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April 24, 2018

Sometimes, You Get What You Need

Most people think you need to spend money to get the things you want. We've found that often all you need is a little patience, and what you want will come to you. Maybe we're just lucky, or have a lot of good karma saved up, but the universe has a funny way of providing. I've mentioned this before, but I'm going to go through a few recent examples to show you what I mean.

Sandpaper Organizer
Ever since moving, our garage has been in a constant state of disarray. It's slowly getting more organized, but one source of frustration was a big box full of painting supplies and a bunch of sandpaper. Whenever I looked at that box, I thought I should get a shelving system to organize my sandpaper, but I never put the effort into searching for anything.

After several months of occasionally thinking about my sandpaper, I was in my parents' garage and they asked if I wanted a letter holder they were trying to get rid of. I took one look at it and realized it would be perfect for my sandpaper, so I happily took it and now my sandpaper has a tidy new home.

If you're a regular reader, you may remember one of my goals for the last couple years has been to learn to weld. It's finally happening this year.

The friend that I was planning on learning from recently moved to a new house. The previous owner of the house learned he was a fabricator and gave him a small welder. Since my friend already had a couple welders he gave it to me as a thank you for helping him move. Now I have a welder and can practice whenever I want.

I was happy to discover welding isn't really that hard, and I've already tackled one pretty big welding project on our camper.
Not the prettiest weld, but the grinder cleaned it right up.

Kitchen Appliances
Our new house came with some very dated, white appliances. We brought our stainless steel refrigerator, but the stove and dishwasher remained pretty sad. Chrissy desperately wanted a matching stainless stove, but I resisted because the one we had still worked fine. It just wasn't pretty.

A couple months went by and while out on a walk, we stumbled upon this:
We had found pretty much the exact stove we were looking for on the curb. Now we just needed a matching dishwasher. And would you believe, the universe came through again?

A couple months later I was doing some part time construction work, and as part of a kitchen remodel, we replaced a dishwasher. However, the old one seemed to be perfectly fine, so I snagged it and installed it in our house.
Here's the crazy part of the story. The free stove and dishwasher we acquired happened to match. Not only were they both stainless steel, they were both Whirlpool Gold Series. Which worked out nicely, because our refrigerator was also a Whirlpool. What are the odds of that?

Child Car Seats
This last example happened just the other day. Chrissy has been wanting a nicer car seat for Frugal Babe, and as usual, I was resisting. She had several perfectly valid reasons for wanting a new car seat, including the presence of cup holders, but I couldn't justify the expense.

Chrissy persisted, so I hopped on Craigslist and did a quick search for "car seat" and was met with a huge number of options, which really isn't surprising. There were dozens of car seats available for about $50 that cost hundreds of dollars new, however there was one ad that really caught my eye. It was offering two car seats for free. Best of all, they both had cup holders. I couldn't resist.

My favorite part of this story is the Craigslist post didn't have an address or any contact information, but I used Google Street View and found where they were based on what I could see in the background of the photos. Anyway, when we arrived to pick them up, we were delighted to find both car seats looked practically new. Now we (hopefully) have all the car seats we will ever need, including one to keep at grandma and grandpa's.

You've seen how we were able to get things as random as a sandpaper organizer and as big as a dishwasher and stove for free just by being patient and keeping our eyes open. I suspect anyone could do the same if they will let it happen. You just need to have an open mind and not rush out with your credit card the instant you get the urge for something new.

Now that I think about it, I'm a little curious; is this normal? Does the universe provide other people with the things they are looking for? I'm not a religious person, but sometimes I do feel pretty #blessed.
Please let us know if these kinds of things ever happen to you in the comments.

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