I’d say it was a very good year, that 2014. Lots of Fun Fridays with Judy, Saturday garaging with Toni or by myself, estate sales, church rummage sales, and bargains galore. Of course I did buy the single most expensive thing I’ve ever bought on a driveway
but it was well worth it. Not only did I get the most comfortable sofa in the world for a fraction of its retail price, but I’m still getting happy eggs from Ann who I met at that sale!
When I looked back over the year I found that Judy had tried on lots of hats.
She definitely gets the Good Sport Award for modeling them all. We had a lot of fun holding her moving sale back in April.
The low point of the year – literally! – was the Saturday I did a downhill face-plant onto asphalt on my way to an estate sale.
Ouch! But miraculously I only had minor injuries and bounced right back, though I still think it’s unfair that I landed right on my eye and never got a shiner.
As I do at the end of each year, I played with my spreadsheet to tabulate what I spent, in what categories, and what my return on investment was. It’s worth the few minutes time each week to keep a record if for no other reason than to see that bottom line! So how did 2014 work out?
Well, the category with the most spent was of course furniture. That sofa, you know. There were also a couple of office chairs (one was free!) and two small tables. Estimated return on investment (i.e. for every dollar I spent on a driveway, how much I would have had to spend retail): $5.93.
Christmas decor was next; not a huge category with only 8 items bought. ROI: $7.31. Favorite item was that vintage Santa with the lightbulb nose.
Items to resell: bought a total of 39, which is a lot for a year I didn’t really intend to do any reselling! But it got fun again, and I reaped $7.44 reward for every dollar invested. (Way better than my savings accounts!) Best increases were the twenty-five cent tea towel that reaped $11 profit
and the fifty-cent Bitossi-style horse that made $28.
I was amazed to see that I picked up 26 yard-related items, with a ROI of $8.70. Best finds were the lovely Arias wind chimes,
pair of vintage Homecrest chairs,
and that antique wheelbarrow with the iron patch.
Can’t remember if I told you that patch is so darned good that the wheelbarrow holds water!
Bought a lot of household items, which is kind of a catch-all category. They ranged from an elliptical to napkins and tablecloths to umbrellas. (Still love the raining cats and dogs umbrella!). ROI: $9.70. Favorites: the handmade quilted runner,
the $3 Rowenta iron,
and the $3 French tablecloth.
I’ve never bought so many crafting items before, but then before this year I hadn’t picked up knitting as a constant companion. So constant in fact that I’ve given myself a repetitive stress owie and have to stop for a while! I’ve got to get healed so I can get back to work on that yarn stash. Besides all the yarn
I found some great vintage buttons
and several nice pieces of fabric. ROI for crafts: $14.16.
We do a lot of cooking and baking around here, and I found some great equipment this year with a ROI of $14.86. Love the Le Creuset baking pan
the 25¢ silicone pastry mat
and the clip on spoon holder (also a quarter).
It would be awfully hard to go garaging without picking up some decorative items. Fortunately they are spendy in stores but cheap on driveways, so the ROI was about $19.62. Still love the French skittles clown
and the wooden bunny
and (of all things) the crystal water buffalo!
Lots of entertainment available on driveways, and I brought a lot of it home. 192 items, good grief! But in several cases that was a whole bunch of magazines at a time, which adds up.
Found lots of great movies and CDs too. And the ROI was $20.42.
Okay, let’s get what I think of as the category of shame out of the way – the things I bought that I ended up donating. The mistakes…and there were plenty this year! Over $30 worth. But some were items I thought would resell, and didn’t; some music and movies that weren’t worth keeping. And the snowglobe with the oversized beaver ready to eat the Oregon State Capitol.
But I think I got my money’s worth in laughs out of that one.
Would you believe I gifted 30 driveway items this year, with a ROI of $26.51? Some pretty nice stuff too, like an Eileen Fisher jacket that retails for $325, and a Blue Willi’s sweater that probably originated in the $200-300 range. And Xanadu still loves her squeaky squirrel!
Our pets were not neglected either. ROI in this category was $31.80, and the best deal was the folding dog ramp that I’m happy to say Edward does not yet need. But he’s 12 years old, and not getting any younger, so I’m prepared.
We’re nearing the top of the ROI scale, and I was interested to see the three highest categories were clothing and accessories. Clothes for me had an ROI of $38.79 and the handful of accessories were $42.04. I wear the German shoes
and the Scottish muffler a lot these days,
and never fail to get compliments on the pashmina shawl.
The Hobo International billfold goes with me everywhere
and is still riding around in the Vera Bradley bag
that I thought was rather large but it’s so lightweight and comfortable I keep using it.
The highest return on investment for 2014 turned out to be in the category of clothes for my husband. He made out like a bandit with an ROI of $55.23! He got a bunch of new shirts, including a 25¢ Carhartt, but the faves are the vintage Pendletons that cost a buck apiece.
The bottom line? Went garaging all but 9 weekends in 2014, spent $1412.20, and ended up with about $15,367 worth of merchandise. It was a very good year…now bring on 2015!