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My Yardsale/Garage Sale/Thrift Store/Grocery Store Bargain Hunter Diary

"SMILE" and "V V" (Vintage Value) are the names of 2 thrift stores I go to a lot.

August 1, 2005. I'm changing this blog and switching to a regular blog website. So this will be my last entry on this "old" blog. I think changing to an actual "blogger" website will be an improvement and easier way for me to blog. And it will be interesting to read comments that people leave.

New Blog Link

Catch me on my new blog,

July 26, 2005. I bought a lot of little things at yardsales this past Saturday but nothing too exciting. I guess my best purchase was a new toy Hercules action figure ($1). The seller was an older lady who said she enjoyed looking at him. It's going to be a Christmas gift for my 70-something year old mom. So Hercules is going from one old lady to another. I gave my mom Zena a few years ago. So now she'll have Hercules too.

I am a big reality tv show junkie. I just got a free two week trial of the Big Brother live feeds. I have to cancel before the two weeks are up, otherwise I get charged. Since I am on the East coast, and they sleep in late on the West coast, there isn't much activity until late in the day for me. And they stay up late (too late for me with 3 hour time difference). I would never pay for it since I would feel obligated to get my "money's worth" and have it on all the time. It is interesting to see stuff and hear conversations that don't make it to tv. Many of the houseguests have potty mouths.

Till next time, Chris

July 22, 2005. You may have noticed a nice change to my website - a new logo thanks to Waterlily Graphics. I'm hoping to make some other improvements to the website. I definitely need to spiff up the main page. I just wish I knew how (any web designers out there???). I'm probably going to change this page to a "real" blog (like one where you could leave comments etc).

Haven't done much shopping this week so not many bargains to report. Did get a like new pair of white Lee shorts today for $2 at Smile. Very cute, they even have a place for me to carry my hammer.

Hopefully I'll have a lot more things to post tomorrow - Saturday - the best day of the week!

Till next time, Chris

July 17, 2005. It's been a very humid weekend here in Maryland. I was glad that I wasn't having a yardsale this weekend. I didn't buy much: a new Dawn powerbrush dirty dish cleaner (.25), a Happily Dying of Chocolate figurine in box ($1), a big roll of plastic wrap ($1 - I will use as a low-tech version like shrinkwrap when I package up ebay items for mailing), and a brand new Spongebob Squarepants spongy toilet seat. I'm an old pro at changing out toilet seats. I would have prefered it not be a cushiony toilet seat but oh well, it was only $2 and brand new. And thank god, it wasn't wooden! I'm not sure which bathroom to put it in (we have 3). Either it will go in "mine" or in the downstairs powder room. No way would it go in my husband's bathroom - I only step in there under extreme duress.

One seller at a yardsale kinda irked me. Of course on his table of junk, the only thing he didn't have a price on was something I may have bought (for the right price). When I asked him how much, he thought for a second and said $3 (personally I was hoping for .50) so I put it down. Then a minute or two later, another customer walks up and asks "how much" and the seller said "$2". Hello?!? I was standing right there, I almost asked the seller "why then did you tell me $3??". The second customer bought it. I mean, there is nothing wrong with lowering your prices, but geez, I don't think it's considerate to tell one customer one thing and another customer another thing - especially when they are standing right next to each other.

Till next time, Chris

July 12, 2005. I found out recently that my website is mentioned in the August issue of Woman's Day magazine. That is a nice surprise since I wasn't expecting it. Most times when yardsalequeen.com has appeared in a magazine or newspaper etc., I know about it ahead of time.

My best buy last Saturday at a yardsale was 22 cans of baby formula for $15. What happened was I bought one bunch for $5 and I had to stop home to get my camera to take a picture of this yardsale sign advertising for clotes:

So when I was home, I checked ebay and saw that the particular brand of baby formula sells very well (like $10 a can) so when I headed back out, I went back to that same yardsale and bought all the rest.

I'm going to be looking for amusing yardsale signs more closely now. My friends at ThUnderground Films are interested in seeing pictures of funny/amusing yardsale signs (for possible inclusion in their movie), click here for more details.

Another bargain from Saturday was half of a manniquin (the front half), like what Victoria's Secret uses in their store to display an outfit. It was .50 and the guy said it was from a Victoria's Secret. The seller said his son had received it as a "gift" after doing some electrical work at a VS store. When I sell clothes on ebay I have a dress form that I put clothes on when I take the picture, but sometimes the dress form is too big and I need something smaller.

Yesterday my bargain of the day was a free (small) slurpee at 7-11 in honor of their 40th anniversary. I think it may be a promotion they do every year on July 11. Will have to see if they do it next year.

And this Friday (7/15) at Chick-fil-a, if you show up dressed like a cow from head to toe you get a free meal. I don't think I am doing that though...

Till next time, Chris

July 3, 2005. Last week I did something that most (sane) women wouldn't attempt. I sealcoated our driveway. I like to think of it as a driveway makeover. Holy crap - what a job! I was sore for days later. It took three 5-gallon buckets of the stuff to do the driveway and I could have used more, I was really scraping the buckets at the end.

I was able to go to Smile a few times this week and got some good bargains since they several half-priced days. Some of the things I bought included: hundreds of Magic the Gathering cards for .75, pair of jeans for me $1, some Reader Rabbit software $1, $1 super cute rubbery singing/dancing Spongebob. But I guess the Spongebob is more for me since my son's month long fascination with Spongebob has diminished and now loves Dora the Explorer.

At the yardsales yesterday I found one yardsale that had a lot of good stuff (new Yankee Candles, new Creative Memory scrapbook). Got a bunch of stuff for $5.

Oh, I heard from the indie film company that is doing the movie "Zen in the Art of Yardsailing" and they are now looking for pictures of weird/funny/amusing yardsale signs. Click here for more info.

Till next time, Chris

June 24, 2005. Didn't do any shopping today but looking forward to tomorrow - Saturday to go yardsailing. Anyhow, since I don't have any bargains to share I thought I would fill up some space by sharing some pics that were taken the other day.

Here is my husband with President Bush. Ok, ok, I know there are a few other people in the picture but can you guess who my husband is? Here's a hint, he was wearing a yellow shirt that day. The poor guy sitting behind my husband took a ton of pics just like that.

Look at the size of that head.

President Bush in the Turbine Building taking a tour of "our" nuke plant. (Personally, as a GE stockholder I've always liked their GE Turbine more than the Westinghouse turbine.)

In the Control Room. My husband teaches the Control Room Operators some of their ongoing training.

President Bush with my husband's friend Paul.

Till next time, Chris

June 22, 2005. Since my son is done with school for the summer, I haven't been to Smile or VV. I am going thru withdrawals, but it's too hard to shop with him. But I think in a few weeks I'll hire a babysitter for a few hours once a week so I can run errands (and shop). Today I took him to the dentist for the first time (he's 5) and it was a challenge, to say the least. I got a referral to see a specialist since he'll need some cavities filled and will have to be sedated.

The big news today was that President Bush came to our local nuke plant in Lusby and gave a pro-nuke speech. Here is the article from USA Today click here. I worked 10 years at the nuke plant before I quit to stay home with our son. Bush was there to give a speech about the need for more nuclear power plants. They didn't have room for the 1,000+ employees to listen to the speech so they did a random drawing of names for the audience and my husband got picked. I told him if he got the chance he should start acting crazy and charge the podium where Bush was speaking and scream "Visit yardsalequeen.com" at the top of his lungs. I told him I need the free advertising. But he didn't do it. What a wuss.

My husband sat in the third row said it was very cool to be so close to the President plus being able to watch all the other activity, (Secret Service etc).

After today, no more waterbed! I think waterbeds are becoming extinct. I remember back when almost every other strip mall had a "waterbed store". Now I don't even know where one is. I sleep fine on it, but my husband doesn't. He must be getting old. I'm glad I'm not.

Till next time, Chris

June 14, 2005. Busy day today. Had a few newspaper interviews for yardsale stories AND talked to a producer at the Tyra Banks show who will be doing a show this fall about "queen of cheap", so I have to submit a tape showing how cheap I am. LOL. I guess I'll take that as a compliment.

Late last week I had a crown makeover (free of charge of course). I can't be the yardsale queen if I don't have a crown. I was at the recycling center doing my share to save the Earth, when a man drove up and dropped off a box of junk. I think he meant to throw it in the nearby dumpster but was lazy. So anyways, I dug through and and found an awesome fake tiara! It was just in time too, since my last yardsale tiara needs to be retired. I also dug out a combination DVD/VCR player with remote (not sure if it works), some ugly candlestick holders (for a future yardsale), and a new pair of Doc Maarten look-alike shoes in my size.

Been updating my Humor yardsale page with new cartoons.

Till next time, Chris

June 7, 2005. I've been pretty busy lately so I've not had much time to write. Had my mom visit and I took her yardsailing with me. This is my son's last week of school so I'm trying to get a lot of errands and stuff done during the day since it's much easier without him.

My bargain yesterday was getting gas for $1.88 a gallon and that was for "plus" unleaded not just regular unleaded. I normally just buy regular unleaded but they had run out and were substituting the "plus" at the same price. I think it was such a bargain since there is a big sign that said ".05 off on Mondays". Also stopped at VV and got my son a pair of khaki Dockers and McKids khaki shorts for .30 each.

My bargain for today was at JC Penney's - their Father's Day sales circular that came out last week had a $10 coupon off anything $10 or more. I'm sure a lot of people didn't even look at it and just threw it away. I ended up buying myself a 6-pack of Gold Toe athletic socks for .52 including tax. (Original price $13, sale price $10.49 then they deducted the $10). I also got a free slice of pepperoni pizza that a local pizzeria was advertising on the net.

Looking forward to Thursday night (I think). I am a big reality tv show watcher - I watch (or tivo) a lot of them. Last week I watched "Hit Me Baby One More Time" and watching Loverboy was sorta depressing for me. I didn't even recognize Mike Reno. I hope Tommy Tutone kicks ass. I love them. I remember dancing onstage during their show (and getting a kiss from the guitarist) at a concert at the now defunct Hullabaloo in Rensselaer NY in the 80's. Those were the days.....

Till next time, Chris

May 31, 2005. Going to pick up my mom at airport today and she'll be here until Sunday so I may not be writing much this week. Yesterday my bargain of the day was at CVS. I had gone to get 10 free digital pics printed and I saw there was a big sale on pretzels. They had 15 oz. bags of pretzels (with a "eat by" date of October 2005) for .50 a bag. And they were from a brand name pretzel company not a generic brand. I bought 10 bags since my son loves pretzels.

On my way to the airport I'm going to stop at a Dash-in convenience store and get a free slurpee-like beverage and a free bottle of water. They periodically send out coupons for free items and I end up getting tons of coupons from people who don't want them (and throw them away in the paper recycling bin at the Post Office). And since I'll be passing it again on my way home, I'll ask my mom if she wants to stop for a free slurpee.

Till next time, Chris

May 29, 2005. Had a yardsale yesterday with a friend. I know I advise people to skip 3-day holiday weekends to have a yardsale but we set up our yardsale within view of a 4 lane highway so we had a lot of drive "buy" traffic. I made $111 and she made $250. I just had my minivan full while she had a pickup truck that was pulling a whole trailer full of stuff. So I didn't get to go to any yardsales but she did give me a brand new Spongebob softsided lunchbox for Jacob. He loves SB.

My mom flies in on Tuesday to visit. It will be her first trip here without my Dad. And her first trip to fly here rather than drive. Well she will sorta be driving here too, since it's a two hour drive from the airport to my home. (yes, you read that right. It will take me two hours to drive to airport to pick her up and two hour drive home). Their routine used to be to drive to Atlantic City spend a few nights and "visit their money", then drive onto Maryland to visit me for a few days then drive home. My parents always used the term "visiting their money" whenever they go to a casino, what it means is that since they've lost so much money there, they like to "visit their money" and see the casinos that their money has helped built! Pretty corny but that's them.

Next Saturday is one of my favorite church yardsales. They always have things marked super cheap, like .05, .15 etc. So next Saturday I'll be yardsaling with my mom. Since my Dad died, (and since my mom doesn't drive), she hasn't been yardsaling much. She has a license, but has a driving phobia.

Till next time, Chris

May 26, 2005. It was a half-priced day at Smile today (and it will be again tomorrow). Here's what I bought and my actual prices paid:

$2.50 large (about 4' long) tabletop air hockey game
.75 practically full bottle of John Varvatos cologne (the only reason why I know about John Varvatos is from watching "Queer Eye for the Straight Guy"
.75 bottle of men's cologne called Kiton (never heard of it, but I figured maybe the same person who donated the expensive John Varvatos cologne may have donated this too)
$1 pair of size 6 Born loafers (ebay since its not my size)
.25 men's Trek bicycle jersey
.50 four kids books
.25 pair of pants for Jacob
.50 two shirts for Jacob
.50 digital watch for Jacob (and the battery still works).

Then stopped at a local pizza place for a $2.09 lunch ($1.99 plus tax special with coupon: a personal cheese pizza that was so big it totally covered a paper plate and a refillable diet coke. I love my diet cokes (and diet pepsi's)

I sold my old kitchen table and chairs today for $75. So now it's like I got my new kitchen and table for free. Plus, I think I had paid less than $75 for the old set when I bought it years ago.
Till next time, Chris

May 25, 2005. Forgot to mention my yardsale buys from last Saturday. I guess the best buy (as far as ebay goes) was a bag full of vintage Gurley Halloween candles (paid .50 for the bag). A lot of people collect vintage Halloween stuff and a lot of people collect vintage Gurley candles, so they should sell pretty well. And for $3 I bought a plastic 4 tiered shelf. I love storage. I need storage. I guess you could say storage is a priority in my life.

