Any REALLY frugal moms?? How about yard sales? - Mothering Forums

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Old 09-15-2003, 09:37 PM - Thread Starter
 
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What do you do to get a good deal?
What are your best deals??

I love yardsales!! I have even been known to peek into a dumpster if I see something good on top!! And bring on the free piles!!
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Old 09-16-2003, 03:36 PM
 
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We have a middle-class income now and don't "need" to bargain-hunt by most people's standards, but IMO it's ALWAYS a good idea to avoid wasting money so that you have more available to save for the future, give to good causes, spend on other things, etc. Thanks to frugality, we are debt-free except for our mortgage, which we're paying off faster than scheduled.

Also, I just enjoy the "gathering" process puts me in touch with my prehistoric foremothers ! I love visiting potential bargain sites and checking out what's there and speculating on how far it'll drop in price before it sells out.

Yard sales!
Used book stores! Especially those that give credit for books you bring in!
Thrift shops!
Used CD stores!
American Science & Surplus and other surplus stores!
Dollar stores! Yes, they stock a lot of poorly made stuff (I once heard a baby say his first word in a dollar store; it was "crappy":LOL) but every so often you find an excellent item!

I have two local favorite stores that I'll mention in case anybody local is reading:
Construction Junction sells used/surplus building materials. After I rested my foot on the soapdish and smashed it off the wall , we found a replacement that exactly matches our circa 1980 yellow tile, for only 25 cents!
KML is a surplus grocery warehouse. It's totally no-frills (in a basement w/dripping pipes overhead) and you have to check if things are expired or if damaged packaging has affected the contents...and you have to have a sense of what things normally cost...but some of their stuff is way cheap! Also, they have amusing obscure brands like "Festal".

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Old 09-16-2003, 04:01 PM
 
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Another frugal mama here, but I'm mostly addicted to thrifting. There are two really nice Salvation Army stores here locally and big sales are pretty common. Several times a week, they will have 75% sales on a particular color of tag, Wednesdays are half off days, and sometimes they'll have certain items on sale (last week, one had sweaters for $.60 each).

I got a good deal last week: two long rompers for ds this winter (Baby Gap and Carters), a pair of American Eagle shorts for me, and a neato bag made in Guatamala (using it as a diaper bag). Grand total: $1.60.

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Old 09-17-2003, 05:35 PM
 
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Thriftiness runs in my family, and sometimes we can get a little competitive about it!

I found a nice little pop-up trailer for my sister in the Want Advertiser for $1500 (worth 3-5K). My dad offered to go pick it up for her, and while he was there he talked the owner down to $1200!

I'm addicted to Ebay (my entire dipaer collection cost < $100), and I'm pretty proud of my latest Wal-Mart clearance find: two sleevelss tops and two yoga pants ... total $4!

Whether I need to bargain hunt or not, it's just plain fun!
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Old 09-18-2003, 02:27 AM
 
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Thrift stores! Definitely my idea of a fun shopping excursion! Our local stores also do tag days (by color) and storewide sales usually 1 day/month. A recent deal was an Ecokids swim diaper for $0.39. I also frequent the second-hand/consignment stores. I love trading in our old clothing to get "new" stuff - Buffalo Exchange is a favorite of mine, and Once Upon A Child for my dd. And of course, vintage stores too. I've been wearing vintage since I was 12.
Our family rule is try to buy it used first - it's good for the earth and our budget!
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Old 09-23-2003, 11:50 PM
 
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Count me in. I love a great bargain.

I love to go to the Goodwill . The things I have found there make me so very Happy!!

I like to go to yardsales, but only if I have some one else( adult) with me. I don't kow how some people do ti with little kids. I want to scream by the second stop.It is such a pain!

I have always wanted to go dumspter diving..but I am not brave enough. We live in a small town and most people know who my husband and I are..so..um, nope, not here!

I like to find deals on toys and books especially. In Greenville PA., there was a bookstore in town called Amys, and I loved that place. Out here the book selection at the goodwill and the ones from the library have to suffice.

I usually am on the look out for the following:

Books.
Kids Clothes
Certain types of toys( Duplo/lego blocks, Little tykes waffles blocks,wooden toys of good quality/wooden puzzles with all the pieces,and additional parts to stuff we may already have)

My kitchen is decorated in things I bought at the Goodwill. I collect those older copper gelatin molds, and my kitchen is full of them. I have actually started to get rid of the ones I don't like anymore and replace them and so on.

My bathroom is another room that I decorated with things I found used.

