Frugal Finds – September 2011

So, did anyone do some thrifting over the weekend?

After my boys’ flag football season opener, double-header (they are now 0-2!), I was able to go to Goodwill’s half off sale. Here is what I bought:

metal basket (it will hold books to be returned to the library), $4:

two frames, $1.40 for both:

snow globe, $2:

small apothecary jar, $1:

I filled it with split peas…you’ll know why later this week!

Metal sign, $0.40:

acorn name card holders, $0.49 each:

Quick funny story about these – I was BEYOND excited when I discovered what they were. There were even eight of them – a complete set! I very gingerly carried these throughout the bustling store and carefully set them on the counter to pay for them – and the cashier dropped one! Not only did it break, but it rolled under a huge counter on wheels, so I couldn’t even try to repair it at home. I was so bummed. It wasn’t her fault and she did apologize. I didn’t get mad, I just tried to show grace and tell myself that people are way more important than things. And in the end, it’s all just stuff.

I also bought two nice shirts, a pair of jeans and a pair of dress pants for my boys – all half price. I gotta tell ya, finding pants for boys second hand is no small feat. Boys are just really hard on clothes – esp the knees – but God is still gracious to provide.

Published in: on September 26, 2011 at 11:35 am  Comments (1)  

Half Off at Goodwill Tomorrow

Just a reminder that tomorrow is the last Saturday of the month, which means that most items are 50 percent off.

We have not one, but TWO flag football games tomorrow, so I’m going to try to stop by afterward if I get the chance.

Here is what I’m on the hunt for:

  • a vintage green suitcase
  • wire baskets
  • old frames, big or small, that I can make over
  • books with colorful illustrations
  • white dishes
  • urns, metal or plastic
My rule, though, is I only buy what I absolutely love. Otherwise, I’ll end up with a house full of just stuff, not treasures:)
Are you going? What’s on your list? 
Published in: on September 23, 2011 at 10:57 am  Leave a Comment  
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Half off at Goodwill TODAY and a couple of past finds

Good morning!

I forgot about this until I looked at the calendar yesterday…today is the last Saturday of the month and that means most things are half off! Policies might vary from store to store, but generally in my area anything with a green sticker – all the clothes, housewares, furniture, books, toys – is 50 percent off. Anything with a white (new goods) or pink sticker (Treasure Chest items) are NOT included in the sale.

Not sure if I will make it there today (darn) as I will have both kiddos in tow. When you are thrifting, remember this equation:

Kids + Thrifting = Automatic Frustration

It’s not the kids’ fault; it’s just hard to dig for deals with two little people trailing behind you. Ask me how I know;)

OK, let me show you a couple of the things I’ve picked up recently. This falls under the category of ‘accidental collections’, but this time in a good way!

First up is this copper airplane music box.

I bought this for $6 or $7 earlier this year. It fits in perfectly with the “vintage transportation” theme of my boys’ room. Plus, it plays, “Dream the Impossible Dream.” Way cool.

Of course, in the back of my mind was the question, “Which kid does this belong to?” I thought it should by Joey’s, only because he loves planes, especially bi-planes.

Glad I didn’t have to go there when I spied this just a couple of weeks ago. Meet the plane’s long lost cousin, Tin Lizzie:

She is also made out of copper and plays an unidentifiable song. She was marked $10, but had been there WAY longer than 21 days, meaning she was $5. Sold. This one will go to Jack, since he really loves cars – especially race cars.

God help me.

So, have you found any great deals lately? thrifted or otherwise? Leave a comment and let me know!

Published in: on August 27, 2011 at 8:06 am  Comments (2)  
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Tent Sale at Second Impressions

I just received an email that today and tomorrow my second favorite Thrift Store, Second Impressions, is having a tent sale. All furniture in the tent is up to 75 percent off and clothes and shoes are $1 each.

I went to their end of season sale last year and found a number of clothing items for 99 cents each. If you are in the area, it might be worth it to stop by. Also, the store is run by some very dedicated volunteers and all the proceeds benefit the Kalamazoo Christian Schools.

Love the win-win. Happy shopping!

Published in: on August 11, 2011 at 5:30 am  Comments (2)  
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This almost never happens…

Last week I was running some errands when I noticed that the Bargain Books stores were going out of business. It was their last day and everything in the store was 75 percent off.