Either I am aging rapidly or my eyesight is going, or both. Or maybe I just have too many shoes. Twice now in the past two weeks I've worn mismatched shoes out in public and didn't realize it until after the fact. The first time was when I wore two different brown leather Aerosoles sandals. I do love Aerosoles sandals so I have several pair (all bought pre-owned). Then today I wore an Avia sneaker on my left foot and an Easy Spirit sneaker on my right. I guess if I had a bigger closet with more storage I could line all my shoes up so they match rather than just digging thru my mountain of shoes in the dark.

I went to both Smile and VV today (along with some other stores) in my mismatched shoes. At Smile I bought 3 pair of baby Air Michael Jordan sneakers for ebay (.50 each) and a brand new Vidalia Onion Blossom kit ($2) that sells for over $25 on the Bland Farms website. (I'm no marketing genius, but even I think they should change their name!)

At VV, I bought a bunch of .30 clothing: some vintage Izod alligator shirts, a few tops for me, new chef uniform, some concert t-shirts (Dave Matthews, Pink Floyd) etc.

Ohhhh...I almost forgot to mention. Last Saturday night I went to a live auction that is nearby. I used to go there a lot before I had my son, but I haven't gone in a long time. Anyhow I bought a gorgeous oak kitchen table and chairs for only $75 plus buyers fees & taxes. I had won a $25 gift certificate to the auction house a while back but never used it. So after the gift certificate was deducted I ended up paying $62. (And of course I charged it to my Toys R Us credit card so whenever I use it, a % of each transaction goes towards a free Toys R Us gift certifcate for me). We pay off our credit cards every month so it's no big deal to charge stuff.

Here is a picture of my old table & chairs on left and my "new" kitchen tables & chairs on the right. I already placed an ad to sell my old set ($75) on a local website. I got one call about it and I have someone coming to look at it. They already asked if I would take less. That really pisses me off - when someone wants to barter and they haven't even seen what the thing looks like!

Till next time, Chris

May 19, 2005. Went to Smile and VV today. I have my online friend Susan from Chicago currently visiting so I got to show her around. At Smile I bought a new Smurf plastic figurine (.25), a brand new reusuable furnace air filter $3, and a travel Russian Monopoly game $1. At Vintage Value I bought myself a Liz Claiborne sleeveless top (.75) and a Spongebob puzzle (.50) for my son.

Stopped at Walmart to pick up the my son's picture portraits and found $2 in the parking lot.

Filled up my gas tank - gas is down to $1.91 a gallon here.

Till next time, Chris

May 13, 2005. I finally ordered a new pair of eyeglasses. Ordered them from Walmart since I had good luck with the last ones I got there. I sorta been in a spendy mood and even ordered a pair of prescription sunglasses since they were only $100.

Went to Lowes and bought a new toilet seat. I swear I am never buying a wooden toilet seat ever again - the last two wooden ones we had cracked. And no, I don't weigh 500 lbs.

While at Lowes, they had a table of clearanced Roman shades. I've wanted to buy some Roman shades for our French doors, but being as cheap as I am, hadn't gotten around to it. Even the ones I saw at Target were about $60. And I need two. So I guessed at the size and bought two at $15 each. At home I saw that they wouldn't fit (too big) but they would fit on some other windows. So I went back the following day and bought another $15 shade and two $13 Roman shades for the French doors. I am curtain installation challenged (I would much rather replace a toilet seat than deal with curtains!) but these look easy to put up.

Tomorrow promises to be another good yardsale day. Gonna hit St. Paul's first (since they open at 7:30) and then off to the Quakers yardsale. Who even knew that the Quakers are still around? I would have bet that they died off with the Pilgrims or something but apparently they are still going strong as a religion.

Got a bargain at CVS today. They had Garnier haircolor on sale for $4.99 a box and I had a bunch of $4 coupons that were in the Sunday newspaper the other week so I bought several boxes at .99 plus tax.

Till next time, Chris

May 10, 2005. The yardsales on Saturday were good. At the church yardsale I bought myself a full bottle of Clinique Happy cologne for $1, a bottle of Aramis cologne for .25, and some other stuff. At the retirement community I bought an old wooden ironing board for $2. Not sure what I'm going to do with it. Of course I bought more stuff, I just don't remember all the little things.

Afterwards we went to the mall (an hour's drive away). My husband wants to buy a new bed and wanted to check out the Select Comfort beds. I think we must be the last people to still sleep on a waterbed. I sleep fine on it, but my husband doesn't like it anymore. Anyhow - with a Select Comfort type bed, you can still use the waterbed frame since you don't need a boxspring. I dread the thought of replacing our bedroom furniture (since it would be a lot of work to take stuff out of the dressers etc) so I think we'll be ordering one soon. But we'll buy it from a company that supposedly makes them pretty identical to the Sleep Number bed but for less.

We also went to Toys R Us (didn't buy anything), but saw the Silly Soccer game that I bought the other week at a yardsale for .50 costs $24.99 at the store.

Next week my friend from Chicago will be here so I'm trying to clean up the house some. Today I recycled a broken computer monitor and printer.

Had an interview today with a writer from Real Simple magazine for an upcoming yardsale article. My website was mentioned briefly a few years ago in it but this article promises to be much longer.

Looking forward to watching The Amazing Race finale and also American Idol.

Till next time, Chris

May 7, 2005. Thanks to all 7 who signed my guestbook yesterday. Even though 7 people signed my guestbook, I checked my web stats for yesterday and quite bit more than 7 visited this page. Soooooooo I guess means a whole bunch of you will be sending me my $20 birthday check. I can't wait! Finally, I'll get the botox I need!

I only bought two things at Smile yesterday for a grand total of .50. Pair of shorts for Jacob and a half a package of New Years Eve party popper crackers.

I am awake early this morning since there are a few good ones today. A church one starting at 7am (I love this particular church's yardsales), a pricy waterfront retirement community one and a Parks & Recs indoor yardsale. And those are just the big ones, there will be tons of individual yardsales.

Till next time, Chris

May 6, 2005. Hey, it's my birthday today. If you are reading this today either sign my guestbook and wish me a Happy Birthday or send me $20. Your choice.

Till next time, Chris

May 2, 2005. Had to go to Walmart today to buy my mom her Mother's Day gift (another hard to buy for person). In the past I've gotten her gift baskets and flowers and Omaha Steaks but for this Mother's Day (the first one since my Dad died) I didn't think she would want those sort of gifts. I mean, she got a lot of gift baskets and flowers in March. So instead I got her something practical - prepaid phone cards. She doesn't have a good long distance plan so this way, I figure if she wants to call someone (like me) long distance during the day it would be free for her. She has a cell phone with free weekend minutes but the phonecards will be good for during the week. Plus, they will be very easy for me to mail. And her birthday is later this week too, so I bought her a movie she wanted (Freaky Friday) off eBay and having it mailed to her.

So...since Walmart is near Vintage Value, I went there too. I bought myself a pair of sneakers (.50), another pair of low top blue Converse All Stars (.50). Before last week, I only had one pair of Converse All Stars, now I have 3. Also bought two pair of brand new sandals for Jacob (.50 each) and a top for me (.30), pair of pants for Jacob (.30) and the Limbo Elmo toy ($1).

Ended up having to toss the Winnie the Pooh toy I bought the other week at Smile. When I put new batteries in it, the sound was very undecipherable. Oh well, at least at Smile, the money raised goes toward the needy.

Till next time, Chris

April 30, 2005. Rainy day today but lots of indoor yardsales/garage sales. Well I guess saying "indoor garage sale" is an oxymoron. My best buy of the day was a game called Silly Soccer (.50) since my son loves it and it kept him pretty busy this dreary afternoon. For myself I bought a pair of black Converse All Stars ($1). And they are the Made in the USA ones, not the Made in Korea ones. I guess it was last year or so that Converse switched from being Made in the USA to Made in Korea (or someplace other than USA). And they are low-tops not hightops (which I am glad about). And I bought myself a huge plastic bag full of matchbooks. When I was about 12, I started collecting them. I can't even remember why. And even as an adult, I never smoked. Now it's a collection that has definitely gotten out of control. I don't really actively collect them now since stores and restaurants rarely have matchbooks like they used to. But I still can't pass them up at a yardsale like today when I see a huge bag full for only $1. I have so many shoeboxes just full of matchbooks. Back in 1990 when we moved from Charleston, South Carolina to Maryland, a moving company came and packed up all our things. When they started packing up our kitchen junk drawer, they made us remove the one or two partially used matchbooks since they were considered dangerous to transport or something. I know this is bad, but I remember telling my husband "I guess they didn't look in all those shoeboxes they have packed already in the big moving van".

Took my son to have his pics done at Walmart yesterday. Paid $4.40 (had a 10% off coupon) and will be getting a ton of pics since their packages include lots of pics, plus I had coupons for 2 free 8x10's.

Till next time, Chris

April 27, 2005. At the Help thrift store yesterday, I bought a few things, but nothing really worth mentioning. Their pricing is very irritating since nothing is priced, instead they have a huge sign with prices such as "shirts .25 and up" "jeans $1.00 and up". So of course the cashier just plucks a price out of mid-air and if you question it, she'll say the sign says "and up".

My wedding anniversary (16 years! holy cow that's a long time - but I did get married when I was 8. haha) is in a few days so I had to buy my husband a gift. He is incredibly hard to buy for, but he thinks he's the easiest. Well I can't buy him clothes since in his mind he thinks that clothing is a necessity and should not be given as a gift. I guess he got too many clothing gifts as a kid at Christmas and hated it so it's been carried into adulthood. He is an avid golfer but he is so picky that I can't buy him anything for that. He likes to read, but anytime one of his favorite authors comes out with a new book, he buys it right away. Same with things like movies - when a movie comes out on DVD that he wants, he makes sure he buys it when it first comes out (when it's generally on sale).

So I ended up buying him two things, one of which he will probably hate. A little background - we are both big fans of the movie Pulp Fiction and have watched it plenty of times. Well remember that scene where Bruce Willis goes back to his apartment to get his watch that is on the ceramic kangaroo? Well at an antique store, I bought my husband the identical vintage kangaroo ($15). I found out it really was sold to men since in the back there is a place to store a wallet, the pouch is a place for coins and the tail is a place (of course) to store a watch. His second gift is a 3-year subscription to the Sporting News. I know he likes that magazine since he's had it before. I bought it from a reputable magazine seller on ebay (ebay ID elenahume) for $9.99. So this way, being that it's a 3 year subscription, I'm going to tell him this covers his anniversary gift for the next 2 years as well. :) Hey, what can I say? That's the kind of generous person I am.

Being the yardsalequeen does have a few perks (and I do mean few). This is pretty cool - out of the blue, Avery Denison, the company that makes office supplies like stickers and stuff sent me two of their new sign making kits. They say they will be great for making yardsale signs. I will have to try it for my next yardsale.

Today at Smile I bought a few things: boy scout uniform shirt (.50), a Burt's Bee Head to Toe sampler pack (.50), Winnie the Pooh toy $1, a new candle with the fragance of "Good Looking Man" .50 (it does smell good by the way), and a paperback book from 1985 (.50) entitled something like "How to Make $20,000 a year in the antiques business without quitting your job".

Till next time, Chris

April 25, 2005. Had to do some errands today - which happened to be near the Vintage Value store. So of course I went shopping. Several days a week they have .30 clothing days (otherwise clothing is a whopping .75). Thirty cent clothing is soooo cheap. But you really have to look stuff over because on a lot of things even paying .30 for some of the items would be a rip-off (stained, holes etc). Jeans and coats are slightly higher. Kids coats are only .50. Bought Jacob a nice lined raincoat today (.50) and several tops for ebay (a Storybook Knits sweater, a Quacker Factory sweater, a vintage Izod cardigan, and a little girls sweater with poodles on it - I figure it will be good for a sock-hop costume at Halloween time). Didn't find anything for myself.

Tomorrow I have to head in another direction for an errand, so I will be fairly close to a different thrift that I haven't been to in ages, a thrift called "Help". I used to go there at least once a week - back when my son was attending a special preschool for his speech problem. As luck would have it, the preschool was very close to the Help thrift.

Till next time, Chris

April 20, 2005. I goofed today and went to Smile with only $11. A lot of times, that would be adequate but I immediately found a lot of stuff worth buying. So I paid for my $10.75 worth of stuff and then went to the money machine and went back to Smile. I bought two Berenguer dolls for $2 each for ebay. I recently found out about a whole group of people who buy this particular brand of doll to remake them into dolls with a realistic look. But what I think is weird is the people who will pay hundreds of dollars for these "reborn" dolls and pretend they are real babies or something. Sorry but I think it's weird. I guess if I had to choose who is "less weird" either vaginal douche bag collectors or reborn doll collectors, I would have to choose the douche bag collectors. Check ebay for "reborn doll" see what I'm talking about and notice how they are described to see what I am talking about.

When I went back to Smile, I found a nice fancy dress for myself for $5. It's not an evening gown, but it is sparkly, would be a great dress to wear on a cruise.

Had an interview today with a newspaper reporter. This time of year I do interviews pretty frequently since many newspapers run articles about yardsaling and need to interview an "expert". But what was cool about today's interview was that it's for the Times Union (www.timesunion.com) of Albany, NY - it's the newspaper I grew up reading, and the newspaper my mom still subscribes to. The article should run in Monday's paper.

Till next time, Chris

April 19, 2005. I've started cleaning out our spare bedroom. We're having an out of town guest visit next month so I gotta dig a tunnel so she'll be able to get to the bed. haha. One of my online buddies (Susan from Chicago) is flying out to go thrifting and yardsaling with me. In the summer of 2002 when we took a family vacation to the Midwest, Chicago was one of our stops and we got to meet in person.

