Knitting in the North

A discussion of knitting, family, home and other stuff.

Garage Sale Queen

This is my unofficial title in my family. I spend the better part of every Saturday morning checking out garage sales from late April to early October. I grew up going to sales with my mum, and hated it, and the whole idea of garage sales. Most of my adult life I have refused to either attend or hold a garage sale. Last year, however, my mum came out to attend me during the birth of Gwenyth, and we stopped at a few sales to pick up baby things. For whatever reason, I experienced a mental shift, and suddenly a whole new world of shopping possibilities were available to me. Part of my motivation at first, I will admit, is that my son, Brian was completely hooked, and really pushed to go. Another reason is that my family has entered a new, frugal world in the last few years, and shifted our focus somewhat from the general lifestyle of material acquisition to a more simple approach, paying off consumer debt, and living frugally. My main goal has been to enable me to stay home with my kids, at least part-time, so we've worked hard to get to the place where we don't need my income to survive. It has taken a few years, and garage sales have been a major help over the last year. I now purchase most of the kids clothes at sales throughout the summer, stocking up for fall. I have also kept a running list of household items I need or would like, and bring those home as I find them for a price I am willing to pay. Some recent examples are a Lazy Boy recliner for my Wonderful Husband, a Foodsaver appliance for our kitchen, a chair to sit on at the computer, and two really nice pairs of jeans for me. For those of you who asked, this past Saturday I found the most amazing stroller: the kind the baby sits in at the front, and it has a bench seat with strap at the back for a bigger little person. I paid $10 for it, and it's in excellent condition - I didn't even have to oil the wheels, and the seller told me she had been given two similar stroller, and only used this one a few times! I also picked up a few different shelving systems: one of the bracket and board type shelving, with four shelves. I just recently installed this same shelving in Katie's room, and purchased the two shelves and hardware at our local Home Depot for approximately $50. I paid $5 for this whole set, and was very happy about it, too! So, the yarn on my kitchen table is all garage sale yarn, purchased this season. The pink/cream pile at the back is a chunky acrylic. Nothing exciting, but too good to pass up. The right section of yarn, from the yellow and pink skeins and over, is all assorted mohair. Next to them are two little skeins of a silky Carribean Shimmer DK, and above are 3 balls of a worsted wool blend. The two large cream cakes are a mystery to me, but feel very soft. I plan to do a burn test in time, and I couldn't pass them up, since they came in a knitting basket, the whole thing for $1. Finally, the purple is a wool blend boucle. My total investment for everything you see in the picture is $6. And I get a lot more enjoyment out of this than I would a couple of Toffee Nut Latte's from Starbucks (WH's and my favourite treat). I don't plan to inundate you all with garage sale stories (unless you want to hear them - I do love sharing about my bargains :-), and I know that this kind of shopping is not for everyone. We all have our limit as to what we will do or not do to save money, and that's okay. WH refuses to wear used clothing, unless I find it new with the tags still on. That's his boundary, and I respect that. It doesn't bother me, so even though it's a bit harder to find nice clothes in my size at garage sales, when I do I am very thankful. Anyway, now you know. Are you sorry you asked?