Thursday, November 1, 2012

Gathering Wood the Frugal and Free Way

Want to save a bundle of money each year? I knew that would get your attention.  Enjoy these helpful tips that I have learned over the years.  Hopefully you won't be spending so much money on firewood anymore. Better yet even FREE!

The first year we bought our house we had to have some firewood delivered. After spending $250 on a cord of wood we came out of the situation thinking we spent way too much money.  Happy to be warm but from that moment on we were on a mission to get wood for free or at least cheap.

What you see here is our wood shed.  My husband worked so hard on building it and couldn't wait to fill it up.  Soon after it was built a friend of ours needed some help working on his truck. Lucky for us he gave us some wood for free. Woot! But it was wet and needed to dry out for a while. This wood made the back row completely filled up.  In December of 2010 my grandmother passed away.  She lived in a large farm house that had only a wood stove for heat. Since we were the only family members with a fireplace we were able to keep most of the wood.  This wood filled our wood shed up completely. 

Earlier this year a friend of ours had cut a tree down on his property. He called my husband and said come and get it. Of course we did! The wood sat outside all summer until my husband split it and set it out to season.  This will be next years winter fire wood. We feel so lucky to have such amazing and kind friends.

We replaced our broken down back yard fence because it was falling down and unsafe for our children to play back there anymore. The fence was original to our 45 year old house and made from really good quality wood.  So section by section we tore down, replaced and took apart our old fence.  As he would take down the old fence, I would sit and took all the nails out of the wood boards.   Big boards were cut in half and broken boards were cut into pieces for kindling.  It was a long and boring process but in the end we had free fire wood.
Our neighbors next door also replaced a side fence.  Once he was done he let us have all their wood as well.  His fence was made of good quality wood but in much thinner boards.  They made perfect kindling.  Kudos to my neighbor Jim who is in his 90's and built his new fence in the summer heat.  Jim and his wife Hazel are hard working people who take stride in everything they do.  I just hope we can be like them one day. We love them very much!

Anytime we do house projects we stash away any wood on the side of the house in a dry place.  We use it for random house projects and also can use it for kindling.  My neighbor gave me this cool wood box. I just love it.

I am in a group on Facebook called "Haves and Needs"that's a free site to post things you need or want to get rid of.  Everything from clothing, food and even wood.  Someone had replaced their fence and wanted to give away this wood instead of putting it in the landfill.  I just picked it up and set it here till I can get the chance to take the nails out.  If you don't have a Facebook group like this maybe you should start one.  Our group is for just a few cities so that its not a far drive for anyone to get stuff for free. Plus you need to know someone to get into the group for safety reasons. It has helped so many people in my community.  A big thank you to all who is in this group!

I was going to take this gate apart but instead I'm keeping it to incorporate into my garden some how. How cool is this? I love old stuff!

We never pass down free wood.  Just last night as we were walking our girls around trick or treating we spotted this.  Earlier in the day I heard a chain saw for a few hours and this must have been why.  On the side of the street was all this wood with a "free wood" sign on it.  My husband quickly walked home and drove back to get the wood.  By the time I came home with our girls he had filled the truck up completely and came home with the free wood. Its filled with sap and not the best quality wood but hey its free.  This will be set outside to season and next year be in our wood shed. 

So here are a few things to take away from this post.

-Never pass down free wood.
-Sometimes it takes hard work but its worth it in the end. Never be afraid to get a hammer out and take nails out.
-Tell friends or family you would take any unpainted wood or trees they don't want. Just make sure to tell them to call you.
-Any left over wood from projects could be fire wood.
-Be willing to read the newspaper, online ads or even social sites. There is always free wood you just have to look for it and be willing to pick it up.
-Be willing to barter!
-Some places let you buy a pass that's good for a few weeks.  You can drive into the woods and take any fallen trees you want within the time limit. Not free but still WAY CHEAPER.  Just need at truck.
-Any tree in bad shape that needs to be cut down is another chance to get free wood. Just need to let sit and season for a year before you can burn it. 

Now have fun gathering wood and enjoy the savings!