So anyways, its sorta scary, but in going thru the closet, there was many times when I'd find a plastic bag full of stuff and think "I have no idea what's in here". So I got the thrill (if you can call it that) of rediscovering my junk that I've bought in the past. Almost like Christmas. And another thing that is scary is that in some instances, I can't even remember where or when I got some of the junk!

Had to run out to go to the grocery store today for a few items and stopped at a yardsale. There is a vacant lot nearby where people routinely set up impromptu yardsales any day of the week. I bought my son a black and white Pixter drawing game toy for $2 (and it included batteries). I know the color Pixter is newer and more expensive, but for $2 it's worth it to see if its a toy that my son will play with. And if it is a toy he likes, then I can look for a color Pixter at a yardsale. (You didn't think I would buy one new in a store did you??)

Till next time, Chris

April 18, 2005. Had a doctor's appointment today so I was able to stop at the Catholic Charities thrift which was nearby. I spent $3.99 on stuff and $2 of that was a thing called a Competitive Ankle Board. It looked like an expensive thingy so I took a chance that I could resell it. And even if I can't, I'll only be out $2. Well I went to their website and see that to buy one new it costs $99 plus shipping!

I have to go back to the doctors to get blood drawn (don't worry - just a routine check) so I scheduled it for next Tuesday rather than Monday. Why? Because then I figured I could go to this other thrift (called HELP) that I haven't been to in ages - and I know they aren't open on Mondays.

After the doctors, I did some grocery shopping and got some Quaker Oats Chewy Granola bars that were on sale half price $1.35 per box (rather than $2.69 per box). Plus I had $1 coupon off two boxes. Wait - that wasn't even the best deal. So while at the cash register, the thing that spits out coupons spit out a coupon for $1 off one box. So I put my groceries in my car and went back in the store with the coupon and bought one box for .35 . I was hoping the thing would spit out another coupon for me, but alas, my luck ran out. It's a good thing it didn't spit out a coupon every time, cuz I know I would have spent the rest of the afternoon buying granola bars. My son loves them.

Oh, I started to remember a few things I bought at Smile last week. One is a old vintage douche/rectal bag made by BF Goodrich - yes, the same people who make tires at one time apparently made certain internal personal cleansing devices. Looks like a torture device to me. Paid $1 and its destined to be on eBay to be sold to some collector of douche/rectal cleansing bags. You think I'm joking? Nope, people collect them. Also for .50 I bought a comb that looks like a switchblade.

Till next time, Chris

April 16, 2005. Been pretty busy lately so I haven't had much time to write. Will try to be better in the future. Went to a few yardsales today. Bought a bunch of books on tape for $15. A distribution facility for a company (www.recordedbooks.com) that makes them is nearby so I tend to find them a lot at yardsales. I think the employees get a very generous discount on them. I got about 20 different titles and they sell new for $50 and up. Also at the same sale I got a vintage ice cream scooper with wooden handle for .10 for my ice cream scooper collection. I also have a collection of men's shaving brushes and last week I bought two at a yardsale to add to my collection for $1. The men's shaving brushes are displayed in my bathroom. I haven't done anything with my ice cream scooper collection but someday I will think of a way to display them in my kitchen. My men's shaving brush collection started when I was about 4 years old. When my grandfather died, I distinctly remember asking for it as if it was yesterday.

Earlier in the week I went to Vintage Value. I bought a bunch of VHS tapes and DVDs for $1 each. It was like someone got rid of their entire collection of VHS tapes and a few dvds (maybe a disgruntled wife or girlfriend getting rid of their guy's collection??) The genre of the films was not your everyday collection. I bought a boxed set of something called LA Blue Girl - which is some sort of x-rated anime (Japanese animation/cartoon), DVD of Red Dwarf, DVD of Life of Brian (turns out we already own it) and some other Japanese action adventures.

Also at V V, I bought (.10) the current issue of AARP magazine that this website is mentioned in. Many people had told me they found this website thru the AARP magazine, but at the library I went thru the magazine a bunch of times but couldn't find the mention. Well I emailed AARP and they said there are 3 different versions of the magazine based on the age of the recipient. So I'm glad now I have a ocpy of the magazine.

Of course I went to Smile this week - but can't remember what I bought.

Went out to lunch with my husband, since my young son is in school full-time it's nice to be able to go out to lunch once in a while at a place that doesn't have "booths". I even ordered creme brulee (and paid $6 for it). The last time I had creme brulee was on a cruise ship five years ago.

Till next time, Chris

April 3, 2005. Yardsales are starting to appear but it was a very rainy day yesterday so I didn't attempt to go to any (although there were some indoor ones at schools, they weren't exactly close).

Had lunch at a Mexican restaurant and then went to Walmart. I remembered to check out the April 2005 issue of All You and there on page 129 is me! Because of my website, I had been interviewed for a yardsale article months ago and they asked for a picture. So I spent $1.39 (including tax) and bought the issue. So with that magazine for sale now and with a recent interview I did with an Associated Press writer, I think there will be a lot of traffic to the website shortly.

Till next time, Chris

April 1, 2005. Happy April Fools Day. In the past week I have bought so much post-Easter candy (for myself!) that it's embarrassing. I bought stuff at Walmart and Target when it was 50% and 75% off.

When I was in NY last week, garage sales had not started up yet. But got a few bargains/freebies regardless. There's a huge liquor store near my mom's house that was having a grand reopening and I got a free t-shirt and some free Dewar's pins (and of course bought a bargain bottle of wine). The store is so huge that it's in a previous TJ Maxx store that closed. Also did some bargain shopping at Kohls and bought a pregger friend matching Carter's baby outfits for $6.20 each (she is having twins - better her than me!!)

While at a McDonald's drive-thru, the cashier accidently dropped a Happy Meal intended for the car ahead of me. The cashier gave them a new one. So....since I was next in line, guess who took it? I pulled up (put the car in park) and opened my car door and picked up the dropped Happy Meal. The food was perfectly fine of course since it was still in the bag.

My mom has started to go thru some of my dad's things. She gave me some of his diabetic supplies to sell on ebay. I took a few of his prescription medicines - stuff that I can use. Like an unused bottle of Flonase (I had been prescribed that in the past). And a tube of something called Carmol40. It's a skin softener - great for callouses on feet, elbows, etc. Better than any over the counter lotion, that's for sure! Of course the rest of his prescriptions (like nitroglycerine etc) will get flushed.

Also while in NY, I took my son to Chuck E. Cheese. Again, didn't eat there (just played). I had more of the free token certificates that I had from buying Koolaid Koolbursts.

My mom needs to have a garage sale so I'll be helping her this summer. She does have some neat stuff but unfortunately the cellar (where a lot of stuff is stored) is very musty. One thing that I really like is an old church pew that they've had forever, I think it came from the demolition of a church. She also has a bunch of vintage crocks. And now that my minivan has lots of storage space, she let me take whichever one (or ones) I wanted. I just took a #5 (gallon) size one. Sort of appropriate since my son turned 5 during our trip there. Here's a pic of my "new" crock plus a pic of my son with my friend Bev.

Did a little bit of a splurge a couple of weeks ago. I guess it was a "bargain". Had a glycolic peel and microdermabrasion done at a "medi-spa". Normally the place charges $199 for it, but they had a sale for $100. I wanted to try it. It's where they put a fruit acid on your face, let it sit for a few minutes and they wash it off. Then they take this sand blaster/vacuum cleaner to your face and slough off the dead skin. The results are not long term - so actually by the next day my skin felt the same and looked the same to me. I think I'm going to save my money and try the more expensive photofacials next time.

Till next time, Chris

March 29, 2005. Returned from another trip to upstate New York yesterday. My son was off school for spring break so he went with me. (They got 6 days off from school so he did not miss any school). Will write more when I have more time. I never thought I would say this, but I am glad to be back in the land of $2.05 gallon of gas (rather than what I was paying in NY ($2.17)

Till next time, Chris

March 12, 2005. Back to shopping at Smile this week. I can't remember much of what I bought except for two brand name size 50D bras at $1 each, in new condition. Nope, not for me by a longshot. Will put on eBay, when I get back to ebay selling. Taking a semi ebay break now. Although I do have some Road Kill candy currently listed. I bought it at Walmart after reading that due to animal rights protests, the candy is no longer being made.

My other bargain of the week was 4 boxes of Froot Loops at Target. The boxes were slightly damaged and they were reduced to .66/box. So I bought all they had - my son loves it. And I had a $1 coupon so that bought the cost down to $1.64 for all 4 boxes.

Till next time, Chris

March 9, 2005. My Dad died last week so that why I haven't written here in a while. He was 79 (and a half - as he would say), but still too young to go in my opinion. He served in the Korean War and was retired from GE. He was a very hardworking man who had an extensive garden every year, grew Christmas trees to sell, bought fixer upper type homes and remodeled them for resale and I could go on and on. I remember as a small child, he helped me plant my first garden - I wanted beans and corn. And I was sorely disappointed when instead of growing little cans of pork & beans, I got green beans instead.

Despite all of his hard work, he always had time for his family both our immediate family and our extended family. And time for fun - we went on countless family vacations where we all piled in the back of the station wagon and my parents did a lot of traveling in their retirement years. When I got married 15 years ago, I wasn't too organized as far as planning the finer details. During the traditional father/daughter dance at my reception, I hadn't told the band what song to play so they started playing some slow sappy traditional song. About 2 seconds into it, my dad yelled to the band "stop stop - play a POLKA instead!" So of course we polka-ed.

My dad had been in out and of the hospitals a lot over the past 6 months. When I got the bad new (by cellphone) I was standing in line at V V. I had planned to fly out the following day to see him. The person standing behind me in line at the thrift was some sort of female religious priest. I think that was his way of sending me a sign from above.

Till next time, Chris
still gardening in 2004 with small Christmas trees growing in background and wearing a goofy hat my mom bought for him at a garage sale to protect him from the sun

February 18, 2005. Hasn't been a normal week since my son has been home sick three days from school. On Tuesday I got some car maintenance done to the car we are selling. Got it Maryland Inspected (which should help it sell faster), got an alignment and a $10 oil change.

Was able to do some shopping today. At the grocery store they paid me .04 to take home 4 packages of Beggin' Wraps dog treats. Normally $2.59 a package, on sale for .99 and I had four $1 off coupons. They took the full price $1 off, rather than just .99. Now if only my dog would stay home. Another family in our neighborhood has fallen in love with our dog and wants to have him. I think he likes them too since they have other dogs and more people in their family. We used to have another dog, but now we are down to him and I think he misses dog companionship. So if he escapes from our fenced in yard or if takes off while in the front yard, he goes straight to this other family. He's fixed so it's not like he is roaming the neighborhood looking for a girlfriend. One good thing is that the next time we go on vacation, I won't have to worry about getting a dogsitter or kennel since they said they would keep him.

At Smile today they were having a half priced sale on clothes. They must be getting ready for spring and wanting to clear out the winter clothes. Anyhow, I bought myself a nice pair of Cole Haan shoes ($1) - I am the Imeda Marcos of used shoes! I think no one saw them since they had mistakenly put them in the men's section. For resale I bought a men's dress shirt ($1) - made by Thomas Pink of London. I remember Oprah saying that she loves Thomas Pink shirts, so I recognized the brand name. A similar shirt on the Thomas Pink website sells for $140.

Till next time, Chris

February 10, 2005. Went thrift shopping both yesterday and today. Oh and we bought a new car today. At Smile yesterday I just bought Jacob two pairs of pants ($1 each), one pair Tommy Hilfiger and the other I think is Arizona brand. Today at thrift I bought him a zip up fleece jacket (.50) and a vintage Wilton cake pan (never used for ebay) $2.

Yesterday I saw that JC Penney's started a 75% off sale so I went to it. It's about a 12 mile drive away. I needed gas for my car anyways and the gas station near the Penneys is only $1.69 a gallon rather than $1.89 near my home. I bought myself something new. Yep, you heard right - I bought myself something new from a real store. They had $50 leather purses marked down to $6.77 so I bought a cute rose colored handbag for myself. They also had men's wallets in a nice wooden box originally priced at $25 marked down to $2.77. I bought 10 of them. I figured they would be good for ebay to sell for Father's Day gifts. Tonight we ate dinner at Chick-fil-a (used a coupon of course) and then went back to JC Penney's. Anyhow I saw that ALL of the men's wallets were gone along with the $6.77 leather purses. That makes me feel good to know I happened to be at the right place at the right time to get those bargains.

Last weekend we were back in Annapolis to test drive another car (a Mazda MPV minivan). My husband always felt sorry for the guys who were forced to drive a minivan. But once he drove it and saw that it had some pep to it (along with a DVD player etc) he didn't think it was so bad afterall. Mazda's current sales slogan is "soul of a sportscar" and of course "zoom zoom" so I've telling him it's just like driving a sportscar. Plus, being that it's a Mazda - it makes him think back to his two old Mazda RX7's that he loved.

Well today he went back to Annapolis with some friends and bought it. Plus it was a pretty good deal since other similar mini-vans are all in the $28,000 range, this one with taxes, tags etc came to $22,500

We were really considering the Lexus SUV but the more I thought of it, the more I thought that the MPV would be better for yardsaling (both going to them and having them - like if I was to rent a space somewhere since you can pop the back door up and flip the seats backwards so they face outward. Very cool. Also will be great if we go to a tailgating party or whatever. Also ALL the back seats are removeable so when I do have a yardsale at a different location, it will really hold a lot of stuff.

