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Blog Posts on My Frugal Life:

Antique Yard sale Trail
Saturday, August 11, 2012 | By attic_treasures

Dave and I went on the antique yard sale trail this past weekend in the thumb print area of northern michigan..what could have been lovely weather turned out to be a day full of rain and cold and wet weather but that didn't stop us from getting some good deals..i spent a total of 13.00 dollars and this is the list of items i got as follows: 2 purses,  6 sweat shirts for winter, sony watchman tv am and fm radio, a walkman radio new in box, a phillips sonic tooth brush new in box, a water pic new in box, 6 books, 8 craft books, a lowfat cook book, a christain dior red sweater nice and dressy, 2 jars of estee lauder creme never used, a brush, revelon lipstick, jewelry a necklace and earring set and 5 pairs of other earrings, some anne klein perfume, and 5 boxes of never opened sugar free drink the free boxes i got a small brush for my purse a hair clip and some out door had held warmer, 8 plastic cups and 6 paper boyfriend got 3 pairs of mens under wear 2 car mats for his truck and a handicap portable potty chair for his mother all for 2 dollars..we stayed at the days inn and had free continental brak fast where i managed to get free soap, free coffee, free tea and ten pens and a roll of toilet paper, and free 6 packs of creme cheese and free packets of sweet and low..we brought a cooler and stocked it with free ice from the vending machine for the cooler and bought our food for the trip to save on eating out when i returned home the ice was still good and i loaded into the freezer to use for drinks so none would go to waste..

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city wide yard sale
Sunday, May 13, 2012 | By attic_treasures

I went to a city wide yard sale in Livonia a rich part of town.  We got to the area a half hour before they opened some people were still setting up...but they say the early bird catches the worm and that is so true.. I got to one ladies garage and she had high end named purses like kate spade and coach..I love coach purses i bought 2 and got them for 8 dollars a piece a good price for is a coach carly bag black with signature c's on it..i emailed coach to find out if it was real or not and gave them the serial number and it was at one time it retailed for $358.00 its an older style coach and rare hard to find..The other bag is a coach satchel bag and its black with the signature c's. She had a tan one but it was really dirty wished i would have bought it and had it cleaned o well.  At another yard sale a lady had a table with earrings on it and i spotted 2 pair of earrings that looked like real gold and i bought them for 50 cents a piece and later when i got home i looked to see if it had any markings on it and found that it had 18 k gold markings so it was real gold i was surprised..I guess when you have alot of money you don't care what you sell at a yard sale or maybe the lady made a mistake when she put them out its real pretty hoop earrings with a heart on the end. Then there were the free boxes I got a camera with film still in it the kodak kind, exercises tapes, a mickey mouse key chain thats small that you can fit in your purse a sewing kit that will fit in your purse,, a motoralla cell phone, a book..I love looking at free boxes.. I also got some clothes for a quarter a piece and some books and vhs tapes for cheap...but the best deal of the day were the purses..I got another leather purse for a dollar its a tignanello...i like that brand name too..I love purses i can't have enough purses..but i like finding coach purses at yard sales especially if they are real..My boy friend was rummaging thru a box of old jewelry at his house and gave me the prettiest necklace with a locket on the end of it and i was looking at the clasp and it said 14 k gold i think he thought it was junk jewelry and i told him its nice if he wants it back it was his moms but he said i could keep it just have to find an extender for the chain i like my chains a little longer then it is already but i liked it it was a nice mothers day gift..

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Yard Sale Haul
Saturday, May 05, 2012 | By attic_treasures

