Scavenging is Part of Living Simply and Frugally

One person’s trash is another person’s treasure.  That is the way the old saying goes and you know something I really do agree with it.

I have subscribed to the local FreeCycle Network list and last night I saw someone offer up a stainless steel grill, that they said was in decent condition.  I replied immediately that I was interested and made arrangements to pick it up this morning.

Our old grill is your basic bottom of the line Wal Mart special ($75 end of season special), but it is starting to rust out after 8 years of use, we are going to have to look at getting a new one fairly soon. So I have been sort of looking around for the opportunity to upgrade to a better grill.

I figured that worst case scenario, I could scavenge parts and create a decent one out of the two of them.

Was I in for a shock when I saw it!


Grill from FreeCycle
A little cleaning here
The worst of the rust, but that isn’t as bad as it looks and is actually very minor.
Some surface rust, I can do some sanding, cleanup and painting pretty easily here.

What’s Wrong?

Not all that much as far as I can tell.  I looked it over pretty closely again tonight and with the amount of build-up, crud and other stuff inside it, I can understand why it didn’t work too well.  I have a feeling that a good tear-down and cleaning then adding some paint where it needs it will make a huge difference in how it works and looks.  Plus some of the parts were not in correctly, so this is going to be my rainy day project and even if I have to invest a couple dollars for parts, it will be worth it.

I am sure that the air in the garage will not be fit for mixed or decent company while I am working on the %$#@%$ thing, but that is part of the way many of us repair stuff – remember A Christmas Story and how the father repairs the furnace. 🙂

Is it a great grill?  Probably not, but it is a better grill than the cheap ones that I usually buy and throw away after a few years.  I checked out Uniflame grills online and they are generally sold at Wal Mart for around $250, so with a little elbow grease, some paint and time, I have a feeling that we have a new grill that will more than meet our needs for a LOT less.

This is my first FreeCycle item that I have gotten and it is for opportunities like this that having a truck is necessary as I discussed in my post on

Why A Truck?

If I did not have the truck, there is no way I could have fit the grill in the Subaru without taking it apart. So I am glad that we made the choice to repair the truck a few weeks ago.

To me this is also part of being more green, you are taking something that has been through the retail process once and recycling it to be used again, saving the production and other associated costs.  I know this is just me doing this one-time thing, but imagine if more of us did this kind of stuff routinely instead of just throwing stuff away, it would make a difference.  My plug for being more self-sufficient and green, maybe I am being a “lot” idealistic, but at least I am trying.

Living simply and being more frugal means you have to being willing to take advantage of opportunities that others present to you when you have the chance.  This is especially true when you are on a modest fixed retirement income.  So free is always good, especially when it means upgrading what you have to something better, with just a little time and effort on your part.

Thank you FreeCycle Network for the opportunity to connect and thank you to the anonymous person who was willing to provide us our new grill.

The price was right!