Monday, December 29, 2014

Thrifting Finds #76: Happy New Year!

Well.  Did you all have a wonderful Christmas?  We sure did here at Fondue Headquarters.  There were a lot of presents, a lot of food, and a lot of family, which is just the way it's supposed to be, no?

And frankly, your ol' Uncle Veg is pooped.  I'm not going to go on about how Christmas seems to approach with the speed of a freight train, as opposed to when I was young and I thought it would never get here.  I believe that's been covered before.  But let me tell you this--Christmas comes a lot faster than it used to!

Anyway, I have a bit of a Thrift Find to report. Only one, but since Hubs and I are both off this week, we may make a few more stops.

Book!  Not a cookbook this time, but still kind of about food.  It's all about the history behind different candies, mostly regional.  It's a funny and insightful book, and if you don't have a sweet tooth, you will after reading this,  Savers, $3.00

And that's it for the thrifted finds.  We did get a couple of new things at retail, but first let me explain:

After realizing that we only have white trees in the house, Hubs and I had a discussion:  Should we alternate between white and green trees?  Or should white trees be our "thing"?  We decided that white trees would, indeed, be our thing.  So to add to the collection, I got these:

Yeah, they're super garish, but I still love them.  Love them so much, as a matter of fact, that I was willing to pay full price for them on Christmas Eve (they were the last ones left.)  At Walmart, no less.  I mean, come on Walmart--can't you start discounting on the last day of the shopping season?  Geez.

This is one of those pop-up trees that looks very "all the Whos down in Whoville..."  I like that it stores in a minimum of space, since that comes at a premium around here.  Like the trees above, this was the last one in the store (Target), but at least I got it half price.

I want to share one more thing I got.  It wasn't a gift, since I bought it myself, but I have high hopes for it.  Again, let me explain first:  I have a high tolerance for mess.  Unnaturally high, some would say.  But there are two things that send me right over the edge:  dishes in the sink, and Christmas wrapping stuff.

We keep the wrapping stuff in a big Rubbermaid container, but not all of it fits, and there are certain people who have to have every roll of paper, every bow, every roll of ribbon, every box, and every gift bag out.  I looked into getting a gift wrap cart, but they were like over $180!  But then I stumbled across this one at Bed Bath and Beyond:

It was only $120, and by signing up for emails or something, I got their usual 20% off, bringing it down to $95, and free shipping.  As I say, I have high hopes for it.  But.  And that's a big "but".  Couple of things make is not so great:  Not all the parts fit well.  I had to do a little "persuading" to get the thing together (which took forever, by the way, and I'm good at assembling things.)  One of the pieces had 4 dowels missing, so I had to wait until the next day when I could go get some replacements.  When I finally had it mostly together, I discovered that one of the casters was missing.  Geez.  On a positive note, the gal I spoke to at BB&B was very friendly and helpful and she promised to get my caster out in 7-10 days.  We'll see if that happens.  Also, I ordered this on Christmas day (Thursday) and it got here on Saturday!  

In Other News Department:  Last week's question about whether to buy a used microwave is moot:  it was gone when I went back.  So it looks like I'll get some soulless made-in-China piece of crap at Walmart.

I also decided to mount the new TV on the wall.  It was a pain to do, but I like it much better than just sitting on top of the old set:

Huh.  It looks kind of wonky in the picture, but not in person.  Tribute to my mad skillz as a photographer, I guess.

We're having The Girl Child and The Boyfriend for dinner tonight, and frankly, I'm nervous about cooking this $50.00 piece of meat.  I got a small beef tenderloin, and it intimidates me;  I have the tendency to turn meat into shoe leather.  Keep your fingers crossed for me, won't you?  Alongside, we're having roasted potatoes, broccoli, and creamed onions.

And so, before I start straightening up for company, let me take this opportunity to wish you health, wealth, and happiness in the New Year!

Monday, December 22, 2014

Thrifting Finds #75: ...and to all a good night.

Whew.  Your ol' Uncle Veg has been a busy boy these last couple of weeks getting ready for Christmas.  There's been a lot of cooking and baking lately, which I'll get to in a minute but first, I have an actual Thrift Find to share with you!

