No-Spend Zone: Freebies on Craigslist

I’ve gone and done it.  I’ve hit ‘free’.   Yes, in one week – a free haircut, a lawnmower (not involved in said haircut) and plants for the front yard.

Why is ‘free’ good if you’re at a store, but from used or other sources is frowned upon?  In order to stay within my budget this week I went to a new extreme – Free on Craigslist.

I’ve mentioned before that I’m trying to landscape on a budget.   This week I wanted to get more plants in the ground and was trying to figure out how to get the lawn mowed.  

You have to love Craigslist for these tight financial times.  I searched for lawnmower every morning and today I hit the jackpot – FREE.  I called immediately and arranged the pickup.  It’s old and crusty and has seen better years… but since I’m not making it a centerpiece in my living room, who cares?  Best of all, it cut the grass just fine.

I’ve been searching for perennials, specific ground cover plants, herbs and shrubs.  I was having some success but finally created a Wanted listing with all of the different plants I was hoping to find. 

I am in need of perennials, shrubs and trees for my landscape on little budget. I’ll look at almost anything!

Ideally I would like to get:

Perennials – especially salvias, coral bells, lily of the valley
Carolina Laurels
Emerald Carpet Manzanita (or other varieties)
Trailing rosemary
Trumpet Vine or Honeysuckle Vine

Italian Cypress

If you are in need of having your landscape thinned, I’m willing to dig these out and lend a hand in your landscape effort in exchange for the plants. If you have these to sell, I don’t have a lot but still want to hear from you on availability amd price.

Within a few hours I had four offers to come and take plants and shrubs.   Later that day I arrived home with roughly $60 worth of agapanthus and salvias – all for free.  They look great in the yard.  Slowly but surely I can get a front yard for very little.

This weekend I’m borrowing a weed whacker from a neighbor to clear our hillside.  The labor on this alone would have been a few hundred dollars.  The neighbor also has a chipper, so no fees to have debris hauled to the garden recycling center.   More money not going out the door.

Finally, I faced the reality that $70 haircuts (yes, that’s right) are way outside of the budget.  I love my stylist and she has cut my hair for over 13 years.  I feel a sense of betrayal but tough times call for tough measures.  I searched Craigslist for haircuts and there were a few in-training stylists in the area.  I called, went and came back with an OK cut.   On a scale of 1-10, I’d give it a 6.75.  I can live with that.

So the lawn is cut, my hair is cut, a few flowers are blooming… why do I still feel so glum?