A poll of 2,000 adults found two thirds have picked up a free item during the past six months, with 29 per cent of those doing so for the first time.
A third have even gone as far as saying no completely to buying any new non-essential items.
While 54 per cent experience anxiety when purchasing something new, with 37 per cent claiming this feeling has increased within the last year.
Books , children’s clothes, and toys are the top free items people are on the lookout for – with clothes and tech items, such as phones and laptops, also popular.
The study was commissioned by circular economy platform Gumtree, to mark the opening of its pop-up shop, Gumfree, bringing its Freebies section to life in Shoreditch London on July 30th .
It also found, as well as a rise in popularity, there’s also been a positive shift in attitudes towards the phenomenon too, as 45 per cent love showing off their goods to others.
While 53 per cent feel proud when getting something for nothing, and 27 per cent think there’s more ‘creative freedom’ to add a personal touch to their free items.
But although 45 per cent are happy to be a bargain hunter, 28 per cent still feel a stigma around having to hunt items down for free.
Coping in crisis
Hannah Rouch, a spokesperson for Gumtree, said: “With the cost-of-living crisis, we’re witnessing the adoption of new consumer habits – one of which is the trend for sourcing everyday items for free.
“However, the fact that well over a quarter still feel there’s a stigma attached to this is something we need to work to change.
“We hope that by opening the doors to our Gumfree Freebies Pop-Up Shop and introducing communities to how canny – as well as sustainable – it can be to

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