Saturday, July 21, 2012
I'm a Beach Comber, a Scrounger, a Bargain Shopper
My sister-in-law Caron and I are looking at something she found on a beach in P.E.I. in 2008. Everytime I visit with Caron and her husband on the island we try and squeeze in some time for beach combing..one of our favorite activities. I bought a lovely white enamelware canister set years ago just to store my beach glass..Caron and I hope to make jewelry with it someday.
My husband likes to refer to me as "cheap" but I prefer to think of myself as trying to be very economical. If I can buy something we need or in previous years "want" at a yard sale, or see it sitting free in the recycle building at the town dump or buy it cheaply at the downtown Salvation Army then I'm more than pleased.
We also have in our town a ReStore, a very large building full of great stuff and all the money raised goes to Habitat for Humanity which build homes for people who might otherwise never have the privilege of owning their own home. Also I feel good knowing all the money I spend at the Salvation Army is helping so many people in a multitude of ways.
I used to buy a lot of "stuff' because I liked it or wanted it, not necessarily needing it..Now I'm become a much more discerning shopper. Or at least I like to think so..I remember my father being a big yard sale shopper and when we cleaned out our parents home, finding boxes full of things in the basement purchased at yard sales. But he commented to me at one time he was becoming much more discerning over the years..so maybe I'm taking after him.
Now when I enter the Salvation Army I head right to the children's toys in case I can find some great toy or book for my granddaughter. As she grows older, she is now 18 months old, she is losing interest in some of her earlier toys..She is very absorbed now in playing with a toy high chair I purchased for 99 cents at the Salvation Army and carried home..she puts a teddy bear in it and feeds it numerous cups of tea out on the deck with warm water until teddy has to have the water wrung out of it. I've purchased many little outfits for her there so when she arrives I put her into "my" clothes so she can get wet or dirty and go home in her original clean clothes.
She is interested in rabbits or bunnies right now so yesterday I found a stuffed one and a cute little pink purse to carry it around it. Found a great pair of shorts for myself and a gorgeous scarf. Several weeks ago I found a lovely skirt which I will take to a wedding I have to attend in the fall in Victoria, B.C. I get quite excited when I find clothes there with the tag on from the store who donated it, still intact..found many brand new items, never worn for under five dollars. Who wouldn't get a thrill over that!
After all as one lady told me one day when we shop at the Salvation Army we are really "only borrowing" the items as a few years down the road we usually tire of them and return them to be recycled again. This year alone I've probably taken over a dozen bags of items back to the store and I often see them hanging on the racks or on a shelf..
Since we will be moving in a few years I have been trying and not too successfully yet to get rid of more things from the house. Which means I must put a bit of a curb on my shopping..and I don't know why but I seem to have been born with a "shopping bug" in my system which has been very hard to eradicate..I have done really well this year tho, only spent one day touring yard sales while in P.E.I. in May with Caron and since returning back home although I read where they are each week in our town paper have kept away..now that's a big thing for me..look at all the bargains I'm missing!
Sometimes when I put things in a bag for the Salvation Army or send it to the dump I feel bad that I don't have the money I spent on that item..but I have to think: "did it give me a lot of pleasure?" and if the answer is yes, then it was money well spent.
When I enter stores and look through the weekly flyers that come each week and see "Sale" signs, I make a beeline to look over the merchandise..but now I must ask myself, do I need it or have room for it? There was a huge sale on different varities of wool this week in a nearby town which I had to go to for an eye exam. So I purchased several new crochet/knitting books on sale for a dollar plus wool to keep me going hopefully through the coming winter. My girlfriend who was with me at the time happened to mention that the four large balls of cotton yard that I'd purchased to knit a blanket is the "perfect' color to go on her couch upstairs in her home..so one Christmas present is looked after. Perhaps more than one as I'm going to make my granddaughter a hat. Just finished making myself a cotton hat and I'm quite pleased with it.
I find it very difficult to watch tv without having busy hands either crocheting or knitting. Being a huge reader I also purchase most of my books second-hand, then recycle them again. Nearly all my library of gardening books have come by way of second-hand stores. I do get a thrill from buying something brand new but my clothes closets are rather bulging now so off I go to see if I can recycle some clothes and remember NOT to repurchase them when I next go to the Salvation Army!