1) I scored enough flats of annuals to fill every single planter I own, plus plant flowers in the garden. To a non-gardener, planting containers is a little slice of Heaven Ė just enough color and not all that backbreaking work of pulling weeds. On the way home from Benton garage sales where we had set up at my Aunt Fernís house, I passed by this very pretty farm that sells flowers. It sits on a curve and as I rounded it, I saw a wagon out front filled to the brim with annuals. On it sat a big sign that said FREE. Free? I pondered this, and made a U-turn down the road and back I went. I pulled over, got out, and meandered up to the wagon. I looked in disbelief as hundreds of annuals in need of a little water stared back at me. I started scooping them up. Supertunias, those little yellow ones that look like tiny sunflowers, and much more. I didnít stop until my Jeep was filled to overflowing. The sign did say free, and when I had my fill it looked like I hadnít even made a dent. I wished I couldíve left a thank you card for the owners, but Iím thinking they wouldíve liked to send me one. This time of year annuals are always on sale, and with an overabundance of stock it was prudent for them to get rid of them quickly. The next day I planted until I couldnít plant anymore and now my house has myriads of container plantings, lush and growing. The colors be still my heart when I walk out on the porch. I am enjoying them immensely and I didnít spend a single dime. Hands down, this is the best deal of my last month or two.
2) Garage sales sometimes bring you a want instead of a need. I love setting up to sell back in Benton at my auntís house. Itís more of a time to reconnect with her and my cousin, but it still nets plenty of treasures. This year was no different. Although Iím downsizing my life in every way, I will still bring home something I love. When I saw the huge wooden bowl on the table for sale I fell in love. I have a thing for bowls. Big, small, ceramic, wooden, or old Texas Ware style Ė my cupboards are stocked for any bowl-ish occasion. The only thing I donít own, and that Iím still on the hunt for, is a trifle bowl. I wonít cave and buy one at Walmart because I want it to have style and character. I will find one, just as I found the wooden bowl of my heart back at my auntís sale. It was huge - big enough to hold three pans of popcorn popped, or two pecks of peaches. It had a crack down one side that was lovingly repaired long ago by prudent hands that didnít throw things away. It had to be mine, and for the $4 price tag, it went home with me that night. I filled it with peaches the Saturday after the sale and took a picture for good measure. It now awaits its next assignment.
3) My last good deal came to me several days ago. Iíve talked about our couch, but neglected to mention our recliner. Maybe thatís because it wasnít worth mentioning? Somehow over the years it started leaning to the right, then a screw popped out, and when you sat in it you looked like you needed rescued. The footrest stopped closing and overall it looked like a sad little place to rest. My kidsí friends liked to sit in it to make fun of it. I am hosting a baby shower at my house this week for some work friends, and have been lamenting the look of this recliner. I told George, ďWe canít have this in here! What will people think of us! Itís ridiculous!Ē After I calmed down, he said two words, ďCheck Craigslist.Ē Hmm, seemed a bit of a risk to take. After realizing not everyone gets murdered who buys on Craigslist http://www.craigslist.org/about/sites, I went online and started searching. The first area I checked, and the first listing for sale for a recliner was the absolute one. It was a more modern type recliner, black leather with a footrest, brand new and located in Bolivar. The price? $75. I sent a picture to George at work, he said call, and I did. A day later we got a call that the chair was still for sale and did we want it. Yep, we do. I took Hunter with me for protection and we drove to Bolivar. Never let it be said that there arenít kind people in this world. Although Hunter and I did have a moment when the guy said follow me to the basement (which is where the chair was located), it was overall a splendid first Craigslist purchase. We learned someoneís life story, had a tour through a house he planned and built, and saw everything he had for sale. His wife was in the nursing home and he visited her every day. She was the love of his life and he was losing her to dementia, but his positive attitude about life inspired us. And the best part? We carried the exact chair George had wanted out the door for a song. It now sits in our living room blending in nicely with its surroundings.
Deals are out there to be had. They wonít necessarily jump out and find you, and sometimes you need to search for them. But isnít this the life? Living, breathing, loving, and finding what pleases us and fills our home? Things donít satisfy us like our loved ones do, but it is lovely to be surrounded by things that please us. When we find those things and donít have to spend a fortune on them, thatís when you know youíve found a bargain. Thatís what I search for, and what I want you all to know the value of. Anyone can spend thousands of dollars, but it takes grit and determination to find what you need for next to nothing. And there is nothing more satisfying.
Published: June 25, 2012