Christmas Napkins!  Yes, I actually found some Christmas linens at the Goodwill.  I'm not sure how vintage they are--probably not very, but I couldn't refuse them at only 0.50 each!  I bought 8 of them.  There were 12, I think, but some of them were discolored.  There was a matching tablecloth too, but I didn't care for it.
Now here's the problem--I can't use them this year!  I'm using the Christmas tablecloth I found last Spring and my Christmas china.  I realized that if I added these napkins to the mix, it would go from "My, isn't that festive!" to "Wow, it looks like Christmas threw up all over your table!"  So maybe next year I'll use a plain white tablecloth and these napkins.

Speaking of that tablecloth, take a look:

It almost fits my table!  In fact, I think it looks pretty darn good, especially considering that my table is an odd size and no tablecloth actually fits it.  P.S.  I took the picture after I ironed it, all evidence to the contrary notwithstanding.  And please pardon the mess--Christmas is still a work-in-progress Chez Fondue.

We're going to my brother's for Christmas dinner, so I don't have to cook a big meal.  The Girl Child and The Boyfriend are coming for a belated dinner next Monday, so at least I get to use my Christmas china again, and I'll get to cook a little, at least.

Which is a strange thing to say, considering what I've been up to lately in the kitchen.

What I Made Department:

1.  An insane number, of cookies!  So far, I've made 2 batches of Cherry Jumbles, 2 batches of Platinum Blondes, two batches of Holy Crap, It's a Brownie!, and four batches of M&M cookies, with two more batches on the schedule for today. When you consider each batch is like 3 dozen cookies, that comes to...well, a lot!  I took some to work, and some went to the vet's office.  Many are for bro and his girlfriend, but there are still plenty for Hubs and me (good thing we've been going for walks lately!)

2.  Candy candy candy!  I've made two batches of peanut butter fudge (which might as well be called peanut butter crack, it's that good), a batch of chocolate fudge for Hubs, and a batch of Sponge candy for bro.  Tomorrow, I'll be making pink popcorn (AKA Mother Goose popcorn), also for bro.

I stopped counting how much sugar I've used this month.

And that's it, really, though I have a question:  I need a small microwave for work (there's only one for like 40 people and it doesn't get cleaned...)  So I was looking in the GW yesterday, and they had one for 15 bucks.  It was cleanish, but not immaculate.  Assuming it works, would you be squeamish about a used microwave?  I wasn't sure so I left it.  A new one would cost about 50 bucks.

Oh, before I go, I want to wish you all a very Merry Christmas from all of us here at Fondue Headquarters!

Monday, December 8, 2014

Thrifting Finds #74: It's beginning to look a lot like

Christmas!  Yay!

Please bear with me--I have a feeling there's going to be a whole lot of rambling today.  More than usual, I mean.

Okay, to get right to the heart of the artichoke, so to speak, my thrift finds this week were nothing.  Again.  I could tell you how sick I am of looking at crappy Christmas stuff, but I believe we've already covered that in depth.

So this week I'm going to talk about other stuff, mostly Christmassy!  Your ol' Uncle Veg loves Christmas, dontcha know?

In keeping with the season, I've been perusing (again) my collection of Christmas catalogs, mostly from the 60's.  We're talking the major players here--Sears, Montgomery Ward, and Penneys--as well as some Minor League names--Gamble/Aldens, Spiegel, National Bellas Hess.

There are two themes in these catalogs that just kind of surprise me.  And it's not just one company--it's all of them:

1.  His 'n Her's matching outfits.  These catalogs have tons of these outfits--matching shirts, pants, sweaters, jackets, and on and on.  Did anyone actually wear these?  I don't ever remember seeing any couples in matching clothes.  My parents never did this, nor did the parents of any of my friends.  You find this thing throughout the 60's.  Weird.

2.  Slippers.  OMG, each catalog has a section of just pages and pages of slippers--for Mom!  For Dad!  For the kids!  Dozens of selections for each member of the family.  Were cold feet a problem back then?  Were winters particularly harsh?  Was one expected to have a wardrobe of slippers?

See?  Rambling.

