Category Archives: Bargain Finds
I love Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’ song Thrift Store. Obviously others agree because it just hit #1 on the Billboard Chart this week. Pretty cool for a duo that hasn’t signed to a major label. Not only is the song catchy, but what I truly love about it is sums up my young adulthood. Thinking of thrift shopping really takes me down memory lane. I pretty much dressed exclusively from my local thrift stores in high school and college. Want some proof? Well here’s my top four looks (that I could find documented.)
On the left, I am dressed in a silk pantsuit (I wish I could find a photo of the top) for a holiday party with my sister Ali. Then on the right, you have a photo of me my Jr. Year of High School dressed to impress for Homecoming in a dress/pantsuit combo piece.
That’s not all. Here’s me on the left at another high school dance in a Bjork inspired ensemble. That dress with the fur is still one of my favorite scores ever. It didn’t fit me very well, but it was so killer I didn’t care. On the right you find me in my favorite t-shirt of all time. Yep, it’s for an auto muffler brand, but damn-it I wore that shirt until it fell apart.
Even years later when I stopped wearing only “vintage” I still loved to shop at thrift stores. In fact, Nate and I went thrift store shopping on our first date. I think he scored some shirts, but I don’t think I got anything.
But we started dating ten years ago and I am sad to say that I rarely go anymore. Why? I don’t think it was a conscious decision to buy more new items, but somehow things changed and I greatly regret that now. I think I started frequenting the IKEAs and Targets and sort of forgot about the thrift store. Well, I am really to mix things up again and go back to my roots.
Inspired by the Macklemore & Ryan Lewis song, Young House Love posted a thrift store challenge last week that I happily accepted. With my $20 bill in hand, I hit up my favorite thrift store on Saturday.
My goal? To find a frame for a new art project and some colorful accessories for the kitchen.
Here’s what I purchased
I found three white ceramic pots. Each one was a different price based on how dirty they were, but I was pretty sure a little washing would get them all nice and clean so I picked them up for less than $2.00 after discounts.
On the electrical appliance/device aisle I found a black, plastic battery-operated clock. I’ve been wanting to get a simple clock for our bedroom and at only $0.99 this one fit the bill. With some sprucing up and perhaps a new color, the guy is going to be pretty cool.
My favorite find of the trip is this vintage-inspired cocoa tin. It’s a perfect color combo for the kitchen and even-though $1.99 seemed a little expensive it was a splurge I was willing to make for the right piece.
Oh and during my search, I did find a keyboard like the song says. Not sure if it was broken or not.
I finished searching the store without finding any large-scale frames. I couldn’t figure out how I missed them, but when I was checking out at the register I spied them tucked into a corner next to the Men’s clothing. So I dropped off my first purchases in the car and went back to check our the frames. This frame was the ultimate score at$3.95. It’s solid wood with glass and no artwork. Sometimes you have to pay a little more for the artwork you plan on throwing away, but not this time. I plan on cleaning it up next weekend. I can’t decide if I will paint it or not.
My final purchase was a Russel+Hazel yellow notebook. I’ve seen the same make at Target for $6.99 so I was happy to pick it up. I like how it has the transparent pocket on the front and inside. It will be perfect for coupon/shopping list.
After paying for the frame, I spent a total of $14.31 for everything. I was really happy with all my purchases. With the weather warming, soon it will be time for garage sales and antique fairs as well. I’m excited to rekindle my thrifting this year. Who knows, I may find some more vintage pieces I just can’t live without. I’d love another dress/pantsuit combo in my closet.
Above: Duplex living circa 2008
The duplex we rented 2007-2010 was owned by retired legal secretary named Margaret. She was a great land lady keeping the duplex in top shape. The woman absolutely thrived in a world of order and cleanliness.
Margaret gave me all sorts of tips during our three year stay. One product she introduced me to was Bar Keepers Friend. She hinted it would make my “well used” kitchen pots look like new.
I had never used the stuff, but picked up a container. I soon found that it was a great multipurpose cleaner plus it made my tarnished pots shine like the sun.
Now years later, I’ve been looking for a safe way to clean our brushed stainless steel fireplace and mailbox. Both pieces are such focal points, the last thing I wanted to do was accidentally scratch them with the wrong cleaner.
But, it wasn’t until I read a forum about cleaning with Bar Keepers Friend that the light bulb went off in my head.
Of course…that stuff would totally work!!
How to clean brushed stainless steel (or chrome)
Although I adore our mailbox, the stainless steel shows dirt and grime so easily.
Here you can see how someone taped a flyer to it that left a sticky residue.
Plus it’s covered with fingerprints and water stains from regular usage.
