yard sales!

It’s yard sale season, and although I haven’t hit them as often as I would have liked to this summer, my little ones are old enough now to do tolerably well when I drag them around town to yard sales for an hour or two on Friday mornings.

We’ve made some great finds this summer. I forget how very worthwhile it is to spend those few hours going to yard sales each week until I stumble across several worthwhile finds in a row. Here are some of my favorite finds from this season:

new pair of Doc Martens for Keith: $3
decent pair of Keen shoes for Keith: $2
about seven pairs of jeans for Keith with lots of wear left: $14
Little Tikes play tractor that Abraham absolutely adores: $2.50
complete Narnia series on CD for Keith to listen to at work: $10
Blueberries for Sal, one of Rilla’s favorite books: $.50
several other good children’s books: about $1 each
several yards of vintage yellow fabric for me to sew with: $3
purple wool blanket to make a jumper for Rilla: $3
several books for our box to send to South Sudan: about $1 total
nice wooden salad bowl (like yours, Morgan!): $.50
nice wooden coat tree: $2

total cost from this list: about $45
total cost for these items if bought new: easily $470 or more

I really love it when I find deals like these. Although I haven’t read it in a while, I remember that the book The Shrewd Christian talks about the importance of having a home manager who is watching the back door, so to speak, while the main income-earner is bringing money in the front door. I love that aspect of being a stay-at-home mom who is in charge of our finances. I love having the time – of course, I have to make time for it, but still – to be able to go to yard sales and find bargains that are better than any online sales. For example, Keith has needed black dress shoes for a few years now. How nice to be able to be aware of that and able to snatch up a great pair of brand-new, good quality ones that fit him for $3! Saving that much money in a few hours makes me feel like I got “paid” quite a lot of time for my hourly work!

Of course, there are the dud days too, when we go out for a few hours and find nothing. But even then, all I’ve lost is a few hours, and I think that the days when I stumble on heaps of useful items are well worth the overall time invested!

Published in: on August 25, 2011 at 10:53 pm  Leave a Comment  

making good use of clothing guarantees

Keith’s work requires that he tromp through a lot of brush and woods each day. As you might imagine, continual contact with brush, trees, and weeds can really ruin clothing quickly! He had destroyed several pairs of great jeans within a short time before we realized that we needed to find some workwear that would last longer than the average stuff.

I don’t remember how we happened to learn about Duluth Trading, but they have Fire Hose Work Pants that come with a “We Dare You to Wear ‘Em Out” guarantee. Basically, they are well-built pants that are made out of fire hose material. They do hold up longer than most pants, but eventually they too wear out. That’s where the really great part comes in. For the cost of $7 to return-ship the frayed or torn pants, Keith gets a new pair of the same kind of work pants. This can be done over and over again! And it doesn’t have to be exactly the same pair of pants; we’ve discovered that you can get a different size or color if desired.

I’m in the process of returning a pair of Keith’s pants to Duluth today, and I’ve got to say, this is such a great system! It probably wouldn’t work so well for somebody who wasn’t so harsh on their clothing or who didn’t take the time to return the pants, but for us, this is a great deal. We have paid for two pairs of pants from them, and this will be the second or third time returning a pair in exchange for new ones. What a good investment!

Published in: on September 16, 2010 at 12:54 pm  Comments (3)