Thrift Store Find – Hand Carved Teak Bowls

teak bowls

I’ve always loved thrift stores, yard sales, and auctions.  Unfortunately, I had to set that passion aside over the years because of my career and other demands on my time.  I have gradually returned, and decided to share my thrifty finds with you.

When I was raising my daughter as a single mother, I had to figure how to budget and stick to it.  This included decorating my home, purchasing clothing, food, vacations and everything else that came along.   The solutions to these demands were growing my own food, second hand stores, clearance racks, and yard sales.  I truly believe that someone else’s trash is another person’s treasure.

Browsing thrift shops was a way for me to relieve stress too.  A little retail therapy goes a long way.  And I didn’t have to pay a fortune for my therapy.  I visited one of the local thrift stores recently, and found these 4 teak bowls.  They appeared to be hand carved, because their shape was irregular. They just appealed to me, and called out my name.  The price was $.99 per bowl.  They may have been priced so low because of their imperfection, but to me that uniqueness is what makes them valuable.

 

Thrift Shopping

 

As a single parent, buying things and figuring out how to use them later was not an option for me.  Everything purchased had to be a price within my budget and have a purpose.  That thought process is still in my DNA, even though I have reached a stage in my life where I can afford pretty much what I want.  For some reason, I have no desire to change that thinking.  It keeps me from overspending, and helps me stay on track with my finances.

 

Thrift Shopping

 

As I admired the teak bowls, I thought about how I would use them.  Ice cream with the grandchildren came to mind immediately.  Sold!  I could also use them for salads.

When I flipped the bowls over to check the price, I found this label on the bottom.  Teak is native to India, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Myanmar and Bangladesh.  It is also used to make boats, furniture, carvings and other small wood projects.

Knowing the origin of the teak bowls increased the value for me.  It made me want to preserve the uniqueness and irregularity of the bowls.  So, they became more of a bargain from a thrift shop to me.  One of the things about thrifting is being able to see the beauty in an item that another person no longer sees. The fact that I found a set selling on Etsy for $62.00 helps too.

If you’re a thrifty shopper, I hope that you will appreciate my hand carved teak bowls too.  If you’re not, I encourage you to check out a few shops, flea markets or auctions.  You may also like: Auction Tips for Beginners.

How to Become a Flea Market Shopping Pro

flea market shoppingSummer is here, and it’s the perfect time to head to the flea market.  I love finding bargains or negotiating a good deal.  Flea markets are popular on the week-ends in most cities or towns.  There are indoor markets that are open during the week as well. Check your local listing for hours.

In addition to flea markets, there are farmer’s markets.  Farmer’s markets have a heavy emphasis on fresh produce and organic items.  However, there are other flea markets that focus on everything from tools to antiques. No matter where you live, city or country, there’s a flea market nearby.

Here’s a few tips to help you successfully score a haul on your next trip:

  1. Arrive Early – In my experience, you find the best deals when your arrive early.  Quality items are items are still available, and ready for a new home.  You can also find deals in the afternoon.  Many dealers don’t want to pack up their wares, so they are willing to lower prices.
  2. Wear Comfortable Clothing and Shoes  – In the summer, lightweight clothes is a must.  Walking shoes are suggested rather than flip flops.  However, if your feet and legs can withstand those cute flip flops go for it.  I would dress in layers during cooler weather.  You can always take off a jacket or sweater or put one on.
  3. Bring Water and Snacks – It’s important to stay hydrated during hot, summer months.  Most flea markets will have vendors, but if you want to save a few buck bring a tote and pack a few bottles of water
  4. Take Cash – Money talks.  Vendors would prefer cash rather than running a credit card.
  5. Make Quick Decision on Purchases – Delaying making a purchase could cost you that item that you have your eye on.  If you’re connecting with an it, take it home.
  6. Make Sure You Can Haul Your Goods – Make a list of items that you would like to obtain, and determine if you will need a truck to haul your goods. With most vendors, you are immediately responsible for your purchases once the transaction is made.  Some vendors will deliver for an additional fee.
  7. Don’t Be Afraid of Items That Need Repairs – If you see a piece of furniture that has good bones, but has scratches, dings, weak legs or needs the seat replaced, don’t run.  These items can be repaired.
  8. Don’t Be Afraid to Negotiate – Most vendors are willing to lower their prices if your offer is within reason.
  9. Check out Vendors Who Are Packing Up
  10. Try to Bundle Items – If you find several items that you want to purchase from the same vendor ask if they will give you both items for a particular price.  Most will be willing to give a great deal to move several pieces.

