Wednesday, December 21, 2016


SHIRT $1.99
PANTS $5.95
BOOTS $5.00


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


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


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


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


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


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


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)

(thirty-five dollars)

(five dollars)


(two for twenty-five)

and Santa had lots of 
in his BAG for everyone. 

Wednesday, June 1, 2016


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


(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… 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


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

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.

 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. 
all these years later 
one finally 
adorns our countertop.


The treasure hunt for 
more THRIFTY finds

Sunday, April 24, 2016

He Would Give You The SHIRT Off His Back

No matter what the circumstance, some people are generous to a T. They would sacrifice anything necessary to help someone. When you walk into a thrift store usually the first thing you see are rows and rows of clothes. Particularly shirts and tops. For me, this gives new meaning to the old expression, “He would give you the shirt off his back.” Every item in a Goodwill, St. Vincent De Paul, Agape or Salvation Army has been donated. That means someone, somewhere gave these organizations the shirt off their back. Something to think about, isn’t it?  Helping others starts at home. Let’s all do our part to recycle and  help these charities make money. Clean your closet. Donate your clothes and buy Previously Worn ones. Shop THRIFT. It saves the environment.  It’s cheaper than a department store. And better than a yard sale. You’ll be thrilled with what you find. Conversation starters abound.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016


The expression “ You never truly know someone until you’ve walked a mile in their shoes.” has new meaning when you thrift.  Shoes are a commodity we all need. But new ones can be costly. And I’ve discovered used ones,  hold their value if the tread is good. That means they’ve still got life in them like a pair of car tires. The question is, would you wear shoes someone else has walked in? Or do you find that distasteful? And why? I myself, have no qualms doing it. I have found more interesting styles , bigger selection of sizes and colors... thrifting shoes… than I otherwise would find in regular stores. As an avid thriftier, I am telling you not to IGNORE previously worn shoes, as a purchase for yourself. They are worth a second look…  and can fit in your closet right next to something new, without taking a chunk out of your wallet… and still look like a million bucks.  RECYCLE the past. You won’t see your wardrobe coming and going. "WALKING in someone else's shoes is a testament to WHO you are."