No Cash or Credit Needed: Shopping at The Free Store

free store

There’s a great new store that recently opened in our area. When you come to shop here, however, you can leave your wallet at home. It’s called the Free Store, and everything in it is up for grabs, no cash or credit needed!



When you enter the Free Store, it basically looks like a thrift shop. It’s just one room with different sections for items like toys, sporting equipment, housewares, books, electronics, etc. There’s an “employee” or two going around and straightening things up (they’re actually volunteers).

The shelves are stocked with donated items, and anyone can bring in things that they no longer want or need and put them on the shelves. “Shoppers” are welcome to take up to 10 items per week, on the unspoken promise that they won’t take items for the purpose of reselling them, but rather to actually use them.

We took our first trip to the Free Store this week, and I came home with a few goodies. I got a little planter that will be perfect for a succulent, a decorative glass jar, a pretty pineapple sun catcher that I gave to my sister, and a little shelf.

I absolutely love thrift shopping, not only because I like a bargain, but I also love the fact that I am able to reuse and re-purpose something old and give it a home again.

Here’s the best part, though. I brought my daughter along, and told her that she could pick out a few things. She was immediately drawn to a Barbie doll, and I found her a Wizard of Oz book (we’re big into Dorothy and tornadoes at the moment). She was absolutely thrilled with these 2 items.

As we walked out of the store, she stopped us- “Wait! Don’t they have to beep our stuff?” She was amazed that we could simply take these things home from this special store without exchanging any money for them.

The Free Store really represents community at it’s best. People within the community are encouraged to bring their unwanted items in, as well as to take those unwanted items home if they need or want them. It’s like Craigslist or Freecycle without the hassle.

The Free store stays open through monetary donations and the work of volunteers. Their philosophy is that we don’t have to be dependent on money for everything if we come together, collaborate, and share. Nobody is here to make a profit, nobody has to spend money, and perfectly good items can find a new home, rather than ending up in a landfill. I can’t wait to go “shopping” again next week!

What do you think about the Free Store? Would you “shop” there if you had one in your community?

About Lauren

Lauren May is a freelance writer and full-time mom living her best life on a budget.

6 thoughts on “No Cash or Credit Needed: Shopping at The Free Store

  1. I love that idea!! People often want to get rid of their stuff but don’t feel like leaving it on the curb or throwing it out. Many items like clothes I’ll donate to charity, but stuff like random kitchen things and whatnot I usually just keep handing around because I don’t know what to do with it. Love it!

  2. I think the “free store” sounds great! I just hope that people aren’t stopping in for their free items each week and stashing them away for a garage sale. I could see people doing that!

  3. I love this idea! It has to bring the community together for sure. I love it. This is such a unique idea and an awesome way to recycle junk and treasures in order to keep some stuff out of our dumpsters. Also great for people who don’t have much to come and get things without stress.

    1. I think it’s a good mix of people who are coming in there, and I love that, too! If you do have a need and can’t afford new, this is a perfect place to check out.

  4. That’s a great idea. I wish we could get something like that down here (and everywhere for that matter.) It would hopefully discourage consumers from going out and buying a bunch of new items, which would ultimately help with over-consumption.

  5. That sounds like a great idea! Hopefully no one is abusing it by reselling things or taking more than 10 items, but the premise is nice. It’s always great to have the option to get things you need for free. I love how your daughter reacted!

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