I look for things used first, and then I try to buy new.

And, I do really like the dollar store for little kids birthday gifts and stocking stuffers.

I also like Wal-mart for certain things. They have clearance stuff, but you have to search for it because although it is supposed to be in the "clearance" aisle..they move it.

This summer I found a fisher price bubble mower that was barely used for .50 cents at a yard sale..AND a little tykes play kitchen for $15.00, plus a bunch of dishes .

Just a week ago I paid $3.99 for a container of lego blocks and the box they came in..thses things were almost nineteen dollars at Toys-r-us and almost eighteen at wal-mart...Woo Hoo ! My big old bargain of the week.

I do love bargains !
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Old 09-24-2003, 12:18 AM
 
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I love bargains and free stuff and I have no shame Every year our city has "spring cleanup" where people put out all the stuff they don't want. The city comes by and hauls it all to the dump. I figure its prime bargain time This year I made my mom drive me up and down the alley looking for good stuff (she has a truck). I wanted a patio set and some lawn chairs, and I found it all between about 4 different houses. The table was rusty, but a coat of paint made it perfect! I found a big orange umbrella to go with it as well as 4 lawn chairs. I look at it as "recycling".

I love thrift store too. Almost all my furnishings and decorations are from there. I could never afford new, and after so many years of being poor I just don't see the point of buying anything but used. I found some great stuff at garage sales this years too! Lots of educational toys for ds1.

My 3rd love is the reduced section at the discount grocery store. The dented tins, banged up boxes, and items that have been accidentally shipped to them are marked down really low.

Wow, this post makes me sound ultra-cheap LOL. My dh is a student, plus he works almost full-time and I stay home. Now that we have 2 kids we are on a super-strict budget. Anything that saves money is more than welcome'round here

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Old 09-26-2003, 05:57 PM
 
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i loooooove yard sales. and flea mkts. and thrift shops. and resale shops. that's how i live frugally. and i try not to buy stuff that i dont need.
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Old 09-30-2003, 06:12 AM
 
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Have any of you ladies ever heard of the Tightwad gazette? It was a newsletter that ran for about 6 years...it is entirely devoted to the idea that "thrift is a viable option" as a lifestyle.
If you try and find it in a library (as a true tightwad would ), the author's name is Amy Dazcyzyn.
I think it's great. A little extreme in some parts, even she admits she probably wouldn't do all of it. But highly entertaining and motivational. She's funny and smart, it's got a TON of great ideas.

I read it like it's scripture to get me through to the next paycheck sometimes. Thrift stores and garage saleing are a huge part of her "method..."

My proudest "tightwad" practice is cloth diapering, because i think it's so much fun. I feel so proud of the money I save our family. I joke that our baby is doing her part to save us $$$ and I'm so proud of her. Saving money wasn't even the issue that converted me to CD, it was the health reasons and environmental stuff.

By the way, there are three volumes of the collected newsletters called the Tightwad Gazette, but you can buy a whole book that's like an 800 page collection of all three. That's what I have. It's a hoot, and I really like her philosophy, even if I can't bring myself to wash out and re-use a greasy ziplock.
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Old 09-30-2003, 12:02 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I have that book, too! I love it! I will wash and re-use ziplocs once we get our own house.
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Old 10-07-2003, 02:04 PM
 
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Thank You for this thread!! The Tightwad Gazette is my bible!! I am always looking for a new way to save money...I'm trying to save up so that I can stay home with my baby.

Shannon, Single Mama to Delia 9/19/02 : and Mark 5/26/05 :
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Old 10-07-2003, 02:28 PM
 
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I adore yard sales! I get so many devine finds that I cant think of which would be the best. I did last Saturday get one of those mesh things (bed rail?) that keeps kids from falling outa bed for .50, looks brand new. I also got 2 stuffed plastic grocery bags of name brand clothes for $18. Included me paying$4 for a very pretty pair of snow pants. I rarely pay over 1 dollar for any given peice of clothing. My girls and I have way more clothes than we really need but its so fun have such a varity to wear. Poor dh is a large man and I have a hard time finding anything for him. But thats ok because of all the $$$ I save from dressing the girls and I in yard sale finds.

We have a thrift shop here in our small little town that I frequent that has some good stuff sometimes.

