Spring Curb Shopping Highlights

Spring curb shopping is the best. People get busy decluttering, and we get busy picking up things we need for free. Here are some of the things that we’ve picked up so far:

Trunk Full of Irises

An entire trunkload of irises. I gave my mother-in-law half of them, and kept the rest for myself. They’re deep purple.

I also rescued a copy paper box full of irises from another pile (not sure what color they are yet) and a pot of pink hyacinth bulbs from still another pile. It’s amazing how many plants I’ve gotten from curb piles over the years (sure beats paying for them). [Read more…]

Little Free Library

Little Free Library

My husband and I were headed home from a morning of curb shopping, when he spotted a Little Free Library a block from our house! Do you know about these?

Little Free Library Sign

Basically it’s a little weather-proof box filled with books that are free for the taking. You can borrow books, and bring them back, or you can even keep them. They just ask that you add books to the box. “Take a book, return a book” is their motto.

Inside of Little Free Library Box

When I looked inside the box, there were nine books and one DVD.

Free Books

I took two home with me …

Donated Books

and I took five back. They didn’t have any kids’ books yet, so I figured I’d get their collection going.

I absolutely love the Little Free Library concept, and had been thinking about adding one to our yard. When my husband worked outside the home, we set up a free box at his office, with a “take what you need; leave what you don’t” motto, and it was a big hit with his co-workers.

I checked the LittleFreeLibrary website, and there aren’t any libraries listed in our town, so I’m thinking we’ve found the perfect project for my oldest daughter’s Girl Scout Silver Award. She loves books and recycling as much as I do.

If you’re interested in building a Little Free Library, or just want to see if there are any in your area, check out LittleFreeLibrary.org.

Our Bread-Themed Weekend

Free Bread Haul

We stopped by our local Salvation Army thrift store yesterday afternoon, and they had free bread again! We got hooked on this awesome freebie last year. Then, it went away, and we sure missed it. Hopefully this means it’s back to stay. I plan to use some of the flatbreads to make flatbread pizzas for dinner tonight. Yum! We’ll keep some of the sliced bread out for sandwiches this week, and stick the rest in the freezer to enjoy later.

Bread Racks

But wait … the bread-related freebies don’t stop there because, we also scored all of these bread racks in a curb pile today.

Brown Bread Racks

There are around 150 of them! What am I going to do with them you ask?

I plan to use a tall tower of them to store our root/winter vegetables in the basement – potatoes, onions, garlic, butternut squash etc. I’ll also use them to haul merchandise to consignment sales and craft shows (we’ll be doing our first craft show in May), and I’m sure I’ll find lots more uses for them when we reorganize the basement next month. As soon as we get all the cabin stuff out of the basement (I’m hoping we’ll be able to move stuff into the cabin in two weeks), I’m going on a major decluttering/organizing spree. I’ll be sure to share pictures of how we use the racks when we get to that point.

And since 150 racks is admittedly a lot of racks, I’ll probably also share some with our farmer friends. They use them to haul produce to the farmer’s markets, and I’m sure they’d be thrilled to have more. I love how curb shopping allows us to do nice things for our friends and family. Some have even started giving us their wish lists at the start of curb shopping season. Ha!

Canning Ring Jackpot

Ball Canning Rings

We been running low on half-pint canning rings for a while now, but here’s the crazy thing: you can buy replacement sets of lids and rings, and you can buy replacement lids by themselves, but you can’t buy just the rings by themselves. Why is that? Ball, you’re clearly missing out on an opportunity here. Because those rings, they get rusty after a while; and we frugal types already have loads of lids. Shopping smarties that we are, we stocked up when they went on clearance at the end of last canning season. We just need rings, darn it!

#frugalgirlproblems

Well, while I’m no closer to an answer from Ball, I am happy to report that our local Goodwill thrift store saved me from a full-out canning tantrum, because when I walked in the other day, they had a HUGE bin of half-pint canning rings. The sign said they were $.25 each, which is more than they sell for retail, but I didn’t let that pricing blunder rain on my parade. Nope. I carried the tub up to the register, and asked if they could do better on the price, if I bought all of them. And you know what she said? She said I could have them for $5. Woo hoo!

So, for $5 I scored 140 bands, 28 lids and a storage tub. It’s not safe to reuse lids for canning (and I have no way of telling if these were used), so I’ll just use them to store foods in the pantry or freezer.

I jumped on Amazon this morning to get an idea of how much I saved, and I’d have to buy 12 packages of lids and bands to get 140 bands. At $3.14 a package, that’s $37.68. So, I saved $32.68! Thrift storing saves the day once again!

Have you had any killer thrift store finds lately? I’d love to hear about them.

Free Pond. You Haul

Pond Liner

Last summer, we scored a free pond liner at a yard sale. It’s been sitting in the garage awaiting the day we have the time and money to install it in the backyard.

Pond Waterfall

And it appears we’re now a step closer to that day because earlier this week, my husband spotted a pond waterfall in a curb pile, while he was taking the kids to school. He surprised me with it when I woke up. What can I say? Some girls get flowers, I get curb shopped waterfalls.

Think we can manage to find a free pump and some fish, too? With all the interesting freebies we’ve scored over the years, I wouldn’t say it’s impossible. And you’d better believe I’ll tell you about it if it happens.