Wednesday, August 17, 2016

THRIFTING NIRVANA RT. 127 and LINCOLN Hwy/ Buy Way


I have experienced Garage Sale Nirvana and it was glorious. For me and dozens of other bargain hunters, the past two weeks have been a dream come true…. played out along the highways and back roads of America.  It started with the Route 127 sale that stretched from Addison Michigan to Gadsden Alabama. That’s just shy of 700 miles. Dubbed the world’s LONGEST garage sale it lives up to it’s name.



 I got quite a haul of Christmas goodies and a leather bull spending just under $25 total. I was thrilled to be part of the traveling troupe of thrifters… who went on this scavenger hunt, to find the Holy Grail… and steal it on the cheap.



Vendors out and about were individuals, families, churches, stores, communities, schools, senior centers, etc. They came up with clever gimmicks to get you to buy. Incentives galore. There were GRAB BAGS of every denomination. Or you could fill a grocery sack stuffing it with everything you could. There were bins and boxes, where a multitude of things were just a quarter. Big ticket items were also out there. As were tables marked FREE, where everything on them was for the taking.



It was a FUN time, carnival like atmosphere… with like minded people of all ages… coming together… from all walks of life… with purpose... To SELL or to SHOP. The only downer was when we got to VAN WERT, OHIO. The local police there were killjoys threatening to ticket cars pulled over to attend the sales, including ours. Not the WELCOME the Van Wert Chamber of Commerce promised for this shindig. So much for trying to pour money into their local economy. We headed down the road and were pleasantly embraced somewhere else.


The following weekend the Lincoln Hwy/BUY-WAY Garage Sale activities commenced. The first few days were worry free. Stretching from Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio and West Virginia. But a forecast of stormy weather on Saturday throughout parts of Indiana and Ohio threw a wrench in things.



However, the show went on as planned with torrential downpours, coming and going. Vendors scurried to save what was exposed to the elements, while others relaxed under tents, in barns and garages to continue the sale without letting Mother Nature ruin the fun… giving us all something to talk about, as we milled about. Running back and forth to the parked cars, caused the most aggravation for thrifters… because there was no way to avoid the raindrops falling, unless you happened to pick up a vintage umbrella.



(I looked like a drenched rat chasing deals)

To be totally honest, my finds along this route were more interesting than Rt. 127. And the most I paid for anything on Lincoln Hwy was $2. And it was for a Picasso Print that retails for over $200. 


Everything else including a Thomas Kincaid Lamp was only a quarter.

(I asked if the port-a-potty was for sale or to use?) 

Traveling down these highways looking for THRIFTY FINDS was a welcome change of pace from the norm. I am HAPPY I did it. And want to thank my hubby for navigating every step of the way. 



Next year, I am obligated to go back because… a little Christmas Tree I purchased was missing it’s base and the woman I bought it from declared she’d find it… and have it there waiting for me if I returned a year from now. And I believe she will. Just like I believe in Santa and re-purposing what someone else no longer wants. 



PS) Although I chastised the city of Van Wert, OHIO in my story above for the local cops causing problems where there were none. (because it is an issue the town needs to address before the next annual sale.)  I’d like to give a SHOUT OUT to their Senior Citizen Center. Kudos for their participation. Their FILL UP YOUR SHOPPING SACK for $1.00 was the most fun I’ve had in years. 

Monday, July 18, 2016

SOMETHING TO SIT UPON


I do not like to spend a lot of money when thrifting unless the FIND is good. Leather goods in the retail world come at a premium price. When I see them I usually walk away, settling instead for plethora. My old desk chair is threadbare. I have been in the market for a new one… so my derrière is more comfortable than it’s been… sitting non-stop… in front of the computer. However the cost for these kind of chairs has been prohibitive. And the fact you have to buy them and then put ‘em together is disheartening, to say the least. Who wants pieces and parts strewn all over the place? So the purchase had been delayed until the right deal came along. This week I found that deal. It is my THRIFTY FIND of the week. A LEATHER DESK CHAIR. $19.98. The price more than I usually spend, but worth every dime. Some days you get lucky and some days you do not.


Friday, July 1, 2016

THE PRICE IS RIGHT


Finding women’s pants when thrifting can be quite a challenge. I continually strike out. While hundreds of slacks and jeans are out there on the racks  in the stores… unlike shirts and tops… pants are typically not current when it comes to styles, fabrics and fit. It is the Thrift Store’s Achilles Heel. Today women want their pants to have  a modern fit with  spandex, shorter inseams, skinny legs and be more form fitting around the booty. What is available thrifting... by and large... are bell bottoms, wide hemmed , pleated fronts,  boot cut,  baggy, polyester, outdated trousers. It is frustrating to say the least. Especially if you are looking for bargain basement prices and something that fits the bill... or your booty... as the case may be. But it IS the reality that awaits you thrifting. Slim pickings, pants wise. So compromising becomes a necessity. I concede... I resort to retail store purchases to fill in this part of my wardrobe. But trousers are pricey and that higher price tag scores a direct hit on the checkbook. So I am always on the lookout for a sale.  Imagine my surprise when I found one… too good to be true. The pants were a well known brand associated with a major retailer. They list for $26.99. Too steep for me to bite, at first glance. But the sale marked them down to $18, then $13 according to the ticket. That made the pants… two for the price of one. A good deal. I picked up two pairs and headed to check out. As the clerk rang them up… an unexpected surprise… made my day. The scanner showed them costing only $7.00 a piece. Again… two for the price of one… but at an even lower price point. A fabulous THRIFTY FIND hiding out in a retail store, not a thrift one. While I’m SOLD on THRIFTING, repurposing and recycling… I am willing to forgo this guilty pleasure… every once in a while… if the PRICE IS RIGHT. Retail needs to pony up better deals for consumers. This time it did.