In other news, Hubs and I joined the 21st Century!  Those who know us know that we don't watch much TV.  Remember when I dropped FIOS TV?  Generally, we'll get a season of some old show from the library and watch a couple of episodes a night, on my vintage Zenith Avanti:

I love the set and it looks great in the den, but it's finally starting to go.  I could try to repair it myself (I've repaired TVs before, with varying success), but it seemed time to maybe upgrade a bit.  So I went out and bought ourselves a Smart TV:
It's a Samsung

Normally, I hate when my appliances are smarter than I am, but we're loving this.  There is a ton of stuff you can do with this, but so far, we've just watched DVDs and stuff on Youtube (did you know you can get the Christmas 1968 episode of Hollywood Palace on Youtube?  We'll be watching that, for sure!)  I just need to figure out what to do with it.  For now, it's on top of the Avanti, which is a look I hate.  I could mount it on the wall, or I could get a stand for it and trash the Avanti.  What do you think I should do?  Help!

What I Made Dept:

The Annual Cookie Extravaganza has officially begun!  So far, I've made three different kinds.

Cherry Jumbles!  I actually made these before Thanksgiving and stuck 'em in the freezer.

Platinum Blondes!  This picture is a retread from last year, but they look the same.  Also sitting in the freezer.

M&M Cookies!  My brother's favorite, and my Yearly Sacrifice (I hate making cookies.)  So far I've made 6 dozen, and have another 6 dozen to go.  But at least I'm halfway through, right?

By the way, I found the best cookie scoop ever.  I went to Bed Bath & Beyond looking for an Oxo scoop, but I wasn't impressed by it.  The I found this one:

It's super comfortable.  It was 10 bucks.

The House is Decorated!  Anyone who's read this blog for a while will not be surprised by the following pictures.  I have no imagination so I end up doing the same thing every year.  Hubs and I realized just yesterday that we only have white trees this year.  Not quite sure how that happened.

The Big Tree!  I don't know why it always looks pink in pictures, because it doesn't look that way in Real Life.

The Hubster's Tree!  The string of lights gave up this year and we had to replace it with LEDs, which I'm not crazy about.  They're too bright for one thing, and the colors seem a little "off" to me.  Here's a closeup of the 

Toys Under the Tree!  My goal is to turn this into a vintage toy tree, but until I have enough miniatures, they'll just go under the tree.  Most are Hallmark ornaments, with a few others thrown in.  The Chatty Cathy talks--even makes the "string pulling" noise!  The record player plays "Rudolph".  Loud.

You've Seen This Before!  Shiny Brites in the urn, my Dollar Store candle shade, and the talking Santa pillow I fixed.  If you look closely, you can see the decoration Hubs made when he was just a little tad.  Cute?  I'll say!

Hohman, IN!  This year, I got to put up my Christmas Story houses 'n things.  These are already a few years old, and far superior the the ones they're selling now.  I'm really glad I got them when I did.  Sorry for the crappy picture--I was using the zoom feature on my phone.

Basho and Tinkles!  They wish you the Merriest of Christmases!!

My Cubicle!  Not many people seem to decorate around here, but I thought I'd bring a little cheer to the office, so I made this.  I don't know if you can tell, but there are lights in it.  Other than the wreath itself (4 bucks on sale at Michael's), everything came from the Dollar Store.  I used a lot of hot glue...

And that's about all I can think of for this week.  I think I used more pictures in this post than in any previous one, even though there are no actual thrift purchases.  I guess that says something, but darned if I know what!

Monday, December 1, 2014

Thrifting Finds #73: Just like Yvonne De Carlo

I'm still here.

Because Yvonne De Carlo sang I'm Still Here?  In Follies?  Remember?



How was your Thanksgiving?  Ours was lovely--there were eight of us, which is a nice, manageable number.  Unfortunately, I offered the leftovers to our guests and everyone took me up on the offer!  There was hardly anything left but two drumsticks (nobody likes 'em.)  I mean, the whole point of doing Thanksgiving is to have leftovers.  That's the last time I make that offer, I tell ya.

The menu was simple:  Turkey:

Beautiful, no?  I rub mayonnaise on it before roasting.

Mashies, gravy, dressing, sweet potatoes. broccoli & cheese casserole, green bean casserole, cranberry sauce (with ridges) and rolls.  Just the basic stuff, heavy on the carbs.

And I got to use the new Corningware roaster I got a while back.  Worked great, and it was incredibly easy to wash, too.

So I had no idea I had been gone for so long; almost a month.  And the reason is that the thrifts have yielded absolutely nothing.  Zilch.  Nada.  They all seem to have a ton of stuff, but nothing worth actually buying.

