Friday, January 2, 2015


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

Zoe likes the Ekornes sofa 

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!

happy eggs

When I looked back over the year I found that Judy had tried on lots of hats.

P1040130 Judy olé! P1050047 P1050048

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.

Vintage wooden Santa

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

Irish Cabin linen tea towel

and the fifty-cent Bitossi-style horse that made $28.

vintage Bitossi style horse

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,

Arias windchimes 

pair of vintage Homecrest chairs,


and that antique wheelbarrow with the iron patch.

antique wheelbarrow all metal

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,

Rowenta iron

and the $3 French tablecloth.

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

Yarn stash

I found some great vintage buttons

vintage buttons

and several nice pieces of fabric. ROI for crafts: $14.16.

 hummingbird fabric

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

silicone rolling sheet

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

Ulbricht Bunny cute!

and (of all things) the crystal water buffalo!

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.

Vogue knitting magazines

Found lots of great movies and CDs too. And the ROI was $20.42.

more DVDs

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!

Gimme that 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

brown Waldlaufers

and the Scottish muffler a lot these days,

William Brunton Scarf

and never fail to get compliments on the pashmina shawl.

pashmina shawl

The Hobo International billfold goes with me everywhere


and is still riding around in the Vera Bradley bag

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.

Vintage Pendleton shirts

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!


  1. Inspiration! Thanks for another charming year of driveway tales.

    1. Thanks Betty! I can hardly wait to see what the new year will bring. There are always surprises!

  2. You are an inspiration! I am so looking forward to adventures this year. :)

    1. Thanks! I'm looking forward to. Hope we find some sales soon. After all, I haven't seen Judy in a hat for weeks!


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

Pin It button on image hover