I have dumpster dived since I have been a little girls We live out in the country and just 300 feet from a dumster that serves about 10 miles. We have gotten some very good stuff out of there at times.
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Old 10-09-2003, 09:57 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally posted by momto l&a
I have dumpster dived since I have been a little girls We live out in the country and just 300 feet from a dumster that serves about 10 miles. We have gotten some very good stuff out of there at times.
Another excellent place to dumpster dive is colleges at the end of the school year--especially colleges where the students are well off and live on campus. I've found a ton of good stuff: furniture, books, clothes, laundry detergent, even food (my rule is only unused well sealed stuff like canned food, but if you were really hungry and willing to take the risk there's tons of food). In some areas of the country people think you're wacko if you do this but in other places (like Boston) you have a ton of competition. I know a janitor at a college that sold all of the stuff he found in the trash at the end of the year and had enough money to take his wife and son to Hawaii for a week and have spending money while there.
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Old 10-10-2003, 05:03 PM
 
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We love to shop thrift shops, yard sales, and used book stores, but my favorite place for books is library booksales.

We have learned the ropes on e-bay, too, so I have been able to make my book buying habit pay for itself!! I *always* at least break even at those booksales (and I buy a *lot* of books- we have over 5,000).

So I would have to say that my best find was a .25 cent book that I sold for around fifty dollars.

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Old 10-11-2003, 01:21 AM
 
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My best book sell was a book I found in the trash that sold for $25 on Amazon.
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Old 01-10-2004, 03:18 AM
 
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QUOTE:
I know a janitor at a college that sold all of the stuff he found in the trash at the end of the year and had enough money to take his wife and son to Hawaii for a week and have spending money while there.

Dang I have to share this one with my hubby! See there are ways for sure! Its my dream to go to Hawaii of course (w/o kids anyway at this time)!LOL!

I love thrift store shopping!

I love coupon shopping too, I check out the weekly ad's in the grocery stores and match up the items w/my manufacturer coupons. Its rewarding to see how much money you saved at the end of my receipt!
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Old 01-10-2004, 03:54 AM
 
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I am just poor. I mean I like yard sales...I've been going to yard sales and dumpster diving with my mom since I was a kid. But I depend on them more than I like them. I am not good at negotiating. I always feel so high when I can do it, but most of the time I chicken out and just walk around buying crap for whatever. More of my stuff has been given to me than purchased second-hand.

I don't really have anything in my house that wasn't given to me or purchased second hand or rescued from the trash. The desk I am sitting at right now was rescued when a company my dad worked at was going out of business. The bed right next to me(matress and all) was given to me by a neighbor when she got married. The bookshelf next to my bed was given to me by a good friend when he moved-- in his car-- to the other coast. The love seat across from that came to about $50 (and we got another couch and two big chairs, along with some smaller kitchen items). The story of that is that a woman my SO worked with was living with an older lady. When the older lady went to a nursing home, she was giving away all her furniture and other stuff. We just had to rent a moving truck and drive an hour to where they lived. We split the rental with the woman's brothers.

It goes on like that...with this great *very heavy* solid oak dining room table I bought at a yard sale (with 6 chairs--that are the only part of the purchase I regret-- I think it was $150...I paid what they asked), to a complete living room furniture set (with stains) that we took from my BIL's trash when he bought a new set, a dryer we bought for $60 second-hand from the father of a co-worker when our dryer's motor went out, and tons of diningware we bought at yard sales and Goodwill and what not.

Some people we know look down on us even as they unload their stuff to us. They think its because we are young ("everybody takes second hand stuff when they are just getting established"), but I figure why further destroy the environment by treating everything as disposable. And besides, I may never be able to afford new stuff.

I'm pro-adoption reform, but not anti-adoption.
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Old 01-11-2004, 08:21 AM
 
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Bring on the Bargains!!!

I have always been a bargain shopper, sometimes (like now) more out of necessity, sometimes just beacuse it makes cents !

Somthing I just discovered is freecycling!! It is an email group (arranged by city) where people post what they are looking for and what they are giving away. There are probably about 180 places that are doing it now. Check out www.freecycle.org to see if your town has it.

I got some great clothes, a really nice desk, some fireplace stuff, a camping lantern, and a twin bed frame! All totally free (I had to pick it up)! Our budget is SUPER tight right now, and we live debt-free, except for mortgage. I love getting stuff for free!!


