Many cost conscious hobbyists are always searching for free things to collect. Use this simple list to help you get started.

1. Stamps

Assuming you get mail, stamps are one of a few free things to collect. I put them at the top of this list because nearly everyone gets mail at some time or another. If you are thinking of choosing stamps as your free thing to collect, keep a few things in mind. You may need to write a few letters. Most junk mail is metered, meaning the stamps are ink and not collectible. If you are seeking a free stamp collection you may need to start by writing a few letters to get some in return. Think about starting to send out birthday, anniversary, and holiday cards. Also remember to mail postcards to friends and family and you will likely get some in return with stamps. Others will be more prone to send you the same and you can begin by collecting the stamps on the letters they send you.


2. Money

Chances are, money passes through your hands at least weekly. It isn’t necessarily free to collect money since you are essentially removing it from your spending funds. It is still a fun way to start a collection and can only cost you pennies. First, identify which coins or bills you want to collect. I recommend starting with something that is in circulation but that you may find in change. Wheat pennies are becoming more and more rare in circulation but you can still find some. Or you could simply choose to collect dates from before 1960 or choose to keep all coins from the year of your birth. If you do pick loose change as your free things to collect, remember that there are many different methods of collecting money. Check out numismatic blogs to see how others collect and it may give you some good ideas for more free things to collect.


3. Matchbooks

Even though smoking bans are in effect in most places throughout the country, bars, restaurants and hotels still routinely give them out to customers. Keep an eye out and don’t be afraid to ask if a place has any matchbooks. Keep in mind that some will have books and some will have boxes. Most collectors keep both but you may want to focus on just one. Of all free things to collect, this could be the most common. Most people come home from being out and toss their collected matchbooks in a vase or large bowl.


4. Ticket Stubs

This is on our list of free things to collect assuming you already purchase tickets to various events. Collecting ticket stubs sometimes borders on general scrapbooking but some choose to collect only ticket stubs and not entry bracelets, programs, etc. If you do choose to collect ticket stubs, I recommend getting a ticket stub book. There are a few different types but they allow you to safely and attractively store your collected ticket stubs. Or, you can do what most people do and toss them in an old shoebox. Remember, you can save tickets to anything: movies, charity events, stage plays, concerts, flights, train tickets, etc. Many choose this from our list of free things to collect since it can be used to chronicle their lives in a neat way. Don't just stop at free things to collect though, check out some larger lists of things to collect.


5. Rocks

Rocks are everywhere. Part of the fun is finding them. When considering free things to collect, remember that there is more than just gravel out there. If you decide to collect rocks for free, invest in a rock tumbler. They are relatively inexpensive and add a new dimension to the hobby. Using a rock tumbler can change an ordinary rock into something special. Consider adding rocks in your collection to handmade terrariums around the house. Collect rocks while on vacation or on memorable trips. Polish and keep the rocks as free mementos of your travels.


There are a number of free things to collect and these are the most popular. Have fun collecting.