The Trashfinds Great Coupon Experiment

When most people refer to shopping, including the average thrifty/frugal person, they mean going into a store to exchange money for new or used items.  Shopping for me mostly refers to people’s curbs & retail dumpsters.  ‘Shopping the trash’ is an everyday, normal phrase for me, as shopping the trash is a normal, everyday activity.  When I do end up shopping & paying ‘retail’ prices for food & household stuff it stays pretty simple – I shop for me, my fiance (he will use toiletries salvaged from the trash/dumpster but not food), a dog & eight cats.  Sure, I’ve always kept an eye out in the mail or in a store for coupons & sales on stuff we always use, but that was pretty much it.   There are very few items we’re brand-specific with, so I pretty much always figured the time & strategy involved with couponing wouldn’t be worth it to me.   After stumbling across a few coupon-type blogs in my thrift-reading, I began to realize there were more than a few times even someone like myself could benefit from couponing.  April was a bit rainy & not-so-good for trashpicking so it gave me time to experiment with couponing.  I will say, I have spent more time in retail stores (including grocery stores) in the past month than I probably have in the past five years – no lie.  While I definitely maneuver a neighborhood on trash day better than a store, here are just a few things I learned about couponing:
 
It’s not as time-consuming as I thought.
 
Really?  How so Amy?  WELL, just like there are people who like to discuss & talk about trashpicking, there are even MORE people out there wanting to share their coupon & shopping know-how.  Being thrifty & frugal when buying new items is a hell of a lot more popular than frugality through other people’s trash.  Find a few blogs/newsletters that appeal to you (Mashup Mom, Living Rich With Coupons, Budget Savvy Diva & Coupon Tom have all worked out for me) and you’ll find most of the strategizing is already done!  For me, the most time-consuming thing was having to temporarily retrain my brain into shopping within the store & not the dumpsters.

 

Set Up A Coupon Storage System That Works For You!
 
How you do it is up to you, but find or develop something that works for you!  Part of the reason I never paid much attention to the coupon thing was because my organizational system was lacking.  Once a coupon made it’s way into my little accordian file, it never came back out until months after expiration. As I peered over a woman’s shoulder at a mass merchandiser department store checking out her binder, she happily shared how she did it (….the $10 invested in Pokeman card clear binder pages easily paid for itself the first week…AND, they’re Made in the USA!).  In the front of my binder, I have clear sheet protector pages tabbed for each store, where I keep the sales circular, coupon policy & any other store specific info.  I tabbed the coupon binder pages to mimic the layout of my preferred grocery store.
 
(yes….this works for me.)
 
Establish a coupon/sale/deal only email address; Facebook page; Twitter, etc.
 
I have a bunch of different addresses I use for my various interests as it just helps me compartmentalize better. I’m not a big facebooker, but lots of places offer good coupons & deals via facebook – some almost exclusively, so I now have an account just for that.  I was missing out on some really awesome deals because the few newsletters or store sale flyers/store only coupons I did get, were being sent to an email address I use for other stuff.   When I’m checking that account, I’m not in shopping to save mode.  Also, make sure you visit your favorite brand & store websites & sign up for their emails.
 
Obtain A Sunday Newspaper
 
Years ago, I stopped getting the newspaper because I just wasn’t reading it.  The great Trashfinds coupon experiment reminded me the Sunday paper comes with lots of coupons & sales circulars.  I’m now paying more attention to stacks of newspapers by dumpsters & curbs.  Initially, it took me a minute to wrap my head around the concept to spend $2 on a paper for coupons, but if you’re seeking the thrill of free or close to it items without dumpster diving, I’d say it’s a wise move.
 
Check the sales circulars.
 
Ok, maybe a duh for most people, but, when you match them against coupons you have & other deals, you end up with really, really, inexpensive stuff.  Stores are competing for your business.  That’s what retail is all about!  Pay attention to the rewards coupons, extra bucks, good-for-your-next-shopping-trip coupons.
 
