Tuesday, 19 January 2010

Thrift Stores, Yard Sales & Coupons

From reading many peoples posts through there it would appear that a lot of you do this.

For some, very strange and unknown reason I have a real problem with all of them.

When I first moved here I was amazed at how many coupons were available and the amount of people that 'clipped' them.

But me, I just couldn't do it. The thought of handing over a coupon to save 10c on something just mortified me. Then I saw how they could add up.....collect a few and you have saved $5, $10, $15.

I guess it is like the old question...what would you do for a million dollars ? Well I didn't wait till I'd got that much in coupons but it did take me a good couple of years to be comfortable with them. Now I clip like the best of American wives :-)

Which leads me on to Thrift Stores. Something else I was not entirely comfortable with. Although a tad more so than coupons. Yes we have them in the UK and yes I'd go in them occasionally but I always feel a little odd. Why .... I have no idea...call me crazy.

And then we come on to Yard sales. Hmmmm....these I seem to have a real problem with. Last weekend there was one just up the street from me and I passed it while I was out walking. They had a large vase that looked interesting but I just couldn't bring myself to cross the street and ask the price. Stupid I know.

I did manage to cross the street to a yard sale last weekend and inquire about a mirror. She wanted $25 which was more than it was worth so I just walked. I could not for the life of me offer her less.

My entire working career has been in sales of some kind. I have spent most of my adult life negotiating. Whether that be trying to convince a client that the ad was right for the campaign or dealing with corporations and trying to sell them the right employee. All the while negotiating cost. Yet I can't manage to ask someone to knock $10 off a beat up mirror lol.

And it isn't that I have any aversion to buying things second hand...I have been doing that for years but normally things from the paper or craigslist.

So there you go.....my dirty little secret laid out for all to see. While you all whizz around leaving a frenzied trail of dust behind you looking for the best bargains, I am the one skulking around with my hood pulled up and the dark glasses on :-)

Anyhow, the point of this post is a thrift store visit a couple of weeks ago.

I was after an old map or two but they didn't have any so I had a mooch about and I came across this.

I honestly couldn't make my mind up if I loved it or not or where I would even put it. I had already decided that I would only buy things for this house if I truly loved them.

Then I flipped it over and saw this.....

Frank Saldwell.....whoever he was made this. I have no idea who Frank is or when this was made. What I do know is that there is so much detail in this piece that he must have spent hours making this and the thought of it languishing on a thrift store shelf almost had me in tears.

So that was that....it came home with me. And I do love it . Would I have loved it if it were mass produced cast resin ? Probably not. But knowing this is hand made and all the work that must have gone into this just makes it really special to me.

I just wish I knew who Frank was so I coud tell him how wonderful his work is :-(


  1. Ah coupons. The ladies at my office used to sit together at second break and go to town on these. They had it down to a science and took it very seriously. They knew who had what on sale and the coordinating coupon for that week attached to the flyer. I watched them figure out how to get 2 gallons of milk for 10 cents one day. It was crazy to me at first, but I respect their dedication now :)

    I'm alot like you in these respects, but I have learned to use craft store coupons for minis/craft supplies and wait for Miniatures.com to have 20% off days or better. There is still some degree of time spent finding sales vs. what you actually save.

    It's very tempting to hit the yard sales and thrift shops when I keep seeing all fab finds on the other blogs out there too!

    Maybe we need to get over it and just for it. Besides the only people that see you in there, are also there and what's the worst they can say.. oh my goodness I caught April penny pinching last week!

  2. Jayne, I think its an English thing. I used to get really embarrassed with my Mum and Dad when they looked round the Charity shops when I was younger. But having seen some of the treasures they found, I sort of caught the bug and now love having a rummage. I've found some fabulous things. You can really pick up a bargain.

  3. Tallulah I completely understand...I grew up with a coupon-clippin' Mama...(I mean serious coupon clipper...her coupon case needed it's own shopping cart!!!) So the first couple years on my own I rebelled against the idea of coupons! But once I got married and began a family...those pennies started to add up. Granted I generally only clip (or these days print) the dollar off coupons for things I KNOW I will use.
    Now thrift stores and yard sales are another thing...I always feel a little uncomfortable at them. Not sure why but I do. I know we have several Thrift shops around but have only been in once or twice in the 7 years we have lived here. And while I have HAD several yard sales in the past 7 years I honestly don't think I have been to a single one.
    So no ma'am you are not alone! =D
    BTW your new stein is fantastic!!!

  4. I bet frank would be thrilled just knowing his work was being apreciated again :0)
    I am a mad charity shopper, I just love to peek in but until around 5 years ago i couldnt bear to even look never mind actually go in. My sister dragged me practically kicking and screaming LOL and converted me,My first buy was a pair of outsize green tiny print pyjamas..... I still have tons of fabric from them and they have dressed more than a few tudor dolls ! Now i just love all the old junk and the fact that just maybe a treasure is hiding there with my name on it......
    bet you'll soon be racing round them happily like me !
    julie xxx

  5. Ah, you rescued it and gave it a home! See? Sometimes you find amazing things at a thrift store.


  6. Nice piece you got there! I LOVE thrift stores AND garage sales! Most of the things in my house came from one of those places! (True confession)
    I love looking for something I need/want and finding it at a place like this. I wish I could find some dollhouse minis sometime! I'll keep looking!!! I got my one and only dollhouse at a garage sale for $15!!! Can't beat that! :D

  7. I hope you start enjoying thrift stores and yard sales more! Most of my house is decorated in items from those places! I think its just the thrill of the hunt and the unique things you won't find at walmart! I think the jug is wonderful! hugs, ara

  8. I love one local thrift store. It's small, and the same people are there volunteering or shopping every week. It's so much nicer when you can chat as you hunt (and sometimes they point out the brand new designer bag in the back of the case). I really prefer the familiarity of smaller shops!


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