Till next time, Chris

February 4, 2005. Earlier in the week, my husband and I went to Annapolis to look at new cars and went to testdrive a Lexus SUV. I hate new car shopping, I think every salespeperson's goal - no matter what - is keep you in the showroom as long as possible. While the salesman was putzing around trying to find keys for us to testdrive a vehicle (and making us wait and wait), I accidently set off a car alarm on a car in the showroom. Well let me tell you, when a horn starts honking inside a cavernous showroom, that gets the salespeople moving. Anyhow didn't buy a Lexus - at least not this week. Also stopped at another dealer and sat in a car that had the Onstar button - just to freak out the saleman, I said "what happens when you press this?" I didn't press it, but I did scare him.

Then ate lunch at a hamburger chain called Red Robin. Been wanting to try it since one just opened up near my parent's house in NY. Anyhow their gimmick is "bottomless" french fries. So you would think if you ordered a meal with fries, they would be giving you non-stop fries until you had to un-do your pants. Well that wasn't the case. My husband's hamburger came with about 8 fries (they are steakfries, not like McD fries) and he immediately ordered a refill which took forever. I filled out a comment card but haven't heard back. The server probably threw it out. I'll make a comment at the Red Robin website.

Also while in Annapolis, I found the Trader Joe's store. I've heard that TJ's out west is the best place to stock up on wine and beer, but unfortunately the Annapolis store doesn't sell it. Only bought some bread, sweet 'n sour sauce and some dried pineapple. The dried pineapple was cheap though - $1.99 for a lb. Should have bought more. Ever since LaChoy stopped making their big bottle of sweet 'n sour sauce that I loved, I've been trying new brands (but haven't found any that are as good as the LaChoy).

Lets see, what else is new. Went to Smile three days this week. Yesterday I bought a bunch of Civil War books for resale. On Wednesday I bought my son a brand new cute Rubbermaid lunch container shaped like a whale for $1. Went to Smile today, but today was a rare day that I didn't find anything worthwhile to buy.

Yesterday I ordered my husband's Valentine's gift online from Thompson's Cigar. Was a $29.99 special for a variety of cigars, a case and a ballcap. I have no idea what brand of cigars my husband smokes so I figure there should be a few that he will like. Personally, I think they are totally gross. I can mention his gift here since it's not like he actually ever visits my website.

Till next time, Chris

January 29, 2005. Last week I picked up my new eyeglasses at BJ's Warehouse and immediately hated them. Makes me really appreciate my Walmart eyeglasses that I thought I wasn't happy with. My new eyeglasses were supposed to be their thinnest lenses and they looked like coke bottles. Plus, they seemed very fragile, the slightest jiggle made them bump against my eyelids which of course made the lenses dirty. With my 4 year old always climbing over me, hugging me etc, I need heavy duty glasses. Anyways, the eyeglass technician told me come back when the manager was working to ask if there was anything they could do. So the other day I took them back and to my amazement I was given a total refund with no problems. Way to go BJ's!! I always thought that once an optical place ordered glasses to your prescription, that was it. So now I think I will just take some time and really look around before I make another eyeglass decision.

Of course I did thrift shopping both last week and this week. Last week at Smile there was a half priced day and I bought a bunch of paperbacks (and have them listed currently on ebay). The books are from a particular series of books called Deathlands, Outlanders and Survivalist. Guys seem to love them and pay good money for them.

Can't really remember what else I bought, but I do remember I bought a cute Winnie the Pooh software game ($3) for my son. He is really into Pooh now.

Another bargain was getting free photocopying at Staples. In last Sunday's ad, there was a coupon for 100 free photocopies.

Till next time, Chris

January 19, 2005. Went new car shopping yesterday but didn't buy anything. I liked the Honda CRV but my husband didn't (too cramped for him). Especially liked that there is a removeable table in the trunk! That would be awesome vehicle to have if I was to rent a yardsale space in an outdoor flea market or something.

Today at Smile I bought a bunch of stuff: 2 old ice cream scoopers ($1.25 both - I collect them), some books on tape $1 each for ebay. There is a local company (www.recordedbooks.com) that sells these unabridged books on tape to libraries and they are very expensive on their website. So luckily for me, they sell them very very cheaply to their employees (who live locally), who then sell them cheaply at their yardsales or donate them to Smile. Also bought a bobblehead ($1) of Siri Mullinix who played for the Washington Freedom. This is the second one I bought - the last one I had of her sold for about $90 on ebay, so I am hoping there is still a demand. Also bought a Callaway golf hat ($1) which still had a Nordstrom sticker on it.

Till next time, Chris

I did go to Walmart the other day to check prices on glasses but BJ's had the better deal and more stylish glasses. Right now I just can't see paying a whole lot of money on a pair of eyeglasses since I have a 4 year old who is constantly crawling all over me etc. Anyhow while at Walmart I did some bargain shopping. I definitely prefer to shop at Target over Walmart since our local Walmart looks junky/cluttered. So I normally don't shop at Walmart on a regular basis but glad I stopped by. I have my son's pictures taken at the Walmart photo studio every once in a while since it's so cheap. Anyhow, at Walmart I bought several mega-sized 3 lb boxes of chocolate candy on clearance for $1.72 each. Gave one to my husband to bring into work to share and will bring one in to my son's preschool teachers for Valentine's Day. The 'eat-by' date on the box says 7/05. Also bought packages of vanilla bark for $1 each. Bought them before and melted it and then coated pretzels with it. yum. They also had generic chocolate chips for .70/package.

Today at Smile, I bought: $2 Rescue Heroes DVD (for ebay), Baby Einstein (Shakespeare) VHS $1 (also for ebay - I have other Baby Einstein VHS that I plan to sell together), two cute new McCormick spice recipe tins (.50 each). I collect old spice tins and these look just like spice tins but much larger (since they are designed to hold 3x5 cards).

Till next time, Chris

January 9, 2005. Went bargain shopping today to CVS and was miserably disappointed. Today was the day that their Xmas stuff was going to 90% off. Last year on this day, I bought a TON of good stuff and went to 4 different CVS stores. Today, I bought nothing. I did buy some stuff last week at CVS when it was 75% off, including $1.49 Barbies and some Hallmark ornaments (for resale). Nothing like that on the shelves today (and believe me, I checked - I went to 3 different CVS stores).

Last year, I bought CASES (about 100!) of those small Whitman candy samplers for .09 each (normally .99). They had special Christmas wrapping over them, but they still had cellophane underneath. I was so proud of my candy stash that I took a picture and still have it! No, not the candy, but the pic:

On Friday I went to Target for their 90% off Xmas and was disappointed there too. Basically all they had was wrapping paper, bows and ornament hooks. However I did buy several clearanced Callaway golf gift packs for $3.74 (includes a golf towel and 6 balls) that were in Sporting Goods. They should sell pretty good on ebay.

Yesterday I had two indoor yardsales to go to. Bought a lot of stuff, including stuff for my son and stuff for resale on ebay. One person had VHS tapes for .50 each, I picked out 9 so the seller totalled it up and said "$4.50". Then about a half second later she said "How about you just give me $3 for them?" Works for me! I didn't even try to haggle her down to a lower price since .50 is cheap enough. Maybe I looked poor to her. haha. I bought 8 Bear in the Big Blue House VHS and one Rollie Poly Ollie (still sealed). All for resale on ebay.

I know this is gonna sound ridiculous - considering that I am always buying stuff - but my goal for 2005 is to really declutterize my home. I have way way too much stuff. I have stuff from my childhood that I really don't need anymore - tons of old Barbies, Dawn dolls and Liddle Kiddles. It's not like I'll be passing them down to my son. Ideally I would love to move to larger home where I could have my own office to store all my ebay finds. And a basement for my son to have a playroom. Our current home doesn't have a basement and I think we have outgrown it. And I can't imagine the nightmare it would be to move all my ebay junk. More space is not just the only reason I want to move - I primarily want to get out of my current neighborhood for various reasons. I've contacted some real estate people and have gone to see a few homes. However, I still want to stay in my little town (since it's close to my husband's job and close to SMILE!).

I just hope I don't turn out to be pack-ratty like my mother. While I was in NY recently she gave me an opened Christmas themed bag of Peanut M&M's to give to my son. Well I tried one and thought they tasted funny so I just put them in my suitcase and took them home. Much easier this way than asking my mom how old they were. So I called the M&M company and gave them the code on the bag and they said they were over 3 years old and that there's generally just a 6 month shelflife. The squirrels got them.

Oh, and this year I took an updated pic of my Elf collection (I know there is one further below but here's a better pic):

Till next time, Chris

January 4, 2005. Happy New Year everyone! I spent the holidays at my parent's house in upstate NY. The area has a lot more to offer (as far as shopping) than where I live. But of course traffic is crazier. Also has more unique shopping experiences than what I'm used to. It seems the area is much more ethnic-oriented than here - where I live now it seems like a total void of ethnicity. And I mean ANY kind of ethnicity. We went to a Polish/Ukrainian bakery and bought paska bread and was amused that instead of free samples of cookies or whatnot, they had free samples of kielbasy. And during Christmas eve dinner, I heard a 10 year old say "Oh I just love golumki" - I swear that is something in a million years I would never hear in Maryland.

While at my parent's house, there is a lot of nearby shopping - there's a mall and a Kohl's just 5 minutes away, and also a good thrift and Salvation Army nearby. There's also a Dollar Tree dollar store which I think offers better quality junk than the average dollar store. I stocked up on Panasonic batteries and fake Teddy Graham crackers which I think taste just like Girl Scout cookies.

I took my son to Chuck E. Cheese twice (didn't eat there, just played games). I had coupons good for about 80 free tokens (they were on specially marked packages of Koolaid Koolbursts that sell for .99 at my local grocery store). The nearest Chuck E. Cheese to us here in Maryland is about an hour's drive away, but when we go to my parent's house, there is one about 15 minutes away. They open early (like 9am) so we go early and practically have the place to ourselves.

Also whenever I go to NY, I visit a bakery thrift store that is just awesome. I love bread and am not ashamed to admit it! I could never do a low carb diet. Bought some Arnold Country White bread for .75/loaf (normally $3.09/loaf in the regular stores) and an Entennmen's Pecan Danish for .59 (retail price: $3.99)

I've also done some post-Christmas bargain shopping, mainly at Target and CVS, which currently have 75% off. Within a week, CVS will be going to 90% off (not sure when Target's 90% off will be).

Tomorrow is Wednesday so I am looking forward to going to Smile. They've been closed since before Christmas so they should have the place well stocked.

Till next time, Chris

December 12, 2004. Went to Smile on Wed/Thurs/Friday this week. Bought some stuff for resale: some vintage aprons (.50 each), two coffee table books on beer ($1 each), a Walter Mondale family cookbook .50, and I can't remember what else. If I remember, I'll add it.

Went to one lonely yardsale yesterday. As I left my home to go to it, it started raining. When I got there, it was really raining and things were getting soaked. They didn't have a garage. They didn't have a back-up plan. Heck, they didn't even have tables. They just had stuff on the ground - and they had a lot of it. They started covering up some of the electronic toys with garbage bags but left all the poor stuffed animals out to get rainsoaked. I bought Boggle Jr (.50), handheld electronic Candyland (.50), bingo cage & balls ($1), Leapfrog Phonics Pond $1. And another handheld Mr. Potato Head (.50). I probably have at least a dozen. It was the first game my son really liked and so now whenever I see them, I just buy them out of habit (as long as they are less than a dollar).

I guess my big bargain of the week (besides my red denim jacket which i love!), is a deal I got on my husband's Christmas present. He is so hard to buy for, but he mentioned he wanted a new pair of noise canceling headphones (his current pair has been taped up and the foam around the ears is crumbling etc). He said that although Bose makes a nice $200 pair, Sony makes a decent pair for about $50. I case you aren't familiar with noise cancelling headphones, they are headphones you wear when flying or cutting the grass or whatever, and it basically "erases" the engine/background noise so when you use them with a CD or MP3 player, the music sounds more pure. I guess you could call my husband an audiophile. Later that day I was in Target and saw the Sony pair for $59.99 plus tax so I bought them. Of course hindsight is 20/20, and when I got home I checked eBay and the identical model (brand new) normally sell for less than $40. I found a reputable seller who wasn't outrageous on shipping and placed my bid using the free bid sniper at Vrane. I won the auction and including shipping it came to about $25. And of course on Christmas, instead of keeping my mouth shut about what a good bargain I got and make him think I spent $60 on him, I'll probably have to brag to him about my bargain shopping deal.

Also for Christmas my husband said he wanted a DVD that just came out last week. So instead of making him pinpoint exactly what movie he wanted, I ended up buying two movies. I have a feeling he wanted Dodgeball, but then I saw The Bourne Identity also just came out so my gut says that could be the movie too.

I took my son to a local marine museum on both Friday and Saturday nights. Normally it's about a $5 admission but this weekend was their annual Christmas open house so admission was free in the evenings. For their Christmas activities, Santa is there and they make crafts with the kids and they have local live musicians playing carols. So most people stay concentrated in the lobby area of the museum. That leaves me and Jacob to basically have the actual museum pretty much to ourselves. It's so nice and relaxing being surrounded my all the fish tanks and not loads of noisy tourists around (which is how it is on a typical weekend). I took plenty of pics so I will post some shortly. I only managed to take one picture of Santa with Jacob. Of course I could have taken more, but Jacob didn't want anything to do with Santa. You just bring your own camera and take your own pics, not like the mall santa where you have to pay (and stand in line!). My son was able to walk right up to Santa - no line there.

Looking foward to watching my required 3 hours of Survivor finale tonight!