Store Coupon Policies, Stacking, Double, Buy one get one, Overage & Come Back To Our Store Next Week Coupons.
Find out the stores coupon policy, or better yet, print it out & keep it in your coupon organizer.  A few of the following tidbits were kind of mind-blowing to me (and confusing ’til I grasped the concepts).  For instance, my preferred grocery store automatically doubles manufacturers coupons but only up to a dollar total (of the amount, not the coupon) – BUT – if a store totally doubles manufacturers coupons that are under a dollar, a .75 is more valuable than a $1.00, as the .75 = $1.50.   Alright, now stay with me…..  Many stores allow you to use their own store coupons in addition to a manufacturers coupon for the same item (often referred to as ‘stacking’).  Store having a buy one get one free sale?!?  Use a BOGO coupon & both are free (+ maybe sales tax)!  Say what?!?  And, since it’s all about getting you to come back, the stores will add in whatever their version of coupons that act as money for your next visit is.  I learned, when it’s advertised “spend $20 & get $10 back for your next visit”, generally it’s based on the pre-coupon price.  Meaning, if I use $20 in coupons, I still get $10 to come back to the store, in addition to the loot I picked up.  But wait!  Suppose your awesome coupon strategy presents you with items that cost less than what your coupon is for – what’s called ‘overage’?!?  Some stores will apply it toward other items in your transaction!
 
Brand or item, not size or amount.  Don’t forget  about travel & trial sizes!
 
I’ve found this particularly useful for some of the pricier brands.  AND, unless the coupon specifies, you can even use them on clearance items!
 
Not something you use?  Donate it!
 
Even if you don’t think it’s something you’ll use, add that coupon to your box/binder – especially if the item has a decent shelf life (in the past five days alone I found at least three instances where I could haved scored free toiletries – If I had just added the damn coupon to my binder!).  Free is free (+ sales tax, but hey, a small price for some do-gooding).  You can always donate, add to gifts or add to care packages for your cause of choice (mine happens to be sending care packages to deployed military & donating to veterans organizations) [my fiance would like to add how amazing & giving people were during his deployments, and how much it is truly appreciated].
All in all, couponing can be pretty advantageous, even for those of us that prefer discards in the trash/dumpsters.   Once you figure out how to navigate through sales circulars,  various stores, coupon terms & conditions, it falls into place.  When you finally get it right in terms of matching coupons with sales, etc, it is a pretty ‘wow’ kind of moment looking at a pile of stuff you normally would buy & knowing you paid about 80% less (off of your already frugal & thrifty shopping!) than you would have if it weren’t for strategic planning. I can definitely see where it’s easy to get caught up in a ‘buying to not-buy’ coupon fever.
How about you?  How are your coupon experiences?


 

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What I Think About When Trash Picking

(above items found while trash picking the flea market)
When I first started thinking about Trashfinds & how to best share my love of the discard, my fiance kept mentioning that I’d just encourage competition.  After I stopped laughing long enough to breathe, I had to disagree with him.  I was touched, that he somehow imagined I would be cornering the reuse/repurpose blog market, despite being a pretty inconsistent updater/communicator (and at the time, barely even being aware of what a blog was).  I certainly think the economy has a whole lot of people rethinking their way of life & how they spend, but, not to the extent that trash pickers & those like me will have to muscle people out of our way (we’ll have to revisit this topic in a year or so if things continue the way they are though).  On one hand, it would be great to see zero waste, but then, for a nano-second I panic & think, “Oh my God!  What if he’s right & now, with more trash pickers, there won’t be as many finds..?!?”  I then remind myself that there has always been those that discard & those that gather the discards.
Take a drive with me through an average trash picking day (approximate 30 minute route).  Here are just a few things that happen or run through my head, and I somehow, don’t see them taking off or ‘trending’:

