The best part of using the wood stove this past winter was knowing that everything we put into it was free for us. I started saving cardboard, newspapers, and any documents that we would ordinarily shred (i.e., credit card offers) long before it got cold enough for a fire. I also mentioned to several people how excited I was to have the wood stove and how I was planning to get some wood for the winter. Before I knew it, I had two people bring me firewood that they either found free somewhere or had left over from a tree removal. I ended up with a ton of free wood of all different sizes, which was perfect for quickly building a fire that would burn hot for a long time.
On cold days, I would turn the heat off completely and just allow the stove to do all the work. When we started to get low on firewood, I jumped on Craigslist and did a quick scan through the "Free" section. There were usually at least 10 offers of free firewood any time that I checked. We wound up not needing to go pick up any of it, though, because just as we got down to the last of it, we hit the jackpot the night before our town's scheduled yard waste pickup.
We found a ton of firewood out on the curbs, just waiting for someone to snag it. There were a lot of small pieces, but also a bunch of big logs. We stuffed the trunk of our little Corolla with it and could have gone back for a second load had it not been so late at night and so late in the season. We knew we had more than we could use until next year.
Now, it is April, and the forecast for today predicts a high of 80 degrees. I am delighted to have a nice supply of wood left over to be saved for next winter, plus a ton of cardboard and paper products that will be great fire starters. As next winter approaches, we will do the same thing and work on building our firewood stash early in the season. If you are looking for free firewood next winter, try these basic tricks to get yourself a nice supply at no cost:
- Tell your friends you are looking for firewood. You never know who will have some they want to unload.
- Check Craigslist. If you are willing to pick it up, you can usually find a ton of free firewood.
- Be a scavenger. Find out when your community is doing a yard waste pickup and get there first.