Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Painting with Picasso

I have been on the hunt for a toddler size easel for awhile. It seems like a great toy that will last awhile and promote creativity (which I assume she got a measure of from her father). I found this one at the Ryther Childcare Center thrift store in Ballard for $4. Plus it came with a bag of chalk and an eraser. So far Hannah has enjoyed it. Although truth be told she seems to enjoy chewing on the chalk as much or more than drawing.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Yum, Yum Yogurt

Some of you may be familiar with the Grocery Outlet. I have mixed feelings about this potential bargain source, but still manage to find myself there about once a month. You can find some really good deals there including the cheapest price on whole wheat flour and chocolate chips I've ever seen. However you can never count on what they will have in stock and I would guess 80% of the stuff they carry is not really worth buying anyway (like organic Cookie Crisp cereal and frozen dinners that seem to be made entirely from transfats).

Last time I went to GO I went with my friend Kris who bought a couple of the above yogurts. They rang up for 1 cent each. Seeing an unbelievable deal I went back and grabbed 10 or so for both her and myself. When it was my turn to check out the manager happened to be walking buy, noticed my yogurts and told the checker that they were priced wrong so she needed to manually put in the price of 25 cents each. This made the yogurts unappealing to me, so I skipped them and Kris offered me half of hers that she had got at the 1 cent each price. However, when we were walking out of the store she noticed she had been charged $1 each for the last three yogurts (it is still unclear how this could have happened). So waited until the checker was free and she got a price correction. She still split her 1 cent each yogurts with me which my DD enjoyed. I guess the point is...hmm, there really isn't a point. Interesting story though, no?

PS - sorry about the recent down turn in picture quality. It seems that our digital camera is finally dying after 8 years. My husband is pretty excited to replace it and I have a feeling he won't paying the kind of price that will make it a blog-worthy deal.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

I have been on a quest for new shoes for my daughter for awhile now. After a long delay I think its fair to say she is walking now and so shoes have become more important. Additionally those feet just seem to keep growing. I have been looking at consignment shops but have been greatly disappointed in both the selection and prices. I briefly looked at new shoes for her but I shuddered at the prices. (Lets just say a pair of shoes that will last a couple months should not be equivalent to or greater than one's electric bill in the midst of winter.) At the thrift store a couple of days ago I finally managed to track down a decent, semi cute pair of Gap tennis shoes in her up coming size for $1.99. Just in time too. I think when your daughter cries in pain when you try to get her shoes on it is a good sign they are too small.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Base to echo 5

To begin this post I have a confession to make. Sometimes after my DD goes to sleep my neighbors who live down our hall watch her via monitor. We figure the distance between their living room and her bedroom is less than in some houses so it really is not that different than many people. OK, confession done.
A new tenant moved into our building with the exact same monitor as us. How likely is that? (actually its pretty likely since its probably the best selling monitor out there.) Anyway, they seem to keep their monitor on all the time, which interferes with ours and prevents the above mentioned escapes after she is in bed. Monitors can run $35 and up and I was unhappy at the prospect of having to spend this much to solve this problem. Luckily I am a pro when it comes to finding stuff I need cheap and I waited patiently and yesterday I found the solution.

Above is a new, higher grade, monitor still in the box found at our local Goodwill for $12.99. But wait, I had a 30% off coupon (who knew that thrift stores make coupons!) so it actually only ended up being $9. I checked and retail it costs $50 at Target. It works great too. I think the only reason is was there is because the box was damaged because it had never been taken out of the packing. Now we can go back to trusting modern technology to do our babysitting for us.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

What you see above is one of those squeezable stress balls. Yesterday I found it in a flexcar (www.flexcar.com) that I was using. Now normally I would not consider this a blog-worthy find since it really is not worth anything to me and will just clutter up my house. However I had my beast of a child with me while in said flexcar and she was just about to lose it when I miraculously pulled out this ball and handed it to her. (pardon to all for paying more attention to my child than the road. I really do try to avoid this usually.) She was impressed and managed to contain her rage at being strapped into her car seat for the next 20 minutes or so. Since she had chewed it thoroughly and since its not really something someone would come back to a flexcar for I decided to take it with us when we left. What a gift for my DD.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

All time favorite finds

One of my favorite thing to find at thrift stores are vintage bags. They are common enough for me to have amassed a fairly sizable collection over the years, but rare enough that I always get excited when I see a great one. Below are a couple of my favorite bags. Although I cannot recall exactly what each of these cost me, I am sure I didn't spend more than $5 for any bag.

A quick tip on finding fun bags like these, look in the wallet section. Vintage clutches are often buried in there. Plus those bags are among the least used (so they are in the best shape) and often under $2 a piece. I recently sold an 80's style vintage clutch by Charles Jourdin that I found at a thrift store for $30 on Ebay. Happy hunting.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Nifty tip

I have been in search for the perfect earring storage for awhile. In part this is because earrings are a great find at most thrift stores and are small enough that I usually don't feel the need to purge them to make more space. I think I have found a pretty good solution. Below is a picture:

This is a reed style place mat hung sideways with thumb tacts. The earrings just hook in. It has almost unlimited storage capacity and I don't think its a complete eye sore. In fact its kind of cute.

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Another past good find. I found this fan at a rather lame thrift store in Oakland. It was really filthy, but was only $2.50 (after a 50% off sale). My sister spent an obsessively long time with an old toothbrush and washcloth to clean it up. It has always worked great. I think it turned out to be a great find. I do have a few concerns about why a spinning metal blade should be so easily accessible to fingers, especially now that it is in my daughter's room. Did no one think this would be a problem? (For the record it is out of my daughter's reach.) However my concerns do not overcome my delight for its lovely style, so I have kept it around.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Thrift store season

A note to my readers - now is the time to head out to your local thrift store. People must capture the purging bug at the beginning of the year, or maybe they just have to make some room for all their new holiday loot. Whatever the reason the beginning of the year is when the best bargains can be found at thrift stores, craigslist or (in those sunny-all-year-round climates) on the street. Keep your eyes peeled and you may find some bargains soon. Below are a couple of shirts I got at my last trip to Goodwill. Nothing too amazing, but good finds at under $5 total. Good luck!