Happenings While Trashpicking

  • Hope the box with the cool lamp & what appears to be leftover yard sale items slightly obscured by packing material doesn’t have..uh..actual, icky food trash.   Won’t know ’til I get out of work & it’s been festering in the sun all day in the truck with the windows cracked.
  • Realize I’ve identified the residences of people who work at my bank, pharmacy & various other places around town.  Hope they don’t mistake me for a stalker…
  • Hope the kids waiting at the bus stop don’t call 911 on their cell phones after my third pass down the road ’cause I passed on something, changed my mind, & rerouted for it.
  • Find humor in the fact that I turn my nose up at some people’s trash by passing on usable items ’cause they are crap to begin with.  (unless we have a yard sale planned within two weeks, then I’ll even pick up blah stuff)
  • Wonder when that one family will figure out if they continue to buy cheap crap (in this case, gooseneck floor lights), they will continue to throw it out as it breaks.
  • Haul my neighbor’s ‘trash’ up the street on a dolly (I just can’t bring myself to drive & load something five houses away after I passed it on the way home).
  • Wonder if the trash truck guys have identified my car & where I live.
  • After picking up an item & driving away, have a slight panic thinking phone fell out of truck – realize it’s on seat next to me; check time;  may or may not be a few minutes late for work but not quite done route; convince myself phone is five minutes fast.
  • Wonder if high school kids’ parents know they smoke at the bus stop.
  • Wonder if the people walking their dogs are secretly sneaking in a cigarette after they were supposed to quit.
  • Realize I’m on the same schedule as a lot of people on their way to work.
  • Wave to the scrap metal guy.  If able to, stop & tell him about a pile I saw & vice-versa.
  • Realize I would trash pick regardless of finances ’cause I love it & it gives me such a high!
  • Get a kick out of the squirrels perched on top of the trashcans, eating something.
  • Wonder why the people who get their trash bags torn apart by animals every week don’t find a better trash method so they’re not always sweeping up a 20ft radius of remnants.
  • Wonder how many people see me somewhere & think, “why does she look familiar?’,  & after a moment realize, ‘hey! that’s the lady who drives around on our trash day!’
  • Get bummed that it wasn’t a ‘good trashpicking day’ despite the fact everything picked is useful and/or sellable (examples: snow shovel, lamps w/o shades, shades w/o lamps, small oak end table, knick-knack shelves, etc…)
  • Laugh at how cranky people are in the morning.  Cranky as in, if it were me, I just wouldn’t have left the house.
  • Try not to feel superior seeing all the cranky people heading to jobs they hate to accommodate lifestyles they can’t afford (tee-hee).
  • Think of how bad I am at getting up early – unless it has to do with trash picking or collecting.  Make note of possible disorder.
  • Love the people who attach a ‘works!’ note on an appliance they’re throwing out, despite being bummed of the waste (especially if I have no use/space & just have to leave it be).
  • Laugh at the thought someone asks one of my sibling’s, “did I see your sister picking trash in my neighborhood this morning?”.  Laugh again imagining their reaction.
  • Make an AWESOME find & want to share it with someone but realize 7:30am is not the best time to call people.
  • Realize I have to start writing down stuff people request & keep a list handy in the car, rather than just making a mental list.
  • Stop for a find as someone is pulling more trash out to the curb & realize they are having an extremely awkward moment and I’m not.
  • Once I park at work, I glance at my haul & realize I STILL have to unload later & figure out what’s a keeper & what’s going to be sold & at what level (antique store, flea market, yard sale, Ebay…).  Already thinking of a nap after work…

    How about you?  What runs through your mind when you’re trash picking?


     


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Remember When You Found A Live Mouse In Your Pocket?

As I’ve had more than one mouse-related conversation this week, I thought I’d share one of my favorite stories – that just happens to involve a mouse.

