Saturday, March 28, 2009

If you've got something to give, then give it away.

Okay, so having never had kids, but ever the project manager, I've started to think logistically about what we will need...

A crib, a changing table, a car seat, a coddle up rocking thing, a glass bottle (okay, several glass bottles), diapers (okay, lots of diapers), a TV (oops... scratch that and replace it with toys... lots of toys), and of course books! Then I sat back and realized "UhOh"... since the plan is to have twins, then most everything we will need is going to be "times 2" - Yikes!

How will we be able to afford all this "stuff" I thought... There must be generic equivalent substitutions we can use, right? Just so long as the active ingredient is the same, who cares about the fillers, right?!?! So, ever the project manager, I pulled together my substitution list:
  • Crib = Daisy the dog's bed (after all, Daisy tends to sleep in the bed with us most of the time)
  • Changing Table = carpet or ottomon
  • Coddle Up Rocking Thing = Potato #1 or Potato #2
  • Glass Bottles = hmmm... lacking breasts, I don't think we can go generic on this, and since we don't want to use plastic bottles, and neither of us drink heavily (yet), we don't really have bottles in the house... we may not be able to go generic on glass bottles...
  • Diapers = cloth
  • Toys = either share Daisy's toys (which she would LOVE to do - especially the pull toys), or use the squishy squeaky things vendors send in the mail at work all the time
  • Books = TV! Damn, no... that's not generic enough (though it is close enough, eh?)... Um... how about reading our junk mail together, or the stuff I throw into the recycling bin at work? After all, they should start learning the realities of how to put together a municipal IT budget during lean years now!
Fortunately, I let Shane review my substitution list in advance. His thoughts? FreeCycle!

FreeCycle is a grassroots movement originally created to help reduce landfills of unwanted waste that someone else might want (sorry, guy with the shopping cart)... Their philosophy is rather straight forward. Rather than just throwing away something which is still in working/useable condition that you simply don't want or need anymore, why not give it away ("pay it forward") to someone else that may want it for FREE; no bartering, no exchange of cash, no resale, a simple "Thank You" will do. Of course, the idea is to pass it along to someone else when you are done with it.

FreeCycle groups are available nationwide and though some of the stuff available may sound strange, what seems even stranger is that people take it! We've spent some time this week looking at our local FreeCycle groups (Lowell, Tewksbury, Chelmsford, Billerica, Dracut, and Burlington), and have decided to try to use FreeCycle as a means of pulling together stuff for the kids! We'll maintain a list of FreeCycled "stuff" we have received on the left column of the blog, underneath the "BLOGS I FOLLOW" list. Of course, once the kids are done with the "stuff" we receive, we'll FreeCycle it along to other couples that may need it...

In order to establish some sort of savings, I'll attempt to include each item's retail $$ (or best guess), and a link to a description - lets consider this an experiment in FreeCycling!

Wish us luck, and remember: "If you've got something to give, then give it away."


  1. Okay Potato, you guys are way more organized than I was (we were). We did get a second hand crib at a tremendous eventually fell apart...but what a savings! And you forgot formula! Expensive expensive expensive. With the money we spent on formula and diapers we could have bought a second home in Cabo. Just sayin'.

  2. Mommy With a Penis,

    Thanks for the comment - but thank you SO MUCH MORE for your awesome blog! Yours and the BellaDaddy Blog are what inspired me to do this (much to Potato #2's scoffing that no one would want to read about this online)!!

    Though initially skeptical about using FreeCycle, I have to admit that I'm amazed at the quality of stuff folks are giving away, just because they want someone else to be able to use it.

    Though initially thought that not having many family or friends with babies would put us "out of the donation stream" we are very excited to be able to save our money for the inevitable diapers and formula (and the breast milk we will plan on purchasing form the Surrogate)...


    - Mirán (Potato #1)

  3. I posted these must haves last summer. You could add them to your list, free of charge.

  4. Bobby,

    Those are funny - though I'm a little scared that Potato #2 already knew about the Bucktooth Pacifier!! I think we may want to get some of those!! LOL

    - Potato #1

  5. I so want to be apart of this Freecycle Movement... What and where do I sign up???

  6. Use the links in the post to access the Freecycle pages... it is mostly run through the use of Yahoo Groups, and is international!

    - Potato #1

  7. I signed up through our local group and I hope to be successful with it.. I think it's a Brilliant idea...

  8. I looked through the comments and did not see garage sales. Women love to try to sell stuff in the spring. Just roll through a very white burb on a saturday morning. Wow - the deals that you will find. And, if you take along your child, they will usually just give it to the kid because they are such a cutie!!