Naturally, I've been looking for Christmas stuff, but it's all Walmart and Dollar Tree crap.  I am so sick of that stuff, aren't you?  Where are the Shiny Brites that other people are finding?  Where are all the cool Napco pixies?  Where are the knee-huggers? Huh?  Where?

Not here, that's for dang sure.

And another thing (can you tell there's a rant coming?)  I think whoever's doing the pricing at the Westminster Goodwill is certifiably insane.  Not only are the prices outrageous, but get this:  they put these bigass price stickers on each individual Christmas ornament.  Can you imagine?  You can barely get them off something that can go in the dishwasher; if you try to peel one off an ornament, it's completely ruined.  Be interesting to see how many they sell.

Saturday, there was a little basket of seashells that someone had collected on the beach.  Not big, exotic shells, just common, ordinary ones. Each one had a price sticker on it.

As I said, insane.

But it's not all bad news and grumping!  Nosiree.  'Tis the season and all that, so I'm trying to be my jolly best.

So though I have no official Thrifting Finds to report this week, I do have this, which is actually an ebay purchase:

Mattel Santa Claus Patter Pillow!  I've wanted one of these for quite some time, but they generally go for more money than I'm prepared to pay, especially if it's working. This one was fairly cheap, though he didn't talk.  So I opened him up, un-stuffed him, washed him, fixed his voice box, and then re-stuffed him and sewed him back up and made a new pompom for his hat (it's not actually sewed on in the picture, but you can't tell.  Special Effects!!)  If anyone wants, I'll make a little video of him talking.  I really love this lil' fella.

What I Made Dept:

Gallons and Gallons of Turkey Soup!  It doesn't look like much here, but there was another big container of it cooling on the balcony.  This is what I used the drumsticks for.  Delish.

Homemade Vanilla Extract!  Sharp-eyed readers will remember when I started this about a month ago.  Wellsir, it was finally ready so I decanted it into the original vodka bottle.  Smells good, though I'm not sure how it tastes.  We'll find out soon enough, when I start my Cookie Extravaganza.

And that's all for this week.  Since it's been a while, I'm going to go ahead and link up with the Usual Suspects.  I think that'll be okay, don't you?  Sir Thrift A Lot, Hey What's For Dinner Mom?, and Vintage Bliss Tuesdays

Monday, November 3, 2014

Thrifting Finds #72: Randoms

Hiya, kids!  This week's post is going to be even more random than usual, I'm afraid.  Actual thrifting finds were few (again), but I have a couple other minor things to share, so let's get down to it, shall we?

No, wait.  I want to complain about something first.  Huge surprise, no?  Anyway, I'm reading through all the sale flyers in the Sunday paper, but have you noticed that the latest thing seems to be "buy one, get the second at 50% off"?

That just really irritates me.

Most of the time, I don't need two of something.  And when you do the math, each item ends up being 25% off, which I don't consider much of a sale, do you?  It's not until you hit a 40% discount that I start listening up and paying attention.

Sorry.  I'll try to keep it under control from now on.

Anyway, on to the finds 'n stuff!

1.  Tupperware!  Sharp-eyed readers will remember that I bought a Rubbermaid jar a couple of weeks ago for toting my half & half to work.  Unfortunately, if I don't remember to take the durn thing home on Friday, I'm out of luck come Monday*.  So this is a backup.  I think it's some kind of diet shake maker, as there's an insert that looks like it's there to break up the lumps.  Goodwill, $0.50.  I think that's the first time I've seen anything for less than a buck at the GW.

*So this morning, I tried using the half & half that was left over from last week.  While it tasted okayish, the coffee was really quite...chunky is the only way I can describe it.  Not good.

2.  Eydie!  I like Eydie (and Steve, too), but she's not someone whose albums I ever felt the need to own (other than the Christmas album.) This was staring at me from the front of one of the record bins, so what was I supposed to do?  I still don't ever look through the records, but if a good one is staring me in the face, well...  Plus--and this is probably going to be the gayest thing you'll hear all day--look at that hair!  Miss G. is rockin' a truly Marlo-grade flip.  You might not be able to tell from the picture, but take my word for it.  Unfortunately, some wear on the jacket makes it look like her cleavage is dirty.  And that makes me giggle.  And one of the songs is...are you sitting?...I Walk the Line.  Anyone else think that's kind of an odd choice?  Goodwill, $1.00

What I Didn't Buy Dept:

Not creepy.  Not creepy at all...

