When is "Free" Expensive?

I often see things on the side of the road marked "free", but this time I decided to take the freebie lamp home. Excited about my armchair's new sunny yellow partner, I plugged it in with glee…but alas there was no light.

I expected the lamp to need some repair, so I was not daunted. I sought the advice of my local electrician, (aka my son's grandfather) and after some inspection, we found both the wiring and the switches to be faulty. I set off to the hardware store in search of lamp sockets with swithes and a bundle of wire. $29.52 later, I came home with the necessary parts to fix the lamp. I watched carefully as the components were twisted this way and that in hopes to learn a new skill. One more hiccup, the switches needed to be filed down so they would fit into the metal globes. By nightfall the lamp was finished. I plugged it in once again and basked in the warmth of my new lamp and pondered on the day's adventure. Was it worth it? The cost was under $30 and my son's Grandfather seemed happy to help and also enjoyed his home cooked meal. The verdict? Well worth it, plus I found the exact lamp on eBay for $95 plus shipping, so I actually saved money!
Looking for something free too? Check out the "free" section on Craigslist and Freecycle or let us know if you have another great source!

Images: Alisha Peterson-Irwin