Monday, June 20, 2016

PRAY TELL A SALE



When thrifting… scouting out your next location is always fun… particularly during the hot summer months. The reason why is Garage Sales. They are everywhere. You can not afford to overlook them if you thrift.  Lots of bargains are out there waiting to be discovered. Unfortunately the problem is...  finding them. It can become quite a chore. Garage Sale signs are notoriously small and usually unreadable at intersections. So if you have a smart phone using a special app, or just type in the words Garage or Yard Sale in your search engine, it can lead you to your destination much quicker. They have maps to point you in the right direction and  they list the items available at each place. It’s a great resource. So imagine my surprise when that technology MISSED an important spot during a recent outing of mine. Pray tell... a local church in the town I was visiting was having a BIG sale. So... I parked the car when I saw their sign... LARGER than life,  and ventured closer for a look-see. People were hauling out all kinds of GOOD stuff. I was impressed by what I saw leaving. So I went inside in  search of some things I wanted. The BIG stuff  hugged the walls and tables were set up in the middle of the gym. I started working my way around the room.  When my arms got too full to carry stuff, I discovered chivalry isn’t dead. Nice gentleman there... offered me a cardboard box, to put things in and then carried it for me,  until I was done shopping. Then a lady rang me up… the old fashioned way... adding and subtracting the totals in her head, without the aid of a calculator. When I paid her what I owed… another lady was designated to carry  my purchases out to my car. Curbside service, imagine that?   And for bigger items like furniture… guys from the church with pickup trucks were willing to load and deliver. Definitely worth the trip. Another man’s trash is another man's treasure. THRIFTY finds GALORE. Take a peek below at some of the offerings they had there.  

Books, Plates, Knicknacs, Computer Equipment, etc.
(prices varied from five cents to fifty dollars)

VINTAGE DESK
(thirty-five dollars)

CHAIR
(five dollars)

HUTCH
(thirty-dollars)

END TABLES
(two for twenty-five)

CHRISTMAS was EARLY
and Santa had lots of 
GOODIES 
in his BAG for everyone. 


Wednesday, June 1, 2016

HERE COMES THE BRIDE

WEDDING ATTIRE
Cost $4.19

It is that time of year. June brides. June weddings. Most ladies have planned months in advance for the special occasion... Organizing it down to the last detail, hoping everything goes off without a hitch, culminating in the most romantic day of their lives. But, for those women just engaged... the process is just beginning. And first and foremost on every bride’s mind is the DRESS she’ll wear walking down the aisle. Picking the perfect one can be costly... throwing a wrench into the budget for the reception.  Thrift stores and Resale Boutiques are the perfect place for brides-to-be to scope out a unique Wedding Dress for their nuptials. And the prices will knock your socks off.  You’ll have plenty of extra cash on hand to splurge on a dream honeymoon or down payment for a house. And if you are a more mature lady looking to renew your vows you’ll be pleasantly surprised by what is available for you too.



PS) Please note I am fully clothed under the dress. That is why it looks a bit bulky. The beadwork on it is unbelievable. So beautiful.

Monday, May 16, 2016

ONLINE or IN STORE THRIFTING?

(click to enlarge)

My frenzied thrifting mode has transcended the realm of for profit stores like Value World and Savers. Also local church, neighborhood and hospital charity shops. Not to mention the major players… Goodwill, Vincent St. De Paul, Salvation Army. And… fashionable resale BOUTIQUES that are out and about in every community. Instead of traipsing through the litany of those stores… I started armchair traveling to the hotspots. The internet became my new playground for thrifting. While I’ve hit upon the ONLINE thrifters like ThredUp , eBay, Nifty Thrifty, Gone-Tomorrow, The Attic, and Shopgoodwill.com… an ugly truth has emerged. The shipping charges to get the product home to you… makes the thrifting purchases online far more costly. And it negates the bargain basement deals, you'd find in person, shopping up close and personal. Just for an example… I was charged a $9 almost $10, shipping and handling charge… for a store to mail me the sterling silver necklace I purchased. And they did not include insurance. Seriously how much does a necklace weigh? Another sale cost almost $20 to ship me a couple coffee mugs. I found that ridiculous. In both cases the item price was far LESS than the shipping. Truth is… it is highway robbery…. Pure and simple. Shipping costs these days are beyond outrageous. USPS is more expensive than it should be with their PRIORITY MAIL BOXES. And so is Fed Ex and UPS. Then if you add in the handling charges, the price skyrockets even more. And it makes thrifting online, less desirable to someone hunting for a deal, in my humble opinion. In the long run… buying local makes more sense. So... I’m curtailing my online fun, and heading back down the real road, instead of the virtual one, looking for some better THRIFTY FINDS.




Thursday, May 5, 2016

HIDDEN TREASURE and THRIFTY FINDS


This is my 
THRIFTY
find of the week
COFFEE POD CAROUSEL
price $1.29 at GOODWILL, locally.
Selling on eBay for anywhere
between $5 to $25.
My husband's reaction
to finding an AFFORDABLE one 
PRICELESS

When my hubby got his Keurig Coffee Maker 
way back when they first came out...
he came up with a makeshift idea
to store the pods because nothing was on the
market quite yet to do it.
These BINS did the job 
but were kind of utilitarian
and ugly.


So...
 when the coffee pod carousels 
eventually became 
available in our area... 


they were too expensive 
for our tastes...
leaving us to make do 
with what we had. 
NOW
all these years later 
THANKS 
to 
THRIFTING
one finally 
adorns our countertop.


IMAGINE THAT


MEANWHILE...
The treasure hunt for 
more THRIFTY finds
continues.