Archive for ‘Cheap Skate’

September 9, 2013

Bed & Breakfast

Last year, when I moved into my new apartment, I came up with the idea to see if I could furnish my house within a year, without spending a single euro on furniture. I must say, I have a lot of awesome objects that I received and by now, my house is very much a home to me. This little personal project had two sides to it. Part one is obvious. I would gain a lot of awesome stuff for free. Part two, however, is more important to me. I feel that people throw away too much. I love the environment. I love nature. I want to enjoy the beauty of nature as much as possible, and I feel that if we throw away less, and give a little to others, not only nature, but also society becomes a bit more beautiful.

As just obtaining furniture and awesome stuff is not really helping nature in any way, I promised to blog about this project, and as it sometimes goes in life, I had a lot of things to do that kept me from writing the blogs about this project. But, a promise is a promise. The year is not yet over; the project is not yet over. And I have still time to finish the blogs, and the project.

Today, I want to tell you about my bed. I love my bed. When you look at the picture, you might understand why. My bed is awesome. It is made out of wood; one of the most beautiful materials nature gives us. My bed is more than just a bed. It has the awesome feature that you can hang stuff to dry on it, or just hang cloths there that you want to wear in the morning.

Not only I got my bed, I also got everything belonging to it, the mattress, the blanket, the pillows..

The blankets and pillows, I got from my parents, as a present. I am still not completely sure if this fits the project, but I am grateful anyway. They provided warmth, like they always do. The bed and the mattress are a completely different story. When I was moving to my new apartment, my superior, or colleague, how I prefer to call her, at my work was moving in with her boyfriend, resulting in a surplus of furniture and other need to haves and nice to haves for a home. She offered me a lot of really nice objects to go with my project. I am so glad her taste is similar to mine when it comes to furniture, not only she provided a great deal of items that were on my list, she also made it possible for me to look at those as permanent items In my home.

On a rainy evening in March, my ex boyfriend and I drove over to her place to pick up the bed and the other items. She basically said: If you need anything, let me know now, so I can decide if I will be needing these things or not…

She ended up giving me a bed, slatted bed base, a mattress, pots and pans, coffee mugs, a vacuum cleaner and an Ironing board. It felt like it was my birthday, Christmas and any other gift giving occasion at once. I must say that this gesture made me feel very humble and grateful. I still thank her every night, when I crawl up under the blankets and I can never thank her enough. A bed is a valuable piece of furniture in a house, maybe even one of the most important, and when it is a bed you like, you love, going to sleep is a little gift as well, every night.

April 30, 2012

The Stove

The StoveOne of the most awesome things about my cheap skate project, is that it actually Works. It is amazing to see how helpful people can be! There is a fantastic story behind most of my furniture that I have now. Not only because I got it for free, also because the way I got it and the journey the particular piece already made.

My stove is a story that I love to tell to people. Why? Because it is based on pure coincidence. And while I promised to share some stories behind the stuff I got via the Cheap Skate project, here is the first story, the story of the stove.

One day at work I was working on a tight deadline for a project. Most people of the project team were quite tired but everybody was working hard and there was a good vibe. It was Friday and we all knew that there was no early weekend today. At a certain point one of the team members, responsible for planning was ready and was the first to go home. He asked me if there was anything I needed.

My natural response was: “well, to be honest, there is. I still need a stove, a lamp, a cabinet, …” and the list went on. I was merely joking. The response of my colleague was both surprising me as it was confusing me: “A stove? I have one that you can pick up next week!”.

Wow! I had to ask if he was serious about three or four times before I believed he was actually serious. I had just moved into my new home and it was quite a mess. I was sleeping on the floor and eating cold food and fast food as I had nothing better. I was still unpacking boxes and already someone offered me a stove!

The colleague explained that they had just gotten a new kitchen and that the stove was up for reselling it via internet, but that he wanted to trade it with me for an apple pie rather than sell it on the internet. What a great way to start of the weekend!

Just a few days later I went to pick up the stove. The wife of my colleague made the story even more complete. She told me that the stove originally belonged to her mother who bought a stove that she hardly used. After she didn’t need it, my colleague and his wife used it for quite a while until they decided to upgrade their kitchen. She had completely cleaned the stove for me so the stove that was in a perfect condition, was also ready for use as soon as I installed it in my kitchen. You can’t believe how happy I was with this awesome gift. I not only had the opportunity to prepare hot meals myself once again, I also had a great story to tell.

And that is not all. While they had the entire kitchen done, they also had a microwave oven and the hood accompanying the stove. Though I knew the cheap skate project might just get me a lot of stuff, I found it hard to accept all of this. My colleague said it was not Christmas yet, but it sure as hell felt like Christmas to me!

