Frugal Fridays: The past 3

I’ve scored quite a few treasures the past 3 weeks. In fact, I even went to a thrift store today while getting the car inspected.

Anyway, here’s the show & tell, with some tips on how to score your own deals.

First Friday

I scored these blocks for Little Champ for $15 at a resale shop. This was my most expensive purchase, and I admit the nostalgia factor played big in this buy. I also walked away with 3 packages of vintage sewing patterns, which included 7 women’s dresses from the 60s and 6 vintage little girl dresses. (Whatever. I’ll have a girl someday.) Plus 3 vintage, romantic prints to put in my bedroom as well as a white duck cookie jar that was really fun carrying around the store. Total for everything: $33 (I think. It was 3 weeks ago)

Oh. I also spent a fair amount of money on vintage books for myself and Little Champ, to read and to admire. Vintage books are my favorite way to decorate, and I have them in every room of the house, even the bathroom—I framed an illustration from a children’s book which complements our shower curtain).

Tip #1: Make a mental list. This only works if you’ve got a memory like mine, but one thing I do to control myself and not buy absolutely everything in the store (which at Flea Body’s is a fairly accurate statement), is to scan the whole store first, making a note of the things I like. At the end of browsing, I try to remember my favorites. You don’t buy what you’ve forgotten about.

Second Friday

Tip #2: Step away from the chair. I am so cheap, I take time buying anything that costs more than $20. This is great, because it means I don’t make expensive impulsive buys. (INexpensive impulse buys are another story. See Tip #1.) I had seen this chair on the Flea Body’s Facebook page back in March and absolutely loved it for our bedroom, which is vintage romantic with French country influences. The wood was a perfect match. The style and period were both perfect. But it was pink, and I didn’t know if it was too. much. pink. for the 100% Old-Spice-Manly Marine officer I share the room with. Then I saw it in the store myself and it was even more perfect in person. And $65 is a complete steal for this baby. But pink. So I controlled myself and bought all the great stuff I already told you about. Not before taking a quick photo of it with my phone, though. When I got home, I showed my hubby, and he gave me the green light because he is the very best husband in the whole wide world and I love him and he loves me and he said it wasn’t too pink.

It looks even better in the corner of our bedroom! The other chair was a $10 Amish find at a thrift store last month. The pillow is a plain pillow from a fabric store and the fabric came from the same store and was 50% off. I haven’t sewn the pillow cover yet, which is why it looks a little frumpy. The Persian rug was a gift from LT’s brother during his last deployment to the Middle East. I bought the mirror the same day as the pretty chair at a different thrift store for $20.

At that store, I also got:

A baby bathrobe, a vintage toddler dish, a copy of my favorite Richard Scarry book (It is the sweetest), a vintage mug with an etching of ships on it for LT, and a puzzle for LT and I to do together (I love that it’s Norman Rockwell and the scene reminds me of It’s a Wonderful Life, one of our favorite movies). All of this was less than $10 total.

Tip #3: Play the Pirate (make maps to find your treasure). The first week, my thrifting buddy and I used Google maps to plot out where all the thrift stores were within a few blocks. We also planned where we would eat lunch. When we were in the stores, she grabbed some brochures which had listings for other thrift stores in the area. Each store we went to the second week had listings of other stores in the area, some that were unique to one list.

I got this baby piano for $4 at one of the stores listed in the brochure.

Tip #4: Use the internet, but stay local. Flea Body’s Facebook page listed links to other stores and some of its consignor’s sites. Through some of Flea Body’s networking, I found one seller’s Etsy site. I looked through her stuff and found a great vintage jacket she was listing for only $25. I sent her a message on Etsy letting her know I was interested and was local. We ended up meeting at Flea Body’s and I bought the jacket from her in person. It saved me the cost of shipping, it saved her the trouble of shipping, and we found out that she was also the seller behind the awesome duck cookie jar I had bought the week before. Sweeeeet.

I have a huge weakness for buying dresses. These four cost $40 total.

Tip #5: Only buy clothes if you know an occasion to wear them for. Like I said, huge weakness for dresses. Thankfully? about 90% of what I try on doesn’t fit me, so when I find something that is flattering, I go ahead and buy it. Clothing sizes drive me crazy. For example, of those four dresses, there is a small, a medium, and a large. Ridiculous. Anyway, #1 I am going to wear as a beach-cover up, #3 is for church, #4 is “The Wonder bread dress” for my fun and crazy clothing days (I’ve already worn it once), and #2 is the only one I couldn’t really think of an occasion for but I don’t own a solid black LBD, so there you go. I’m probably going to wear it belted with heather gray leggings.

Third Friday—today!

Today I got a $12 double closet organizer (No, it won’t go into the scary office closet. I have far less macabre plans for it) and some toys for Little Champ, including fabric blocks, a large fabric book with baby faces in it, and a Pooh bear.

I didn’t want Pooh merch in the nursery because I have been so turned off by how commercial Disney has made Pooh in the last 20 years. I’m a classic (British) Pooh and 80s-TV-series-Pooh person. But I am OH SO EXCITED for the new Pooh movie to come out this summer because it looks like Disney has stopped whoring out Milne’s masterpiece (pardon my French) and has decided to go back to the classic roots. The Pooh bear I bought Little Champ is a modern one (I doubt I could get him a 1920s-style Pooh bear for less than three dollars). He loves it.

Tip #6: Giggle test. Little Champ decided for me if I would buy Pooh and the baby faces book by smiling at them and giggling every time I came close to him with Pooh. This was a totally scientific test, mind you, with controls and hypotheses and everything. He didn’t giggle at all the toys. Note: This doesn’t work on a kid that watches too many commercials and wants absolutely everything he sees.

I did find one other thing today: that I had been wearing my tank top backwards all day. People probably wondered why there was ruching between my shoulder blades.

The end, for this week. Next week I will likely go to the base thrift store again for their $6 bag sale. Remember all the stuff I got last time?

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