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Old 01-27-2004, 05:13 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Sierra, don't feel so bad about it!
Just think of how we are helping to kill consumerism! Let them look down on you if they want, but we know the truth, that they are fools for buying all kinds of new stuff, and that some people are just wasteful. As much as I love dumpster diving, I am angered at how much good stuff gets thrown out. Companies need to send this stuff back to the manufacturers, then they will stop producing so much crap over time.
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Old 01-27-2004, 06:52 PM
 
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I love yard saling, thrift stores, any kind of bargain. I also need to shop this way, to some extent. I have kids who prefer name brands, and no way can I buy them retail, even on sale. Money here is tight, and I don't see spending it on things that can be had more cheaply. I also see it as a serious envoronmental issue.

My only gripe is that I am working toward less "stuff" in general, and my dh loves to shop and buy stuff. Cheap stuff at a tag sale makes him happy, but I want less stuff, nor just cheap stuff!

Some of this year's best finds:
a glider rocker with ottoman for $15.00
a rice cooker for $2.00, and a pasta maker for $5.00
flannel sheets and a duvet cover for the queen bed for $12.00
countless toys and clothes for the toddler

Start by doing what's necessary; then do what's possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible---St. Francis of Assisi
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Old 01-29-2004, 01:40 PM
 
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Bargain hunting is like a high for me . I love coupons, thrift shops and have been known to pick through a big trash pile when someone moves out around here :LOL Hey if it's usable why let it go to the dumpster?? We live on a military base, so many times people just toss stuff because they don't want to move it around!

And everything I buy new has to be on sale, clearance or I have to have a coupon, I refuse to pay full price unless it is a have to have it right now and I have no choice. I buy stuff a season or two ahead on clearance so my kids get new clothes for the price of used! Then I take the stuff to the thrift shop when they outgrow it so I basically pay nothing for the stuff.

There is a resale shop here that always has a 0.25 bin, most of it is a bit pilly or may have stains but if you are only looking for playclothes or pajamas who cares? And some of it is just stuff that is at the end of the season that didn't sell and she needs to get rid of it. The other day for 0.75 I got 2 sleepers and a sundress (all carters and the dress is in perfect condition)for Eliza!! Yay for me since her legs are so darn long she outgrows jammies way too fast and I hate paying full price. And I take the stuff she outgrows right back there to sell! I do this with summer toys also. Like I bought the kids a new yard sprinkler for next year on clearance for $4 at the end of the summer.

The best yard sale find I ever got was for $4.00, it was a brand new little tykes airplane rocker, like a rocking horse but it's an airplane. Those things are like $30 brand new, it has survived through the first 2 kids and still in great shape for Eliza when she is old enough.

I also do xmas and bday shopping ahead of time whenever I find clearance stuff. Daria loves little people sets so when I see them on clearance I grab them and put them away for xmas or bday. I got the LP dollhouse for $12 new on clearance once! It is usually like 25 bucks.

And dollar stores are great for art supplies, cheap kids books and party favors!
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Old 02-21-2004, 01:26 PM
 
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I am addicted to thrift stores, flea markets and second hand stores! I've been shopping in them since I was a teen. I love a bargain and adore finding and wearing stuff that is unique. My favorite is when I run across something that I'm positive was once mine

Books, media etc. recently had a thread on the tightwad gazette. I had completely forgotten about it... so I checked it out of the library. It's fun to read it and go "wow, what a clever idea", or oh yeah I've been doing that one for years.

I've been trying to get a dumpster diving group going here in Atlanta to no avail -- we've tried meetup.com and don't seem to have enough folks. I have no problem doing the residential stuff, but I want back up for the commercial sites. A friend and I have decided to hit a local University at the end of the school year. Of course apartment complexes are great, too.

I can't wait to check out that website thistle!

EnviroBecca, I'm with you --- love the gathering lifestyle!

Best deal in recent months: received $50 in AMEX gift checks - put $25 in savings and took the other $25 to Last Chance thrift store on 1/2 price day (wasn't really expecting much since I was going late in the day...). Purchased a pair of jordache jeans that make my a$$ look great, a white denim "couture" skirt, two sweaters, two 3/4 length sleeves shirts, and a brown belt for $24.85. I put the remaining $0.15 in ds' godzilla bank.
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Old 02-21-2004, 06:46 PM
 
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I love bargain hunting, mainly for survival (count us in for being poor ). We have a chain of second hand stores here (Frenchy's) and mom and I, weather permitting, go there once a week. They mainly have clothes but they also have everything else you can imagine. I buy most of my fabric there for next to nothing, I pick up any diapering thing I can find (I got 20 Polar Babies doublers once and she charged me less than a dollar for all of them! One person I think takes pity on me for cloth diapering and sells me diapers and covers for next to nothing), I get tons of books for a quarter, I recently got a brand new safty first booster seat for $2.50 and a Little Tykes kitchen for less than $5. I don't find much at the Salvation Army, but I have gotten brand new Carosel AIO's for a quarter each and books for next to nothing.