 
                (picture of a plastic mouse found in a trashpicked box with about 100 other miniature mice)
 
Yes, that’s right.  I’m the woman that finds a live mouse in the pocket of the zip-up hooded sweatshirt that she’s wearing & leaves him be so he’ll be safe.  
 
In November, we were at a large outdoor event in Philly, celebrating the Marine Corps birthday.  For a few HOURS, I had been wearing a zip-up hooded sweatshirt I had in the car.  We were standing in a small group talking, and I put my hand in my right pocket & felt some old paper.  I pulled it all out, cupping it in my hand to see what it was, and along with the torn receipts & lint, was a tiny little field mouse – just kind of sitting there (probably at that moment, hoping to be invisible or teleport somewhere).  
 
Did I freak out?  No.  
 
Did I scream?  No.  
 
Did I drop it?  No. 
 
What I did, was casually put it back in my pocket because – and yes, this is exactly what I was thinking – I didn’t want it to get trampled underfoot in the crowd.  After my split-second decision of being a mouse protector, I looked up to see a few of the guys stop talking in mid-conversation, just looking at me, with their mouths half-open.  They quickly looked back at each other & then to me again, asking incredulously, “Was that a mouse?  Did you just put that back in your pocket?”.  Yes & Yes.  The guys then look at my boyfriend, who, ever-so-witty, was grinning & shrugged his shoulders saying, “Yep, she wouldn’t hurt a mouse…” 
 
While mingling in the crowd for the next hour or so, I was a little preoccupied thinking, “Oh my god!  Do I have mice living in my car?”;  or “Didn’t I just put that sweatshirt in my car?  Wasn’t it in my bedroom?  Great – I have mice living in my house” or “But I haven’t heard or seen evidence of any mice”, and then a little anger, “I have eight f***ing cats & I find a LIVE mouse in my pocket?!?”
I eventually realized the mouse probably came out of a pile of cedar logs I transported in my car a few days before.  Relieved to know I didn’t have a mouse problem to deal with, I was able to enjoy having a pet mouse for a bit, glad to know he was in a warm, safe place.  We had parked near a lot with a decent amount of grass, so I figured I’d just let him hang out in my pocket, & when we were ready to leave, let him go there.  As we rotated through the crowd, we came across the guys we had been talking to earlier & they asked if I still had my mouse, which, then had to be explained to a few people who weren’t present for the great mouse discovery. I opened my pocket to let in a little light to show that, yes, I have a mouse in my pocket, only to find out my mouse was gone!  He escaped somehow without me knowing.  Drat.  A couple nearby overheard us say ‘mouse’, and said, “hey – there was just a mouse running around here a minute ago”…  I exclaimed, “My mouse got out!” , and, bless her heart, the woman in the couple sincerely exclaimed, “Oh no!  Really?  Is that your pet mouse?”.  I looked to the closest trash can, and there he was, sitting between the can & the wall, just nibbling away on a piece of a pretzel. 
 
While I miss my mouse, my boyfriend was quick to point out, that, now…he’s a city mouse.

How about you?  Have any mice stories?  How about other critters making a surprise visit?


 

 

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Taking A Walk & Finding Stuff

(the saw blades new in package were a pretty cool find in the middle of the road)

We took our dog for a walk yesterday, enjoying the very Spring-like weather. My fiance´ lives along a frequently travelled road & whenever we go for a walk, we find small things [pic above is what we decided to pick up]. While walking & talking, we both agreed that if we took extra walks at my place, we wouldn’t yield many finds, since, well, taking walks around my place hasn’t yielded many finds (walking for exercise & fresh air you say? I need more motivation than that…). We did decide to make a concerted effort to take more walks at his place for exercise (ok, I voiced a more concerted effort to JOIN him in the early morning walks with the dog).

