Saturday, December 19, 2009


I most assuredly did not go garaging this morning. After all, I'm having an open house tomorrow and a lot of cooking and baking remains to be done, and the next day I’m leaving on a two week trip. So no garaging for me.

I did take just the teensiest detour on my way to the grocery store though. And my car just happened to stop at a few places where there was a variety of unwanted goods set up on driveways.

Which turned out to be a good idea. I found these three little Christmas towels which will be put to use tomorrow (note to self: go start a load of laundry),

and a nice little vintage tea cloth at the first stop.
Another stop netted the jar I need for a food gift we’re planning (note to self: make room for this in the dishwasher and get going on that batch of granola).
Then I found a DVD I know I'll want to watch again.
And at the last detour I gambled three bucks on this software.

If it works on my computer, should be fun for planning arrangements in the new house. If not…one more thrift store donation this year!

Besides buying groceries, baking, cleaning and not garaging, I've been doing my annual review of thrifting purchases. I buy things all year, bit by bit, and I find it interesting to look back and see how it added up.

Bought 29 pieces of clothing for $33.47. (And that’s counting a dozen pairs of brand new Jockey underwear as one item.) Okay, there were 12 more pieces that I didn’t keep for one reason or another that went to the thrift store, which was another $12. Still, those new-in-package undies would have been about $85 in a store, and the hemp skirt I got in September is on the maker’s website for $76. My conservative estimate is that these clothes would have cost at least $975 retail.

Favorites have been the black Italian merino wool sweater for my husband,
the underwear
and some great shoes. I lived in the dollar pair of Crocs last summer, and the sporty green suede Mary Janes have gone many miles on my feet.

I bought 13 accessories for $7.50, including 3 visors, two fanny packs (one with the pink pedometer I've managed not to lose—yet), a bunny pin, a watch and 4 pairs of earrings.
Picked up 26 items in this category for $19.84. I thought I had restrained myself from buying sweaters to felt, but still I bought seven. I’m using them up though; I've made slippers and fingerless gloves and a cushion for the cat’s basket. The black spray paint has come in handy a couple of times, including on the magazine table makeover I showed last week. The best deal of the year may be the 5 yards of Wonder Under for fifty cents—that’s most likely a lifetime supply for me!

Here’s where I tried to be strong this year, with limited success! I brought home 43 items for $50.85. But that’s a 22% drop from last year. I've especially enjoyed the Department 56 Halloween cat,
and the little silver Dansk cat (perfect for our new Midcentury house!).
And I love some of the Christmas things I found.

You can really stretch your entertainment budget if you shop on driveways! For $62 I brought home 10 books, 29 CDs, 21 DVDs, and a whole bunch of magazines. My husband plays the Miles Davis and Thelonius Monk CDs all the time. 1/30

And everyone needs their own copy of Monsters Inc!

Found 20 gift items this year for $17.50. My mother says she likes her Christmas gift (guess she couldn’t wait, she opened it as soon as it arrived!). I found a pretty fabric covered box a couple of weeks ago and put in a whole bunch of quarters, along with some Hundred Grand candy bars and a note saying this is her Yard Sale Starter Kit for 2010, and I hope she can find a hundred grand worth of great stuff for those quarters.

I think we got the most hilarity out of the crystal dachshund knife rests.
We gave them to our dachshund-owning friends when we visited last summer and we all got a big kick out of using them at breakfast.

This category seems to get bigger every year, but I stash a bunch of stuff under it. 102 items! $151.45! But I got a lot of bang for those bucks, and I estimate I would have spent about $2300 retail.
• Food: English breakfast tea, fresh picked apples, and a bag of the best lemons ever.
• Candles: $3 for about 40 candles, including some from Pottery Barn and Williams Sonoma.
• A dozen dishes, including the polka dotted bowl I use every day for my oatmeal, and the Noritake tea set (more Midcentury Modern!)
• Furniture: $34 bought a full wicker patio set with cushions, a vintage rocking chair, vintage magazine table, a table lamp I recovered with vintage linens, a vintage handmade ottoman, and a vintage brass floorlamp.

