One Frugal Fail

by Katy on February 4, 2024 · 24 comments

Today’s blog post is decidedly a frugal fail as someone stole my indoor recycling bins. How? I took out my recycling this morning and accidentally left two vintage metal wastebaskets and a rectangular basket on the neighbor’s garden wall. I realized it an hour or so later and by that time they were long gone.  I’m so bummed as these three items were the perfect combination of form and function. All thrifted, so not easily replaced.

I did put up the following post on a neighborhood Facebook group, as well as calling the nearby consignment shop in case someone tried to sell them. They really weren’t in a spot where people would normally set out free stuff, although it’s possible that someone thought so.

Anyway, that’s it. My frugal fail. Don’t leave stuff where it can be stolen.

Katy Wolk-Stanley

“Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without.”

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{ 24 comments… read them below or add one }

Christine February 4, 2024 at 6:39 pm

Oh Katy, I’m so sorry to hear that. I would have been upset if someone took off with that very pretty bin. I can’t think of a time I have called a bin “pretty” so believe me, it was. I’m really hoping someone thought they were a free pile. If someone just walked off with them with the intent of stealing them, shame on them.


Katy February 4, 2024 at 8:17 pm

Thank you, I’m more upset that you’d expect.


Felicity February 4, 2024 at 7:11 pm

So frustrating!! I’ve read on our local community pages here several times about people leaving their mower on the verge they have just mowed while they carried their rake, broom etc into their driveway, returning moments later to find the mower gone 🙁 Also a local contractor had tools stolen from his worksite which was cordoned off, but technically on the verge between the driveway where he was laying tarmac and his trailer which was parked next to the curb! Sadly some people are so opportunistic – while others will knock & check with the home-owner before snagging something from an obvious curb-pile.


Katy February 4, 2024 at 8:18 pm

That’s awful, especially since they need they tools in order to make a living!


Ruby February 4, 2024 at 7:23 pm

Katy, I am so sorry and hope you get them back.

We live in a very quiet, safe neighborhood, but my husband left the garage door up while he was in the backyard once and someone took his chainsaw from the shelf right inside the door. That was too close for comfort.


Katy February 4, 2024 at 8:16 pm

Ugh, I’m so sorry!


Wanda February 4, 2024 at 8:32 pm

My actual garbage bin was stolen last summer and I had to pay $50 to the city to get a new one. I understand your pain! And the ridiculous part was a few days prior my dh & I had a chat that the bin was not looking or swelling very good & we should hose it out. Boom the next day, it was gone


T February 4, 2024 at 8:35 pm

Oh Katy, I’m a believer in telling the truth and putting it out there. How about a sign stuck where they went missing.
Say what they were to you, how you accidentally placed them on the wall and you would love it if they could be returned.
Every time you want to be upset with yourself or angry that someone took them, you have to replace those thoughts with something that acknowledges you might not have been ready to let them go but you’re okay with them taking new adventures.


T February 5, 2024 at 3:21 am

Oops, I meant to say “try” and replace your thoughts.
It’s when these occurrences happen and it involves items that we use everyday. It seems like we are being poked always.


Kara February 4, 2024 at 10:07 pm

I’m sorry. That doesn’t feel good. Here’s hoping they find their way back or something even better comes your way.
I’m starting treatment for a significant disease today and not feeling well. Trying to go along gently.


A. Marie February 5, 2024 at 3:51 am

Best wishes for as gentle a journey as possible and for treatment success, Kara.


Jill A February 5, 2024 at 4:53 am

I’m sorry. I hope things go well and I hope you feel better soon.


Bee February 5, 2024 at 5:05 am

Wishing you strength during this difficult time.


A. Marie February 5, 2024 at 3:10 am

My sympathies, Katy. In my neighborhood, anything that (a) even LOOKS as if it might be copper and (b) is anywhere near the street/verge/etc. is particularly vulnerable.


Katy February 5, 2024 at 8:17 am

Yeah, I thought about that, but they’re very much not actual copper.


T February 5, 2024 at 3:27 am

@Kara, I’ve always enjoyed your posts. I’m sorry you are unwell and beginning a medical battle. Good and gentle thoughts are sent to you as you begin this journey.


Bee February 5, 2024 at 5:03 am

I’m sorry that this happened. Having someone take something that belongs to you — something you didn’t willingly give up — is a terrible feeling. Unfortunately, it has happened to me too.
Many years ago, I put my comforter in my car with the intention of stopping at a laundry mat that had extra large washers to wash it. It had a good deal of cat hair in the area where my beautiful long hair kitty slept. I had a few errands to do along the way. I came out of the store after my first stop and my comforter was gone.
It was terribly upsetting. I comforted myself (no pun intended) by thinking that the person who took it needed it more than I did. Maybe they were cold and didn’t have heat. Of course, I also hoped that if they took my comforter maliciously, they were allergic to cats. I envisioned thief with hives and sneezing like crazy. Both scenarios made me feel better. But the reality was the same, someone took something that belonged to me and I wanted it back!

I hope your items are recovered…


mary in maryland February 5, 2024 at 6:33 am

So sad. My beloved once left the car’s bicycle rack on the curb. Gone, but not forgotten.


Heidi Louise February 5, 2024 at 8:34 am

Do you have a metal recycling place where someone might have tried to take it, mistakenly thinking it was really copper?


Suzanne February 5, 2024 at 2:46 pm

I’m sorry that you lost your bins. I hope whoever took them realized their mistake and returns them.
It happened to me too. I was away and rented my house out to friends of friends. When I returned my indoor bins were gone. They claimed no knowledge of them and I never got them back.
You might find replacement bins at the property surplus departments of your local universities. Your son may find some good deals on furniture for his apartment too. It’s another alternative to the other secondhand sources.


Katy February 6, 2024 at 12:46 pm

Ooh . . . I’m going to have to look through that website!


Katy February 6, 2024 at 12:54 pm

They have a $1200 Ikea couch for $20!


Michaela February 6, 2024 at 8:08 am

Sorry you lost your stuff, I am sad for you! If you feel better, on Saturday I was at Walmart – back of the lot minding my business. Some
Lady pulled in next to me, the wrong way – and opened her door on my newer, expensive vehicle. When I went to talk to her, she practically threw herself out the window and ATTACKED ME, then drove off, nearly running me over. I was unable to get an actual plate and Walmart refused to pull the tapes to give me the plate number. The police did NOTHING, but took a report and told me I was screwed without a plate number. So now I gotta pay $400 to pull a dent out of my door that I didn’t cause . Last week was just a bad week!


Katy February 6, 2024 at 12:25 pm

Oh, that’s just awful. I’m so sorry!


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