Update Dept:

Electromatic Tray:  Couple of weeks ago, I got a Corningware Electromatic heating tray sans cord.  I lamented that the cord I had didn't fit it.  Well, it finally hit me that I'm kind of an idiot.  What I was using was just some random cord I had in my kitchen drawer.  Once I tried an official Electromatic cord, it fit perfectly.  And the tray got nice and hot, so this officially becomes a  five-dollar score!

The Coffee Situation at Work:  Back at my old job, I would make coffee every morning in my West Bend Fiesta Perk (which you can see Mary Richards using in an episode of season two of the Mary Tyler Moore show.  How sad is it that I know this?)  Unfortunately, there are no dish washing facilities close by here, so that wasn't going to work.  I could join the Coffee Club, but it's Keurig-based, and I think I've complained about that before.  So then I got the Regal Poly Pot and tried making instant coffee, and youall heard how well that worked out.  So I finally thought that I should just get a non-Kcup coffee maker (think I can't make this story any longer?  Think again!)  So I went online and found the Black & Decker Brew 'N Go:

Which got really good reviews at Amazon, Walmart, and Target.  So I went ahead and ordered it from Target because it was like 10 bucks cheaper than Amazon.  Oh, and free shipping?  Yes, please.  It came to 17 dollars and change after sales tax.

Youall may know that I'm not the most patient person in the world, so when I stumbled across a different machine that I could just go to the store and buy, that's exactly what I did.

This little baby was nine bucks at Wally World and to be honest, I didn't have much hope that it would work.  Boy, was I wrong!  This cheap little machine makes a nice hot cup of coffee, which is kind of a pet peeve of mine.  I can only drink coffee if it's practically scalding.  It also makes a 12-ounce cup, which is a decent size.  And there's a little shelf thing so you can make coffee in a regular mug or in a travel mug.  Word to the wise:  If you get one of these, try to find a mug that fits as close as possible to the basket, as there's some splashing.  This isn't a problem at home, but at work I like to keep my desk reasonably splatter-free.  Also, some of the reviewers said that the power button is hard to push.  It does require a certain amount of determination, but overall, not a big deal.

So I guess I'm going to give the Black & Decker to someone as a Christmas present.  Or maybe I'll keep it as a spare.

What I Made Dept:

In a word, vanilla!  I got the idea from Coleen over at Coleen's Recipes.  I decided to try it because it's a simple process, there are only two ingredients involved, and I really like high-quality vanilla.  I used to be able to get Mexican vanilla in the Latino section of the supermarket, but all I can find lately is Mexican imitation vanilla.  Really?

So here's what I started with:

Coleen's instructions call for a quart of vodka, but I determined that that much vanilla extract would outlive me, so I decided to cut the recipe in half.  The beans came from Amazon, the vodka from the liquor store, and the shaker from the Goodwill.  Basically, you cut the beans into half-inch pieces (TIP:  Use kitchen scissors) and soak 'em in the vodka for a month.  When you're done, strain through a coffee filter.
Here's what it looks like after just one week:

Isn't that crazy?  It's so dark already that light doesn't shine through it.  And it smells really good.  I probably should have started this earlier, since Christmas Baking Season is fast approaching, but better late than never, or something like that.

Now let's do a little math.  The beans were 12 bucks, the vodka was 5, and the shaker was a buck-and a half, for a total expenditure of $18.50.  Assuming I get 15 ounces of vanilla out of this (I'm guessing the beans are going to absorb some of the vodka), that comes to $1.23 an ounce.  I think it would have been cheaper if I made a whole quart (4 ounces of beans would be 18 bucks), but the price seems okay to me, as long as it tastes good.  McCormick vanilla was on sale at Weis for $2.00 an ounce, but I don't know if that's high, low, or the going rate.  Anyone?

And that's all I've got for this week.  You're probably tired of reading anyway, right?  Linking up this week with Sir Thrift A Lot, Hey What's For Dinner Mom?, We Call It Junkin  and Vintage Bliss Tuesdays

Monday, October 20, 2014

Thrifting Finds #71: Purely Practical

Well kids, once again Hubs and I were unable to make our usual weekend rounds.  Saturday was spent doing outreach for Hubby's office, which meant all of our Saturday chores had to be pushed forward.  That left precious little time for thrifting.  Still, we managed to get to one Goodwill, and I made multiple purchases.