I went to some church rummage sales and regular yard sales this past weekend..They were hard to find since the season is not quite yard sale season yet but my boyfriend and i managed to find a few good ones.  The first place we stopped was at a church rummage sale we got there just before they opened and stood in line for 20 minutes it was mobbed with people.  I found a nice leather tignanello purse for $1.00 and some hair pins never used for 5 cents  and a tooth brush new still in the package for another 5 cents..The boyfriend took advantage of the coffee and donut deal for $1.00 why i looked around..that was all i found there but we went to another yard sale in a nice area of town and I found a red leather coach purse and older style one for $3.00. I just love finding coach purses at yard sales i love that brand but can't afford the high price. I found nice bars of facial soap in a free box and a city map and a visor to where out in the sun and a cereal bowl and small plastic box for sandwiches..There were a few free boxes but not too many..I went to one yard sale and was telling the lady that i was diabetic and she gave me some free diabetic supplies that she didn't need any more which was nice of her so i got that free too. I got a nice butterfly vase for a quarter and a real crystal clock for ten cents it just needs a few new batteries in it..I got clothes for a quarter a piece..I am trying to downsize my clothes since i have been loosing weight..I spent about 16.00 dollars and i have about 50 items to show for it and nice items too..I will be happy when yard sale season is in full bloom i can hardly wait..i tend to go to the ones in the rich areas of town you can find such good deals for a fraction of the cost..

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yard sale haul
Saturday, September 10, 2011 | By attic_treasures

Hi haven't been on here in awhile but have been yard saling..i recently bought a mint coach signature c bag at a yard sale for $12.00 i was thrilled since i have never owned a real coach bag before in such good condition..i also bought a room size oriental rug for $3.00 that had some spots on it but my boyfriend cleaned it nice with dish soap and got the spots out  it really looks nice in my living room and was a great buy for 3 dollars..i have seen ones like it sell for a few hundred dollars in the store so i was  quite please to find it..i happened into a church rummage sale yesterday and got a nice blouse and a shower curtain and some bath salts all for a donation of 50 cents..then at another yard sale i ended up with a free tube of clinique lipstick..also pay attention to those free boxes at yard sales i snagged a free rotary phone yesterday..i love old phones and this one was in good shape..lately i have noticed at yard sales that the  cost of getting items has gone way up and people dont seem to want to barter especially on books...the   books for a quarter are getting harder to come by but i did get some for 10 cents a piece the other day. the weather is starting to turn cooler here now and i have been researching the internet on ways to make a mobile home warmer in the winter...i have old blankets that i am going to reuse as window treatments for the winter to keep the windows warmer i seem to loose alot of heat out the windows..and i did get a good deal on a ceremic heater for my computer room for 3 dollars..the knob was brok off but my boy friend fixed it for me and it works good..

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city wide yard sale
Saturday, April 16, 2011 | By attic_treasures

The neighboring city had their early city wide yard sale this weekend.  I went on Friday with my boyfriend.  There were alot of garage sales out there but the best score came from the thrift store inside Saint thomas church.  They had $2.00 dollar bag day.  I managed to stuff 10 shirts and a pair of pants and a night gown into a little plastic bag.  Then they had hangers the plastic kind i got 36 of them for a quarter.  They are handy for hanging clothes. I went to another yard sale and scored some home made soap for 25 cents a  bar.  I like home made soap store  bought is too hard on my skin.  Lately i have been seeing the home made kind at yard sales and thrift storesOn the internet it sells for $ 6.00 a bar.  The cost for stuff on ebay is high so i am glad when i can find soap at a yard sale.

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First "Garage" Sales of the Year!
Monday, March 07, 2011 | By begonia

I went to my first two “garage” sales of the year on February 26! The date is important because every year my sisters and I have an informal competition as to who will be the first to attend a “sale.” (I know that I am late writing about them, but a lot has been going on!) One sale was took place in our town’s senior center and was sponsored by a local mom’s group. The other was a 10-family sale held in a church basement in a neighboring town.

Don’t you just love a sale where everything is 25 cents unless marked otherwise? I found my first Christmas present of the year—the rather alarming frog sconce—and a NEW 6-liter, stainless steel pressure cooker someone bought from QVC and then never used. (I’ve come to the conclusion that we Americans are a bit weird about pressure cookers. We like the idea of them, but we are scared to death to use them. I’ve noticed on the web that other countries have whole shops of nothing but pressure cookers, but outside of the Presto brand, they are as scant as hen’s teeth here.) I could have gotten the pressure cooker for 25 cents because it wasn’t marked otherwise, but I would have felt guilty every time I looked at it. The woman checking me out charged me $2 instead!

