Thursday, January 29, 2009

And Now For Something Completely Different

I've been writing some pretty long-winded posts lately. So let's try something new. Let me see if my readers can look over this one without having to wonder if they should go get a snack first.
It shouldn't be too hard. Rosemary's Baby has just walked in wearing no pants and carrying a pork shoulder from the fridge. Sitting here much longer would be like inviting him to burn down the house. I know, I say that like it's a bad thing...
My picture today is of my "new" baker's rack. I'm pretty excited about it because it replaces an old wood shelf originally intended for use in the garage. It is a hand-me-down (along with two other bookcases) from my friend, the Lawyer, and her husband, who works with the Captain. They're moving out of their house on base and were going to put it on the curb.
I've given away my fair share of stuff, but I've also acquired some pretty great scores from friends and it's gotten me thinking about not only the environmental advantages of losing one's inner snob and diving into the world of used goods, but also the financial.
In the current economy, we could all benefit from tightening the belt a little. Even when the economy is good, don't we really have better things to do with our money? Well, I do. So I'm encouraging everyone I know to lower their standards slightly and consider the occasional second-hand treasure hunt.
Sister #1 emailed the other day and said she'd had her very first consignment shopping experience, found some great clothes for her girls for a great price, and was now hooked. I wouldn't call Sister #1 a snob, but she's never been one to get as excited as I do about someone else's old handbags or crafting supplies. So I figure, if she can get on board with this, so can the rest of humanity!
So, to keep it brief, my tips are as follows:
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1. Garage sales are the best places to find things for next to nothing, but they require inordinate amounts of digging.
2. "Clothing Bin" stores are a close second, but I've only ever seen those in the Maritimes, so the air fare incurred if you live anywhere else would cancel out your savings.
3. Value Village and the like are great, especially if you live in a big city. My Holt Renfrew cashmere blazer came from a Village des Valeurs in Montreal for a thrilling $7, and whenever the kids are pushing me to the brink of sanity, I lock myself in my bedroom, slip that blazer on and repeat the following mantra: "eventually they'll grow up and move out."
4. Consignment stores are a little more expensive, but they don't take junk, so there's far less digging to be done. Again, if you live in a large-ish city, consignment stores can be your friend.
5. If you're considering buying underwear or deodorant at a garage sale, your standards have dropped just a little too low.
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I have yet to try antique stores or a swap party. The latter intrigues me to no end, but what group of friends out there all wear the same size?!! And don't forget freecycling and flea markets!
This still seems a bit long-winded, but what can I say? I'm saving the environment and the economy. That's got to count for something, right?!

1 comment:

Janine said...

You really should write a book.. You have a way!!
I love your little ditty about the mixer walking itself off the counter. Count me in on that one. I found my bread dough in a huge mass on the ground... Not a pretty site.
We are headed to Toronto today to celebrate my niece's 2nd birthday.. Family functions in this household are always a hoot..They make for good fodder after the fact!!
Have a great weekend.