Not that they were exciting purchases, you understand.  Sometimes, all the thrifts yield are practical items, and I'm okay with that.  It's not like we have a huge house, and I have those unfortunate hoarder tendencies to begin with, so I need to be careful.

Enough blathering.  Here's what I got:

1.  Rubbermaid Jar!  Got this for the purpose of hauling my Half & Half to work.  I bought a newer one but the lid doesn't snap on as tight and it leaks a little bit.  Can't beat the vintage stuff!  Well, it's probably from the '90s, but I think that's considered vintage now.  Goodwill, $.50

2.  Cocktail Shaker! I don't know anything about this, but something tells me it was originally filled with some brand of premixed cocktail.  Not sure why I get that feeling, though.  The top has a crown symbol on it, but I don't recognize it as being the logo for any brand of booze.  Not that I'm an expert, you understand :)  Anyway, I bought this not to make cocktails, but for a different project.  One that I'll report on as soon as I have all the pieces.  Stay tuned--it'll be exciting!*  Goodwill, $1.48.
*Totally won't be exciting.

Discovery Department:

So, does anyone remember the Christmas tablecloth I got a few months back?  No?  Well, why would you?  So here's a picture to jog your memory:

Fast-forward to yesterday when I was looking through the Sears Christmas Wish Book for 1966 and spotted this:

That's the same one, right?  So apparently, my tablecloth was a Sears purchase.  There was no tag, so now I know it's rayon and cotton (that'll be helpful if I ever when I iron it.)  I don't know why, but I always enjoy it when I learn the provenance of things.  Maybe that's why I like it when I get something with the original price sticker on it.

And that's about it for this week, kiddos.  As far as I know, we should be able to cover more thrift ground next week, so hopefully I'll have something fascinating to report--maybe some Christmas Pyrex!  Yeah, like that  will ever happen!

P.S.  The instant coffee I mentioned last week?  Nope, still nasty.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Thrifting Finds #70: Hot Stuff!

Meaning "things to make stuff hot."  You people...

Anyway, you can probably guess that last week was less than fruitful, thrifting-wise.  I did a little better this week.  Nothing truly exciting, still, I'm happy with what I got.

As an aside, it seems like the thrifts have been overflowing with stuff lately.  Crap, of course, but a lot of it.  Have you noticed that too?  I just wish there were something a little better than Wal Mart junk with all the Christmas stuff they're putting out.  Oh, well.  First World problems, right?

So here's what I got!

1.  Regal Hot Pot!  I picked this up because of the coffee situation at work.  I could join the coffee club, but it's a Keurig machine and I think those little pods are way too expensive, not to mention they create an unholy amount of trash.  I used to percolate my own, but the only facilities for washing out the pot, etc. are not very convenient.  So I'm going to see if I can get used to drinking instant.  It used to be pretty nasty, but maybe they've improved it in the last 20 years?  Savers, $2.00.

2.  Yes!  More Corningware!  Hubs pointed this out to me, but I said we already had the serving tray.  I looked more closely though, and discovered this was the Electromatic Heating Tray!  Yay!  You can never have too many heating appliances when the holidays come around.  Unfortunately, the cord for the Electromatic percolator doesn't fit.  Dang,  Now I'm going to have to look for one on ebay, and you can bet it'll be 'spensive.  Goodwill, $5.00.

What I Made Department: More precisely, what I didn't make.  These:

"Meatballs Deluxe."  To be honest, I almost made these.  I had everything done to the point where they were simmering.  I leaned over and took a whiff...  Disgusting.  Really foul.  Horrified, I tasted the sauce.

Easily the worst thing I ever put in my mouth.  Ever.  You cannot imagine how vile this was.

Thinking quickly, I scooped out the meatballs into a strainer and rinsed them off.  Even the garbage disposer gagged when I unloaded the sauce.  I made some brown gravy and saved the day.  But it was a close call, lemme tell you.

Job Update:  Things are settling down some, which is a good thing.  There were a few glitches to take care of, but nothing major (so far.)  It'll take some time before everything beomes routine but isn't that always the way?

