If It’s Free, It’s for Me: Why I Love to Live Free and Consciously Buy


This is a post about being a bargain addict. Do you know what I’m talking about? There’s something beautiful about the rush of finding a great deal that gets your blood pumping, resulting in full-on tantric “bargain bliss.” 


“If it’s free, it’s for me,” can be interpreted so many ways. In my case, I say it with pride and joy.

I have no shame in pulling over and picking through peoples’ free stuff in search of a bargain.

Abandoned items seem to yell “save me from the landfill!” So, I stop. I can’t tell you how many amazing FREE things I have collected from yard sales, online sale groups, my dump’s swap shop and simply, the side of the road. 

Full disclosure: I am not a hoarder. My style could be described as “Anthropology Home,” meets “Rustic New England Home.” I’m all about mismatched, cozy, warm, and colorful design. Little would you know that the contents of my general decor came from Anthropologie’s basements’ basement.  

Dining room
80 percent favorite free-find furnishings


Swap Shop Scores
My desk area. All free.

As a stay-at-home mom whose family lives off of one income, I am more aware than ever of how important it is to save money. We are fortunate to own our own house, and if you are a home owner and a parent, than you know how both of these gifts can also be money pits. 

I often feel overwhelmed by the amount of “stuff” my one-year-old owns. He is spoiled on another level. Recently, four family members came over, each with a gift for Charlie (most of them were multiple piece toys and it wasn’t his birthday! AHHHH). The timing was not great. I was exhausted and felt like I’d been cleaning up his mess on repeat. The idea of adding more to my never ending mess was overwhelming. This day my clutter fears almost brought me to a full-on clutter crisis, but I pushed through. It was Friday and my husband would be home for two days to battle the chaos beside me. JOY RISING!!

I don’t want to sound ungrateful for family and friends wanting to share gifts with us, but I have to draw the line somewhere. Straight up, we have a small house that I’d rather fill with love then stuff. Nesting feeds my soul–and so does purging my nest. I love finding the balance.

I want to have some control over what comes into my house for us and for Charlie. If there’s something specific I feel we need, I first hit up the Internet. The Seacoast has some pretty incredible online yard sale pages. If what you’re looking for isn’t there, then you simply write an ISO post (In Search Of) and hope someone will have what you’re looking for. It happens all the time! 

Are you a Troop Mom? I am always blown away by the hive of people on the Exeter Baby Troop Group. The members contribute to a major local hub for parenting tips, support & yard sales items. It’s a priceless resource. Or for some bargain addicts, a pricey resource 😉 

If you’re new to the area and want to connect with others, I highly suggest joining a community online page. People are generally friendly and willing to help you find whatever you’re searching for. 

"The Lee Mall" aka Our dump's, swap shop.
The Lee Mall,”aka our dump’s swap shop.

Being a parent today comes with endless price tags. I am fully aware that money does not grow on trees. So, to avoid regular financial stress, I will proudly wear my Picker Pride Badge. After all, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. 

What are some of your favorite ways to achieve “bargain bliss”?

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Hello, I’m Anelia! Friends and family describe me as quirky, fun, optimistic, creative, and full of love. I'm a newlywed, Newmarket, NH, native who recently moved down the road to Lee with my Match.com dream man, Joe. We welcomed a beautiful baby boy Charlie just days after relocating and our lives and hearts have never been more full. I'm the oldest of three girls and took on the nurturer, big sister, caretaker role early on. Being a mom is my latest and greatest new adventure. My experience with childcare is lifelong, but even so, I was never fully prepared for the crazy, beautiful, scary, exhausting, and life-changing role of being a parent. You will generally find me cooking and entertaining for my loved ones or outside soaking up mother nature. All of these components combined are my #ultimate #joyrising #blissedout #favoritethings. I hope you enjoy hearing me share how I'm taking on parenting and being my quirky, fun, optimistic, creative, full-of-love self all at the same time!