Saturday, February 6, 2010

Off and Running

Okay, so the "once-a-week writing" part of my resolve has been impeded a little, but I still have my determination and rest assured, I have been on the hunt. Right now, part of the problem is I really want to post pics of my finds to add to the fun, but I am not sure either camera is compatible with my computer.

Since the crash and burn virus episode last fall, I’m a little paranoid about my laptop, and could use some technical assistance. (Where is that boy when I need him? College. That’s where.)

So anyway, I will work on this issue, but in the meantime here’s a photoless update:

For the first week or so, the pickings were slim. I spent several days locating oft-rumored but never-witnessed treasure troves and walked out disappointed on several fronts: the pricing, the quality of the merchandise, and the organization of the stores. My tried and trues left me empty handed as well. For a brief, flickering moment I questioned my sanity and the mileage I was putting in on a fruitless endeavor- when I walked into the Hospice store on a half-price Saturday and TA-DAAAH! a brand-new, never opened set of Food Network international beer glasses which my home-brewer brother-in-law will certainly put to good use.

Retail price: $39.99. My price: $5. Savings: $34.99.

I was off and running.

A subsequent trip to my nearest Goodwill yielded a Sigrid Olsen linen/ramie/cotton cardigan, TAGS ON, in gorgeous shades of periwinkle, beige, and sage, that will make my sister’s big blue eyes pop. Online research says a low estimate would be about $109.00 new, so the $7.99 I forked out seems like it was a good deal. Savings: $101.01.

(Disclaimer: I love my sister. But the fact is, if I hadn’t found this sweater at Goodwill, I would not have gone to Dillard’s and spent that kind of money on her. ((Would if I could. Can’t so I wouldn’t.)) That means calling it a savings is a little facetious, so I need consensus. Are we down with that anyway? She gets a gorgeous garment; I get to feel smug. Everybody wins.)

Smaller items that have made their way home with me in the last week or so include:

• A happy-face fleece throw-still in its bundle-wrap: estimated Walgreen’s price $5.99, Goodwill half-price day price: $1.99 = $4 saved. This will probably be my youngest nephew’s small gift.

• A ridiculously cute baby chick-shaped cereal bowl by Hallmark that stood there on its big orange feet and hypnotized me with its wide eyes until I surrendered and put it in my basket without a clue to my own motivation. Except it was ridiculously cute. My daughter has informed me that she MUST have this bowl; she MUST take it to college with her in a few years; but in the meantime it MUST be her Valentine next week so she can eat cereal and soup for the rest of her life in the company of a ridiculously cute chick. Hallmark sticker price: $12.99. My price: $1.99. Savings: $11.00, but it won’t make it to Christmas.

• A cute Hallmark photo album with additional pages- also all new and still in its plastic, retail price: $35.99, Goodwill ½ = $1.99. $34 saved. Sister Kathy loves to scrapbook, and her photo organization puts me to shame. A recent job change leaves her with less time to work on her books though and this should help.

Retail values: $203.96

Money spent: $18.96

Savings to my sanity in November: $185.00

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