And that's it for another installment.  Linking up this week with Sir Thrift A Lot, Hey What's For Dinner Mom?, We Call It Junkin  and Vintage Bliss Tuesdays

Monday, September 29, 2014

Thrifting Finds #69: Yeah, the New Job

To be up front about this, I have absolutely no thrift finds to share with you this week.  Hubs and I didn't get to do our normal rounds, as we were doing an outreach thing for his work.  Still, I have a couple of things I can share if you want to stick around.

So, the new job.  It started last week and we were promised a smooth transition: "We've done this before.  We know what we're doing."  Unfortunately, we took our New Overlords at their word, which was a mistake.

Not that it was a complete clusteryou-know-what, just a partial one.  Things that weren't supposed to fall between the cracks are not only down there, but almost irretrievable.  But it'll get better, right?

And that's pretty optimistic, considering that I'm one of the things between the cracks.  As of Monday, I have the odd position of being both working and unemployed at the same time.  With luck that'll change this week, though really, it's anyone's guess at this point.

One of the things we were warned about by those who went first was the accommodations, or lack thereof.  Lunchroom space is at a premium and I was warned that the toaster oven was "unspeakable."  That was confirmed.

WARNING:  Gross toaster oven picture ahead!  Embiggen at your own risk!!

Nice, huh?

But enough about that.  Too much complaining just makes me grumpier, and nobody wants that.  So let's switch topics and talk about some thrifty finds, 'kay?

Thrifty Buy of the Week!

I don't generally think of Staples as a place to buy anything other than office supplies, and that's a mistake.  F'rinstance, I once got the world's biggest box of Hefty Kitchen bags from Staples for like 9 bucks. Really, a lifetime supply.  A couple of weeks ago, I passed over 48 double rolls of Quilted Northern toilet paper for $19.00 because where the heck am I going to put the equivalent of 96 rolls of toilet paper?  The only thing I could do would be to throw a tablecloth over the box and call it an end table.

I couldn't pass up one of this week's specials--

Thirty ounce can of Maxwell House Coffee--$4.00!  There was a limit of 2 so I got two of 'em.  These are easily twice the price--on sale--at the supermarket.
UPDATE:  I ordered two more online this morning with no trouble.  The limit might just be for in-store purchases.

And another good part--they're being delivered to my door.  If you're a Staples Rewards member (and membership is free), you get free shipping on every order.  I would recommend signing up.

And that's about it for this week, I'm afraid.  I was looking forward to a nice, relaxing weekend that didn't happen.  I'm hoping that Hubs and I are able to make our usual rounds next weekend--and that we'll find plenty of good stuff to report!

Linking up with  Sir Thrift A Lot, Thrifter/Maker/Fixer/Farm, We Call It Junkin  and Vintage Bliss Tuesdays

Monday, September 22, 2014

Thrifting finds #68: A Quickie

<Hushed Voice>
Hey, kids.  I started my new job this morning (long story, I'll tell it if anyone wants to hear), and while I'm waiting for someone to come by and give me my login so I can do some actual work, I thought I'd throw out a quick post.

So I only found one thing, well a pair, really, but it's (they're) kind of nifty.  I actually spotted them last week, but I was too lazy to go out to the car and get the tape measure. They were still there yesterday, so I took it as a sign.  I remembered to take the tape measure in with me this time.

There are actually two of them
MCM end tables!  I already have a pair, but I'm not completely happy with them.  Then when I saw these, well, I hemmed and hawed for a week, but eventually went back for them.  They're quite sturdy and have Formica tops, which is good in our House of Clutzes.  Plus, they fit!  Goodwill, $10.00 each.

And that's it, kids.  Hopefully, next week's post will be somewhat longer but for now, I need to at least look like I'm working.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Thrifting Finds #67: Finally!

At long last I have some good news to report.  Or at least I won't do any whining.  How's that?

Can you guess what's coming?  That's right--I actually have some thrift finds to show you this week!  I mean, how long has it been?  A month?  Two?  Too dang long to suit me, anyway.

Plus, Hubs and I went to a new store that we'd never been to before.  Or stores.  Or store.  I'm really not sure which.  Hubs works with a guy who also likes to thrift and he told us about a place down in Silver Spring, or that general area.  We found it, and it's kind of the strangest setup we've seen.

So it's a Value Village.  So far, so good.  But right next door to it, and without any walls or anything separating it, is something called Unique Thrift.

