Yard Sale Finds

While in Denver for Memorial Day weekend, we couldn’t resist hitting some yard sales on Saturday morning.  We drove into town around 2:30 a.m. but my eyes popped open at 7:30 and I was wide awake, ready for the fun.

It was fun to see which of my children were interested in joining us.  These two brought plenty of humor to our morning.

I scored two awesome deals that morning.  The first was these four vintage chairs for…. $15.00!

This kind of chair was the only thing on my wish list.  I was hoping for two, but would happily have settled for just one, and I expected to pay a decent amount for them because they’re rather popular right now.

I would happily have paid that price for just one, but a set of four for only $15?!?  Rather than let my chin hit the floor when they told me the price, I put the cash in their hands fast so they couldn’t change their minds.  They’re in great condition and the caning is still perfect.  Wow, talk about a deal!  I am so excited to refinish them.

The other amazing find was this vintage dresser, still wearing its original paint.   It was a steal at $15.00.

It’s so beautiful.  (To me, that is.  My husband, who came with me for the first time EVER, was NOT impressed with the “junk” I was hauling away.  It was kind of a funny moment, and perhaps I should have yielded,  but I knew I’d never see another piece like this.)

I love the oval detail on the front of the piece, and the hardware is amazing.  It’s missing one piece, and the bottom drawer is damaged, but I’m still in love with it.  I also love the detail on the bottom and the legs are beautiful.

Our van isn’t built for the kind of maneuvering and hauling that yard sales require, so it was kind of a pain to be driving it.  We also kept the back seat in, which meant we had no room for the dresser (another reason for my husband’s disgust with my purchase).  Gratefully, my sister and her husband graciously packed it in their truck for a crazy, windy drive with a big load to their home in Logan.  Now it’s waiting for me there, and I just have to find time to go and get it.

Can you believe it:  five awesome pieces for $30 total.  Fun, fun, fun!  Welcome summer!

Hopeful Homemaker

Rubber Boots

After wearing crocs all winter long for the last few years, I’ve decided it’s time to have some winter shoes that are a bit more appropriate.  I’m not interested in dropping a bunch of money on nice boots at this point, but when I saw these awesome rubber boots on sale for $28, well, I could’t resist.

I’m a big fan of things that combine style, usefulness and thrift all in one.  I feel like these qualify.

Black and white plaid, heels and pointed toes.  Honestly, I’ve never seen boots like this before.  They make me laugh, but they’re fun to wear and I’m loving the feeling of dry feet.

And it’s funny, but my daughter, who spends a lot of time poking fun of me for buying them, wears them constantly around the house.  Hmmm.


Buying in Bulk

How do you shop for food?

I buy in bulk.  I buy on sale.  I buy in bulk when things are on sale.

I’ve tried cutting coupons and waiting until the item goes on sale to use it, etc.  It took several hours each week, and usually the item was sold out when I got to the store.  I also found that most coupons were for processed foods or things that came in such small quantities that they did me little good.  So I went back to my old plan, buying in bulk.

I guess it’s no surprise that I shop this way with ten mouths to feed, but I really believe that this way of shopping saves a lot of money in the long run no matter how big your family is.

Yesterday I came home with 30 pounds of ground beef.  I paid $1.69/lb for it.  That’s more than I paid last time I purchased it, but the cost of food has risen sharply since I bought it 6 months ago, and it’s the best I’ve seen in a while.  Plus, we were down to 7 pounds in the freezer.

The family packs I bought were all right around 5 pounds each, so I cut them into 5 sections and spooned each section into its own quart sized freezer bag.  (I just eyeball it; I don’t weigh it.  A kitchen scale would be a nice thing, but it’s never a convenient $25 to spend.)

Thirty minutes later it looked like this.

I’ve learned to lay the bag flat as I squeeze out the air to seal it, and while doing that I spread the ground beef into a long flat rectangle.  Not only do they store well like this, but they thaw much faster this way too!

I label and date each bag.

Because I hate digging through a freezer full of stuff that falls out and ends up everywhere, I use containers to hold similar items together in one area of the freezer.

Doing this makes it easy for me to find what I’m looking for, and I can also take inventory of how much I have on hand at a glance.  It also means I can send my children out to the freezer to get things for me,  since I can tell them exactly where it is.  That’s a win/win scenario.  Can you believe that 30 pounds of ground beef fits so nicely in that container?

Now it’s all in the freezer, ready to be used.

I know that a lot of things can give us peace of mind.  This is a big one for me.  Knowing that we have food on hand is huge.  Buying it at a good price makes me feel even better.  I do this with everything.  I have only bought chicken twice in the past 14 months.  Both times I found it at a great price, $1.29/pound.  I buy a lot and then we use it while I wait for the next great sale.  I feel like this has three advantages.

1.  I have a lot of food on hand.
2.  I keep track of how much I buy and can then look back and see how much we really use over a period of time.  It     helps me predict how much to buy the next time I find that item on sale.
3.  Because I’m buying at a  great price, my money goes farther.  My grocery budget isn’t being eaten up by high prices.

When I leave the grocery store my cart is usually full, but there’s not much variety.  When I found name brand barbecue sauce on sale for 59 cents, I bought ten of them.  When I found Italian salad dressing on sale for 68 cents, I stocked up.  When I found cheese on a great sale, I bought enough to last us 4 months.  A majority of my grocery money that week went to cheese, but it meant I could buy other items for several months while we used the cheese I had on hand.    If I’m not sure how much I need, I buy ten.  On any given week I come home with only a couple of bags full of fresh produce and other items I needed only one or two of, such as ingredients for a new recipe I plan to try.  The rest all goes to storage.

I love living this way.  To me, it just makes sense.

And that’s how I shop for my large family.
(In case you ever wondered).

Hopeful Homemaker

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