By: KDKA’s Royce Jones
PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — People are always looking for ways to cut back on spending, especially now during the coronavirus pandemic.
But what if there was a way you could get the things you need without spending any money? There’s a nationwide movement where growing numbers of people are still getting the things they need without paying a penny.
Instead of spending, somebody will gift it to you. They are called gift economies and popular among members of the “Buy Nothing Project.”
It’s an organization that uses local Facebook groups where people post unwanted items cluttering their closets and cabinets. The Pittsburgh area has about 25 of these groups.
“Even things like services … I found a friend who’s a seamstress. She’s going to help me finish a dress I started,” said Amber Pace, who runs a group in her neighborhood.
The one rule to a gift economy is there can be zero cash transactions. Since joining, Pace barely shops the big box stores.
Roughly 75 percent of her needs are met within the group. She says members can shave hundreds off their monthly spending.
She said it’s a much more affordable option to dropping things off at the thrift store.
“I realized people are having to rebuy things they need for free,” said Pace.
Savings aren’t the only incentive for members like Pace. By borrowing and gifting, Pace has cut back on single-use plastics and other recyclable materials.
Best of all, she’s seen a community of helpers come together in a time people need it most.
“Just looking at that value you may have and wanting to share that gift with other people is really important,” Pace said.
If you want to find a group in your neighborhood, you can search your zip code on the Buy Nothing Project website. Click here