Sunday, March 8, 2015


I went out this weekend and spent $28.10. In early March. Did I ever have fun…and get a LOT of stuff!

One of the nice ladies at Morningside Methodist Church left a comment last week to give me a heads-up that their rummage sale was fast approaching. I immediately texted Judy: “Methodists having a sale! Yippee!” She texted a double yippee back.

So what’s the big deal with a church rummage sale? Five bucks a bag, my friends. Whatever you can stuff into it. They also have a separate room with individually priced, higher end items, but we found plenty to love in the bag-it room. Not only that, but the sale is run by super nice ladies. Nice because they are, well, nice, and super because they read my blog! They even came to my Shopping on Driveways program at the library back in November.

I just hope they’ll still like me after they realize I have killer bag stuffing skills. The thing is, I recently made (with help from my SIL Linda & niece Kelsey – thanks, you guys!) one of those duct tape dress forms so I can try upcycling clothing. So I was on the lookout for fabric to play with. All of this was in my bag.


Plus a pair of jeans that I was wearing when I took these pictures (some nice lady had already shortened them to the perfect length!), and three dog collars for Zoe (none of my dogs has ever had such a wardrobe), plus a ball of linen yarn and a hand carved tatting shuttle.


My grandmother tried to teach me to tat as a child, and I nearly cut off the circulation in most of my fingers. I’m sticking to knitting, but I want to see how that yarn turns out. And that’s not all. Also tossed in some sewing notions


and two lovely pieces of fabric.


The taffeta on top has about 5 yards in the piece, and about 2 yards for the other. And possibly my favorite thing of all, a 3” high handmade Piglet figurine.


I think he’s adorable. Eventually he’ll go down to the children’s literature themed guest room, but for the moment he’s on my desk, keeping me company.

Judy and I just had a ball, stuffing our bags and chatting with nice Methodist ladies. But wait, you say, that was just five bucks worth of great stuff. Where did you spend the other $23.10?

I had 5 sales on my list for Friday. This one was the most colorful (and neatest). Can you believe this is her garage?

IMG_8166Even though I’m still trying not to bring home more decor, I did break down and spend fifty cents on a cute metal bird to put in a pot on the deck


and a shiny colorful garland.


Another sale netted napkins and some beautiful vintage hand towels.


Yes, that green tag does say ten cents! At an estate sale I picked up a Pendleton throw for a buck. Pre-felted. I may combine it with something else for a warm garment.


And speaking of warm…what did Judy find on one of these driveways? A hat, of course! I made her buy it. For $3, how could she not?

IMG_8167 IMG_8169So we returned home tired and happy and not much poorer. Later in the afternoon I checked Craigslist to see if there were more sales on Saturday that might be worth going out for. Moments later I texted Judy: “That huge church is having its rummage sale tomorrow!” “YIppee!!” was the expected reply.

We went to this huge church’s sale last year so we had a pretty good idea of what we’d see. I’m not kidding about it being huge. I think I’ve lived in towns with less population than was in that room (make that rooms) and the tables of stuff were unbelievable. Overwhelming. The kind of scene where you immediately figure out how you’ll find each other again if you get separated. We went around to check out the furniture in the Furniture Wing (Judy found a vintage coffee table for $5) and then took a deep breath and went back to the main room. Just in time for the announcement that prices would be half off at 1 p.m.

“Let’s come back later,” I suggested, and Judy looked relieved. She went to pay for her table, and I said I’d meet her at the car after a really quick gander at a couple of tables. She went that way, I went this, and somehow my feet took me right to the area with yarn. I said I was going to resist decor this year. I didn’t say a darned thing about resisting yarn.

Someone whose taste in yarn I respect had made a nice donation. I picked out several bags. This is what $15 can buy at a rummage sale.


This is what $15 buys in a yarn store.

IMG_8176Now you know why I don’t resist great yarn finds. One bag had 16 skeins of this yarn, which retails for $13 a ball.


When I got home I found this kit in one of the bags. One of these days I’ll have to try knitting and felting a calla!

IMG_8180So I grabbed the yarn, and hurried off to pay, not wanting to make Judy wait too long at the car for me. OMG, the lines were about 40 people long. So I scooted over to the furniture area to see if she was still there. Nope, she’d already paid the furniture lady and gone out, but there was no line there and they were happy to take my money for the yarn.

When we returned after lunch, the room was just as full of people and stuff as when we’d left. Honestly, you could not tell that anything had gone, and yet hundreds of people had been there buying. (I don’t even want to know how much stuff they had to get rid of when the sale was over.) But now the items on tables were half price – and clothing was $5 a bag. I quickly checked the tables of linens and picked up this table runner


which may have some garment possibilities.


Then I headed up on the stage area to check out clothing. Now, the Methodist ladies give you a capacious Trader Joe’s paper bag to stuff. These folks hand out the plastic ones from the grocery store, and they just aren’t as big. But I can stuff any kind of bag.  IMG_8186Sweaters and skirts and shirts and scarves, anything I liked the fabric. But that’s not all. My bag also swallowed a Geiger boiled wool coat from Austria      IMG_8207

that Zoe likes a lot. I’m hoping to resell it, but if not she said she’d really like to have it.


I was pretty happy with my stuffed bag, but while Judy was getting her finds into her bag, I made one last sweep, and found a cashmere coat.

IMG_8209 IMG_8210

It’s unbelievably soft. Unfortunately it has two or three tiny owies, so I think I’ll be using it in some of my upcycling adventures.

IMG_8211You know you’re living large when you have cashmere on hand for upcycling!

When I got home and put all my finds into my spreadsheet, I saw that I found more stuff at the giant church and it all averaged to about fifty cents an item. But those Methodist ladies with their Trader Joe’s bags really won my frugal heart. My well-stuffed bag averaged about 22 cents per item.

Maybe I shouldn’t tell that. They might not let me come to their sale next year!


  1. SCORE! I love how you can stuff a bag my friend!

    1. Thanks! It was so cool having to opportunity for some bag stuffing!

  2. We Methodist Ladies love to have you and Judy at our sales! (I hope Judy was not too upset at being called the 'Hat Lady'!)

    1. Whew! Glad to know we didn't wear out out welcome. And Judy LOVES being known as the hat lady!

  3. If I can't be there in person the next best thing is reading about your finds. Coming away with bags of goodies and going through them at home is almost as good as finding them in the first place. Thanks for sharing. It makes me happy to read your adventures. x

    1. When Judy dropped me off after all our adventures, we were both saying that half the fun is unloading the bag and seeing what you got, because we never remember what we stuff in there!

  4. A bag-stuffer after my own heart! It's a true talent to maximize every possible inch of bag space.

    1. Oh, you always say the nicest things. ;o) I think the secret to bag stuffing is to roll things up. Seems to work better than just stuffing.

  5. The hat looks great on Judy! And Zoey looks great on the jacket!

  6. A bag for $5? I have not heard of this phenomenom before!
    I would much rather support a local church than a certain well known consignment chain. ;)
    I'm learning how to sew and make alterations since I'm kind of an awkward size. A little jealous of your awesome rummage sale!

    1. I can't recommend making a duct tape form too highly, it is absolutely wonderful! I'm having a ball combining things into something new.

  7. I dream of a day when I can go shopping with you!!! AMAZING!!!!


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

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