So, put on a pair of comfortable shoes and get ready to grab some great deals at your local flea market.  You may also like Auction Tips for Beginners.

 

 

 

6 Tips For Purchasing School Supplies

school shopping, back to school shopping, back to tips, how to shop for school supplies

 

Summer is just about over and the kids will soon be returning to school. Where did the time go? Backpacks, school supplies, and clothing will be needed for the upcoming school year. Parents will be heading out to stock up on school supplies.  Here are a few tips on how you can stock up and shop wisely:

1.  Make a list of the needed supplies –   Check your child’s school site for a list of needed supplies for the upcoming year.  Many schools provide a list of the school supplies needed for the upcoming year as well to your local Kmart, Wal-Mart, Office Max etc.  Be sure to add extra items for homework and additional week-end/tutoring sessions. You can save money by not guessing about what is needed or having to make an additional trip to the store because you omitted items.

2.  Take inventory of supplies from last year purchases – Check your supplies from last year so you won’t buy duplicate or unnecessary items when you head to the store.  You can spend that money on other items.

3.  Do your homework – Check ads for the best deals. Head to your local Dollar Store first and eliminate as many items as possible.  You can purchase quality crayons, pencils, pencil cases, sharpeners and inexpensive notebooks for practicing math problems etc. here.

4. Purchase quality items –  Purchase quality book bags and electronics. Trust me, you will end up spending the money again if you don’t purchase quality items. Check online stores like Best Buy, Amazon, Dell, HP etc. for great deals on electronics and look for free shipping sites.  I purchased a Michael Jordan book bag for my grandson last year. He will carry it for years before I have to purchase another.

5.  Take the student with you – Getting the children involved helps eliminate items that they may be unhappy with and it also gets them involved in the back to school process.  If the student doesn’t want to go along, ask them for any specific items they may want.

6.  BOGO is your friend – You will use the item later in the year I guarantee it, so go ahead and indulge. The item may not be BOGO later in the year.

You may want to purchase a storage bin to house school supplies for the upcoming year. Items will be easy to track and access when needed too. What tips can you add to the list?


You may also like:  Back To School Shopping Tips

How to Bargain Shop For Kid’s Clothing

Image-Shopping-Kid's-Clothing

It’s amazing how much children grow in a year. Have you noticed that problem with your children? They grow out of pants, shirts, shoes and it happens quickly. At least 2 – 3 times a year I find myself going through my grandchildren’s clothing or asking their mother what kind of clothing they need to get through the summer, winter and the school year. Unfortunately there’s nobody to pass hand me downs too in the house for either, so I look for ways to shop wisely and within my budget.

I’ve found ways to cut down on clothing expense and the children look fabulous.  Just walking into a store at any given time and just purchasing clothing is not an option for me. I shop on a budget and I want quality. Here’s 7 ways while shopping for kid’s clothing that have helped me cut down on expenses:

  1. Purchase clearance items  – I purchase coats, tees, jeans, shorts, sundresses etc. in a bigger size for the next season.
  2. Shop sales – You can score some great buys during the holidays too. Check on-line and your local advertisements for sale items.
  3. Free shipping and discounts – Not paying shipping costs or getting a discount on your order can help cut down on expenses.
  4. Shop thrift and consignment shops – I send tons of clothing to thrift shops that are in excellent shape. Others do the same.  So check them out.
  5. Don’t purchase designer items unless you’re getting a huge discount – Kids outgrow them too quickly, and you will rarely get your money’s worth.
  6. Check out neighborhood yard sales – You can find bargains on jeans for boys to play in and adorable dresses for girls.  If you have a newborn, I’ve seen tons of baby clothing that look brand new.
  7. Check out on-line yard sales – I’ve seen great deals on local Facebook sites too.
I don’t recommend purchasing used shoes for children nor do I think everything has to have a designer label. I would rather save my money for week-end activities and educational items for my grandchildren instead of having them dressed in designer cloths and too broke enjoy life.  We hope you enjoyed our tips on how to bargain shop for kid’s clothing.
 
