Some ideas on how to find the raw materials needed to solve the Challenge…

Free Stuff

  1. Your room, garage and attic – Look around your house. Ask your parents if you can have the item – makesure they know it might not return in the same (if any) condition that they gave it to you.
  2. Stuff on the side of the road – Keep an eye out on garbage day. Or ask at your friends’ houses when they arethrowing stuff out. Especially plentiful are oversized stuff, electrical stuff and items that only one part doesn’twork.
  3. Dumpster diving – While we don’t recommend this as a regular activity, sometimes a dumpster looksespecially “ripe” with stuff. Or you might know someone that works at a store and they know what is beingthrown out and when. Ask them to keep an eye open for you.
  4. Wood
    • Lazy Boy and other businesses – skids and other pieces are free
    • Construction sites – but only wood they are throwing away –no stealing of wood they need!
  5. Cardboard
    • large refrigerator boxes and Lazy Boy for chair and sofa boxes – call ahead – ask that they be saved inadvance and not torn down – if you need an intact box.
    • grocery store or other retailer – ask that they be saved in advance and not torn down – if you need anintact box.
    • Office buildings go through massive amounts of xerox paper – it all comes in wonderful boxes with great lids.
    • Other places
  6. Other stuff
    Ask someone or a business that deals in those materials – ask for them free or at low cost – get a receipt
    • Some businesses will give away returned merchandise instead of sending it back to the supplier.
    • Suppliers – who do you know and what do they manufacture/sell. Most manufacturers will give awayproduct to school groups or sell it at wholesale prices – but don’t get too greedy.
    • Businesses throw out lots of stuff – ask that they save you some of it.
    • Look at the trash you are throwing out at your house. If someone in your house sews, you’re probablythrowing out plastic spools – or larger ones are being thrown out at Lowe’s and Home Depot (ones thathad wire on them). Clean Styrofoam meat trays can be used to mix paint or cut out to make designsthemselves. Old baskets, alarm clocks and poster board may all be used again – check it out.
  7. Batteries
    • Batteries Plus may give away returned batteries.
    • Where else can you get batteries? How else can it be powered?
    • Note: Batteries are now usually exempt from budget. Check your Challenge and Rules of the Road to be sure!
  8. Stuffing
    • For props, costumes, etc.
    • Old pillows
    • Old couch cushions
    • Old stuffed animals (be sure that you have permission, and be sure that you will not regret the decision in 30 years when you want to pass that old toy on to the next generation!!)
    • Discarded foam

Low-Cost Stuff

  • Garage sales –Stuff can be cheap or expensive – you really have to know your prices – but you can negotiate a price that fits your budget.
  • Salvation Army –Very cheap – all items like blouses are the same price. Check for “sales” that they have posted and save up to half-price and more on a particular item.
  • Thrift stores –cheap stuff – typically all at the same price, no matter what it looks like. Great for clothes, shoes, belts, hats and some household items.
  • Dollar stores – most stuff there is junk, but a trip there every now and again may yield quite interesting, useful and cheap stuff.
  • Day-after sales – the day after Halloween make-up, masks, wigs, etc. are all marked half priceor more.
  • Clearance racks – always a good buy – but still must be within our budget.
  • Ask any business –especially a small, locally owned business if they will sell you an item at a reduced cost (get a receipt).

Borrowed Stuff

Teams are allowed to book a “one-day-rental” price for items which are used in the Challenge but can be returned at the end of the challenge in their original condition.  The detailed rules on this are in Rules of the Road.

Donations of items to raise money

  • Whom do you know? Who are you willing to go up to and ask for just about anything? Mostbusinesses, especially people you know, will donate a gift certificate, dinner for two, an item or otherstuff for a fund-raiser. Your team can have an auction to “sell” these items. Don’t forget to provide these businesseswith a letter acknowledging the donation.
  • Garage sale items – one year a group raised almost $2000 on two garage sales.
  • Space and materials to have a car wash
  • A donation jar at the businesses check out desk can generate funds
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