“Two lumps, or three?” I asked in my over-the-top prim voice as only a lady with a silver tea set acquired from The Buy Nothing Project can manage. The Buy Nothing Project has afforded us quite a few lovely things over the last few months, but I think it is safe to say that our new-to-us tea party equipment just might be our favorite.

It felt as though I had inhaled the delicate sound of pretty metal clinking together along with the smell of tea steaming upward from the shiny silver teapot. I mentally raised my teacup in honor of the brilliant invention that is The Buy Nothing Project.

The Buy Nothing Project Basics

In case you are not already aware of The Buy Nothing Project, you may want to check your local Facebook groups, as most cities have one. It is a group devoted to helping keep usable goods out of landfills and help people save money at the same time. I happen to be a huge fan of both of these things.

Thrift stores have a certain appeal, and as an avid thrift store shopper, I know this well —you just never know what odd gem you may find there, and at a great price. The Buy Nothing Project takes it to the next level because the one main rule they have is that everything must be free. And there really is a mixture of everything — a garbage bag full of hand-me-down clothes for your kids, a dining room table, household cleaning products, potted plants, a silver tea, and coffee service, and who knows what else at any given time.

Once you join a group, which is often broken down into parts of a city so that nothing is ever more than about a fifteen-minute drive away from your house, then you are free to comment on anyone’s post with an item you may be interested in getting. Once you have been picked to receive the item, private messages are exchanged to determine pick-up, which is often just done by leaving the item on a porch at an agreed-upon time.

Receiving free items is great, but it also feels wonderful to give. I get a little high off of passing something no longer needed onto someone that lives nearby, and it is actually much easier than donating it. You don’t take it anywhere, it just disappears from your porch at a preset time.

But I think the best part of The Buy Nothing Project might be the friends you make along the way. I have met quite a few nice people through our group; it is always nice to have a few more friends nearby.

The Buy Nothing ProjectThe Best Things in Life are Free

“This tea is good!” My son said after pouring another spoonful of sugar into his cup and dribbling a bit more cream out of the shiny silver dish. My daughter giggled as she made the top of the pretty butter dish clatter down and smear a bit of butter onto the engraved tray beneath.

I let out a sigh in the same way someone with a large beer belly would let out a belch, and I leaned back in my chair.

This is the good life. The Buy Nothing good life. 

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Growing up in central Florida, Ginger took annual vacations to St. Augustine throughout her childhood. She quickly learned to love the combination of historic charm and the beach, as well as a deep love for all things Florida—hot and humid summer days, thunderstorms, and the smell of orange blossoms. After meeting her husband in Gainesville, they relocated to St. Augustine where they have been living for the past fourteen years. In 2013 she became a mother for the first time, as well as a stay-at-home mom. Her family has grown since then, which now consists of her shy school-aged son, feisty preschooler daughter, two rambunctious dogs, and ten curious chickens. They are a homeschooling family who enjoy supplementing education with as many outdoor activities as possible.