Tag Archives: shopping

Oh, how I do love a rummage sale

People love themselves some yard sales around here. Flea markets and rummage sales and white elephant sales and estate sales and whatever else you can call used-stuff-for-sale-at-bargain-prices, are all popular. (Hoarding is also popular…)

Although I’m increasingly selective and particular about what I’ll buy, I love these sales too. It’s not only the actual bargains that draw me but other aspects too.

I find it very relaxing and fun to poke around, hunting for potential treasures, imagining how I might use something or fix it up, or if it’s clothes, how good I might look in it or what I might pair it with that I already own. The camaraderie with other shoppers is enjoyable too and usually people are in good moods. I mean a yard sale is not Target on Black Friday. (Although you do have to watch out for the occasional aggressive, crazed yard salers who’re throwing elbows, crowding, and trying to swipe your finds (I hang on with a death grip and watchful eye).

Sometimes in summer little kids will have a lemonade and whatnot table at their parents’ yard sale. In late summer an industrious young couple was firing up a grill at their yard sale; sadly I was done looking and wasn’t going to hang around just to wait till food was ready to sell. Hotdogs, donuts, bake sale goods, and even egg breakfasts are sold at the larger church sales. (I almost always avoid any such temptations, reminding myself the treats aren’t healthy and I’ve got food at home. Not to mention, I shop these events to save money.)

The upside of living in a country/area awash with consumer goods, is how much stuff now turns up at such sales. It’s not unusual even, to see somebody loading up bags or boxes, especially of clothes, to send back to family in their home country. There’s just so much. And it’s usually priced to move.

This weekend featured two big annual sales at a church and a synagogue. (I don’t mind going to houses of worship to buy junk, so long as that’s it.) I thought I’d share my finds.

$1 Dough blender. My last one broke. Used instead of two knives to blend pastry dough, like a pie crust. Very handy.

$1 Dough blender. My last one broke. Used instead of two knives to blend pastry dough, like a pie crust. Very handy.


$1 6-outlet plug. Where I live doesn't have nearly enough outlets for "modern life." These are terrific.

$1 6-outlet plug. Where I live doesn’t have nearly enough outlets for “modern life.” These are terrific.


$1 skinny belt. I have to belt almost all my jeans, no matter the brand. If the ass fits, the waist is too big. Buckles on wide belts make a weird, misshapen lump under shirts. I'm trying for a "lower profile" belt.

$1 skinny belt. I have to belt almost all my jeans, no matter the brand. If the ass fits, the waist is too big. Buckles on wide belts make a weird, misshapen lump under shirts. I’m trying for a “lower profile” belt.


$3 Don't-know-what-it-is lovely houseplant in ceramic pot.

$3 Don’t-know-what-it-is lovely houseplant in ceramic pot.


$3 Pretty, flattering sweater, longer than most.

$3 Pretty, flattering sweater, longer than most.


$2.50 Working 6" 2-speed Lakewood fan with 7‘ cord. Once home I googled the model. This fan is vintage! From the 1980's. There's even a couple (dull) YouTube videos dedicated to it. Sure, I needed to clean two dozen years of *dust* off the blades but it's a champ! So excited!! It may be perfect with an extension cord in my seasonal screen tent next year. THE find.

$2.50 Working 6″ 2-speed Lakewood fan with 7‘ cord. Once home I googled the model. This fan is vintage! From the 1980’s. There’s even a couple (dull) YouTube videos dedicated to it. Sure, I needed to clean two dozen years of *dust* off the blades but it’s a champ! So excited!! It may be perfect with an extension cord in my seasonal screen tent next year. THE find.

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Let’s go shopping! Not so fast….

When I was growing up, significant purchases were a very big deal in my family. More often than not my father was the one to make the decisions. A production ensued. Much research, note-taking and time was involved. I can see him now in my mind’s eye, poring over catalogues and information stacked on the dining room table. By god we’re going to buy the right toaster the right way if it kills us.

As a result, decades later, making purchases is not exactly my strong suit. Indecision is my personal shopper. I have to check everything out, weigh my options carefully, blah, blah. Now that there are so very MANY things to buy, it is all that much more confounding. In stores I suspect I look shifty, like a potential shop lifter because I take so long looking at everything (although on my behalf let me say I look at everything out of curiosity too).

Liberal return policies are my Kindly Friends. My insurance policy in case I get the wrong thing or I don’t like it after all. Whew! And I dare say I’ve gotten better about all this. I’ve noticed, shockingly, that disaster does not necessarily ensue if all the proper techniques are not first employed before daring to actually buy something.

Although I take plenty of time before online purchases too, Amazon has almost made a reformed woman out of me. Not only do they not need a big song and dance from the customer who has decided not to keep an item – which years of shopping in brick & mortar stores beat into me: “Oh please, Sullen Customer Service Representative, may I trouble you from your busy schedule of shirking and scowling in order to return this piece-o-crap?” – the place on the online form where you can type in the “reason for return” has a word limit! I think they saw me coming.