, in a library, or maybe, if you’re brave, on Reddit. Groups can help you find a recipe, move apartments, watch your kids, and figure out complicated concepts when Google does nothing but confuse you. Groups, they give you more than what you want, they give you what you need.

Notable Notes:

  • What the Internet has to say:
    • This article from Organizing Moms gives a great run-down on what to expect from online ‘buy nothing’ groups. Included are some tips when joining, and things to be prepared for.
  • What Jen and Jill have to say:
    • Buy nothing groups may help you identify items you can part with, that you may not have considered donating before! #minimalism
    • Be aware that just like FB marketplace or online yard sales, people might get upset if they are not chosen to receive any given item. BUT good moderators can help with this.
    • Buy nothing groups help to reduce waste by giving something not in use a good home, rather than go to the landfill
    • A great, and unexpected perk of buy nothing groups is getting to know your town better
    • There’s so much GRATITUDE in the group, which a really cool aspect of these communities
    • Check out the Buy Nothing Project for these groups in your area
  • More from the Internet
    • This information from the Time Banks’ website itself, gives detail on what this concept of a ‘time bank’ is, how it works, and ways you can get involved. For those not familiar – time banks allow people to exchange services by giving and receiving of their time to assist others with various needs.
  • More from Jen and Jill
    • We love the assistance and kindness time banks can offer; it’s basically bartering, but with services!
    • You can also check out time banks near you at the following websites
    •  We appreciate the core values of time banks including:
      • assets (everyone has value)
      • redefining work
      • reciprocity
      • community/social networks
      • respect
    • You do not receive until you give, and then it is a 1-1 exchange regarding hours. It’s a great system!

BILL OF THE WEEK –  Thank you Michelle for sharing your bill of the week, and your great tip about!

Tips from Jen and Jill on getting things for FREE!

  • Foraging! Check out this article for some inspiration:  
  • Check out the ‘free’ section on Craigslist
  • Use Rideshare to score free rides to the places you need to go
  • Check out rummage sales near you!
  • If you are real brave, definitely consider exploring some dumpsters near universities in December and May when students are moving out and trashing some treasures!
  • Check out furniture banks for some free larger items

Friends Book Club: It’s December and we are reading “The Millionaire Next Door” by Thomas J. Stanley & William D. Danko! – head over to our Frugal Friends Community to join the discussion!

  • AND We are still giving away 1 book for every 5 reviews we get this month! You can get a free copy of this month’s book!
  • To enter; leave us a review on your podcast listening device (not just Itunes), screenshot the review, and email it to
  • We’ll select the winners for this book at the end of the month

Thank you so much for hanging out with us today! Hit the subscribe button wherever you’re listening to this episode and we will come at you every Friday with more frugal goodness. Until next week!

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