So to clean it – mix Bar Keepers Friend with a little water to make a paste.
Then rub the paste on the surface in the same direction as the brush marks until all the grime is removed.
Rinse off the paste with a clean cloth and water.
Then polish (again in the direction of the brush marks) with a clean microfiber cloth.
Success!! The sticky marks are gone.
As well as the rest of the dirt.
This stuff rocks! It doesn’t scratch and leaves a wonderful shiny finish. I urge you to try it on your pots or anything that’s stainless steel or chrome.
I was not paid nor given Bar Keepers Friend to review. I just really like it.
This was such an amazing deal I had to post.
Today I purchased six bottles of Turning Leaf wine for $1.34 (or $0.23 each). Crazy, huh? It’s way cheaper than Two Buck Chuck. And I don’t care if you are a wine connoisseur and prefer a nicer vintage — this is a great buy!
Here’s the scenario:
Turning Leaf is currently on sale at CVS for $5.99 each. I purchased six bottles that each had a $1 off hangtag coupon.
So $5.99 – $1.00 = $4.99
$4.99 x 6
$29.94 Subtotal plus tax
On top of that, CVS let’s you save 10% off when you purchase 6 or more bottles.
Plus, they are running a special $25 off rebate for any Turning Leaf, Bella Serram Mirassou, Ecco Domani or Dancing Bull wine. (Check the back of your CVS ad from last Sunday to see if you get the rebate.)
-$3.60 (10% off sale)
$1.34 TOTAL plus tax
So that’s an additional savings of $28.60 for a grand total of $1.34 plus tax.
I love deals like this, especially going into the summer when we will be entertaining a lot and go through a lot of beverages.
I have heard this deal is regional, but check out the back of you CVS ad to see if the rebate is available in your area.
I already filled out my rebate form and am putting it in the mail so I don’t forget!
PS – Sorry these photos are a little hazy. Not sure why my camera didn’t focus correctly.
Remember that weekend before Bath Crashers premiered? The one that Nate and I decided to spend repainting the master suite for our premier party?
Well this little tool was the MVP of the weekend.
Not only did the Shur Line Pro Edger save us precious time, but also neutralized a big fight between Nate and I. You see when it comes to painting trim – Nate is a perfectionist while I am more a free spirit.
This tool stopped Nate from spending countless hours taping up the trim. And this tool stopped me from upsetting him by winging it and going freehand.
How it works
The Shur-Line is basically a paint pad with wheels. You coat the removable pad with paint and then place it against the edge (ceiling/baseboards/molding) you are painting so that the wheels guide the device along the edge. Not only to the wheels act as a guide, but they also evenly space the paint so you get an exact edge. This came in very handy on our uneven ceiling. Instead of noticing the the uneven plaster, you just see a nice, even line.
Want to see it in action? Here’s a YouTube video I found.
I have read a few negative reviews online about this, but I think the frustration is due to application technique. On our project, I would say it took a couple tries before I got the application right, but I had nothing to lose (but time) so I kept working with it. After than, it went fast.
I found that it worked best when you didn’t load the pad with too much paint. Also, make sure to keep the wheels and sides clean.
What would have taken us 3-4 hours to accomplish with tape (because we all know I would have let Nate win the argument) took less than an hour with the Shur Line Pro Edger.
So for less than $5 this little tool will be staying in our paint supplies for years to come. I just wish I had tried it sooner! Imagine how much money we would have saved on blue painters tape!
One of my New Year’s Resolutions for our home is to keep my decorating simple this year. One of the ways I am accomplishing this is adding flowering plants around my house all year long. For me this is much easier than having fresh cut flowers all the time. I can save the flowers for special occasions.
With Spring a few months away, I decided to start with forcing spring bulbs. I planted hyacinths bulbs mid December in Liberty of London for Target nesting bowls I bought last year with a little potting soil. I like using objects like the nesting bowls that I already have on hand. It makes it more personal and then there is one less thing I have to buy.
One tip – If you use a bowl or object without a drainage hole, make sure to add pebbles, broken crockery, or something similar at the bottom of the bowl to allow for drainage.
The hyacinths are just starting to push out of the bulbs. I plan on planting more varieties of spring bulbs this coming weekend to keep the blooms coming. Bulbs can be bought at your local gardening center. Prices range from $2-8 depending on variety and quantity.
Maintenance is easy. Just keep the soil moist and deadhead flowers, but here’s a link to some great info about forcing bulbs.
When my hyacinths bloom they will hopefully look like this. I can’t wait.
When you purchase at Starbucks remember to pick up a card to redeem a free song. If you don’t know the artist, there is no harm.
Reedem the song via iTunes then take a listen. If you don’t like it you can always delete it!