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17 Aug 2022

The websites and apps that can help you to find freebies and bargains

The websites and apps that can help you to find freebies and bargains

Rising prices have forced many households into becoming more thrifty and creative with their spending – especially when it comes to looking for much-needed items and essentials, such as food or household goods.

Handily, there are several apps and websites that might be worth checking out, if you’re looking to pick things up for low costs – or even find freebies.

As well as saving some cash, you could also be helping the planet by making use of items that may otherwise been destined for the bin.

Nearly six in 10 (57%) people say they’ve re-thought how they shop in these tough times, according to research by Gumtree.

More than two-fifths (44%) say they’re now willing to purchase more second-hand items than they would have a year ago, with some saying this includes ‘big ticket’ items such as sofas and cooking equipment. And two-fifths (40%) of people are sourcing more items for free compared with a year ago.

Many are also turning to their local community to find bargains and second-hand gems, with 13% using local groups as a source for acquiring or donating.

As well as being a site for buying and selling, Gumtree, for example, also has a freebies section (gumtree.com/freebies).

For those looking to to save some money on food, the Too Good to Go app (toogoodtogo.co.uk) allows people to buy bundles of food at a knock-down price from local cafes, restaurants and food stores, which may otherwise go to waste. Bear in mind, though, that what you’ll get is a surprise.

Food sharing app Olio (olioex.com) also helps stop surplus food going to waste. Launched in the UK five years ago, it says it recently passed the milestone of more than four and-a-half million community members, with half of these based in the UK.

App users post pictures of giveaways and pick-up can be arranged via messaging in the app. Since launch, it has broadened its offer to include free sharing of household items such as toiletries, kitchen appliances, books and clothes.

Neighbours can also use the app to lend and borrow items. When I was browsing the app, for example, I spotted offers of books, as well as kitchen and gardening equipment that people could potentially request to borrow.

There are also giveaway websites such as Freecycle and Freegle, which match people with items to give away with those looking to source them – whether you’re on the hunt for a tin of paint, kids’ toys or furniture, among many other things.

Many communities also have their own websites, where neighbours can share items around. When looking for local freebies, the one cost you may need to factor in is getting them home – so just make sure the transport expense doesn’t outweigh the benefits of having them.

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