Tuesday, April 10, 2012


Sometimes being frugal, or being a tightwad, isn't just about saving money, but making money as well. Even better, making that little bit of money from things someone else has thrown out!

One day last week I was leaving my mom's and heading to run some errands. As I went down one of the side streets in her neighborhood, I noticed a pile of 'junk' setting by the curb. As I was in a hurry to get to one of my destinations before they closed, I made a mental note to check the pile out if it was still there when I finished my errands. And as luck would have it, it was!

I knocked on the door and inquired about the pile. It was garage sale 'leftovers' and was up for grabs for anyone if they wanted it before the trash pick-up ran and took it all. She said I was free to take any or all of it that I wanted. There were some nice things in that pile (in my opinion) and I couldn't bear to see it trashed, so I rearranged, pushed, shoved, grunted, and managed to get it all crammed into my car.

I wasn't even sure what all I had, as a lot of it was tightly boxed up together. So when I got home, I unloaded it all and spread it all out to get a better look at it and see what my jackpot netted me.

Everything supposedly works, but I am checking it all out to be sure. There was quite a bit of electronics in the bunch, including things that I had no clue what they were. The printers/scanners I will have to do a little researching on. Some of those things you can no longer get cartridges for and the refill stores aren't allowed to refill them. That stinks and is such a waste!!! I hate throwing perfectly good working things like that away! And as you can see in the back, Dusty felt the need to 'stand guard' over it all. He's such a good dog! As you may remember, he was also a "dump off" that I brought home, and he has turned out to be a great value to me and my little farm.

There were a couple of things in the stack that I decided to keep, but most of it I took out to my flea market set-up last weekend. Although it was a slow weekend and most of it got rained out, most of what I sold came from this stack! That CARS lamp/talking alarm clock went really fast, as did the GMC computerized analyzer. I have a few things left, but quite a bit of it sold. I still need to find a battery to see what Elmo does. That set of bathroom scales you see in the front is one of those fat analyzers, and all of us at the flea market had fun trying to figure out how to program it, but none of us have figured it out (free entertainment during slow periods, although watching us trying to figure it out was probably what was entertaining, lol). I will have to look the instructions up online. It does appear to work, though.

I was needing something to put my smaller stuffed animals in at the flea market (besides the plastic bag I keep dumping them in and out of each week) and that tub worked great so I kept it. Now I just have to grab the handle and drag it in and out of my storage unit/tiny shop each week and it is ready to browse through! I am also going to keep that styrofoam ice chest. I am thinking of making an egg incubator out of it. I am saving up "junk" to try and make one for nothing. Wish me luck! Oh, and if you have already made one, I would love to hear how you did it.

But my best 'find' in the whole pile was a calendar. It had a .25 sticker on it. It was a 2008 Thomas Kinkade, Painter of the Light Calendar in great condition. I thought that surely it was worth more than a quarter, but couldn't believe just how much more. I decided to research it online before I set it out on my quarter table and was shocked to learn that it was selling on Amazon for just under $157.00!!!! So no, it is definitely NOT going on my quarter table! I absolutely adore his work, and am greatly saddened that he has passed away and there will be no more of his beautiful works created (and he was so young!!!, so very, very sad). So it is a tough decision as to whether to sell it or keep it. But as finances are so extremely tight, I am sure I will have to sell it, but certainly not for 25 cents! (glad that sticker came off cleanly)

So, my Tightwad Adventure for this week was tightly cramming my car with treasures that were someone else's trash! If you have a simple, easy, and ultra inexpensive way of cleaning all of those lovely silk flowers you see there in the pic, I would love to hear it! They are in great condition, just dusty.

Have a great and thrifty week!


  1. I have used the diswasher to wash my "fake" ivy, I think it would work for the silk flowers, too. Make sure the water is soft, or you might get hard water marks on them. I love Free Stuff!

  2. What fun. I'm amazed the calendar was selling for so much! We love Thomas Kincade's work too, and have several calendars that we would never get rid of.

  3. Mary, I forget about the dishwasher. I do have one, but it needs one little $2 part (in the outlet, at that) so that I can use it. I haven't been able to use it in years, so I forget about it. Thanks for the hard water tip. And yes, I love free stuff, too! I get so annoyed with the things that people actually make it to the dumpster with, the is perfectly good and someone else could put to good use. It's just so wrong.

    Leigh, there is just something so calming about gazing at his works. There were a couple of prints in the stack, too (falling out of the frames, but the prints still in perfect condition) and I will definitely be keeping those!


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