We're also the type that family gives everything to. I have a gorgeous couch and chair set that I'm going to clean one of these days and sell. It was given to us but we don't need it. All of our furniture is either second hand or deep discount buys.

I dont' do much yardsailing as it's become so big here that people charge an arm and a leg for everything.

People wonder how we can live so cheap and it's all a matter of knowing how to make do with what you have!
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Old 02-22-2004, 03:45 AM
 
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OOOH I love the thrift store (I stay far away from the kids resale store though...everything is too pricey) Today I was at the Rescue Mission Thrift Store and I got 3 pair of jeans that make my @$$ look really nice, and a pair of jeans for Brittani, all for less than $10 (this was especially thrilling since right before dh had used his $5o gc at mervyns and got 3 pair of jeans...I hate buying retail)

The dollar store...great for things like Zout (I use it to make my own laundry detergent) and cheap party favors and stocking stuffers. Ours even has taper candles (especially handy since we lose power so often) and the ingredients to make spray and wash.

I also LOVE used books and music stores, especially the ones that pay me for my stuff.

I have been known to go dumpster diving if I can see something on top...My mom found a Little Tykes kitchen once, and the only problem was that someone let their kid color all over it in crayon. We grabbed it, cleaned it, and my little sis had her own kitchen...the little dishes were a $1 store find.

My favorite is that mostly I try to use cloth instead of paper, diapers obviously, but also pads, hankies, working on the TP thing. We DON'T use paper plates and re use the plastic silverware.

I don't like to think I'm cheap, more like frugal.
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Old 02-22-2004, 12:18 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I got a Little Tykes shopping cart, sturdy as heck, with a place for Abigail's "baby" to sit, for $3.00. In excellent shape, just needs a good cleaning.
I got 2bags of nylon loops for the loom thingy for .50, which is cheaper than buying nylons and cutting them, especially since I don't ever own nylons.
I got a wooden and magnetic calendar for $5.00, I had one I paid $2.00 for that was missing pieces. These normally sell for $20.00, but I got 2 for $7.00. Between the 2, I can make 1 complete one, and have leftover pieces.
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Old 02-23-2004, 03:23 AM
 
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Wow! This thread is inspiring. I need to check out 2nd hand stores more often!

Oh, and somewhat off topic, "Dumpster" is capitalized. I'm not pointing this out to correct anyone, I just think it's weird.

 2/02, 4/05, 2/07, 11/09, and EDD 12/25/11 wave.gif

 

 

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Old 02-23-2004, 05:23 PM
 
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I love bargain hunting!! Only thing is the stuff around here sucks! I have yet to find a decent resale shop... all the ones around here are way to expensive! One lady sells baby gap stuff more than what I get it for clearanced at the store and she doesn't pay good for her stuff. So irritating. When I lived in MI we constantly curbside shopped! I found a 3 month old couch!! I went to the house to make sure I could take it - the lady was throwing it out because she 'didn't like it'! crazy but good for me Whenever we go to cali to visit dh family we do our thrift store/goodwill/salvation army shopping. Around here I find better clearances at the stores though - I get ds's jammies at the carters outlet - the seconds for $2/ea. and do the off season shopping too. I refuse to buy things brand new! except underwear of course :LOL

I'm going to check out the college dumpsters next! how fun
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Old 02-24-2004, 01:28 AM
 
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I just went to a $5 bag sale. I got 3 bags full of stuff, mostly wool sweaters to make into soakers. Can't beat that

Laurie


 

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Old 02-26-2004, 02:57 PM
 
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I love this thread! Hey, have you folks read any of the Simple Living books like "The Millionaire Next Door" or "Your Money or Your Life?" They really turned me around to simplify and de-clutter and eliminate debt. I've made almost $200 in the last weeks getting rid of unnecessary books and CDs on amazon.com. Dh and I are completely debt free except for our mortgage, which I'm working to pay off early.

If you're interesting in more of the Simple Living stuff, there are cool discussions at http://www.simpleliving.net/forums/default.asp

I've learned a ton from these people. It's so hard to live in consumerist America and see through the instant gratification to the simpler pleasures. At my job, my whole office shops for fun, as a hobby and they look at me strangely when I'm just not interested.
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Old 02-26-2004, 03:15 PM - Thread Starter
 
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How do you sell stuff on Amazon?
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