February 28, 2012

Cheap Skate

Okay, so as most of you know I have been through a weird few months. My relationship is officially over since the 31st of December and ever since I have been searching for a new place to stay, and now, I have found one. Of course, I still need to do a lot of paper works to make it official and then… Moving my stuff and start turning the house into a home. But then again.. I don’t have that much furniture…

I am one of those people who do not mind second-hand stuff. I actually go shopping for second-hand stuff. I am one of those people who do not like spending money. I am also one of those people who are really worried about how much perfectly good items we humans just throw away as if it were trash.

Now that I have found a place to rebuild a home, I also found a way to refurnish my life. It is just a little project, more out of curiosity then necessity. I have the essentials I need to live, and I can buy the things I need. Maybe not all at once, but I am not poor.

So what is this project to refurnish my life?
I made a list of items that I would like to have to refurnish my life. My aim is to pay nothing in order to get these items. That means that I can get them for free from companies, from people who just replaced their version of this item, or that I can trade items for better or other items, or, that someone gives an item to me.

I do not think so. If you can trade a red paperclip for a house, than why would furnishing your house without spending money be impossible? But of course, in order to become a successful project, I will need a lot of help and a lot of people spreading the word. So there is another thing you can do to help me. Besides offering me items, you can also spread the word!

The rules
I am the type of girls that dislikes a lot of rules, but I know some rules are important. While this is my project, I get to set the rules, and of course, change them if I feel it is necessary!

  • All items must be new, as good as new or awesome
  • Also items not on the list may be given
  • Items must be accepted by me; so no dumping trash:D.
  • For trading items I will start out with 10 normal paperclips that I can trade individually into something that is worth more than the paperclips itself. (I know, not very original :D)
  • I will donate 10 euros to a charity for every item I am given (so no traded items) during the first year of this project that is: 
    – “as good as new” or “new”
    – and is worth more than 100 euros in a regular web shop in the Netherlands
    –  and is on my list.
    The one who gives, gets to choose the charity out of my pre-selected list: Sea Shepherd, Amnesty International or the Dutch Red Cross. (so I won’t be the only one that will gain from this project).
  • For traded items that increase the value of the previous item by at least 50 euros I will donate 1 euro to one of the four charities above.
  • Stuff that I already have, will be replaced, unless I already got it without paying for it.
  • I can change or interpreted my own rules, so no lawsuits or angry people please:D.

So how can you give me stuff?
It is easy! Just send me a message, we will agree upon if I want the item and if it is possible to actually receive the item and when we can make the gift or trade happen.

I of course will update this blog regularly in order to keep you updated on how the project goes. Of course my want-list will be edited as soon as I have received an item, and the most awesome items and stories will get a little blog entry.

The cheap skate list can be found here.

February 28, 2012

Cheap Skate List

Down here is my Cheap Skate List. You can read everything about my Cheap skate project here. Crossed out items are already promised :D.


  • Bed
  • Slatted bed base
  • Mattress
  • Bed linen
  • Bedside Table (s)
  • Large closet (wardrobe)
  • Cabinet
  • Bedside lamps
  • Pillows
  • Curtains

Living room

  • Couch / Sofa
  • Book case
  • Wooden TV stand
  • CD rack
  • Cabinet
  • Coffee table
  • Nice living room chair


  • Bathroom cabinet (plastic)
  • Towel-rack


  • Toilet brush
  • Unused Birthday Calendar


  • Stove
  • Refrigerator-freezer (If there is a newer model out there, I would be very pleased, due to the high energy levels of my current one that I got)
  • Coffee maker (no pads)(If you have a model you want to ditch, let me know: I love coffee:D)
  • Dish wash material
  • Pots and Pans
  • Cutlery
  • Coffee mugs
  • Drinking glasses
  • Tea glasses
  • Pantry cabinet
  • Sharp knife
  • Glass cutting board
  • Table and chairs


  • Garden table
  • Garden chairs
  • Waste bin for outside


  • Lamp fixtures
  • Vacuum cleaner (Still looking for one that doesn’t use bags)
  • Broom
  • Coat Rack
  • Ironing board
  • Washing machine / dryer combination
  • Washing machine
  • Drying machine
  • Clothes horse

Some luxury

  • DVD/CD player
  • Amplifier
  • Speakers
  • Flat screen (LED) Television
  • Guitar Stand for 3 or 5 bass guitars)

Not necessary

  • Shoe cabinet
  • Living room curtains
  • Mannequin (size 38 or 40, Dutch)
  • Wii / Playstation / Xbox