As a result of her family background, my roommates and I have begun dumpster diving. First it was for a bookshelf, which had been thrown out because the back was coming off. A couple of nails could easily fix that problem.
Next we scavenged an artificial tree for Christmas. The stand was missing one leg, so it had been thrown out. We propped it in a corner and decorated it. Given our budget, there was no way we could have afforded a tree that we would only use once before moving. This allowed us to add a little festive touch to our apartment.
Today we found a gorgeous lamp with five individual lights, which can be twisted to point any direction. The only discernible flaw is a little chipped paint on two of the lights. Not only was this totally functional lamp thrown out, but so were the three energy efficient light bulbs in it.
I love dumpster diving!