He’s also decided to start picking up aluminum cans when he takes a walk, since we do occasionally go to the scrap yard, and the road he lives along accumulates trash & cans. Sure, the money from the cans may not be much, but it is win-win in that picking them up will contribute just a little bit to less trash along the road. I am a little curious to see how many cans he finds, as he told me when we were about 1/4 mile away from finishing the two mile walk & in that time, we counted 30 cans NOT covered by the melting snowbanks.

How about you? What do you find or look for on your walks?


 


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Trash To Treasure OR Trash To Pleasure!

I read an article recently that addressed how to discern your usable, sellable yard sale stuff from stuff that should really be trashed. The article was designed for re-use people wanting to make money from a yard sale, talking about presentation, quality of items, promotion, etc. In the tips, there was mention of how to determine if an item belongs in the trash or not, but, I find fault with the idea that broken beyond repair is trash. Sure, there are some things that just don’t fly – used underwear, sticky odorous clothing, soiled mattresses, BUT, there are items some people consider truly trash junk, yet other people do have a need for.

Not everyone can re-use, re-purpose, up-cycle & salvage creatively, but there are PLENTY out there who can & are always looking for components for projects! I’m not saying hold onto your broken chairs, china, ripped curtains, salvaged refrigerator drawers & half-burnt kitchen utensils in the hope of making a few bucks out of it at your next yard sale, BUT, if you’re going to put the same amount of energy putting something in the trash & hauling it outside as you would throwing it in a free-or-close-to-free box for a yard sale, why not?

Following are just a few examples of stuff many wouldn’t consider yard-sale worthy, yet, my fiance´ & I have found success with (at least OUR version of success…):

Plastic Food Containers (clear/non-clear)- I was cleaning out some cabinets a few weeks before our last yard sale & found a cache of plastic food containers (like butter, cream cheese, etc) that I just wasn’t using. I could have easily thrown them in the recycling, but, I know how handy it is to have clean containers with lids for crafts, nuts/bolts & what-not. The ladies who found them were thrilled!

Shoes in various stages of used: Someone gave us a huge bag of shoes a week before our last yard sale, so we threw them in with our yard sale boxes. Some of the shoes were in great, almost ‘new’ shape, but there were a few pairs where if I had gone through them prior to our sale, I wouldn’t have put them out – and, yet, they all sold. Kind of icky to me personally, but the people who picked them up were happy for their find at 50¢ a pair.

Lamps and/or Appliance Parts: I have a thing for lamps. I can’t help it. As a result, I find I’ve needed things like a shade adaptor, or some other various item that attaches to the lamp. Odd pieces for many people, sure, but, exactly the sort of piece most people would throw into their junk/discard/trash pile. Thanks to those who’ve thrown them in their misc. junk yard sale boxes!

Rusty toolboxes & ‘a bunch of old tools’: Short of rust as a result of acid, my fiance´ can make even the most scrap-yard worthy toolbox usable & functional. Where I used to leave these in the trash, now I pick them up!

Scrap Wood: I don’t care if it’s an odd shape, angle, scrap cut from other scrap, pressure-treated or whatever – I’ll work it in. I like to paint, glue, hammer & nail things for my version craft/art/amusement, and I am now delving into whittling.

I guess my point is, if you are planning a yard sale, don’t be so quick to throw out that box of odds & ends & ‘what-is-it?’, if you have the space. You may not exactly make money off of it, but you may very well make someone’s day!

How about you? Any thoughts? Are there things you are always on the lookout for that keeps you digging through the ‘junk’ boxes?


 

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A Wedding, Really? Ugh.

[above picture is a 12 oz *Estwing hammer my fiance gave me for Christmas despite our ‘no gifts’ agreement.  He got an excuse to check out tools & I got a Made In USA hammer that’s the perfect size for small projects (prob. why I unconsciously picked it up a dozen times when we were at the hardware store).  I think he wrote my name on it to insure I wouldn’t return it.]

