Thursday, February 26, 2009

I love bargains.

As a matter of fact, I am a bargain QUEEN. I love bargains in all forms of shopping...groceries, clothing, household items, you name it...I want to buy it at a BARGAIN price. I shop sales wherever I go...sometimes not even looking at regular priced items and just making a bee-line to the clearance rack. As a matter of fact...if I pay full price, I feel jipped. Robbed. And like I could have done better if I'd just shopped around a bit...if I'd just been PATIENT.
My love of bargain shopping has led me to the world of thrift stores, flea markets and garage sales. Talk about bargains! Not to mention the reducing/reusing/recycling factor of buying used items.
The other day I took a look around my room and decided to grab my camera and take some photos of a few areas in my room. As I did I realized that each little area, for the most part, was a cluster of previously owned items.
Take this umbrella and antique shoe forms. The umbrella was at my favorite thrift store...I got it for a buck. The shoe forms I've had for YEARS...I purchased them at a flea market for a dollar or so each.

This little stack of goodness sits at the foot of my bed. The pink wicker trunk on the bottom was purchased at a garage sale for $5. It holds extra bedding and pillows. I always meant to paint you can see, didn't. Ahem. This doesn't mean that I won't...I will. As soon as I figure out what color I want it! Any suggestions? The basket in the middle was purchased at a different yard sale...2 bucks. It contains my dolls that I'm too old to display on my bed like I did when I was a kid. I just don't think my husband...or any designer on HGTV...would approve. How about that afghan on the top? Isn't it so COOL? I love it. And I got it at my favorite thrift store here in town...$7. Admittedly a little more than I like to spend...but, decided that it was worth the extra couple of dollars because it was in good shape...the colors were amazing...and times weren't as hard when I bought it!

Old cameras. Love them. And collect them. The Brownie Hawkeye was purchased in a thrift shop one weekend when my husband and I went out of town for a getaway. We came across this shabby thrift store and, of course, had to pop in. I found this camera for $7. Not bad. The Brownie Target belonged to my great aunt. My grandmother gave it to me recently when she realized I was into photography. Isn't that amazing? Now, no, it's not thrift...but it is reused, recycled and VERY sentimental.

The Dekker books...thrift store on the FREE SHELF. Yes. FREE. They are dang near brand spankin' new! The thrift store gives books away for free...but asks that you donate a little something into "the piggy"...a giant ceramic piggy bank. It's worth it.

This is a little vignette, if you will, on the top of a shelf unit crammed into the corner of our room (have I mentioned that our house is 960 sq. ft.? Yeah...when I say "crammed", I mean it. Everything here is used in one way or another...except the Anne Sexton book of poetry and the little Willow Tree angel ornament. Those were gifts...does that count?
So starting at the bottom...the old suitcase. Garage sale. $2. Another shoe form. $1. Artist model. Garage sale. $1. Wire form chair. Thrift store. $1. Antique marmalade jar. Thrift shop. $2. Knitting needles. Free. And sentimental. Given to me by my grandmother.

There is really something to be said about filling your home with used items. Number one, they just have so much more character than some of the things we buy today. And the quality? No contest. Everything was built better years ago. They made things to last. Unlike today...we are such a disposable's sad. So to buy old things...well made things...beautiful fill my home makes perfect sense to me.
Now...let me make something clear. There are SOME things that I just do NOT buy used. Bras and panties? Not on your life. Sheets and towels...I don't. I guess if I came across some that were brand new with tags still on I would. But not used. I would rather just watch the prices at my favorite discount stores and buy new. Shoes? Sure. As a matter of fact I got a brand new pair of Etnies, with tags and extra laces still attached, for my son for $10 before school started last fall. Good deal! And I have to say, that while I am not against it, I don't buy used clothing. I look. I'm willing. But I just never find anything. Maybe because my style is just too anything that looks like I would wear it has already been casualed out!? I mean really, I admire these women that dress to kill in all of their thrift store finds. Brand name stuff they're finding! Anthropologie...Calvin Klein..Gap...Banana Republic...Claiborne...good stuff. NEW stuff. And yes, if I came across something like that...especially with tags still on like some of them find? Yes...I would buy used clothing. No problem. I just don't seem to have the luck...or the persistence?..that they do. Maybe I just need to try harder...hmmmm...I'll have to think on that.
So how about you? What's your take on buying used? For it? Against it? Care to share your biggest bargain?! Do tell...


ThyHandHathProvided said...

Our biggest bargain seemed super duper expensive to us at the time. My husband and I were newly married and had no money. Actually, we had negative money. My grandfather's cousin was moving into a nursing home. She had these things to sell: a beautiful hutch with matching table (and 4 leaves for it) and 6 chairs and a fold-out couch. She wanted $500 for it all. Oh my LANDS, that was a lot of money at the time (still is, actually). Anyway, we borrowed the money from my grandfather and paid him back in small increments. The best part- she threw into the deal her old Mennonite cookbook and her 12-piece set of BEAUTIFUL china- still my only set of china. Looking back, we wished we could have given her more- the hutch and table are beautiful and in our dining room still today (and will be forever):-).

Lisa Gallup said...

I LOVE buying used....have been doing it since college and just never stopped. I love the thrill of the hunt! :) I love the bins at Goodwill where you get filthy but just might find a treasure, I love the second hand store that is 5 minutes from my house that has GREAT clothing and books and dishes, I LOOOOOVE Buffalo Exchange in the University area that has cool, hip clothes at great prices! One of my best finds was a glass based lamp that I got at Goodwill for PENNIES. Will have to post a pic of the before and after! :)

realmortician said...

Ok, So we are such kindred spirits!! I love, love, love garage sales, thrift stores, flea markets, bargain hunting. My husband and I are planning a trip to denio's within the next month. Any others that I am not aware of? It was fun talking to you today. By the way, it's my husbands email account. I don't have a google one. Blessings, Vanessa

Once Upon a Parent said...

Oh how I love thrifting, yard sales, and bargains too. It brings me such pleasure to find cool stuff, to reuse other people's throw aways, and to know I am saving a bundle too. The hardest part is knowing when to stop...