• Kitchen: $26 for 25 items, including Williams Sonoma pie weights; several dish towels, some vintage; a brand new waffle iron; and my wonderful Jadite batter bowl.
• Several vintage tablecloths and a large April Cornell cloth and napkins
• Best buy of the year was probably the orange cleaner, which works great on everything I've tried it on. When it runs out I'll actually have to buy more in a store.

I spent $38 for 62 door prizes, but hey, my children’s librarians are worth every penny! ;o) And the sweeties actually gave me a contribution this week. There was $1.95 somehow left over after our annual Holiday Luncheon, so rather than try to give everyone back about 3 cents, they gave it to me for future door prizes. Bet I can find something really good for that much money!

I put the wicker patio set in the furniture category, and other than that I spent $24.50 on 19 items. There were candle lanterns and pots and a copper birdbath (saving that for the new house). The little cowboy figure I got a couple of weeks ago will make it outside eventually, but right now he’s hanging out on the hood over the stove. Perhaps to encourage us to rustle up some grub!

Last category: ITEMS FOR RESALE
We all know the economy still sucks, so I didn’t even try to do much selling this year. I did find happy new homes for some yarn and some clothing. And I had one really exciting sale. Back in January I bought a Rolex box at an estate sale, and it sold recently for $107!

So that’s my year. My bottom line? I spent $449.37, and I estimate the retail at $7985. That’s the kind of bottom line I like!

Hope your year was just as much fun—and as lucrative!—and that we’ll meet up out on the thrifting trail in the new year. Meanwhile, I'll be missing for a couple of weeks. We’ll be camped out in our Midcentury marvel, getting it ready to rent. Have a terrific holiday season, and I'll be back next year!


  1. What a neat post! I wish I had kept up with what I have spent at Goodwill and thrift stores this year. I think it would be fun to see how much I've saved vs how much I spent. Maybe next year I'll start this! It's been fun reading about your finds :)

  2. Love the recap - you did great! I wish I was organized enough to keep track so I could justify my thrifting, but my husband will just have to take my word for it. I'm not stopping! Just buying jeans for my teenager at $4.00 a pop instead of $35+ makes it all worthwhile, especially when I find those high end $150+ ones every blue moon. Thanks for the wonderful posts all year long. You inspire us all.

  3. Wow! all I can say is WOW!!! It just shows how garage sales, thrift stores, etc can really make a difference in the quality of our lives. Not only did you get such great things for yourself but for others also. That is why I thrift. I love how you kept up with what you spent and what you saved. It makes me want to try that for 2010. Keep up the good work and have a great vacation!!!!

  4. You found great things for small change! Plus, you're so good about keeping track of what you spent during the year. I should so organized! Ha! Ha!

  5. Great recap! Your garaging skills just astound me. I love to go garage-saling, but I'm not nearly as dedicated and so don't come across the plethora of deals you do. But maybe next summer I should seriously hit the sales again!

    I love the vintage tea towel you just picked up--adorable.

  6. Wow! I want you with me when I shop. I love the great things you've purchased!

  7. Love your blog! Thanks to this snowstorm here in Oklahoma, I've read every post. EVERY POST. You're the only thing between me and cabin fever right now! :) I was so sad when I reached the first post! You've given me so many ideas that I can't wait for garage sale season to start up here again (probably as soon as this six inches of snow melts). Thanks for brightening my day.

  8. I found your site a few days ago and have been reading all the way back to the first post. What great garaging. The vintage linen would be more expensive in the Chicago area as everyone seems to want it. I have to wait til spring as the Chicago suburbs doesn't have the possibility of year round sales. We have to make do with Thrift shops, my mom's basement (and attic and adventure in itself), and the occasional estate sale. You've been put on my favorite's list

  9. Fun fun glad I found this exciting blog...come by and say hello, Dianne

  10. I have been reading your blog for over a year. I am so envious that you can go garaging all year long. During the winter months I live vicariously through your blog. Sometimes I find keepers at our Goodwill outlet store. Thank you so much for visiting junkblossoms! I hope you'll be back soon. I was thrilled when I saw that you had visited!

  11. Can't imagine clothes, furniture, books buying retail. Not cost but what I would choose.

    Several times a year my thrift store has bag-of-books-$1. Love what I find.

    Garden & Be Well, XO Tara

  12. I stumbled upon your blog randomly and I adore it! I am obssessed with thrifting! You have some great finds on here!


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

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