Sunday, June 3, 2012

$2.50 I'll never get back!

I hear so many stories of people finding great bargains at garage sales or amazing items to then refurbish and add to their homes that end up being amazing. I have two young children to clothe and while many of their items are hand-me-downs (some of these are Sweet One's favorites) it could probably help if I didn't buy other things I need new. There are items for our home I'd love to find in a pre-owned condition.

The problem? I'm a little lazy. Or I don't know where to go. Or I don't have the patience for rifling through people's crap to find that one little hidden gem that makes it all worth it. I also have a bit of an issue with not knowing exactly where things came from. Perhaps if I lived somewhere that was a little more affluent? I don't know. Another problem is that garage sales are usually on weekends - which don't exist for me. Big Love only gets one day off a week and that is Friday. I'm not about to cart a 14 month old boy and a 3.5 year old girl to multiple garage sales on my own because that would be like asking for a gong show to blow up in my face.

I also have a really crappy system of garage sale-ing. Take for instance yesterday. The kids and I were on our way home from our usual cinnamon bun trip Saturday morning (Big Love had left in the other direction to go to work) and I stopped at a garage sale at the end of our block. I looked around, found a German-English dictionary in the "Help Yourself" bin, grabbed a Pittsburgh Penguins and a New York Rangers cap for the kids and then looked through some CDs. It said "Box of CDs $2". I figured that two bucks for a CD wasn't a bad idea so I looked through. I saw a lot of CDs from my high school years and came upon a Barenaked Ladies CD. I grabbed it. Once I was done my hunt I gave the woman $2.50. She told me that the CDs were actually $2 for the whole box because they just wanted to get rid of them. They were her son's and the garage sale was to downsize as she and her sister were moving to Chicago to be closer to him. I felt uncomfortable at the idea of asking her just how much she'd like then so to keep my $2.50. She said thank you.

I have no great gift for haggling because I'd rather pay way more than they're actually asking! Kinda dumb. But it got better as the day went on. Sweet One wore her Penguins cap right from the start. She hardly wanted to take it off. (The day before the boys across the street had all gotten caps from the same garage sale so she was just happy to have her own.) A little while later she wanted Little Man to wear his cap so I put it on and as I was trying to adjust it, all the little poky things that help to size it pulled out. Lovely! Oh well. It was only 25 cents so I thought we could walk down the street and get him a new one except they were all done with their sale. An hour or so later I was about to start supper and thought I'd listen to my new CD but the case was empty. Another stellar bargain!

I figure that if I were to start seriously going to garage sales and continue in this pattern, I'll end up broke with nothing to show for it!

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