I also found a hot plate in mint condition for $2 (another item I can cross off my Master List—still haven’t found a Vitamix yet)!  It will come in handy when my husband takes the cooktop area apart to tile the counter and retile the backsplash. I figure if I could get along without an oven for 6+ months, I can do without a cooktop for a while, too. My pressure cookers will come in handy then!

Most of the things I found were useful things I am using to replace stuff that is worn out. The stout Chinese basket will hold my stationary and letter writing supplies; the soap dish will replace a chipped one that has seen better days; and the diskette labels are just handy. The baby stuff will go to my daughter in law. The candle holder is something I didn’t need but just wanted. The mini-beanies are from a FREE box and will go to missionaries.

I think that ONCE AGAIN I am the first in my immediate family to have gone to and purchased items at a garage sale (two actually!). I don’t want to hear any SNARKY comments girls (Who’s the woman?—Who’s the Woman?!) about whether these can actually be considered “garage” sales, because they were held indoors and in public buildings! No nitpicking or sour grapes—you can always try again (futilely, I’m sure) to be FIRST next year! Begonia


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Garage Sale: Vintage Tinsel
Tuesday, October 12, 2010 | By begonia

I finally had that garage sale I’ve been talking about all summer but kept having to delay because of road work. They put down the last layer of asphalt and painted the lines early last week, AND it is Indian Summer (that magical time when the weather warms up briefly after the first frosts). We were selling all kinds of items we had outgrown: elementary-level homeschool materials; clothing; household items; toys; furniture; and all kinds of odds and ends. All were priced to go–except for my vintage tinsel.

You meet a lot of different kinds of garage salers when you put on a sale from hardcases like myself (I’d garage sale even if I won the lottery) to dabblers, dealers, and hobbyists. You learn all kinds of things when you talk to all these people. We had two older gentlemen who reminisced about having a radial arm saw just like the ancient Craftsman we were selling “as is” because we thought it was broken. Between the two of them, we figured out what was wrong with it and had it running before the end of the first morning! (My husband ended up taking it back into the garage!)

Every garage saler has their weakness. I met several “rocking chair-oholics”; one sheepishly admitted to having five already.  Another woman was obsessed with magazines. One lady loved to collect plants and commented that they were like children to her, “They’re my babies!” One gal gazed longingly at my complete set of Fire King Fleurette dishes but walked away empty handed because she had too many sets at home already. (Another blog about Collecting Things of Little or No Value in the wings!)

My weakness is vintage Christmas decorations. I rarely can bear to part with any of my decorations once I have acquired them. The one exception was the metal tinsel I had for sale last weekend. I should say the metal tinsel I tried to sell last weekend. (I was selling it because pets eat tinsel and get deathly ill, and we have a housecat.)  I watched person after person pick a package up, squint at it, then put it down and walk away.

Finally, I started talking up the tinsel to these people and every one of them would shake their head and tell a harrowing tale of being forced by some elderly relation to carefully remove each strand from the tree at the end of each festive season and carefully place it over a piece of cardboard, painstakingly smoothing each strand. One man laughed and said, “And you’d better not break even one!” Some folks even went so far as to iron the strands before storing them away for next year!

I came to the conclusion that there is no nostalgia attached to this type of tinsel because it was either something that drove you crazy or something that you threw away along with the tree. No nostalgia equals No sale, but I packed it up carefully anyway and saved it for next year! Begonia


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garage sale items at our flea market
Tuesday, October 05, 2010 | By Jan Lee

The flea market happened at our church last Saturday. It was sponsored by our UMW the ladies of the church. There were 10 tables. We rent the tables to local vendors & they can sell what they want. Most tables are garage sale type things. I was surprised when my friend got a brand new Dirt Devil for $4 that was a bargain. We got some great junk at our table ....I went home with bags & bags. We made almost $400 just on our one table of junk....I think I was our best customer. One of the men in our church makes his own Italian sausage & every year he donates sausage & pepper & onions for good old fashion hero sandwiches. He does all the cooking too. He also cooks hamburgers & hot dogs & we sell soft drinks & coffee. We have home made cakes, cookies & cup cakes too for sale. The day was perfect ...sunshine galore & lots of laughs & friendly socializing! Our annual fair is on November 6th....come on down!

