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Blog: My Little Farm in Town

Garage Sailing: My "Spare" Shelf

Saturday, July 17, 2010

I’ve been to five garage sales this week. I know that doesn’t sound like much, but it is quality rather than quantity that counts, although I’ll take both when I can!

The first of my two favorite buys was a trendy top for my daughter. (The tags were still on it—$25. I paid $1! Pam in California if you are reading this, I hope you’re impressed.) My other favorite find was a Belgium waffle iron in mint condition that I picked up for $1.

I have to confess that I already own two waffle irons: one Belgium and one regular. I prefer Belgium-style waffles, but the family doesn’t like to warm them in the toaster because they have to be turned as they toast or they burn. They prefer the regular square waffle iron for waffles that can be taken from the freezer and reheated in the toaster without needing a chaperone.  

What does a person do with waffle iron No. 3? Stash it on your Spares Shelf! My spare shelf holds only things that are hard to find in the model I prefer or that I would buy immediately if they lost the victory in the “off season. “ (That would be roughly mid-November through Late April here in Wisconsin.)  I could go to a thrift store during that period and buy, say a coffee maker—but I am just too cheap. Plus I find nicer ones at garage sales.

My Spare shelf began with a $70 toaster that grandma never used because it had just too darn many buttons!  I found it at a church rummage sale for a couple dollars. (I love church sales—the prices are great and the stuff is sanctified!) We use a particular type of toaster because of my husband’s love of bagels, which are too fat for your run-of-the-mill  two-slot unit. I also favor a particular two-beater bread machine that is no longer made (but I can still get parts). To replace it with a new machine by the only remaining maker of two-paddle models, would cost over $200. When I ran across one of the discontinued models for $10, I snapped it up.  After a short tour of duty with one of my children, it now resides on the Spare Shelf.

If you have some room in an out-of-the- way closet or storage area, you should consider setting up your own Spare Shelf—it could save you a bundle. Begonia

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My Spare Shelves


Okay, now you know that I am also a hoarder of old technology! Yes, that waffle iron IS sitting on top of a mint condition VCR.


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