Category Archives: garage sale

Shopping Haul Fail

Between the extreme heat, gallstone* troubles that landed me in the ER and our AC breaking down just as an HVAC guy was headed to our house to give us an estimate on system improvements, we had quite an exciting week. Not in a good way.

When I thought about the medical bills in addition to the $750 it will cost to fix the AC (the part won’t be in until next week), I just couldn’t find the mojo to buy anything beyond what was needed to get the Teen off to overnight camp, which I took care of at Kohls.

* Horrible pain; it was as though my gall bladder was in labor for several intense hours. There’s a good chance it will come out later this year. I know this is not uncommon for women of childbearing age- you have any insights or experience with this?

Garage Sale Shopping Haul: Weekend of July 17, 2011

Though I can imagine the smoke coming from DH’s ears when he sees this because, 1936 typewriteras he will surely remind me, we’re not quite ready for items like this, I am super excited by my latest find. And it was such a deal! For only $20 I got what I peg as a 1936 Royal typewriter with a case (portable!).

Both are in very good condition. I haven’t inserted paper and, at any rate, I imagine the ribbon has dried out int he last75 years, but the keys work and the little bell dings when it’s time for a carriage return. I can’t wait to show my boys how I used to write my school papers.

For the record, I’m not that old, but I did tap out my share of homework on an electric typewriter, followed by a word processor and finally a TRS-80 green screen, because we we cutting edge.

Estate Sale Shopping Haul: Weekend of July 8, 2011

As I visited garage sales, yards sales and estate sales, I realized the latter were the richest source of useful items Estate sale purchasesbecause rather than a series of odds and ends for sale, estate sales typically offer up something for every room in the house. You ever notice this distinction?

Last weekend I did a pretty good job of keeping to my list of priority items- tools and garden supplies. I passed up the chance to bring home a chain saw on the cheap because because DH doesn’t want to own one even though it could come in handy as we attempt to cut some old evergreens down to the stump. However, I did get:

a miter box (that bright yellow thing)

a bulb planter and other garden tool (what do you call that claw?)

a garden hose; I think we are set with these now

a level that can help mark angles are specific degrees (is there a name for this?)

a framed antique watch–in pieces. It will provide fodder for the Teen’s growing fascination with steampunk. I thought he’d use the tiny old gears and such to make something, but it turns out he might want to simply hang it in his room. (DH cringes when I buy decorative items; we are so far from worrying about decorating the place.)

Also: two pillow cases for said teen to take to overnight camp

and a special welcome home gift for the Tween, who’s away at camp now.

Total spend: $5.25. Not a bad haul. You pick up any treasures recently?

Shopping Haul Weekend of June 25: Just what I needed

This week’s selection of great deals procured from Chicago-area garage sales includes a few things we could really frugal finds from garage and yard salesuse, as well as a few things that might annoy my husband should he bother reading this blog.

The haul:

Tool belt- not only practical, but sure to be featured in upcoming episodes of Reluctant Renovator: the vlog.

Unopened clothesline- good for, well, hanging clothes or even artwork. Also makes a nice “net” for the balloon volleyball court.

18 inch crowbar- would have been really handy about two weeks ago.

Scraper- to rid the house for scraping off peeling paint on the bedroom windowsill, basement floor, basement walls and anywhere else we find it.

Two cigar boxes for the no-longer hypothetical cigar box guitars I plan to make. Turns out our friend, David Sutton, has a book about cigar box guitars (CBG for those in the know) coming out in 2012.

A rotary tool, or dremel of sorts- good for woodworking projects. It’s a vintage Sears Lil’ Crafty, which once once an extension of the Craftsman line.

Three rolls of nylon tape- to help seal leaky hose where they meet the hose reel or house spigot.

Sandpaper sponges- I’m told these are very handy for sandy the windowsills, etc. after I scrape off the paint.

A small garden spade- useful for our small garden.