When I went inside, the deals were even better – fill up a bag for $5 plus tax!

I was really surprised that so many good titles were left and ended up filling two bags. Here is what I picked up for $10 plus tax:

Notice that I showed great restraint until I got to the decorating section! I picked up a copy of every Pottery Barn book that was left.

I also picked up a historical novel about the life of Jane Austen, aptly titled, “Just Jane” by Nancy Moser. I am more than halfway through and it is a great read. If you love Jane Austen’s other works, such as Sense and Sensibility; Pride and Prejudice; Emma or Mansfield Park, you’ll really love this book. Love. you. Jane.

My only regret is that I didn’t find out about this sale sooner so I could’ve passed the deal along to all of you! It might be worth checking out the Bargain Books in your town.

Have you stumbled across any really good deals lately? Please share:)

Published in: on August 2, 2011 at 5:30 am  Leave a Comment  

Dresser Makeover, Take 5

I spied this dresser at Goodwill (shocker) in Battle Creek about three years ago for $9.99. Yes, you read that right. Only ten bucks.

She’s a beauty, I know. (At least she will be).

A good portion of the original veneer on one of the drawers was missing as were two of the original casters, but other than that she was in great shape. Solid wood, all the drawers work, original hardware, dovetail joints, oh yeah. She even came with a cool curvy mirror.

I’ve had several ideas on how to redo this dresser. Five to be exact:

  • Take 1:  Re-veneer the drawer front. A roll of veneer was $20, not including the stain to match. Next.
  • Take 2:  Fill in the missing veneer with woodfiller and paint it. Note to self: woodfiller works great on small areas, not large ones. Moving right along.
  • Take 3:  Decoupage it with wrapping paper. Nope. I couldn’t get the paper to smooth out for anything so I tore it all off before it dried. Next.

I should mention that at this point, I was very tempted to roll it out to the curb on its antique casters. But I’m not going to let the dresser beat me. Oh no.

  • Take 4:  What about wallpaper? I couldn’t find one that I liked for cheap enough. Plus, I envisioned my boys running around the store grabbing rolls of wallpaper and using them as swords while I fruitlessly tried to look through a 15-inch thick book of discontinued wallpaper samples. Next.
  • Take 5:  My last ditch effort was to cover up the badly chipped wood veneer with a coat of paint and a stencil.

About three years and five tries later, she’s finally finished.

The stenciling part was actually the easiest of all the options (except for painting all one color) and I do love how it FINALLY turned out.

So the moral of the story is this, if you find a $10 dresser that has some bad veneer, but is in otherwise good shape, consider buying it. If you can’t spruce it up, you didn’t lose much. At the very least, you’ll keep it out of a landfill and maybe even find a less noble use for it somewhere in your house.

Just aim to get it finished in less than three years 😉

I linked this post up to Miss Mustard Seed’s Furniture Feature Friday and WhisperWood Cottage’s Authentic Style Series featuring Miss Mustard Seed.

Published in: on July 5, 2011 at 10:34 am  Comments (3)  
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Let the (Garage Sale) Season Begin!

So…our neighborhood was having a garage sale this past weekend. We couldn’t make the rounds on Saturday as were traveling to a homeschool conference instead (more on that in a future post).

On Thursday night, I noticed my neighbors kitty korner from us were setting up for a sale. I thought I could offer to help or at least keep them company. They said there wasn’t much that I could do, but I was free to look around.

You know the ending to that story – I started a pile:)

PS, In case you were wondering, I did end up helping out a bit. I folded and organized what was already set out on the tables to help other shoppers find what they needed more quickly. It’s a sickness really. I have such a hard time managing time and money, but give me a closet and watch me go! Go figure.

