I've mentioned before. Freegan living is more of a mentality than just being cheapo. I still spend money. But now, I ask myself, "how can I get this for free?" Before I spend money. Or I keep a look out for stuff when certain things are wearing out and try to obtain them before my existing item spoils.
The thing is... This year has been amazing. My quality of life has pretty much improved.
I get my daily meals mainly for free, cos I get fruits and veges from Pasir Panjang. This had allowed me to naturally shift to a low meat diet. I still eat meat if I dine out or if I eat with friends or family, or if I get free meat from my freegan activities. But I could possibly say that 80% of my meals are vegetarian/vegan.
This has allowed me to lose weight and fit into my older berms and clothes and this has been quite nice.
A number of freegans has asked me how I do it. Cos we always get so much food and it's hard to stop eating cos there's always a continuous supply.
For me, it takes a lot of discipline to just keep my normal meals. And since I don't spend money, I intentionally don't buy meat and other snacks. So a mainly vegetable diet helps a lot in weight loss.
This is my biggest change cos it impacts me on a daily basis...
My quality of live has also improved in other areas... I've mentioned in my previous post that I now have 2 coffee machines. One that grinds beans and drips the coffee, and a Dolce Gusto capsule machine. It's pretty awesome cos previously I only drank instant coffee. However, I don't get beans or capsules all the time. So I don't get to drink it everyday. I still have to wait for free beans and capsules before I can drink it.
I used to wear $2 flip flops... Now I wear Havana's... Someone gave me a pair of 2nd hand Havana's. So I soaked it in Dettol and water and now I have a "better" pair of slippers. Just in time cos my older pair was wearing out.
I used to wear army black sandals. I still wear army black sandals cos it hasn't spoiled yet. But I have a pair of relatively new Teva sandals in the drawer waiting to be used. When I received it from a friend in the community, it looked like it wasn't used and just dusty, but I still soaked them in Dettol to disinfect it.
For those who don't know... Teva's aren't cheap...
I'm now using a $500 iron to iron my clothes... It's still like my old iron. But I deem it an upgrade from my old $25 iron.
Once I made it known to friends and family that I was willing to accept 2nd hand items or expired food, or I tell them to give me stuff so that I could further give it to someone else, they were quite happy to pass things on to me. Which is great cos I help them to clear up their house. Many times, they want to dispose, but they feel it is 'sayang' to throw something away, cos it still can be used, so they just keep it in the storeroom. Now that they know I may use it or pass it on to someone else, I help them clear their stuff, I get some free stuff, I pass on what I don't need to someone else, there's overall less wastage of resources.
I had some disagreement with a reader about how my house would be like after getting so much free stuff... He said I would end up hoarding and it would mess up my life. This has obviously not happened. My home is pretty much the same as a year ago.
Although I now have a lot more food stocks such as canned food, potato chips, instant noodles, etc... Problem is I don't eat much processed food cos I always get fresh vegetables, so it's quite tough to consume all the stocks. I consume them mainly when I come back from the biz trips with my wife and I haven't collected any fresh food yet.
I think probably the most awesome thing is that I've managed to get to know a community of like minded people. We each live our own different lives, but are united by the similar interests of the love for free stuff and the ideal of not wanting to waste things unnecessarily.
Also, the community helps each other by sharing knowledge, skills, looking out for each other, when we see something that we think someone else will like, we'll help to take for them, etc...
This past year has been an awesome experience. I don't see myself stopping this anytime soon. Of course I've crafted my freegan lifestyle into what I want out of it. Everyone has their own wants and it's up to themselves to make the effort to make things work.
If someone wants all the free items without getting involved in the community, then that's probably not realistic. It's really the idea of... The more you put in, the more you get out of it.
And in the process, I feel I've become a better person and learnt a lot of new things and been exposed to new ideas... And I look forward to continuing these activities in the coming year and longer.
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