Wednesday, January 18, 2017

THE REAL DEAL


If you are looking for REAL artwork to decorate your humble abode or extravagant one. You won’t find it at Walmart, the Dollar Stores or Macy’s. Believe it or not… I’m going to tell you to start shopping at ‘thrifts’ for it. You can tastefully decorate using REAL canvases. The selection of local artists on their shelves and walls and in their bins,  is simply amazing. And it can be much more  affordable than some of the fake stuff out there. Watercolors, oils, acrylics, pen & inks are easily found. Of course… so are posters and decorator stuff,  too, if that is what you prefer. I found an amazing Caribbean oil painting of a village in a rainstorm that I nagged for only $8.00. It easily could have been priced for $200 elsewhere. It was perfect for our wall and folks are none the wiser… it came from a thrift shop, instead of a juried art show or island getaway.



Real gems are out there if you look. But you have to be willing to put in the time. The scenes and locations in each picture will melt your heart.  I guarantee it. And… I’m sure, you’ll find one that speaks to you and is just waiting to accompany you home. So keep your eyes open to the possibilities of REAL art, that is original.  It’s more affordable than you think.  

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

EASTER BUNNIES & VALENTINE HEARTS


With the new year upon us…  retailers are quick to get the next holiday merchandise out there in the shops. And so are thrift stores. Here where I live… the day after Christmas… they all had Valentine’s Day & Easter spoken for with candies, stuffed animals, figurines, baskets,  flowers and vases.  Thrifting these things is not only cost effective, but it gives you a variety of more unique items to choose from… instead of the cookie cutter pieces, you  find in major retail markets.  


I love shopping and  found a few things that spoke to me…  for HEART DAY as I call it, but have not bought for Easter, quite yet. I think it’s a bit early but perhaps I’m wrong. These folks who man the stores must know something about shopping trends. Is EARLIER better? Perhaps so? There is no question inventory is pumped up right now and lots of choices are out there to be had. But… they will likely become depleted, more so in the thrifting world, the closer and closer we get to the holidays. So sit down… and make a list of what you need BEFORE you head out thrifting.


 The merchandise when  shopping for  ‘repurposed’ things may be a bit more disorganized on the shelves… but picking through them is half the fun. You’ll see plenty of Easter or Valentine’s goodies to choose from that will be easy on your pocketbook… and delight your sensibilities.  




Tuesday, January 3, 2017

DOLLARS FOR YOUR WEIGHT


Now that the calendar has changed… and the New Year is upon us, everyone is searching for a healthier lifestyle, to undo the ravenous appetites… we all had at the holidays. Traditionally folks get memberships in health clubs, begin exercising, start  to follow diets from Atkins, Weight Watcher’s and Nutri System or the latest fad. And sometimes we buy books... that turn into bestsellers, to outline a new plan to approach food in a better way. Resolutions and I always have a parting by February  when Valentine’s Day candies dot the landscape. But I thought READING a BOOK might just be the motivation I need... to prolong the lose weight inspiration, my heart is hearing... when cravings hit and I get weak in the knees. And to save some MONEY to do it… I shopped for those books at thrifts. Pickings were not good anywhere except Goodwill. Lots of books to be had there... and two caught my eyes. For $1.98 I got  motivation bundled and bound. No crunches needed. At Amazon I would have paid alot more. So if the DIET thing does NOT work out... I can re-donate these... so nothing is lost by the purchase. Therefore BOOKS are my THRIFTY FIND  for the week. Do you shop thrifts for books?  

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

HOLIDAY WARMTH COMES WITH A PURPOSE

SWEATER $2.88
SHIRT $1.99
PANTS $5.95
BOOTS $5.00

TOTAL OUTFIT COST
$15.82

Our Christmas gifts this year will ALL be from repurposed sources with only two exceptions. A TV and TIVO. Big splurges, which we are adding to our household after a long debate. Cable is now a thing of our past. SAVING that 200 dollars a month is paramount. With the solstice here and cold winter temperatures lasting past their prime… I have been on the lookout for thrifting warmth. Sweaters are hard to come by when you’re a buxom gal, like me. Thrifts are notoriously LOW on inventory in this department, in our neck of the woods. So I diligently scour the surrounding areas, looking for something to cuddle up in.  Sometimes I get lucky. Just look at the price for the whole kit and caboodle. The sweater alone is worth three or four times that total.  I felt comfy and ready for snow with these thrifty threads. What have you found thrifting?

Sunday, December 11, 2016

GLOVES NEEDED It's COLD


Basic necessities are a part of life. But never  more so in the winter. ‘Baby it’s COLD outside’…  rings true in most places across the country right now. So keeping yourself bundled up is a priority. Gloves are essential. Finding an affordable pair that allows you to access your cell phone’s touch screen can be a bit of a challenge. And very pricey. I’ve seen some pairs of gloves at $25 and up. But at Goodwill I found a pair to not only suit my budget at $3.99 but also my fashion sense and handle the touch screen on my phone too. And most importantly they are comfy, cozy and very WARM. Perfect compliment to my Old Navy coat and they speak to the season as well. This is my THRIFTY FIND for the holidays.


Wednesday, August 31, 2016

ACHES AND PAIN - RELIEF ON THE CHEAP


We overwork  our extremities... playing too hard, and we suffer the consequences. At the end of the day... we all have tired aching muscles... that need relief. Sore backs, throbbing knees, swollen ankles, etc.  We use ice packs, heating pads and drugs to take the edge off. These medicinal aids are expensive sometimes helping and sometimes not. So we are always on the lookout for alternative methods to ease our discomfort. When you think of THRIFTING you usually do NOT think of home health products of this kind. Canes, wheelchairs, walkers are prevalent in thrift stores but that is about it. So imagine my surprise when I came across a 'HoMedic Massager.' It was BRAND NEW in the box with attachments. It has an adjustable handle to access those hard to reach places. And infrared heat to soothe the trouble spots. I scooped it up immediately. My husband has already used it for his lower back pain and if I can wrangle it from him, I intend to get some relief for my sore hip. The kicker is it was marked $1.99. But because it was Senior Day... I only paid $1.79 for it. These massagers retail for almost thirty bucks. Cheaper than the price of a masseuse… this is my THRIFTY FIND of the week.  A real bargain, indeed. So keep your 'eyes peeled' fellow thrifters.... you never know what you might find, when you are out thrifting.


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.