Wednesday, September 26, 2012

A Visit to the Nursing Home

Our book, "The Complete Money Saver's Guide to Garage Sale Shopping," includes a lot of ways we can use the variety of purchases found at garage sales. One area we didn't include is one you may not have thought about...nursing homes.

This came to me because we currently have a close relative in a local nursing home and visit there several times a week. The residents have limited room and can't get too cluttered, but there are a lot of nice little goodies from garage sales that can brighten their day.

Among the items found at garage sales that residents can use: Stationary, paintings and wall decor, many kinds of storage containers, small photo albums and picture frames, small silk plants or arrangements, inspirational books, quilts and comforters, door wreaths. Most of these items can be found new or in new condition.

You may come up with a lot more after visiting with the patients or staff and finding out what their individual needs and wants are. Cheer up a nursing home today for just a few dollars spent at a garage sale.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Make a Floral Arrangement With Garage Sale Pieces

In our book, "The Complete Money Saver's Guide to Garage Sale Shopping," we list a variety of uses for garage sale finds. There are lots of ideas for things you can make yourself from garage sale supplies. One idea not in the book is to make your own silk plant arrangement from garage sale finds.

Purchasing a beautiful silk plant arrangement in a retail store is pricey; usually $50-70 range. You can easily assemble your own, combining parts from arrangements bought at garage sales. It's easy to find a pot, brass planter or base for your arrangement, too.

While shopping, be looking for the colors and type of silk plants you have in mind. If you don't feel creative, check out a library book on arrangements for ideas. It shouldn't take long to find enough pieces in good condition to put your own unique arrangement together for under $10.

Many silk plant pieces and arrangements at garage sales have gotten pretty dusty. Here's a source for cleaning:

For more ideas, here are a few links for ideas on making arrangements:

Have fun! If you decide to try this, we'd love to have you email us a photo of your finished arrangement:

Sunday, September 16, 2012

90's Guru for the Frugal- Amy Dacycyzn

Maybe some of you remember who was frugal before frugal was cool. I sure do, because we received all of her newsletters and bought her "Tightwad Gazette" books when they came out. Our three kids were very little at the time and we really put a lot of her money saving techniques to great use. I felt her ideas were so important that I never threw away the newsletters. In fact, I pulled them out recently and read them all over again.

Amy Dacycyzn is the author of the "Tightwad Gazette" and has inspired thousands of people over the years to get creative and enjoy the simple life. This is not a lifestyle for hard times but all the time. I think it's likely that following her writing back then probably had something to do with our affinity for garage sales and creative ways of saving money.

Whether you've followed Amy before or not, take a look at this video interview from 2009 to get an idea of what she's all about:

Thank you, Amy!

What Will They Think of Next?

Indeed, what will they think of next? As we shared in our book, "The Complete Money Saver's Guide to Garage Sale Shopping," sometimes it can be pretty amusing to see what people will put out for sale at their garage sales.

Yesterday's award went to an upscale house where they had a large duffle bag of empty beer cans for sale. This was a lovely home in a nice subdivision where they were having a neighborhood-wide sale. Unable to resist, we had to ask about them. the seller explained that her husband had been saving them since college and thought they were valuable.Were they? Due to the condition, we would guess not, but you be the judge. Here's the scoop on beer can collecting:

Thursday, September 13, 2012

A Renoir at a Flea Market?

In our book, we take some time to stress the importance of knowing what you are looking at and checking for labels. We also talk about some of the treasures we have come across. We've had some good days, but we can't hold a candle to the woman in Virginia who bought a Renoir original at a flea market for $7. That's right, an original Renoir for $7.

She originally bought it, planning to use the frame and discard the artwork. That's one idea we suggest in the book, along with using the art with another frame. Fortunately, she did look further into it before making a move. She took it to an auction house for evaluation and their fine arts expert identified it.

The painting will be auctioned and is expected to bring in $75,000. Read the whole article here:

Although rare, these finds are out there, so go forth and find yourself a Renoir!

Monday, September 10, 2012

A Mikasa Weekend

How did you do on your garage sale shopping excursions this weekend?

We came across TWO beautiful sets of vintage Mikasa china and snapped them both up. One in particular called "Fresh Cuttings" appears to be very hard to find now. It was a small set but the bright, beautiful colors make it a stand out!

Have a great week-

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Let's Talk Labels, Part 1

In our book, "The Complete Money Saver's Guide to Garage Sale Shopping", we talk about the importance of knowing things of value when you see them. You need to familiarize yourself with labels...on collectibles, china, furniture, etc.

One example of this is a recent garage sale purchase we made for $4. It's a large rabbit made by Annalee. The Annalee brand has been around since the 1950's and they are highly collectible. Visit their site and you'll easily spot these very unique pieces when you see them, easy to identify not just by the tag, but by the painted faces.

The Annalee doll we purchased for $4 would probably sell for about $50 based on comparable eBay listings, and is from the 1960's as dated on the tag. This is a great resale item or gift for anyone you may know that collects them.

Enjoy the weekend!