Till next time, Chris

December 7, 2004. When to V V today and bought some .30 clothing (clothing is .30 on Mon-Wed). But of course I probably mentioned before, there is a lot of crap with holes for sale there, so you have to have time to go thru the racks. I did buy a few cute baby outfits (resale) and a few tops for myself including an awesome red denim jacket, in like-new condition. They even only charged me .30 for the coat!

Last Saturday I had a rented a space ($5) at an indoor yardsale. I declutterized my Christmas decorations. I used to collect things like wicker sleighs for my elf collection, but no more. I am sick of the sleighs and sold a few at the yardsale and donated the rest. At the end of the yardsale the organizers said we could leave unwanted stuff and they would donate it to Smile (but of course they're the ones who will probably end up with the big tax receipt). I did donate a lot of my leftovers since I am in a decluttering mood. I normally don't ever donate to Smile, mainly because I don't want to see "my" stuff at the thrift where I shop every week. I'd probably feel the urge to buy it back. I normally donate to another charity who picks up donations right at my front door.

But I still love my elf collection and continue to search yardsales for them. Here is a pic I look last year (or the year before). Since then, I know I've collected a lot more. The blue "elf" in the center is actually an imposter, I think its a pixie and doesn't deserve to be with the elfs. When I was a child, my mom had a few elfs that were my favorite Christmas decoration. So that is what make me drawn to them. Plus, they just look happy.

Anyhow, I had a good time on Saturday and made about $75 in 4 hours. Not bad for low priced junk AND I got to spent a lot of time shopping all the other vendors. Picked up a brand new Meguiars car wax kit for $4, a DVD: The Red Thin Line for $1, a vintage tin spinning top for .25 and a bottle of "Pink" Blushing Body Veil by Victoria Secret for .25. What the heck is "blushing body veil" anyways? Well let me tell you - it's watered down lotion. Yep, a fancy name for watered down lotion. Even reading the contents label, the primary ingredient is water. But I guess if someone is willing to pay $20 for a bottle of lotion, they want to think they are getting something fancy. The original price on the bottle was $20.

Another thing I found was a new package of glow-in-the-dark stars for .25. Exactly what I wanted to buy for my son who recently became fascinated with glow-in-the-dark stuff. Believe it or not, finding that really made my day. I love it when I find exactly what I want at a yardsale for cheap.

One thing I had for sale ($1) at my yardsale was a sign that said "Raising children is like being pecked to death by chickens". Just about all the women who read it laughed and pointed at it, picked it up, but then put it back down. Then a man read it, and bought it. Kinda funny that all the women probably secretly wanted to buy it, but just didn't have the cajones.

Till next time, Chris

November 27, 2004. Only found one yardsale today, but it was a good one. Spent more at that one yardsale (+$20) than I would have spent going to 20 crappy yardsales. And I was home by 9am. Bought a pair of brand new (still in plastic) feather filled king sized pillows for $5. Brand new, never used Vtech Adventure Voyager laptop computer toy for Jacob for $5 (will be Xmas gift). A pair of new Blues Clues window shades for $5 (original price tag for each was $14). Garden tool organizer stand for $3. And a bunch of small miscellaneous items.

SMILE was closed this week due to Thanksgiving so instead I went to Vintage Value (twice). Once early in the week (when they have a great deal - any piece of clothing is .30) and then I went on Black Friday since I was nearby after getting some Black Friday bargains at the stores where regular people shop. So on my first trip I bought myself a a Minnesota Vikings sweatshirt (.30) my husband is a diehard Vikes fan and later in the week I bought myself a black Jones New York top at their "full-price" of .75 since it wasn't a "30 cent day".

Last night when I was online and looking at one of those yardsale websites that list yardsales/fleamarkets I found an ad for a "Christmas Bizarre" that was taking place in Scotsdale, Arizona today. Yikes, what horrible spelling!

Till next time, Chris

November 20, 2004. Went to a few yardsales today but the pickins were really slim. Didn't buy a thing - that is a rare occurrence. Of course, went to SMILE several times this week. Oh, I forgot to mention my buys from last week. SMILE was having a half-price sale and I bought myself a beautiful navy blue pantsuit from the Dress Barn for $2. Fits perfectly. I normally don't buy (or even browse) at pantsuits but this caught my eye and I love it. Makes me feel like an adult when I put it on. AND it was only $2! The cashier said "I'll just charge you $1 for the top and $1 for the bottom". Works for me!

And this week at SMILE I bought a brand new camera case ($1.50) for my digital camera. I know it was new since the strap had never been unwound etc, very nice, has lots of zippered compartments and stuff. I really needed it - my camera didn't come with a bag when I bought it, so instead I had been using an old Crown Royal liquor felt bag. Not such a good look for when I would bring the camera to my son's school to take pictures at parties.

Another thing I spent some money ($9) on this week was getting another domain name - along with www.yardsalequeen.com I now currently have Garagesalequeen.com I had been watching for that domain name to become available for YEARS! And a few days ago, a little voice (maybe it was the yardsale gods?) told me to check it again and I was totally shocked and amazed that it had become available. I know I had just checked it recently and saw that it had been renewed for another year, so I guess whoever had it decided to finally cancel it. There had never been anything at that site previously but someone had registered the name before. For now, I am just using it as a copy of my yardsalequeen site.

Till next time, Chris

November 7, 2004. Well my Dad is doing ok so that is a relief. Well as ok as an old person with congestive heart failure, kidney failure, diabetes and high blood pressure can be doing. He gets sprung from the hospital tomorrow. He's going to start a kind of home dialysis he can do at night while sleeping. Like a DIY Dialysis. Maybe that may perk him up. Sorry - I don't mean to ramble on here about non-bargain shopping stuff! Hopefully I won't have to mention this topic again for a long time.

Anyhow....let me think if I got any bargains lately (duh - of course!) Ordered some pizzas from Papa Johns the other night. They screwed up the order and they gave them to me free (saved $20). I didn't even complain - they just gave them to me and apologized for my inconvenience. And last week, I think I probably got someone fired at our local McDonald's. I was supposed to have had 2 Monopoly games pieces and $2 in Best Buy bucks on my food that I had gotten "to go". When I got it home, I noticed that someone at McD's had removed the $2 Best Buy tickets but left the Monopoly game pieces. I was po'ed. I know its only $2 but just think of all the other customers who got screwed out of their Best Buy Bucks and didn't realize it. I called to complain and they said they would investigate and told me to stop in the following day. Well what a coincidence - they couldn't even replace the removed tickets since the store was totally depleted of game tix. I guess whoever was working that night heard about my complaint and stole all the remaining game pieces that same night. McD did try to make it up to me by offering a free breakfast.

I had visitors this week from ThUnderground Films who are based in Los Angeles. They filmed me for their indie film "Zen in the Art of Yardsailing". It was a lot of fun but I wish they could have stayed longer. Maybe then I wouldn't have been so nervous and stupid when they filmed me. Maybe with the miracle of editing they can work some magic on me. Anyhow...we got to talking about collecting and they mentioned a particular genre of film they collect. I told them I would keep my eyes open, and the day after they left, I found two VHS movies that I think they will enjoy. It's good to have the yardsale gods working in your favor.

Till next time, Chris

October 25, 2004. I changed this page to list the most recent entries on top rather than the bottom. I think it will be best this way - so that as time goes on, I can move the older entries to an "archive" page.

I haven't written much lately since I am sort of going thru a family crisis. My dad - who just turned 79 earlier this month - is again in the hospital and he is not getting any better. He had a heart attack in August and because of his other health problems, they cannot operate. I visited my parents in early October in upstate NY and I may be going back in a few days. And because my mom is so dependent on my dad, if my dad passes away, it will be very traumatic for my mom. What am I saying? It will be traumatic to me as well. My mom has always a driver's license but has developed a driving phobia and hasn't driven in at least 20 years. But hey, I know she still knows how to use a brake, since she's always pressing on an imaginary brake pedal when I take her somewhere.

Anyhow, to change the subject, I did go to a few yardsales this past weekend. Favorite buy was a very dirty, cobwebby, musty nightstand for .25 (pictured below). I'm going to refinish it - hopefully sometime this decade - and I'll post an "after" pic once its done.

Till next time, Chris

October 1, 2004. From what I remember from last weekend, one of my best deals was .10 music CDs. The woman had about 15 of them, so I bought them all. Some were still shrinkwrapped and some were ones that we already have, but I figure the shrinkwrapped duplicates ones would be good for ebay or else just to re-sell at my next yardsale.

One of our local grocery stores did some remodeling and had a "reopening" special (even though they didn't even close during the remodel), but anyhow they had some good specials this week like .69 2-liter bottles of Diet Pepsi and .59 dozen of eggs. Of course I stocked up on Diet Pepsi for my addiction. But today I saw their sale ad for next week and they will be having another "reopening" sale and Diet Coke will only be .50 per 2-liter. wowee! I can't even remember when a 2-liter of name brand soda was that low. Gosh, I probably didn't even have my diet soda addiction back when Diet Coke or Pepsi was normally.50 per 2-liter.

At Smile yesterday I spent $7 on 3 old galvanized metal watering cans (they were $3, $2 and $2). I know old watering cans are collectible so when I saw them, I grabbed them. The woman working there said they had just come in.

Going yardsaling tomorrow (of course). Then on Thursday I fly to upstate NY for a few days to visit my parents. Hopefully they are still having some garage sales up there - I absolutely love going garage saling there. It's probably been 15 years since I've been to NY in October. I normally just visit at Christmas and summertime. However, the real reason for the trip is for me to visit with my Dad who had a heart attack in August. And of course visit with my Mom who is sorta going stir-crazy since my Dad isn't as active as before. They have tons of friends and family in the area (and my siblings) so its not like they are housebound or anything.

Till next time, Chris

September 19, 2004. Got some awesome yardsale finds the past two weekends. Last weekend my favorite church had their fall yardsale - they price a lot of stuff ridiculously cheap - like .05, .10 etc. At that sale, I bought a stack of 1930's and 40's children books for .10 each. Also bought a Hull Little Red Riding Hood cookie jar for $1 (afterwards I saw it had been cracked). At another sale, I bought a pair of matching cute outdoor metal child sized chairs for $5. Here's what one looks like:

Yesterday it rained, but I found a few yardsales that were open. Bought a Viagra tie for .10 (a promo tie from the drug company Pfizer) and a very old tennis racket - made of all wood for $1. Bought lots of other junk, but those two items come to mind. Saw a funny t-shirt on a male yardsale shopper: Feminist Chicks dig me.

Speaking of funny, I was doing some errands on Friday and came across this sign for Nice Fat Females in a seafood place

Till next time, Chris

September 3, 2004. Well I am set to sell at an indoor yardsale tomorrow at a community center - they have it a few times a year and space rental is cheap ($5). I have so much to sell. Having a yardsale is a real p.i.t.a. Oops, I didn't say that. I really should have a yardsale at my house though - at least that way I don't have to cart the stuff around. The next time the Purple Heart people call, I am going to give them a bunch of stuff. I like donating to them - since they pick the stuff up right at your door. I know it would be easy to donate to Smile, but then I risk seeing "my" stuff in the store and I don't know if I'm strong enough to resist buying it back. Or I would be obsessing why no one is buying "my" good junk etc.

Went to Smile today and bought a few things. It was a half priced day. I bought a Neopets plushie Kougra for $1. I saw it at Smile the other day but didn't buy it since it was $2 and I didn't know exactly what it did or if it was missing anything. Well yesterday at Target I saw the identical toy for $17.99 and read the box to learn that you squeeze the ear to get it to talk. So being half priced today, I got it for $1. Not sure if I will keep it for Jacob or give to a niece. Also bought a book (.50): How to Disinherit Your Son-in-Law and Stiff the IRS. I guess books with weird titles always catch my eye. Like the one I bought a few months ago - the title is something like: You Stink and Nobody Likes You - Pessimistic Gems for Everyday.

A good thing about selling at a big yardsale is that I can run around early on and buy good junk from others. I think I am addicted to shopping or "acquiring" or whatever.

Till next time, Chris

September 2, 2004. Oh I guess I am dropping the ball here, I've gotten so many bargains in the past few weeks but of course hard for me to remember. Yesterday and today I went to CVS - they must be re-doing the store's merchandise since they had a bunch of stuff on clearance for 90% off. I bought mini-bottles of perfume (Hugo Woman, Halston, Hugo Man) for .99 each (normally $9.99), sunscreen for .49, package of 4 Duracell AAA batteries for .49, some Loreal highlights for .65, a bunch of packages of baseball card protectors for .29 each (normally $2.99 - will sell on ebay). package of minty breath strips for .19 and so on.

At a yardsale last weekend, I bought a bunch of CDs for .25 each! At that price, I should have bought them all, then I could have turned around and sold the ones I didn't want at my next yardsale for some profit. One of the CDs is a Dan Fogelberg Greatest Hits CD which I love - I put my CD player on "repeat" and then have it repeat "Same Old Lang Syne" a bajillion times.

Till next time, Chris

August 16, 2004. Last full week of summer vacation before school starts next Tuesday. Not that I'm counting or anything. One of the best bargains I've been taking advantage of this summer is the free use of large swimming pool. It's owned by the nuke plant where my husband works and is only for use for the employees and their families. Earlier in the summer, I think they had a lot more people using it. This afternoon, Jacob and I pretty much had private use of it. The cute guy lifeguard had 3 female friends with him, but that was it. They also have tennis courts, volleyball, softball field, playground, a lake for fishing (catch & release only - who would want a 3 eyed fish anyhow? :) If you're a Simpsons fan, you may recall the episode I'm referring to). This Saturday the company is hosting a big picnic for the families with a carnival-like atmosphere but better since it will all be free - free food, free games, free pony rides etc. Here's some photos I took the other week (the pool is so big that I had to take 2 pics and put them together to get the full view)

real men wear pink

Till next time, Chris

August 12, 2004. My buy of the day today was at CVS. Again they are having the 5 free digital pictures printed, so got my 5 free prints (I wanted some print copies of photos I took while in NY), and then bought 3 sticks of Right Guard men's antiperspirant/deodorant. Price paid? .15 Right Guard was on sale for .99 and I had three $1 off Right Guard coupons that were in the newspaper the other week. So the .15 was just sales tax. That's not all - before my big purchase the cashier scanned my CVS Xtra care card and on my receipt today I got a coupon for $2 off my next CVS purchase.