And the two places were mirror images of each other:  each had a housewares section, toys, clothes, etc of its own.  I'm not sure if the checkout aisles were specific to one of the stores or if they were interchangeable.  I might not be making myself clear here (I'm kind of in a rush today), but take my word for it--it was strange.

Not to mention busy.  We went just after noon on Wednesday, and the place was packed.  I shudder to think what it's like on the weekend.

Other than that, we just made our usual rounds.  Here's what I came up with:

1.  Bigass Corningware Roaster!  I thought I had all the Corningware I needed, but I didn't know this existed.  You can't really tell the scale in the picture, but it's enormous.  Seriously, I could roast Honey in this and still have room for potatoes and carrots!
Not that I ever would, of course.  It was kind of a mess when I got it, but it cleaned up nicely.  I'll be using this on Thanksgiving.  Goodwill, $5.00

2.  Old Razor Blades!  Say what?  Yeah, kind of weird, but I've noticed that these injector blades have a huge cult following.  Plus, they often go for crazy money on ebay.  I'm going to try a pack for myself and see what all the fuss is about.  Once I get the razor, of course.  If I like 'em, then I'll keep all three packs.  If not, I'll sell two.  Goodwill, $0.47/ea.

3.  Barbie's MOD'ern Cousin!  At first, I thought this was Barbie, but it's actually her 15-year-old cousin Francie.  I saw her in a plastic bag on the above mentioned Value Village's Wall O' Crap.  I think what I noticed was the brunette hair in the sea of blonde Barbies.  As far as I can tell, she's a 1969 model, which I think makes her vintage.  She seems to be missing a button on her blouse, and one of the buttons on her skirt fell off, but I still have it, so I'll try to attach it.  Value Village, $3.00

4.  The Plate I need!  Yep, finally found one at a price I was willing to pay.  Oh, and just to make it clear, despite the existence of this plate and the two other pieces of Butterfly Gold I bought this year--I do not collect Butterfly Gold.  Period.  That's my story and I'm sticking to it.  Goodwill, $0.48.

And that's it, but this is more than I've had to report in quite some time!  So this week, I'm not ashamed to link up with Sir Thrift A Lot, Thrifter/Maker/Fixer/Farm, We Call It Junkin  and Vintage Bliss Tuesdays

Monday, September 8, 2014

Thrifting Finds #66: The Hubby Haul

Hi, kids!  Did everyone have a good time out in Thrift Land this weekend?  I hope so, because I sure didn't.

That should come as a surprise to no one.  I seem to be having quite the dry spell lately.

To be completely honest, it's not as if there were absolutely nothing in the thrifts.  If you're a fan of Family Guy, I think each store we visited this weekend had all of the seasons on DVD.  I like Family Guy, but not to the point where I need to own it.

Then there was the Desert Dawn baking dish in pink.  It was in pretty good condition, and I think it was like 4 bucks, but it's not a size that would be of any use, and it's not like I  can put my Pyrex on display, so I passed it up.

The cookbooks seemed to be all modern Rachael-Ray-Mister-Food types, which hold no interest whatsoever.  This may actually be a good thing, as the cookbook backlog is growing.

Anyway, it occurred to me that this blog isn't just about the stuff that I find.  Hubs always goes with me and sometimes he finds things.  Like this week.  He found two things to my zero, so without further ado, here they be:

1.  Blown Glass Thing!  Frankly, we aren't sure what the heck this is, but we've just kind of decided it's a vase.  I keep calling it a Shrimp Cocktail Thing because those flutes at the top would be perfect for shrimp.  If you look closely, you can see my dining room!  Goodwill, $2.00

2.  Heavyass Glass Obelisk!  Seriously, this thing has some heft.  I weighed it on my postal scale and it came out at 8 pounds, 3.4 ounces.  As in the above item, neither Hubs nor I know what the heck this is.  It's solid, so it's not a vase.  So why don't we just call it an objet d'art, and let it go at that.  There's one little chip on the back, which I'm sure is from being manhandled by the Goodwill staff.  Still, it doesn't show, so what the hey.  Goodwill, $5.00, I think.  (That comes out to $1.75/lb  $0.60/lb I CAN'T DO MATH)

Annnnd...that's it.  No fabulous bargains this week and I didn't cook anything interesting.  I know I keep saying this, but maybe next week will be better?

Linking up this week with  Sir Thrift A Lot, Thrifter/Maker/Fixer/Farm,  and We Call It Junkin.