What savvy tips do you have on how to bargain shop for kid’s clothing.  We all want to save money.  You may also like: 8 Back to School Shopping Tips

Guest Post – 5 Frugal Ways To Update Your Home

 

 
Spring is here – finally! And with all of the new life  and green breaking through the gray of winter, it’s time to celebrate. Spring  brings a fresh perspective, a new beginning. Jump on board by freshening up your  own surroundings. It’s time to update your home for the season. There’s no need to spend a lot of money. Take on a few
simple projects to enjoy a brightened home and a brightened future.
Here are five frugal ways to update your home for spring:
1.  Hit the Yard Sales – There’s nothing like scanning a good yard sale on a crisp Saturday morning in April. Yard sales are the perfect places to score a  big ticket item at a fraction of the price. Be on the lookout for hidden gems among the clutter. Vintage dishes make great wall art, and mirrors add light and depth to any room. Glance at your local paper for upcoming sales and plan your route to get the most bang for your buck. Don’t forget to take cash, and have a vehicle for hauling all of your amazing finds.
2.  Freshen  With Paint – A new color for your front door or your favorite decorative accent can add a little life back into your home. Don’t be afraid to go bold with your choice; you can always repaint it later.  For a more dramatic update, try a new color on the walls or kitchen cabinets. All white is trendy now, but you can spice it up with an unexpected pop of color, like a bold green or fiery red on an accent wall.
3.  Plant Some New Greens – Plants can be an inexpensive way to add color to the  outside (and inside) of your home. Annuals tend to be a little cheaper than perennials, but a combination of both will mean you’ll be investing in your greenspace for years to come.
 
Try hanging a planter from your front porch, and you’ll see an instant boost in your home’s curb appeal. If space is a little more limited and a full garden isn’t your calling, try adding a few flowers to some pots at the front entrance of your home.
4.  Move Things Around – One of the easiest and least expensive ways to get a new look in your home’s décor is to switch some things around. Move artwork to a different room or try a new arrangement of your favorite collection. Swap out pillows on your couch or bed, and weed through your bookcase.

If, through this process, you find that pieces of your décor are in need of replacing, you can make a list of what you need and start to budget accordingly. For extra savings, check out home décor wholesales online for some fresh spring décor. 

5.  Your Pictures – If the pictures on your walls haven’t been changed out in a few months – or a few years – it may be time to display new ones. Break out your digital camera so you can go through pictures of events that happened  in the last year.
 
Ordering prints online is easier than ever now, so you can customize your prints to fit the frames you have on hand. No pictures you’d  like to print? Do an impromptu photoshoot with your family.


Updating your home for spring doesn’t have to wreck your
budget. Try these five frugal ways to boost your home’s décor in no time!


Savannah Hemmings is a personal stylist and lifestyle blogger with a
passion for beautiful spaces and great deals. To read more of her tips on home
decor and fashion, check out her blog SincerelySavannah
!

8 Back To School Shopping Tips

back to school tips, back to school shopping tips

Back to school!  So, it’s that time of year and it’s right around the corner.  We’re heading to the malls and stores for back to school clothes, book bags, lunch boxes, and paper supplies.  Feeling overwhelmed?  Don’t we have simple tips  to help you prepare for the big event.

First, set a budget.  Next, seek out bargains.  And use our back to school shopping tips for ultimate savings.

Additionally, wondering how to stay on track with your budget?  A list will keep you on track and help you to not make purchases that your really don’t need.  Here are a few more tips:

  1. Head to the Thrift Stores – Thrift stores are excellent places to find bargains on jeans, tees, coats and more.
  2. Check Your Child’s Closet Before You Shop – Before you head to the store, check to see if your child has clothing that can be used or passed down. A new shirt/tee can dress up an old pair of jeans.  A scarf can dress up an old shirt.  A new pair of shoes will dress up everything!
  3. Recycle Old Jeans – If your daughter can still wear jeans from last year get creative. Add a design with jewels or paint or distress them.  You can turn the old into new.  Make it a mother-daughter project.
  4. Don’t make large purchases – Don’t purchase everything at once.  It may save on time, but you will most likely spend more if you’re not purchasing sale items.  Set aside several week-ends to shop when you have checked out upcoming sales.
  5. Look for Sales and BOGO deals – Scour your local paper for upcoming sales.  Only purchase items that are on sale and start shopping early for the best deals.
  6. Shop at Dollar Stores – Crayola Crayons, notebook paper, notebooks, rulers, sandwich cases etc. can be found for a bargain.  Ollie’s, Big Lots, Gabriel Brothers etc. should be on your shopping list for these products as well.  Check Ollie’s and Big Lots for good deals on school supplies too.
  7. Head to the Clearance and Sale Racks – I stocked up on end of season tees and jeans this week-end for my little man.  Target and Old Navy have great sales on jeans. You can find good deals at Gap, Children’s Place, and Polo too.
  8. Check Out Deals On-line  – You save on time and gas expense.  I look for free shipping sites.

Finally, we hope you found our school shopping tips beneficial.  You may also like:  Simple Tips to Consider for Studying Abroad.