Here is what I found:

vintage kitchen scale, $5. I love, love, love the chippy green paint and the little bit of rust, plus it still works! She said she got it when she lived in NY state. If only this little guy could talk…

two little topiaries, $1 each. They are now on my spring mantle because cut lilacs stay beautiful for all of 30 seconds.

eddie bauer clock, $3. Please pardon the dust on my nightstand!

linen curtain panels, $2. I bought them just for the fabric alone.

tops, $1 each. From the bottom up: NY and Co. bright pink long sleeve wrap sweater, Banana Republic brown short sleeve cardi, wrap yoga top from Target, Liz Claiborne 3/4 sleeve no-iron button up shirt, ruched teal cardi from Apt 9

assorted toys, from 25 cents to $2. The scary looking skeleton thing in the background is for Hot Wheels cars and is REALLY LOUD – which is probably why it was in the garage sale in the first place (wink:)

Do you like going to garage sales, hosting them or both? Leave a comment a let me know:)

I linked this post up to the Nester’s Best Yard Sale Finds EVER linky party and WhisperWood Cottage’s Authentic Style Series featuring Miss Mustard Seed.

Published in: on May 23, 2011 at 9:42 am  Comments (2)  
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Road Trip and Some Vintage Finds

Last Saturday, my boys and I headed down to Indiana with a friend to browse some vintage and antique shops.

What fun! (For me anyway. For the boys? Not so much).

Want  to see what I found?

vintage measuring cup, $0.50

Jell-O molds, $3 for a set of three

(Wouldn’t these be cute to use as an Easter place setting with a cupcake liner and some colorful jelly beans?)

salt and pepper shakers, $4 for the set

orphaned silver ladle, $0.50

I have an idea of how I can use these on our outdoor patio this summer. Stay tuned…

cow creamer, $2

Note that he is NOT vintage, as evidenced by the “Made in China” stamped on his underside, however, for $2 I was hooked!

wooden garden caddy, $8

I plan to clean him out really, really well and use him to hold utensils and napkins for dinners on our patio.

And last but not least…

my vintage grain (or in this case seed) sack, $7.50.

I was on a mission to come home with at least one vintage grain sack. They sell for $30+ online, but I thought if I was patient, I would find one cheaper (and I did, yea)!

The grain sack pillows I’ve seen around blogland are great, but they are way, way out of my price range. I’m going to try my hand at making one instead. We have a green couch in our living room, so I think it will go perfectly.

Check back soon to see how it turns out. Edited to add: it turned out great. Check it out here.

Do you thrift? If so, what’s on your list?

Published in: on April 16, 2011 at 5:30 am  Leave a Comment  
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Frugal Finds – March 2010

March was a super busy month for us. I didn’t really get to go thrifting very much, but I did pick up a few things for our home:

sweet little bird with crown, $2 on clearance at Michael’s

The little bird made a home on our side table with a lantern, bought new at Walmart for $10, and silver-plated round tray, $3 from Goodwill

silver candlestick, $1.50 from Goodwill

Right now I have a grouping of silver candlesticks on a table in our entryway:

I have a thing for white dishes and all things silver, so I did a double take when I saw these little beauties. Only $3 for the set? Come to mama!

white enamel soap dish, 50 cents…

…and last, but not least, my most unique find this month is a silver-plated egg plate, just perfect for my Easter table, $2

What do you think?

Have you picked up anything new or unique lately (it doesn’t have to be from a thrift store)? Leave a comment. I’d love to hear from you!

Published in: on March 28, 2011 at 9:53 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Frugal Finds – February 2011

Remember how I went shopping at Goodwill’s half off sale two weeks ago? Well, I never showed you what I got.

Shame on me.

I didn’t find much, but I didn’t come home empty-handed either…

…much to my husband’s dismay;)

Yellow leather tote, $3

Did I mention that it’s leather? LEA-THER, people!

 I don’t even like yellow, but I couldn’t pass it up. I have a friend whose favorite color is yellow and I want her to have it.

S0on-to-get-a-coat-of-spray-paint stainless steel kleenex holder, $1; syrup pitcher, $0.40; candleholder, $0.40; white cordial mug, $0.50

book, $0.50

pillow forms (brand new in package), $3 for both

(Guess I’ll have to make some more pillows sometime soon…

…’cuz you know I don’t have enough already)!

brown (my favorite color!) cableknit sweater, $2.50

Larry Levine dark grey dress pants, $2.50; Talbot’s lined grey skirt, $2

What do you think? Not bad for $16. The pillow forms alone would cost me almost that brand new.


On another note:  I haven’t done a frugal fashion post in a while so check back next week. Also, a seven-minute kitchen transformation you won’t want to miss:)

Published in: on March 12, 2011 at 7:00 am  Leave a Comment  
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