Saturday, July 4, 2009


I took one look at the yard sale ads this morning on Craigslist—or perhaps I should say I looked for the ads—and realized there was no point in even cranking up my car’s engine. So I've been having a lovely quiet morning at home, considering what to blog over. My first thought was to share past thrifty finds that are red…

…or white…

…or blue.

But then I started thinking about this being Independence Day. Independence is a big deal with me. I love knowing I can take care of myself and my loved ones. And a big part of feeling independent has been freeing myself from the retail world. I don’t watch television, which means I see fewer ads than practically anyone else in America. (Wow, freedom from advertising—there’s something to cherish!) I manage to conjure up enough things to want without having Madison Avenue nagging me to Buy More Stuff. And knowing that with a little patience I can find practically anything second hand has certainly freed our finances. Of course there are times when we have to buy something in a store in order to complete some task (my husband’s car can practically make the run to Home Depot without a driver by now!). But all of my ‘fun shopping’ takes place on people’s driveways, not at the mall, and if you’ve read much of my blog you’ll know how much fun I can have for very little cash!

There’s another freedom aspect to shopping second hand as well—you simply do not have to worry about your stuff. If it gets broken or stained or lost, who cares? I always think about a very nice pair of artist-made ceramic earrings I bought for (you guessed it) fifty cents. I wore them often, and then one of them disappeared. Looked everywhere, couldn’t find it. Dang, I said, but hey, they had cost fifty cents. Then the day we moved out of that house, we were loading the dryer onto the truck, and there was my earring underneath. Evidently our cat Buster had been playing kitty-soccer with my earring—out of the bedroom, across the hall, through the kitchen, out the cat door into the garage, down three steps, and SCORE under the dryer! I still have those earrings, and every time I wear them I get to think of our sweet Buster having fun with them. Our memories are worth more than anything we can buy in a store.

Thrifting lets me have far better quality possessions than I could ever afford if they were new. And I can enjoy them without having to worry about insuring them, or working overtime to pay for them, or having to keep spending on dry cleaning them. Gosh, I'm feeling more independent by the minute!

And even though garaging was a bust this morning, I actually did make it to a couple of sales yesterday. Both were moving sales run by delightful people it was a pleasure to chat with. Cute little Chelsea was the official greeter at the first.
Her owners clearly adore her. They told me she came from the pound, and the day after they got her everyone went off to work and school. Little baby Chelsea managed to escape from the back yard—and went and sat on the porch waiting for her new family to come home. Evidently she knew this was a great place to live! And when she rides in their pickup, she puts one front foot on the arm rest and hangs the other over the door, like a trucker on a long haul. Her family is moving to southern Oregon, just a few miles from where I had my first library job over 30 years ago. I bought this nice cashmere sweater from them, which I'm hoping my hubs will like. He’s worth gambling a dollar on!
The family having the other Friday sale is moving to Nebraska. I sure people move to Nebraska all the time, but you don’t hear much about it in Southern California! The lovely mom in this family, Leslie, is an artist. We got to talking about vintage stuff and she showed me a couple of great vintage handbags she’d thrifted. In one of them she found a couple of old movie stubs that were printed with a movie star’s face and a fortune like you would find in a fortune cookie. Have any of you ever seen anything like this? I'd love to know if this was a practice in movie theatres at a particular period. Unfortunately I didn’t have my camera with me (always a mistake!) so I can't show you what they look like. But I was telling her how much I've enjoyed having this blog, and she said she’s been thinking about starting one. So Leslie, when you get your blog going you’ll have to post about your cool ticket stubs so we can all see them!


  1. Happy freedom 4th. Off to the flea tomorrow that's under the flight path at O'Hare.

  2. I love the idea of thrifting independence. Great post!

  3. What a terrific post! Happy Independence Day!


  4. Thank you for the very patriotic post. Happy 4th of July!

  5. Glad I found your blog through Southern Hospitality's Today's Thrifty Treasures!Love your version of "Independence". I whole-heartedly agree!

  6. You always have a great story to share, so thanks for chiming in this July 4th weekend. And you're SO right about shopping this way, it is SO much more fun than retail. I'm definitely hooked all the way!

  7. Wow, I love how you think ! I have been thinking about new stuff alot lately too..I don't window shop so often, even at the walmart. Why, when I can buy something for cheap and personalize it for my family .
    Love it ` Hugs ~ Kammy

  8. Hurray for second hand stuff! I don't buy new, if I can find it used. I love how you seem to always have dogs in this post, that you met at garage sales!

  9. love the way your think!! And I enjoy seeing all the cute puppies you meet on your shopping journeys.

  10. Thank you for sharing your wonderful finds. There were no sales here this weekend either. It's always fun to go back and look at past found treasures!


  11. Ilove your post!!! Awesome thoughts on thrifty independence. I think that I am going to share it with my mom (the queen of retail), she so does not understand me!!!

  12. I left you an award on my blog :)

  13. I almost can't stand to pay full price for things anymore. Almost : )...Target is still a weakness for me.

    Love the red chair. That is just beautiful.

  14. Thanks for stopping by the other day. You got an even better deal on your apple peeler. Wow, you live up to the name Queen of Fifty Cents! I've enjoyed it so far and look forward to apple season this fall to give it a real work out.

    I love this post. I've worked more and more of our lifestyle into finding things second hand. It is WONDERFUL to not have to stress about something getting broken or worn out when you know you actually got your money's worth. I always remember the shirt I bought full price and it was ruined after 1 wash. It made me sick. If I buy one second hand I KNOW it can stand up to be cared for and already has!

    Can't wait to peek around more!

  15. This is the first time I have heard of someone else who gave up watching tv. I have not watched tv for over a year, don't miss it, and cannot believe how freeing it has been. I get my news from the internet, so I can pick and choose which stories I want to know about. People look at me like I'm a freak when I tell them though. I too try to only buy second hand or deep clearance, but I have been clearing out a lot of my stuff and not bringing more in, in an effort to simplify. I have found that it is as freeing as giving up the tv! Love your blog and have it as one of my favorites on my blog.God bless.


I really love your comments. Thanks for coming along on my thrifty adventures!

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