A few years ago, I was hired to make a rhubarb pie for a client. It was rhubarb season, so I gave this as an option to go along with the apple and chess pie she had ordered. However, when the weekend came around, and it was time to go shopping, I went to six grocery stores and none of them had rhubarb. I had an idea. I posted on my local "Buy Nothing" Facebook page that I was looking for three pounds of rhubarb. Within an hour, a neighbor I had never met, told me I could come over to her house and help myself to hers. By the time I rode my bike the 1 1/2 miles to her house, she had cut and weighed the rhubarb and put it in a bag for me. And so began my relationship with the "Buy Nothing" network.
I use the site to post when I have a cookbook I no longer use, shoes that don't fit, or some extra toys my dog isn't interested in. Where it's come in most handy, though, is in my life as a maker. I am often experimenting with recipes. I might make 24 meringues and only need to taste one to know if it was a success. I'll post that I have 23 meringues looking for a good home and within minutes, someone I've never met shows up at my door with Tupperware in hand ready to take them. I refinished an old rocking chair a neighbor was giving away, used someone's fabric scraps for a quilt, and borrowed tools for many a project. This week, a neighbor was giving away baby food jars, which I'll use to package body scrubs. Yesterday, I posted that I needed empty milk cartons for soap-making molds and had a bunch of offers I have yet to collect.
When combined with the Tool Library (which has anything from rakes to table-sized band saws) and the Kitchen Library down the street from me, it is hard to justify many purchases these days. You recently wrote about "crafting community" and it's made me think about how I am often crafting... thanks to my community.