I've gotten some emails asking where I've get my coupons so maybe others are curious. I subscribe to a major newspaper, so every Sunday I get coupons. (I like reading the newspaper everyday, so getting coupons every week is not the main purpose in getting a newspaper). And my mom (who subscribes to two different newspapers) often mails me coupons for things that she knows I use. And since I was just at my folks house the other week, she let me go thru her coupons and take what I want. So that is how I ended up with 3 Right Guard coupons. Also, you can always buy coupons on ebay - if you see a coupon that's in Sunday's newspaper, there are bound to be ebay sellers selling lots of those coupons. I've also done some coupon trading on a message board at Refund Sweepers That's where I ended up getting a ton of those Free Bowling coupons

At Food Lion today, I got a good buy on Kibbles N Bits canned dog food. Normally my dog eats dry dog food, but sometimes I like to give him some variety. There were specially marked boxes of the canned dog food. The package was for 4 cans (it said buy 2 cans and get 2 free) and on sale for .99 so that would have been .25 per can. BUT...I had a Kibbles n Bits canned dog food coupon that was Buy 1 Get 1 Free. So I ended up getting 8 cans of dog food for .99. Actually less since I think the cashier deducted the full price of the package rather than the sale price.

Food Lion must be re-organizing what they are selling since there were several items in the dairy case that were discontinued and had their prices slashed. I bought 8 tubs of Kaukauna cheese spread for .99 each (normally $2.39). The "eat by" date is not until next year, so it's not like we have to eat it all soon.

Then went to SMILE and I bought myself two pairs of jeans ($2 each) - brand new pair red of St. Johns Bay jeans, and a pair of Lee's. Kinda strange since those 2 items are the only things I tried on and the both fit perfectly. What's the odds of that ever happening again?

Till next time, Chris

July 24, 2004. It's been a while since I did any sort of car maintenance and since I'm driving to NY soon, I knew it was time for at least an oil change. I always get Mr. Tire oil change coupons in the mail for $8.99 so that's where I went. While it was on the lift, they showed me my crappy tires and of course recommended new ones. I know it wasn't the case of them trying to sell me something I didn't need since they did look bad (uneven wear, dry-rot etc). So they gave me some tire prices and I left. I checked BJ's Warehouse for tires and I ended up going back to Mr. Tire the following day for new tires and an alignment. I requested the cheapest tires they had price quoted and as it turned out, they were out of stock so they offered me the nicer tires at the cheaper price. I may be selling my car soon, so I didn't want to waste money on some top of the line tires.

Yesterday I stopped at a Catholic Charities thrift that I normally don't get to shop at very often and saw some computer games that I thought may do good on eBay. Also saw some Mary Kay Mattifier lotion that I love but I knew I had forgotten a 50% off coupon that I had for the thrift store. So last night I checked eBay to see if the computer games I saw would be good sellers or not. Turns out it does pretty well ($20-$25 - for used games) so today after yardsaling, I went back to the thrift with my coupon and bought all they had (17 games still shrinkwrapped) along with the Mary Kay stuff. The computer games are "Magic the Gathering" - I knew the cards are expensive new, but didn't know if the computer games were duds or not.

Yardsales were so-so today. It was very gray this morning and then starting pouring by mid-morning. Did buy a Rowenta iron for $5. I already have a Rowenta (that I paid full price for!) so I know they aren't cheap.

Till next time, Chris

August 9, 2004. Wow, time has flown. I took a trip to my old hometown in upstate NY (Clifton Park, NY) to visit family and friends. And drumroll please - I actually bought myself a brand new top at a real store. Ok, well of course, if I was like my mom and lived just 5 minutes from a Kohl's, I'd be bargain shopping there a lot. My new top cost $2.40 plus tax.

Did two mornings of garage saling while there and got some great items. I love garage saling in NY. Bought a McCoy planter for .50, a piebird for .10 with a maker's mark (I checked ebay and it should sell for about $75) and a funky blue crystal vase for .50 that now belongs to my mom. She was on a casino bus trip on Saturday so I was out garage saling without her and found the vase - which she just had to have. At the thrifts I bought a Stroh's beer can that plays the Beer Barrel Polka ($1), and a Pfaltzgraff Penn State bread tray for $2. Of course I bought a TON of other stuff there, but those are some of the more interesting items. Oh yeah, and an anatomically correct baby girl doll for .25

One thing I miss about my old hometown is that you can just jump on the highway and be somewhere in 10 minutes. Where I live now, its always a long drive to get anywhere. It was nice just to be able to go to Chuckie Cheese for an hour and not have it take a half a day, like it does for me now. We went to Chuckie Cheese twice - I had bought some Koolaid Koolbursts that had coupons good for 10 free tokens at Chuckie Cheese, so I brought a bunch of those and didn't spend a penny at Chuckie Cheese. I also treated family to free bowling using my Banquet Bowling coupons. In the 6 days we were there, we went bowling 3 times to 3 different bowling alleys.

My brother and I had a major bargain at McDonald's (well ok, getting your arteries clogged really isn't a bargain but we got triple the artery clogging food and for free). We had gone thru the drive-thru, and somehow the workers got confused about what food they had put in which bags, so the cashier got all flustered and said "oh just have it all, it's just easier this way". For the $8 I paid, they gave us at least doubles and even some triples of some of the food. At another McDonalds (oh now its gonna sound like I am a McD's junkie), I was surprised that there was no staticy microphone to place your order at the drive-thru, you drove thru the drive-thru and looked at the sign, then drove up to a window where a live person took your order. I couldn't believe it! And this McD is only a few years old, not a vintage one or something.

Went yardsaling on Saturday back home in Maryland and got a few goodies. For $10 I got a nice double matted signed print of Hurricane Hugo in Charleston SC. We lived in Charleston during Hurricane Hugo (1989) so I really like the print. Also bought a nice storage thing for my desk to put my scanner on. This was exactly what I had been searching for for the past few months and it was only .50

Till next time, Chris

July 16, 2004. Haven't done much shopping this week. Did go to Target today and they had Maybelline Wonderfinish (foundation) on clearance for $2.98 (and I had a $3 coupon so it was free). Also stocked up on huge 12 quart canisters of clearance Kool-aid for $1.47 each. Jacob's teacher periodically asks for donations of Koolaid, so she will be set.

Oh and on Monday at the grocery store I had to spend $3.95 on an issue of Newsweek magazine. Ok, it was a $3.95 I didn't mind spending since I am in it! It is such a cool feeling to be standing in line at the grocery store and know that you are in the magazine on the rack. There's a small article on yardsales in the July 19 issue. click here to read it online I should have asked them to send me a free issue. What am I saying???? I should have asked for TWO free copies! But oh well, this is something I don't mind spending money on.

Speaking of magazines, I get a TON of free magazines from Free Biz Mags. (But unfortunately Newsweek isn't one of them). I wonder what my postal carrier thinks of me because of the variety of magazines I get: American Cowboy, Cosmo Girl, Essence, FHM, Sporting News, Latina, Town and Country, Better Homes and Gardens, Maxim, Hollywood Life, Esquire, etc etc. And I don't pay a cent for them! That is just a *small* sampling too, I get others but can't think of them off-hand.

Till next time, Chris

July 11, 2004. As a family, we went bowling - a total of 4 games were bowled and we paid $0 due to my Banquet coupons. Then went to Ruby Tuesdays for a late lunch/early dinner and used a coupon (buy 1 entree, get one free) that was in the Sunday newspaper the other week (the Parade section). I do subscribe to two newspapers - the Washington Post and a local bi-weekly rag called the Calvert Recorder. My mom mailed me her Ruby Tuesdays coupon so we'll have to go again before the end of the month. (Ruby Tuesdays is not a restaurant that she goes to).

Oh, a little bit of an update - in an earlier post (May 20, 2004), I mentioned buying a Mickey Mouse camera strap for $1 - it ended up selling for $46 to a buyer in Japan.

Till next time, Chris

July 11, 2004. I couldn't get to SMILE all week (except I stopped in for a few minutes yesterday and bought yet another hardcover copy of The Hunt for Red October ($1) - maybe someday if I keep buying them, I'll find a $200 version eventually. When yardsaling yesterday, I bought the most stuff at the first sale that I stopped at. Paid $10 and got a box full of stuff, mostly hardcover books at $1 each and softcovers at .50 each. One of my purchases was a book called Inside Disneyland and it sells for about $75 on ebay and amazon.com so that was a good find. I just had a feeling when I saw it, that I should buy it since so many people collect disneyana. Also included in the $10 purchase was a Jemima Puddle Duck Schmid music box, a Pfaltzgraff thingy, a bottle of Geoffrey Beane Grey Flannel aftershave, and a sealed unexpired box of Women's vitamins packets by Nature's Made and lots of other books.

Another good buy was a building toy for Jacob from Discovery Toys called Super Marbleworks ($3). I have yet to go to a Discovery Toys party (thank goodness!) but I'm sure they don't have yardsale prices.

Took Jacob bowling on Friday and used the free game coupons from Banquet. But what I didn't know was Friday's are dollar days all summer long at the bowling alley and on Fridays they charge for kid's shoe rental ($1). Even when I handed the cashier my free game coupons, he was like "are you sure you want to use these today? Games are only $1". I told him I had *many* coupons so yes I used them. On a couponing message board I bought 30 free game coupons for a nickle a piece plus I traded some cigarette coupons (I don't smoke) with another coupon person so I ended up with a lot of free bowling coupons. The coupons expire at the end of August so we either need to go bowling a lot more, or else I'll end up selling them on ebay. But now I know that it's cheaper for me to go when games are full-price since I have the free game coupons and then they won't charge for Jacob's shoe rental. Jacob was awful the first time I took him bowling by myself but on Friday he was perfect.

Oh and the other day I took Jacob to Chick-fil-a and we both ate and it didn't cost a thing. Every few months we get Chick-fil-a coupons in the mail. And the last ones had coupons for free breakfast Chicken biscuits. So the other day we stopped around 10:15am and I got two free breakfast biscuits. Then we went to the play area and Jacob played for about 15 minutes. Then at 10:30 (when they start serving lunch), I used a coupon for a free kid's meal that Jacob had gotten from school for good behavior or something. So then we sat down and he ate his free lunch and then I ate a still-warm breakfast biscuit and we didn't spend a penny.

Till next time, Chris

July 3, 2004. There were more yardsales today than expected (considering a holiday weekend). Most stuff I bought with resale in mind - like a several Disney VHS for $1 each (Lilo & Stitch, Monsters Inc etc - I have a ton of VHS that i plan on selling on ebay in one big lot) a Harry Potter vibrating broom ($2). Will put up on ebay before Halloween. I think they discontinued making the vibrating broom - what were they thinking? Hey, let's make a stick that vibrates so kids can put it between their legs??? Hmmmm...on second thought, may keep ;)

Bought a couple of duds - 2 vintage Ceramarte Avon steins for $1 each - perfect condition but not a big seller on ebay. will sell at my next yardsale (probably sell to someone else with grand ideas of putting them on ebay!). Also bought a bocce ball set ($2) for us. The seller even asked me what it was - she thought it was croquet set but it was missing the mallets. Also bought another Vtech computer laptop toy for .50 - we probably own 4 or 5 different ones already.

SMILE this week had a half-priced sale going on all week - I was in hog heaven. All in all, I think I spent around $35 (over the course of 3 days) and I got a ton of stuff. Too much to list here. Did buy a vintage The Hunt for Red October book (.50) - my husband already has one but I know some of the early printings of this particular book can run in the $200 range. The author Tom Clancy has a home in the area and I've been hoping for the last 15 years we would somehow meet him so my husband could try to get all his books autographed (keep dreaming!). I did buy 5 printer ink cartridges for a buck a piece that sell on ebay in the $20-25 range, so that purchase alone with definitely pay for all the other stuff I bought.

Did see something today at a yardsale that was pretty yucky (besides the half used make-up etc). There is one particular house where they must have a yardsale at least once a month. I would hate to be their neighbors. Anyhow I usually stop since sometimes I do find something there. Today I did buy a like-new pair of New Balance running shoes for me for $2. Not that I plan on doing any running of course. But anyways at the same yardsale they were trying to sell an opened bottle of contact lens solution. For "research purposes" I picked it up to see if it was even full or not, and I would estimate that it barely had 25% left. Now who would buy that??!!! And the funny thing is, I think I remember seeing it at their LAST yardsale a few weeks ago. Will have to look for it at their next yardale.

Till next time, Chris

June 27, 2004. Lots of yardsales again yesterday. Bought myself a Shakira CD ($1), a new package of fancy shower curtain rings ($2), a couple of vintage Christmas elfs (.10 each) for my elf collection plus a bunch of other stuff. I used to collect any sort of wicker sleigh and then at Christmas fill up all the sleighs with elfs and mini-presents. Well actually I think I only did that one year since it was a big PITA (pain in the butt) to get all the sleighs down from the attic etc. I plan on getting rid of a bunch of the sleighs (take up too much space) and just keep a few favorites for my elfs (they will have to learn to carpool).