I’m not necessarily a ‘romantic’, but I suppose that depends on what your definition of romance is.  When my fiance suggests we spend a beautiful weekend afternoon trash picking at the flea market, I get giddy & swoon (doesn’t everybody?). I would have a heart attack if he ever gave me a piece of jewelry (family heirloom exceptions of course…) that could equate to something practical – like property taxes, a pick-up truck, a storage shed….

I have never understood weddings as popular culture has them. Where people see beautiful flower arrangements, table settings, & lots of extras, I see an enormous amount of waste – weddings on a ‘budget’ included. I see money that could be a down payment on a house, an emergency fund, or the difference between working a job you hate & one you love (if money that would have been spent on a wedding were invested wisely…). I see the time spent planning a wedding, as time NOT spent building a life with your mate. I could never understand the concept of a wedding – even as a little girl (but I was very much a tomboy – who the heck would want to wear a dress AND a white one at that?).

How about you? Any thoughts? If you’re married, had a wedding celebration with costs, & had to do it all over again, would you?

*note – I have not been compensated by Estwing – I mention them because a lot of their quality products are Made In USA & the above picture represents an Estwing product. Link is for convenience.


 


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Feline Friday – TrashFinds Cat Inspectors

Welcome to TrashFinds ‘Feline Friday’!   Our cats are always so involved with inspecting trash finds & helping decide if they’ll be keepers, that I usually have to take a number of pics since a cat tail, paw, or head gets in the frame. Since they immediately jump on whatever it is I’m trying to get a picture of, I’ve decided it’s a much better use of time to just keep them in the picture & spend less time trying to capture shots without them (well, at least these shots).  Here we have Louie sitting on top of a box with a vintage revolving gold-glitter Christmas Tree stand (doesn’t revolve but is still really cool-looking) & Sophie is trying out a shelf on a Drexel nightstand – yet another beautiful solid wood piece someone painted (fortunately, the water-based paint didn’t take too well & should be easy to remove).  Read more about our wood furniture trash finds!

How about you? Do you have helper pets?

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The Hunter & The Vegetarian – Two Trash Pickers Fell In Love

(Image courtesy of LuckyBluebirdArt – Etsy shop here!)

My boyfriend hunts & fishes. I’m a vegetarian. Since we tend to socialize more around the holidays with all the parties & gatherings, the topic comes up – A LOT.   I’ve been a vegetarian for about fifteen years & he’s hunted his whole life – coming from generations of hunters. I respect that he hunts for food & would never hunt anything that he isn’t going to eat. He respects that I simply don’t eat meat, and on the few occasions I’ve considered/tried to eat meat, all I could see in my head is the animal alive (similar to when Lisa Simpson became a vegetarian & the lamb pleads, “Lisa, don’t eat me”). Trophy hunters, hunting as ‘sport’, or baiting animals, disgusts both of us. Friends of mine who are vegetarians can’t comprehend how it doesn’t bother me that he hunts, but I don’t see how it could. It’s more bothersome to me how we’ve strayed from our own self-sufficiency of producing & acquiring our own food (myself included).

I originally stopped eating meat to avoid easy, fast-food meal fixes as I wanted to eat healthier. Being a vegetarian is not an issue for me – in fact, people who have known me for years are surprised when they find out I am. When I’m a guest at someone’s table, avoiding meat is pretty easy & I’m usually able to go unnoticed as there are plenty of non-meat side dishes. I don’t care if the meat touches my potatoes, or if it’s all cooked on the same grill or pan. While my boyfriend’s mom is a wonderful cook, if we are visiting his parents for more than a day, I have started to bring a few of my own foodstuffs. Mainly because I don’t want her to fret over what I’m going to eat, and also because at least one daily meal will consist of something that the meat can’t just be easily plucked out. I respect my boyfriend’s feelings & he respects mine.

I’m not compelled to wear shirts, join protests, sticker up my car, or try to convert other people to being vegetarians. I’m all for people expressing who they are & tactfully sharing their belief system, and I try to do that with trash picking & reuse. We all have things we are passionate about – being a vegetarian is just something I do…. Trash picking is who I am.