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Garage Saling: Free Electric "Wood" Stove
Friday, October 01, 2010 | By begonia

The garage saling season is drawing to a close here in Wisconsin. We are due to get our first frost this coming weekend, and I am enjoying the final flush of fall garage sales before having to resort to a winter of cruising the thrift shops (which I consider way too expensive for most things).

I found some great bargains: vintage Mother Earth News magazines for 10 cents each, a pristine rotisserie grill for $5, vintage stationary (I have a weakness for fine stationary) 10 cents, insulated flannel shirt jackets for $2 each, hard- and softcover cookbooks for 25 cents each.

But you know, the best things in life are FREE!

I was garage saling in a nearby small town that a lot of people overlook—I always do well there.  I had just paid for a miniature, decorative clawfoot ceramic bathtub for the bathroom counter that perfectly matched our newly installed Habitat ReStore sink and a large turkey candle for my growing turkey collection, when I spotted the little stove. It was set off to one side with a "free" sign on it. It was clean and bright and shiny. I love shiny things.

I asked the woman running the sale why it was in the driveway. She said the heating unit no longer worked. I replied that it was okay because I only wanted it for the beauty of its electric flame. (I’ll admit that I can be shallow at times!) I’d seen and coveted one of these pretty space heaters at a friend’s house. She hadn’t been using it to heat at the time, just enjoying the flicker of the “flames. “ I made a mental note to keep my eyes open for one of these little jewels.

I later found out that the heater was probably bought at a local big box home improvement store for about $100. It would have cost its previous owners some hassle (The manufacturer will only sell you a replacement part if you send them a picture of the stove first!) and $40 for a new heating unit and the expense of shipping it from Quebec, Canada.

I plan to put the stove in our guestroom/library space later in the year. We may even decide to fix it so it isn’t just a “pretty face.” Either way, I will get extra enjoyment from knowing that it was FREE! Begonia


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Collecting (Things of Little or No Value): Mug Mania
Friday, September 10, 2010 | By begonia

Mug collecting—it is a mania that runs in my family. My sisters collect mugs, my mother collects mugs, my MOTHER-IN-LAW collects mugs, but I won’t write about those because they are Royal Dalton Tobies and actually have collector value!

My mother‘s mug collection is so large that she rotates them. She has a few boxes stashed in the basement that she exchanges with the ones in her cupboard from time to time. I think it is a clever way to enjoy an extensive collection, don’t you?

One of my sisters works in a lab. She used to scoop up the organ (the internal kind) mugs whenever the drug reps brought them in as freebies. She regularly sips her morning brew from a liver- or kidney-shaped mug. (This would put some people off their Wheaties, but we Kiefer gals are made of sterner stuff!)

I find most of my mugs in church basements and people’s garages during the saling season and in second hand and thrift stores during the colder months. (I enable my mom and sisters’ mug habits with my 10-cent finds from St. Vincent de Paul and Goodwill.) I did break down and buy a beautiful brown transferware china mug with a Royal Palm turkey on it for 99 cents at the Hospice resale shop. I presented it to my mother as a Thanksgiving present.

 One of my favorite finds came from a local church rummage sale.  Their garage sale isn’t the biggest, but it sure is interesting. You never know what will turn up. One year, I found the wall oven ($25) that will soon replace our present museum piece—another year, a wicker rooster and a collector plate of the Pilgrim Memorial Monument. The last great mug I found there was what we call “Beduin Tent,” a mug emblazoned with an image of Liberation Tower, “STATE OF KUWAIT” (in English and Arabic), and an oasis scene of a large, low tent; a mom camel with a baby camel nursing, a guy in native dress, two gals in burkas by what looks like a well with some clay jars nearby, and some folks off on distant dunes riding “ships of the desert.” Why endure the danger and expense of travel to distant locales when you can get it all on a commemorative mug (for 25 cents) from the basement of the Zwingli UCC?

The next time you run across a mug (or platter or tablecloth or lamp. . . . ) that speaks to your inner collector (of things of little or no value) don’t resist—especially if it is priced under a dollar! Begonia


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