Also bought Jacob a nice LeapFrog phonics toy for $1.50 - he has several similar to it (all from yardsales) but this is a newer model with more features and I'll yardsale the others. Also bought him a book "The Gas We Pass: The Story of Farts" (.50). Sorta like the Everyone Poops book we already own. At one yardsale, they were trying to sell a working slot machine ($250) and that took tokens, so I gave it a few spins. It was too much work - you had to manually put in the coins and then hit 4 buttons to make the reel stop spinning. Too much work - haha. I did some gambling recently at the Saratoga Racino in Saratoga Springs NY and you just had to feed it your paper money bill once and then hit one or two buttons in order to lose your money.

Till next time, Chris

June 25, 2004. I forgot to post my yardsale buys from Saturday so I better try to remember what I got before I buy more stuff tomorrow. Last Saturday I bought a nice jewelry box for myself ($2). Although it's more compact that my current jewelry boxes, it's better organized so I was able to consolidate two jewelry boxes into it. Now I'll sell my old jewelry boxes at my next yardsale (they don't have sentimental value or anything). At Smile this week I bought a neat vintage stein for .50 - Archie Bunker for President. I will enjoy owning it for a while then it will probably go on ebay. I saw an identical one sold for about $35 on ebay..

Got some bargains at Target today. They had a $10 gift card deal with the pharmacy dept - if you brought in a new or tranferred prescription they would give you a $10 gift card. Well since Jacob needed more of his vitamins with fluoride - I called the doctor and got a new prescription for it. Because of my insurance, the prescription vitamins only cost $1.06 plus I got the free $10 gift card. My Target bargain doesn't end there. I then saw Garnier haircolor on clearance for $1.74. I looked thru my coupons and saw that I had two $2 off coupons. Then I saw one package already had a "save $2" coupon on it already. So I bought 3 boxes of haircolor - and the cashier took the full $2 off the amount. So Target basically paid me .75 to take the haircolor.

Till next time, Chris

June 16, 2004. It feels like forever since I went to SMILE thrift. But actually it's only been 2 weeks. I tried going last Saturday after yardsaling but they lost electricity for some reason and were closed. Anyhow today I got two cute dolls that are likenesses of famous people - I got a Van Gogh with removeable ear and a Charles Darwin. Both were .50 each and they'll be put on ebay eventually.

When I was looking at the toys there was also a mother and child nearby. The mother's language was atrocious. She was saying things like "You don't need no more toys" and "I ain't got no money for no toys". Accck!! I hope the child does better.

Also, I did some grocery shopping at Giant. My total was $95.30 but after the sales and coupons were deducted, I ended up paying $48.36

Till next time, Chris

June 13, 2004. Yesterday was Saturday so of course I was out yardsaling and then stopped off at CVS and got some bargains there. At CVS, I brought in my digital camera's memory card and got 5 free photos printed and they also had a shopping cart of 90% off make-up. I bought a few Wet n Wild lip liners for .10 each and a Maybelline lipstick for .65 (in a color I love!!).

At yardsales I bought a lot of stuff (some of which I can't remember since its still in my car). Things included a new-in-box dancing Frankenstein Halloween decoration ($1), a Roseart magnadoodle - I bought it because although I have plenty of magnadoodles, this one had a stencil on it for letters. Since yesterday, Jacob has been fascinated with it writing his numbers and letters so that was a very good .75 spent. I'll have to see if I can buy more stencils somewhere. Also bought a VHS tape of a Dean Martin Celebrity Roast of Gov. Ronald Reagan ($1) which I already have up on eBay now and it has a $6.99 bid. Watched it last night and it was very funny. Also bought some small Tetley Tea Wade figurines (4 for $1). I am very pack-ratty by nature and save everything but I've finally come to realize that I cannot continue to collect the space-hogging items that i used too. I used to collect a variety of things (wicker baskets shaped like sleighs, blue glass bottles, cartoon drinking glasses etc etc). But now in order to feed by collecting addiction, I figure if I collect "small" things, like Wade figurines, it will allow me to still collect something and give me something to look for but at least it doesn't take up a lot of room.

Oh and I got Father's Day taken care of yesterday which is great. My husband is so hard to buy for, it's ridiculous. At Christmas time he said he considered buying me one of those Whirley-pop popcorn kettles gift set. But I guess he realized if he did, the gift would have been more for him than for me. And they always say, that when you buy someone a gift, a lot of times its something you want for yourself. I saw some at Walmart after Xmas clearance for $15 but that was still too rich for my blood. haha. So yesterday I was thrilled to find a never used gift set for $1! Its still in my car trunk along with some other purchases so I don't remember everything I bought. At the same sale, I also bought my husband a pair of brand new slippers in his size for $1. My husband always wears slippers in the winter and goes thru a lot of them. I gave them to him already and they fit fine etc.

Also bought a few Pampered Chef items that were cheap ($1 Garlic Press, $1 shaker thing) etc. When I go thru all my purchases from yesterday I'll report back.

Till next time, Chris

June 8, 2004. Got back from NY the other day, and bought a lot of stuff. Typical garage sales are both Friday and Saturday there. (Or sometimes Saturday and Sunday). We just have Saturday yardsales here in Maryland.

Well I had a variety of bargains while in NY. I had won an online contest a while ago - which consisted of gift certificates from various businesses in my old hometown. So last week I had a free haircut, made 175 free photocopies and had a free half hour massage (of course I tipped the hairdresser and the masseuse).

Did some Salvation Army shopping and caught a booksale (.09 softcovers and .29 hardcovers). At the garage sales I bought a variety of stuff, here's a sampling: Budweiser stein .50, Lancome sampler items (3 for $1), brand new huge K'nex toy set ($1 - destined for ebay), vintage Christmas elf for my collection (.25), and lots of other stuff.

I also had to buy end-of-school year gifts for my son's 5 teachers. (yes, he's only 4 and had 5 teachers - the regular teacher, 2 helpers, speech therapist and occupational therapist). So at Kohl's I saw they had $11.99 candles in glass jars on sale for $4.99 and I had a 20% off coupon. I really hesitated buying them since i knew they would be very heavy to carry in my suitcase but I'm glad I did. Today was his last day of school til fall (well, really, he starts back up in August). I also gave the school bus driver and the school bus helper a gift too (different candles that I had bought previously).

My other bargains in NY included getting my brother's car vacuumed for free (a whole .75 value!). I put my 3 quarters in the vacuum at the carwash and nothing happened. I hit the coin return and my quarters came back out. Then I looked in the coin return slot and could see a stuck quarter - so I took a pen cap to try to jingle it and 3 quarters came back out. So I put in the three "free" quarters and the vacuum worked.

Another bargain was 2 for 1 happy hour drinks at Chili's...and while having dinner at TGIFriday's I pulled out a TGIFriday's Goldpoints card that I haven't used in years. (We don't have a TGIFriday's nearby). The waitress checked it and said I had enough points to take $8 off an appetizer (or a free appetizer if it was less than $8).

Did some Food Lion grocery shopping yesterday and went to Giant today. A lot of people around here are under the false impression that Giant is the "expensive" store and Food Lion is the cheaper store. Food Lion is still selling a gallon of milk for $4.99, meanwhile Giant has it for $2.88. And with Giant's awesome sales and double coupons, I get stuff there way cheaper than I would at Food Lion. And Giant's sales ad is at least double the size of a Food Lion weekly ad. Anyhow today at Giant I got TWO loafs of Stroehmann bread for .08. Yes, eight cents. Normally $2.09 a loaf, on sale half price at $1.04. I then had two .50 coupons which got doubled to $1. So.. $1.04 - $1.00 = .04 per loaf. Also bought Breyer's ice-cream for $1.44 each. (Was on sale for $1.99 and I had .55 coupons. They don't double coupons over .50. My total before sales and coupons were deducted was $132.98 and after the sales and coupons, I paid $50.36

Speaking of grocery related stuff - I am collecting Box Tops for Education and Campbell's soup labels for my son's school. If you have any you want to donate - I'd appreciate it. You can find out more by clicking here

Till next time, Chris

May 31, 2004. Well for my trip to NY, I'm taking a suitcase and then packing a large empty Eddie Bauer large duffle bag. It's a huge duffle bag that I bought years ago at the Eddie Bauer store after Xmas sale for $6. I figure I'll be able to check the 2 pieces of luggage when I fly back. My mom said there are a lot of community garage sales advertised for next weekend. I can't wait - they have Friday and Saturday garage sales. I have an appointment to get my hair cut while I am there - I have a free coupon (of course!). My old hometown has a weekly online contest to win a bunch of prizes from local businesses so I have won it, my sister has won it and so has mom. And since my mom already has her favorite place where she gets her hair done, I'll be using the free haircut coupon (a $22 value). Of course I will give a generous tip.

This past Saturday we went out to lunch at Ruby Tuesdays. Had a couple of buy 1 entree get 1 free coupons. As we were waiting to be seated, I gave my spare coupon to another couple. (The coupon was going to expire the next day). They were appreciative - I saved them $10. Also stopped at Staples - I joined their free program for small businesses and they occasionally send advertisments etc to me in the mail. Most times it's junk, but the last thing they sent was good - a free $10 gift card to use in their copy center. I really didn't need any copying done, but the gift card was also good for business cards. I ordered the cheapest cards available (1000 for $10.99). So after the $10 gift card, I paid $1.04 I'm going to use the business cards for advertisments for my website. I'll put them up on bulletin boards etc.

The other day at Target, my husband wanted to buy the Mr. Clean Car cleaning kit for $18.49. I told him that i had a $5 coupon at home for it AND I had a $3 CVS bonus bucks coupon. So today at CVS I bought the Mr. Clean kit that he wanted and with using the 2 coupons, I paid less than if I bought it at Target. I also bought a birthday card for a friend and just paid $.52 (including tax). The Hallmark card was $1.99 but I had a second CVS bonus bucks coupon worth $1.50.

Till next time....Chris

May 29, 2004. Yesterday I did some grocery shopping at Giant and saved on coupons & sales. Total before coupons: $37.47, but after coupons I paid $18.05. Had a coupon for a free Shick razor ($8.99 value) - it's the razor that Colby from Survivor is now hawking.

Went yardsaling today - and generally speaking, three day holiday weekends are generally bad for yardsales. Maybe they are just bad for the seller, but good for the buyer. I had an awesome morning. I got a bunch of books on tape for .50 each. These are not your average books on tapes that are available at bookstores. These are unabridged versions that cost a lot new. The company that distributes them Recorded Books is only 15 miles away - and the yardsale seller said she worked for them. The Gone with the Wind set that I purchased for .50 sells for $79.99 on the website! I got about 10 books on tape and they are destined for ebay.

Then went to a rather large yardsale, one side of the driveway was all kid's toys and the other side was collectibles/antiques, coins etc. I got a bunch of Disney videos for just .50 each and was about to leave when I took another look at the toys. I about died when I saw a pile of vintage Johnny West and Jane West dolls, horses and accessories that I almost missed. And then I about died again when they told me the price - just $2.00 for everything! We had these toys growing up and they are very collectible. Also destined for ebay.

And for Jacob I bought a brand new in the box Kasey the Kinderbot robot. A real cute educational animatronic robot.

Next weekend I'll be garage saling in upstate New York (going to visit family and friends). I love going to the garage sales in my old hometown. Last summer when I flew up for a long weekend, I took a small weekend suitcase and when I flew back, I had it so chockablock full with garage sale buys that the airport suitcase handler had to put a sticker on it that said 'heavy".

Till next time....Chris

May 25, 2004. Went to V V (the .30 clothing store). I didn't have much time again, but did buy Jacob two shirts for the fall and myself a top. Total with tax .95 I think I saw probably one of the all time grossest things in that store today. I was looking at a leather fringe purse (was trying to determine if it was a vintage '70's one or a re-make). So i looked inside to see if I could find a label and inside was a half-used tube of Monistat vaginal cream. yucko!!!!!! And no, I didn't buy it!! LOL! You would think that the one thing in the store that should be looked over before putting out on the sales floor would be the purses and handbags (to check for forgotten money). If that was done, maybe they would have come across the vaginal cream and tossed it.

Also stopped at Walmart to get my Walmart eyeglasses fixed. One of my nosepads keeps breaking off. I would always take them back to Walmart and they would put a new one on at no-charge. But today, they said they no longer provide that free service so I had to buy a package of nosepads for $1.88, and they put them on. I switch between wearing glasses and wearing contacts.

Till next time....Chris

May 20, 2004. Went to one of my favorite church yardsales last Saturday. And my ultra favorite church yardsale is this Saturday (but I'll have my 4 year old with me, which can be a challenge). At the church yardsale I bought a basket of 5 different lotions etc for $2.00. Two of the items were new full sized Bath & Body Works products (cost $9 a piece in the store) and one was a smaller bottle.

Today at CVS I got some good bargains. 12-packs of Diet Pepsi were $1.99. I love my diet pepsi. And on their clearance shelves were packages of Clairol Herbal Essence hair highlighting kits for $3.24 (normally $12.99). And I had a $2 coupon so I paid just $1.24 for it. I've been wanting to try highlights so this should be interesting. And they had the digital pic special again - 10 free digital pics from your memory card. So I did that ($2.90 value).

Then went to the Smile thrift and got a few things. Most interesting item was a vintage Mickey Mouse camera strap from Disneyworld that's never been removed from the package. The "vintage" ones are selling on ebay for $15-20 and those are "used". Mine is still in the package.