How about you? Any thoughts?


 


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Previously Owned Gifts – What Makes An Antique Store More Acceptable?

In a previous post relating to thrift giving, I wrote about how I give gifts my way, and no longer bow under the pressure to obtain a new item that is overly-priced, will be under-used, and conflicts with my beliefs.

 Occasionally, I’ll attend a non-immediate family gathering, though I’m not a big fan of many ‘gatherings’.  Years ago, my cousin had everyone over prior to the holidays, and I wanted to take something ‘gifty’.  My cousin & his wife’s tastes & lifestyle are on the complete opposite ends of the spectrum from me – trash picking, thrift stores & even antique stores aren’t exactly on their radar.   My cousin & his wife are big fans of two widely known mouse characters.  Fortunately, I hadn’t decided last minute to attend, so when I was at a thrift store prior to the gathering, I found a 70’s version of the stuffed animal mouse couple.  They were not pristine, but they were no different than anything you would find at an antique store – which, when I was pressed, is the story I gave of where I found them.  Anyway, I tied something Christmasy around each doll & presented as is.  They LOVED them & to this day, they make it to the mantle for holidays.

I chose to say they were from an antique store based on the YEARS of judgement I’ve received from a good portion of my family, in reference to my frugality & disinterest in ‘keeping up with the Jones’s’.  The judgement doesn’t bother me, but the expectation from others to explain myself does, so it really comes down to the path of least resistance.   While it bothered me that I couldn’t reveal these vintage mouse characters had come from a thrift store, I also know an antique store legitimizes used for the non-junker.  What I don’t understand is WHY?  Previously owned – whether it comes from the trash, thrift store, yard sale, rummage sale, or antique store (where lots of items from the aforementioned places end up) is STILL previously used.  Everyone has their preference & comfort level in terms of condition, but if an item makes the cut & someone is okay with one avenue of used, what makes the other ones any different?

 So, what do you think?   What makes an antique or even consignment store gift, a seemingly more ‘legitimate’ place to obtain a gift from than other sources of used to the non-junker?


 

 Check out this recent post from Get Rich Slowly regarding giving gifts from a thrift store:  http://www.getrichslowly.org/blog/2010/12/10/ask-the-readers-is-it-okay-to-buy-a-christmas-gift-from-a-thrift-store/

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Metal Monday! Vintage Roll Top Bread Box

 

We found this metal roll top bread box trash picking a flea market a few months ago.  I was going to pass on it, but my boyfriend convinced me to take it with the idea that, “I bet you there’s a customer at the antique store that would want that”, which, the collector in me falls for every time.  I’m also easy to sway with anything that can be potentially used to store stuff anyway.  Sure, it has it’s charm, but it has it’s issues – roll top’s a little dented; one seam is a little loose on the side; aged rust inside.  Not a big deal, but also nothing I want to put effort into making better (but if I were, I’d line the inside with contact, or wallpaper or something).  I do really like the knob though, which appears to be Bakelight.

This breadbox would fall into an example of a poor ‘Return On Cleaning Investment’ trashpick for me.  Boyfriend said he would try to clean it up a little (how he was going to do it without taking off the paint I don’t know – that’s all rust spotting), but, it’s been almost two months & this breadbox needs to go on it’s way to rehoming, out of the holding pattern area.  That’s like, two cubic feet of space, which in my house, is about as valuable as storefront in Times Square.  It’s going as is.  If it doesn’t sell, it’ll get pulled back & sold at our first yard sale in the spring, or my boyfriend can use it to store stuff in his shop.  Or maybe it’ll cycle into my work area as a temporary hold for items to price or work on.  I will say, it’s always advantageous to have something larger on the counter & not easily moved as I unintentionally do break items – often.
 

Any thoughts? How would you reinvent this box without investing too much effort?


 

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