Friday Yard Sale Finds

Saturday yard sales are great, but Friday yard sales are better. Seriously, it’s amazing what I find at Friday sales. Antiques. Old-school kitchen items. All manner of practical stuff. And last Friday was no exception. Check out my haul:

Size 4 Yard Sale Shoes

My oldest daughter is wearing size 3 shoes now, so I’ve been on the lookout for size 4 shoes. And let me just say, they are not easy to find. I think it’s just one of those sizes that lots of kids skip. Whatever the reason, I finally hit the jackpot. All of these shoes came from one sale. Several pairs were brand new, and the rest looked like they might have been worn once. And they’re all great brands – Merrell, Gymboree, Lands End, Gap. Better still, I didn’t pay more than $3 for any of them. In fact, I got all of these shoes, plus a pile of clothes for $18. Pretty sweet deal.

Sharpie Markers

Sharpies are made in my town, so when you see them at a yard sale, it’s a good bet that they’re brand new. I scored all of these markers for $1. And when I tested them, they all worked.

Jewelry Making Supplies

Craft supplies used to be a yard sale rarity, but now it seems like I find something every week. And the prices? Let’s just say they put those 40%-off Michael’s coupons to shame. I paid $.75 a piece for these rolls of hemp twine, and the seller threw in a spool of jewelry wire and a tube of epoxy. Nice!

Food Covers

These food covers hardly ever show up at yard sales. I’ve been trying to put a set together for years. So, when I spotted this set of four, I was stoked. And the $3 asking price seemed more than fair.

Spice Rack

I dry a lot of my own spices, so I’ve been looking for some more spice bottles to store them in. This spice rack was just $2, and had nice glass bottles. Score!

Looking at these pictures makes me wish it was Friday again. I can’t wait to see what I’ll find this week.

Are Friday yard sales a big deal in your area, too? Is this just a Tennessee thing? I’d love to hear from you.

4 Kitchen Scraps You Shouldn’t Throw Away

Make better use of your kitchen scraps, and you’ll have less trash to take out and fewer groceries to buy. Here are four scraps that are worth hanging on to:

Turkey Broth

Bones – Beef bones, ham bones, chicken bones, turkey bones – they all make beautiful broth. Just throw them in your crockpot with some veggies, herbs and water, and come back later in the day to jar it up.

Vegetable Scraps

Vegggie Scraps – Drop onion, carrot and potato peels, broccoli stems, cabbage cores and carrot tops into a freezer bag, and pop it into the freezer. When the bag is full, use it to make a rich vegetable broth.

How to Make Orange Extract

Citrus Peels – Keep orange and lemon peels for their zests, dry them to add to recipes or use them to create your own extracts.

Bread Crumbs

Bread – Save bread heels, crusts and any stale bread that you may have, and use them to make your own bread crumbs. If you dry your breadcrumbs in the oven, they’ll keep for months.

Are there other kitchen scraps that you keep? I’d love to hear what they are and what you do with them.

How I Cut My Printing Costs

This is the story of how I got tired of feeling ripped off by the cost of printer ink, and finally did something about it.

Problem:

HP Printer

The HP printer that I had been using for the past several years burned through cartridges quickly. The black cartridge was supposed to be good for 200 prints, and the color cartridge was supposed to be good for 165. I say “supposed to” because I don’t think I ever came close to that number when I was printing in color.

Being an ink jet printer, it was programmed to use color ink – even when printing in black and white. I would go into the printer settings every time I had something to print, and change the setting to black ink only, and every time I would be annoyed that there wasn’t a way to make that the default setting. Clearly this was all a game to use more ink, and I wasn’t winning.

Each time I printed a coupon, I would wonder if I was really saving money by doing so. A couple of the coupon sites that I frequent send coupons straight to your printer, which means those coupons were being printed with color ink. Super frustrating, and I was powerless to do anything about it.

My breaking point came when I burned through a brand new color cartridge in a single day! I was working on a couple projects at the time, but I really hadn’t printed very many pages. In that moment, it became painfully clear just how short of their 165-page claim the cartridges were coming. It was time to move on.

My Solution:

For years, I’d heard [Read more...]

Salvation Army Score: White Dishes

White Dishes

When these white dishes landed in my local Salvation Army a couple months ago, I was totally psyched. I’m always on the lookout for more white dishes to add to my party stash. As you may remember, I like to throw no-waste parties. Instead of buying disposable products for each party, I use real dishes, glasses and silverware. It’s lots nicer; it costs less; and it’s good for the environment, too. Go here to read more about my no-waste party set up.

White dishes work for any party theme, and it’s fairly easy to piece together a set on the cheap. You don’t even have to stick to a single brand to get a cohesive look. Pretty much every company makes a basic white plate. Restaurant-grade dishes are my preference because they’re extra sturdy, and they show up in thrift stores often enough.

Dish Hallmark

See where it says,”ALibbey Food Service Company”? That’s a sure sign you’re getting something sturdy.

But, unfortuntately, my excitement for these dishes ended there because the plates were priced at $3.99 each, and the bowls were priced at $2.99 each. With 19 plates and 18 bowls, that would have been $129.63! Way out of my range.

We’ll, turns out, they were out of everyone else’s range too because after they sat around for a couple months, they got marked down to $.25 each. And, let me tell you, at that price, I couldn’t load them into my cart fast enough.

So I got the whole stack of dishes for $9.25 and tax – a killer deal.

But wait, there’s more …

Because, you may recall that my Salvation Army store gives away free bread with every purchase.

2 Free Loaves of Bread

And that means my lovely new dishes came with two lovely loaves of bread. Pretty sweet deal, eh?

Spring Cleaning Twitter Party

Spring Cleaning Supplies

Let’s celebrate the first day of spring with a spring cleaning Twitter party. I’ll be answering your spring cleaning questions live tonight, Thursday, May 20, from 5-6 p.m. ET. Use #AskErin to ask a question and #SpringCleaning to follow the conversation. I hope to see you there.

If you’re not following me on Twitter yet, you’ll find me at @ErinHuffstetler.

Party sponsored by @Ooma.