Till next time....Chris

May 10, 2004. I forgot to mention some of my yardsale buys from Saturday. One yardsale in particular stands out. Nothing was priced so I asked how much the VHS tapes were and the seller said $.50 each. I picked out 5, plus I gathered a bunch of other unpriced items: 3 vintage Smurf plates, a basket full of marbles, a dancing Bear in the Big Blue House plush doll, a talking ET plush doll and a child's furry Bear in the Big Blue House costume that I know was very pricey when bought new. I asked how much for everything, and the seller said $5.00. What a deal.

My driver's license expired last week. Went to the DMV today and miraculously it took less than 15 minutes to renew. Cost $30. At least I was able to charge it using my Toys R Us Visa card. The more we put on it, the more $10 gift cards they send us. We pay off our credit card bills every month so we are not paying interest.

Till next time....Chris

May 9, 2004. Happy Frugal Mother's Day everyone. We ended up going to a late lunch/early dinner at Applebee's. I had a free $25 Applebee's gift card that I got from the fine folks at My Points I should start keeping track of what I've earned from that website. I don't think they still award Applebee's gift cards but I've also gotten free Target gift cards from them too. I've done the Mypoints thing for a few years now and have nothing but good things to say about them. If you join (free to join), please say that QUISPTINA referred you (that is my ID there).

So after Applebees we decided to try bowling with Jacob. He is 4 and has never been bowling. I have real bowling pins at home that he enjoys playing with (plus we have Silly 6 Pins and the Little Tikes bowling set - both of those were yardsale purchases.) I had free bowling game coupons cut from the boxes of Banquet tv dinners. Both Jeff and I have our own bowling shoes (my shoes are "vintage" bowling shoes from the 70's that my Dad got free when a bowling alley went out of business). Jacob had to wear rental bowling shoes, BUT there was no charge for a child's shoe rental. We just bowled one game and since I had three free game coupons - our bowling experience didn't cost a cent. We would have stayed longer and actually paid to play, but Jacob was acting up. Good thing about playing with Jacob was that they had bumpers in the gutters - so that helped me to at least come in second. At the half-way mark, Jacob was beating me.

Till next time....Chris

May 4, 2004. Had to do some Mother's Day shopping today for my hard-to-buy-for mother. She's informed me "no flowers and no food". So I went out and bought the VHS of Calendar Girls from Walmart. It just about killed me to spend more on a VHS than the DVD! Yep, the VHS was MORE than the DVD. That's not right. But you gotta do what you gotta do. My mom doesn't want a DVD player and even if she had one, she wouldn't read the instructions on how to use it and it would be too technologically advanced for her. My parents are people who only got rid of their rotary phone a few short years ago.

I got a *bargain* on gas, if you can call it that. Shell has the .05 off on Tuesdays so gas was $1.74 and they mailed us coupons for $1.00 off 10 gallons of gas every week for the month of May. So I bought just a little over 10 gallons so that worked out to be like $1.64 per gallon.

Till next time....Chris

May 1, 2004. Yesterday my bargains were found at Target and Giant (grocery store). Giant had Poptarts on sale for .99/box. I had two .50 coupons which they doubled, so the two boxes were totally free. Then at Target, they had specially packaged shampoos on clearance. The Clairol Herbal Essence deal was a shampoo plus a free conditioner on clearance for $2.05. I had a coupon to buy one Herbal Essence product and get one free. So for $2.05 I got TWO shampoos and TWO conditioners. Also Loreal Vive Shampoo for men was also specially packaged (2 shampoos for the price of one) and on clearance for $2.24. I had a $1 and .75 coupon for Loreal Vive, so I got a total of 4 Vive Shampoos for $2.73.

Then had to stop at Walmart to pick up studio photos of Jacob that were taken a few weeks ago. Since I'm on their mailing list, and it was Jacob's birthday last month, they sent me a coupon for a photo package for just $3.88 (rather than $4.88) plus an extra free 8 x 10. I get his pictures taken at least once a year and NEVER buy the extras that they try to sell you. I figure if I need more pictures, it's cheaper to just have the photos taken again in a few months. Anyhow....there was a slight problem with the order, for some reason they couldn't print the pose that I chose for the free 8 x 10. However, all of the rest of the photos were fine. So for my "inconvenience" they offered to reprint an 8 x 10 from any of the other poses that were taken that day, plus they gave me the proofs for free!

I went yardsaling this morning - today was the day of one of my favorite annual yardsales at a local museum. The stuff is donated from their museum members, so they get some interesting stuff.

Till next time....Chris

4/28/04. Went to SMILE in the morning and then in the afternoon to the mall. Going to a mall is not something I do a lot, considering the nearest mall is 45 miles away. At SMILE my bargains were a very large storage bin with hinged lid for $2 and two pairs of pants for Jacob for $1.50. At the mall, my best bargain was at the Disney Store. They had a 75% off rack that had cute baby outfits that were normally $29.50. I paid $7.74 for an adorable 2 piece overalls outfit, which will be a gift for a friend who is having a baby girl. The cashier told me that those outfits just got reduced today, so I was definitely in the right place at the right time.

Till next time....Chris

4/24/04. Another Saturday morning of yardsales. Bought a bunch of stuff, but nothing too unique worth mentioning. But tampons - now that's worth mentioning! My bargain of the day was courtesy of Target. I think I may have enough feminine hygiene products to last until menopause! Tampax (40 count box) on sale for $4.50 and they were specially packaged to include a package of free panty liners as a bonus. I had 3 coupons that were buy one 40 count box and get a 20 count box free. So all in all, I ended up with 6 boxes of tampons (180 tampons total) and 3 boxes of pantyliners for $13.50 (the 3 boxes purchased at $4.50 ea).

Till next time....Chris

4/23/04. My bargain of the day was at the grocery store. The store is having a special 3-day sale on certain items. Half-gallon of Edy's ice-cream is $1.88. I had two $1 off coupons - so I was able to buy 2 half-gallons for just .88 each.

Also went to SMILE and got a few things. Best bargain there was a vintage oval flower frog - probably from the 60's or 70's - never used - still in the original packaging for .50 (destined for ebay).

I am LOVING those CD's from the library yesterday. Will have to find them at a yardsale this year.

Till next time....Chris

4/22/04. Yesterday morning I went to the library and checked out some CD's. Borrowed the Clay Aiken and American Idol love songs cd. I am such a reality tv addict. Also at library I had to pay a .50 fine for overdue books. That is bad considering I can renew the books online.

Afterwards I did some grocery shopping and then went to SMILE. But for the life of me, I can't remember what I bought yesterday. See? I told you I have a hard time remembering stuff sometimes!

Went to SMILE again today and my bargain today was a vintage ceramic frog plant waterer for .25

Till next time....Chris

4/20/04. Today was an anti-bargain day. Well I did get one small "bargain" at the used book table at the library. Bought this month's Real Simple magazine for .10

But later in the day I spent $4650.00 on a new heating/AC system for our house. (Will pay half tomorrow and half when the work is done). Not that I normally shop for those kind of things, but ours died recently. We got an estimate last week from one company and I compared today's estimates to those. The one I choose (a Trane system with a 15 Seer rating ) has a $500 rebate....so it will *only* cost $4150.

Till next time....Chris

4/19/04. I didn't go anywhere today so didn't spend a cent. Lots of yardsales this past Saturday and I found lots of goodies. Bought lots of Bath & Body Works stuff that was just .25 - $1. The $1 item was a bottle of the B&BW Purely Silk lotion that sells for $17.50 at the store. At another yardsale the seller had a ton of DVDs for $2 each. They were marked "not for resale" on the back cover so they must have been some promo or something but most were cheesy movies that no one has heard of. I did buy Mother, Jugs and Speed for $2 - I remember going to the dollar theatre to see it years and years ago. I doubt dollar theatres even exist anymore. Also in the box of the $2 DVDs was a sealed gift set of SIX Ingmar Bergman DVDs. The seller said "that's $2 too". Sold!! I'm not a fan, but that will be an ebay item.

Speaking of cheesy....I did buy a big mouth billy bass fish for a buck. No, it's not going up on a wall. (It has a pull-out stand on the back - haha). Hey, for a buck, it even included 4 "c" sized batteries. My 4 year old son likes animatronic things, like the kung foo hamster and stuff like that. So the fish is for him.....really!

Till next time....Chris

4/16/04. My bargain of the day was at CVS Pharmacy. They are having a special this week - 10 free digital pics (so that is a $2.90 value). Had to print out pics from my son's field trip to the National Zoo yesterday to give to teacher who is making a scrapbook for the kids to enjoy. My printer situation at home sucks so getting free pics printed on kodak paper is awesome. Since the special is running all week, I had stopped in a few times earlier in the week and got free pics on those days too. And at CVS I did actually buy something - I saw they had the small garden tools (like trowel etc) on sale for .99 each (normally $2.99) so I bought 3 different tools. Oh and I found a dime on the floor at CVS. I'm not embarrassed to pick up free money. Although that could be a potentially embarrassing situation. I remember one truck stop/gas station off of I-95 that I stopped at years ago. When walking thru the convenience store to use the restroom, I noticed tons of coins on the floor every 3 feet. Of course it caught my eye, and I saw the cashiers looking at me but I resisted my natural instinct to bend down and I'm glad I did. The coins were all glued to the floor - I guess that's what the locals used for entertainment - hang out at the store and watch people bend over.

Anyhow....i digress. Then after CVS, I went to SMILE and bought a few things. Ok, one thing I am sorta embarrassed to admit that I bought. An old enamel bedpan for $2. Why??? I thought it may be a good item for ebay but it's not. Hmmm....I'm sure I can find something to do with it. Maybe poke some holes in the bottom, then fill it with dirt and plant flowers outside in it for an eclectic shabby chic front porch decoration?? I could start a new trend.

Also bought a bunch of some toy called Crazy Bones (all for $1). Bunch of packets of the crazy bones with instructions on how to play games with them. Now those are destined for ebay. Also bought a package of Medela breastmilk collection bags ($2 - original price on package was $21) which is also for ebay.

Will go to some yardsales tomorrow - I have to take my 4 year old with me. I prefer yardsaling without him but tomorrow either I take him or I don't go yardsaling. Supposed to be a nice weekend weatherwise.

Till next time....chris

4/15/04. Went to Smile today and got a few things. A black raincoat from Mossimo (Target) for $4. Nice classic looking - I figure there may come a time when I need to wear a raincoat and want to wear something besides my ducky yellow Columbia raincoat (that I got free when I worked at the nuke plant). While thumbing thru the kiddie books at the thrift one of the other customer's hair caught my eye - at the bottom of each of his braids was a soda can pop top thingy. Now that is what I call recycling!

Weirdest thing I bought today was a Pac-Man Fever cassette (.50). Made in the '80s. I played it while driving home. Can't believe that someone actually made rock type music to the wocka-wocka sounds of Pac-Man.

Till next time....Chris
4/14/04. Before I go any further I want to make it clear that although I am a bargain hunter, I am NOT some crazed gotta-wash-my-used-ziploc baggies to save .02 kinda person. I don't mind spending money. I have a serious diet-pepsi addiction that a truly frugal person wouldn't have (a truly frugal person would train themselves to like drinking tap water). My favorite vacations include going to the caribbean, perferably on a cruise. I've taken 4 caribbean cruises. Only thing holding us back from going on another is that I'm not sure how our 4 year old would handle it (I don't have relatives nearby so that cuts down receiving free babysitting). Although now that Norwegian Cruise Lines offers cruises out of Baltimore - that has me thinking....

Anyhow my bargain of the day was on good ole TP - it's not like it will go bad or that we won't use it! FoodLion has 12-packs of Quilted Northern on sale for $2.50 (normally $4.49). I had several $1 off coupons so I only paid $1.50 per 12-pack. I bought 4.

Till next time....Chris

4/13/04 - My yardsale/thrift store/bargain hunting diary begins. I've decided to begin this online diary of my bargain hunting experiences since my memory ain't what it used to be. I think due to too many rum and cokes or whatever. Anyhow I figured if I write this stuff down, it will be easier to remember. I do a lot of thrift shopping, but I'll also talk about my other bargains that i find in regular stores. Gasp...yes, I do occasionally shop in "real" stores (that is, if I have a coupon!). Well even that is not entirely true. We still have a case of the mini Whitman Samplers chocolate that I bought at .09 a box at my local CVS Pharmacy. Bought them at 90% off after Valentines Day since they had a special valentines over-wrap on them. Didn't use a coupon for those... Expiration on them is not until August.

When I'm not yardsaling, I generally like hitting my local thrift stores for bargains. My little town has an awesome church-run thrift store (open 4 days a week) where I'm a regular. In my later posts, I'll just refer to it as going to SMILE (that's the name of the store). They have good prices on stuff but a lot of times they drive me nuts too. Like they have some idiot volunteers that use the price gun to tag an item right thru the center of the article of clothing, causing a small hole. I'm like, crap, how hard is it to train the volunteer to tag the item thru the clothing label?? Doesn't take a genius to figure out they just ruined the item for sale. Or sometimes they get the crazy notion that if something has a brand label like "Gap" or "Old Navy" it should be priced higher. Don't they ever see the clearance racks at Old Navy? And just because something was originally from the Gap, doesn't guarantee it's now in style or was ever in style.

Another place I go to semi-regularly is a place called Vintage Value. I'll refer to it as V V in future posts. What I love about this place is that on certain days of the week, clothing is a mere .30 per piece. Yes, only .30. Sure, there is a lot of stained crap with holes to bypass, but there are definitely some good finds to be had.

Stopped at V V today, but didn't have time to really look. At most I had 10 minutes since I was due to pick up son from school. Ended up buying a like-new Chuck Taylor wannabee shoes for .50 plus tax. (Clothing is .30 but shoes are .50). Wore them around the house today and they made me feel like a punk emo skater grrl rather than a SAHM.

Till next time....Chris
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