An unopened vintage, wood burning kit produced back before most manufacturers knew what safety standards were. I’ll just pass it off to the boys and see what happens. This might lead to an interesting design for the wooden table I plan to refinish or on the CBGs (yeah, I’m in the know).

Labyrinth game- will entertain the boys for minutes, at least.

Vintage salt and pepper set- for my mom, who collects such things.

A cake pan just like the one my mom uses for sponge cakes.

A crystal platter for serving deviled eggs. The picture I took didn’t do it justice, but it’s like new and my teen can whip up a mean batch of deviled eggs. I’ll have to have him make a batch for our post-reno open house.

Did I say post-reno?! We haven’t even signed with a contractor yet.

Don’t ask.

Total spend: just under $15

Garage sale bonus: I ran into a friend (the wife of the guy who gave me the advice on taking down the basement drywall).





Garage Sale Haul Weekend of June 25, 2011

{Remember the Serta Sleep Set giveaway runs through July 7.} The grand total of last weekend’s shopping haul was $5.75. I bought a few old records (which dear hubs hasretro bench all but forbid me from ever buying again. He’s just not into my “Rock around the clock” clock which I can’t a photo/link for at the moment. Although if I showed his this Re-Vinyl set, maybe he’d get my upcycling ideas. Or these. And everyone is getting a record bowl for the holidays.).

At any rate, in addition to the old records in really hip sleeves, I picked up a few old comic books (filler for camp care packages-shhh) and this retro bench for our attached rear porch/three season room. I’m not sure if I’ll clean it up much beyond a good wiping with a disinfectant solution. It fits with the current mood of the porch and a porch update is not on this year’s list.

We also picked up this solid wood table, which needs a good sanding to remove the ring marks on top. I’d like to try a blue stain on it and see how that works out. If I can’t sand out the rings, perhaps a collage on top would be best.

solid wood table

Finally, like the furniture is Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, this table jumped out in front of my car and begged me to take it home as I was on my way to pick up the boys from tennis camp. It came with a set of three chairs and is far from perfect, but is more than adequate for our pre-reno house. It might stick around after the reno too as we don’t have any other dining room set and I’m not sure how much will be left in the budget* once all the work is done. Or it might make for a nice basement poker or craft table.

dining room set

* Disclosure: I did indeed salvage some of these items from a neighborhood curb. How else could I get all this for under $6? No one required me to blog about them. In fact, Hubs cringes when I write stuff like this because he thinks I like to make us look poor. We are not poor and even if we were the love of my family would provide a wealth beyond material riches.

Garage Sale Haul: Baker’s Delight and More the Weekend of June 18

Granted, I’m months away from my new kitchen and I’m not quite sure what I have packed away in Garage sale haulterms of kitchen supplies, but I could not resist this bit of baker’s delight. I bought four gently used mini-muffin pans, four round cake pans, paper liners for cupcake tins (two sets regular and two sets mini),  a cast iron corn muffin pan, and because apparently good things come in fours, four packs of number 2 pencils, which always come in handy with school-age kids around.

Total: $5.00

I later found a small wooden chest of drawers, which I’m eager and put to use in my office as an alternative to the many plastic storage containers I currently have scattered about.old set of drawers Though it does look rather Smurfy in its current form, I plan to sand and paint it.  $3

I also found a pair of tap shoes, which I bought for $1. Seriously, I’ve wanted tap shoes all my life. They sound fabulous on the hard cement (concrete?) floor of our empty basement, even if I don’t *really* know how to tap dance. One measly dollar to fulfill a lifelong dream. It doesn’t get any better than that.

Except for the “weed wacker” I got for $5. It works well enough for the price. We will get our money’s worth and likely buy something new later in the season.

I purchased a few other odds and ends, but when I bought this, I knew I had jumped the shark and had to cut myself off from further sales for the duration of the weekend. I mean, it’s pretty when the mid-day light shines in through the window, but we are months away from decorating.

blue vase

Yes, glass block in the living room. Guess how much I paid for the vase?