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Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Bargain High: Danger Ahead

On Friday, I saw a sign "Yard Sale for Youth Group" at the church down the street. This is a very upscale church. My newer car--a 2003 Civic--would be on the very low end in their parking lot, which is filled with Lexuses and the like. So this is a prime shopping occasion.

Since it is against my frugal creed to drive around looking for sales, I decided to make it my morning walk on Saturday. When I got there, I could see the long line.

Even with a poor shopping strategy, I got 40 classical CDs for my music-loving spouse, 10 books, a bag of dish towels (my weakness!), a quilt cover and matching shams, a pepper grinder, a can opener--all for $17.00! The CDs necessitated a phone call to said spouse for carrying aid.

All these items will be put to good use and don't take up that much space anyway. And the bargains! I was positively delirious. Such delirium is common to bargain hunters--I have a colleague who gets a similar high at the grocery store.

Truly, this is a dangerous thing. It can lead to driving around for hours searching out yard sales. It can lead to piles of things in your house. How do I know this? Because I succumbed to this addiction when I was in graduate school.

I have not gone cold-turkey. I confine myself to the Goodwill that is next to a grocery store--around 1 mile from my house. Occasionally, I'll go to another thrift that is near the library. I do not go to the thrifts that are farther away. I do not go to yard sales.

This is a good maintenance program. If you have these tendencies you know what I'm talking about!


vilkri said...

Ok, so you may have some clutter around your house. But I am one jealous guyu reading what you got for $17 dollars. It would not even hurt that much if you had to throw all of it out.

Vicky said...

LOL! That's a great story. Congratulations on the acquisitions!

SDXB likes to drive around looking for yard sales. It's his idea of entertainment.

Me, I've had better luck with estate sales. For one thing, when you're on the e-mail list, you can see photos that will tell you whether a sale is worth visiting, thereby saving a fair amount of time and gas. And for another, estate sales often have less out-and-out junk than yard sales. Drawback: because they're run by licensed business operators, you have to pay the sales tax.

Duchesse said...

If these are things you will use (or your family will) what's the harm? I no longer stop for garage sales but they were a terrific source for toys and games when my sons were small.

Frugal Scholar said...

@vilkri--Don't be jealous. This was exceptional (cds @ 3/$1). usually, it's a big time waste. Trust me.

@Vicky--If I had a companion, I'd go too. Good thing SDXB is so conservative politically' otherwise, I might chase after him.

@Duchesse--Yes, we will use them. But you have NO IDEA how much stuff I can amass--and use.

Vildy said...

I have a rule about yard sales - I won't go to any that are out of my normal way. And I don't have a car, either. It's not for the fear of expenditure or accumulation but rather it's exhausting. I drove around with a friend one Saturday from yard sale to estate sale, half the day. I felt completely worn out.

Another friend likes town-wide yard sales, where either you bring a shopping cart or your arms fall off going from block to block. I've learned to beg off.

I have to wallop myself with a mental 2 by 4 to set foot in a mall. The worst thing about it is the change of intrusive music from store to store. Whatever the rhythm is, I don't think at that speed.

I love church thrift shops (within the church)for the economy and the, usually, pleasant demeanor of the volunteers. Plus I like a store where the merchandise doesn't change radically so it's easy for someone like me who is easily distracted to spot the newer additions up for consideration. These are not church bazaars that are too full of handicrafts and small decorative objects for my taste.