How to Get Free Firewood To Save Money This Winter
Ever since ancient humans rubbed two sticks together and discovered fire, nothing was the same. We’ve been using it ever since to cook food and provide heat.
Speaking of heat, heating your home by burning firewood can cut your heating costs tremendously, especially in the winter months.
But don’t you have to pay money for firewood?
Sure, they sell firewood at the store. You can buy it from there, but you’re looking to save as much money as possible.
Fortunately, many people see firewood as an annoyance and want to be rid of it with as little effort as possible. They’ll let you take it for free because then they won’t have to make an effort to get rid of it.
When to Collect Firewood?
Firewood is most abundant during Spring and Summer. People are trimming trees and sprucing up their yard, meaning they’ll need to find a way to get rid of the wood on their property/
You can find some in the winter as well (where else would Christmas trees come from), but the cold makes finding and transporting trees harder.
The first place you should check is your own neighborhood. Ask your family and friends if they have any spare firewood they don’t want.
Same with your neighbors. If your neighbors have firewood they don’t want, offer to take if off their hands.
In addition, you could offer to cut down dead trees for any of the above parties in exchange for taking the wood for free.
All 3 parties will be glad to offload the spare firewood to you.
If you live near a wooded area, you’re already near a goldmine of free firewood. Just stroll out and cut your own trees!
Dead trees make for the best firewood.
However, before you do so, you might need a permit from your Forest Service district office. In addition, there are several rules you have to follow. You can find more information on the US Forest Service’s website.
Unused/Unusable Furniture and Buildings
Look no further than your own furniture to top off your firewood stores. For example, you might be throwing out your old bed. Keep the frame and see if you can salvage any wood from it before tossing it.
Some types of old buildings can contribute to your firewood stash, too. Maybe you need to tear your old shed down for example – look for any wood you used in its construction and see if it’s still viable for firewood.
Craigslist never fails to have interesting postings, including free firewood. Run a search for free firewood and you’re bound to get several hits. You may be able to find firewood in the “free” section as well.
To increase your potential for free firewood, you can post an ad offering to take firewood off people’s hands. People can come to you with their firewood while you continue to look for it on your own.
Real World Ads
Craigslist isn’t the only place with ads for free firewood. Take a stroll around your neighborhood, town, or city and keep an eye out for free firewood ads. Put up your own ad if you can.
Look at your local paper, too. You can look for free firewood ads in the paper, plus you can put out your own ad offering to take firewood off the hands of others.
Live near a woodworking shop? Got a friend who’s into DIY woodworking projects? Either party will have plenty of scrap wood they’re aching to get rid of.
Let them know you’ll take the firewood from them. You get free firewood, and they get free disposal services. Everyone wins.
Wooden Pallets from Local Businesses
Businesses routinely need to ditch old wooden pallets that are no longer useful. One man’s trash is another man’s treasure – in this case, these “useless” pallets make for great free firewood.
Reach out to local businesses that might have pallets, or check on Craigslist (see above) or other yard sale types of websites. Some businesses will actually deliver the pallets to you, as it’s cheaper to do so than to maintain them on their property or to pay a company to dispose of them.
One thing to be aware of: make sure the pallets aren’t treated with any chemicals. Burning pallets treated with chemicals could be hazardous to you and others.
Sawmills end up with some waste wood after processing trees into lumber. They don’t have any use for this extra wood, which is where you can swoop in. Contact local saw mills and ask if you can have the leftover wood.
New construction requires the land to be clear of trees. Those cut down trees have to go somewhere; it’s probably cheaper for the construction company to give you the wood for free rather than hiring a company to take it.
Construction sites also use wood in their construction; a good chunk of their wood either ends up as unusable wood scraps or sub-standard lumber. This makes for another easy opportunity for free firewood.
Again, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure – what with all the perfectly good wood that ends up in landfills.
Many landfills separate yard waste, such as wood, from the other waste and keep it at a landscape reclamation center. Contact your local landfill and see if they give away wood for free.
The Side of the Road
Wood sometimes falls off logging trucks completely, unbeknownst to the driver. If you live in area where trees are frequently harvested, drive around your local roads. You never know if you’ll find some lost logs waiting to be claimed.
This isn’t the most time effective way to collect large amounts of free firewood. Save this tactic for when you have a lot of free time or if you’re already on the way to do something else.