Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Thrifting Finds #58: Do I smell bacon?

I smell something, that's for darn sure.

Anyway, it was a significantly better weekend at the thrifts this time around.  However, I am becoming more and more convinced that I'm kind of a Thrift Jinx or something.

Case in point:  Our everyday china is Corning Centura (with the blue cornflowers, natch.)  All the experts say not to put it in the microwave, which always seemed kind of silly to me.  It's Corningware after all, right?  Well, I've been microwaving it with impudence for years now, with no ill effects.  Until the other night, that is.  While reheating something, a chunk just sort of parted with the rest of the plate and shot across the microwave.  It didn't sound quite like a gunshot, but it was loud and weird enough to startle me.

Okay, so point taken.  No more microwaving of Centura for me.  Don't need a house to fall on me, no sir.  So I figured I'd pick up a few Butterfly Gold or Spring Green Corelle plates at the Goodwill this weekend, since you really can't turn around without stumbling across a whole stack.

You see what's coming, right?

We visited eight thrifts this weekend and not a single plate.  See what I mean?  Every other time we've gone I've seen stacks and stacks of them.  Now that I want them...

But enough complaining, since I did pick up some good stuff this week:

1.  Eye-Fi!  I'd been toying with the idea of getting one of these for a while now, but just never found one at a price I was willing to pay.  This one (8GB) runs $44.00 at Amazon.  What you do is stick it in your camera and when you take a picture, it automatically sends it (via WiFi) to your computer.  I don't use my camera much because it's a pain to either take the SD card out and put in in the computer or connect the camera with the cord and have to tell Kodak that I don't want your software, thanks.  After a couple of stumbles, this worked just great.  And you can see that I got a really good price!  Rescue Mission Thrift:  $5.00

2.  Coffematic II!  I had one of these years ago and it was the best drip coffeemaker ever. It eventually wore out, and I have no idea what I replaced it with.  You may remember the new percolator from last week.  Wellsir, no matter how cool it looked, it made the worst coffee ever.  No matter what, the grounds overflowed the basket and made the coffee positively crunchy. This was in a taped-shut box for a completely different machine and when I opened it up, I was pleasantly surprised.  It may never have been used, it was that immaculate. Plus, it was half-off day at the Goodwill, so I got it for cheap.  'Course, now we have to get used to a new coffeemaker, but I'm guessing this won't be the last time...  Goodwill, $1.50(!!)

3.  Bacon! Baconbaconbacon!  This is the Hamilton Beach Baconer, and the previous owner was nice enough to put the instructions inside:

Basically, it's a pop-up toaster for bacon, which sounds awesome, but must be an absolute pain to clean.  I cleaned it up and plugged it in and it smoked for a while from whatever leftover grease was there.  It's in nice condition, though it has obviously been used.  This is not going to be part of the collection.  I've seen these go for mad bucks on ebay, so that's where it's headed.  Once I get my act together, of course, and actually manage to post some stuff on ebay.  So far, it's mostly been a lot of talk.  Goodwill, $1.50.

And that's it, though I don't think I have anything to be embarrassed about this time around.  Next week I'll fill you in on the Saga of the Glasses, which may be never ending.

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

Monday, May 19, 2014

Thrifting Finds #57: Yeah, I got nothin'

Well, so there wasn't much thrifting happening this weekend.  Instead, I went outlet shopping with a friend of mine on Saturday.  Even that trip was kind of a bust.  I ended up getting the Hub two shirts from Neiman-Marcus and I got myself two chip clips.  It was a huge mall (Potomac Mills) with tons of good stores, but just nothing looked good.

Which was pretty much the case at the Goodwill, too.  We stopped in at one of our usuals on Sunday, and while the store was well-stocked, nothing appealed.

So I don't want to disappoint you, here's a picture of a recent ebay purchase:

1.  GE Percolator!  I saw this on ebay and it immediately appealed because of the color.  I mean, how often do you see a blue percolator?  Hubs doesn't care for it; he thinks it's too frou-frou.  Plus, the lid has a tricky lock thing that he keeps getting jammed.  So this may become a "display only" model.  Which is okay, because that just means I'll have to get something else, right?

RingPlus Update:  Well, I've had the service for over a week now and so far everything has been dandy.  Everything works the way it should, which is really all you can ask for, right?  They did accidentally charge me twice for the first month's service, but they have since corrected that mistake.

And that's it, I'm afraid.  No actual thrift finds, no big news to report, not even a Bargain Of The Week to report.  Hopefully next week will be better.  As far as I know, we should be able to hit all our usual spots again.

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

Monday, May 12, 2014

Thrifting Finds #56: Same old, same old...

So this happened:

Yep, I can legally and officially call him The Hubster now!  We got married on 5/9, and other than a slight flower SNAFU (I ordered two boutonnieres with red roses but was handed one with a white rose), the whole procedure went swimmingly.  We were apparently the 8th couple to get married that morning, and it was lovely to have total strangers stop by and congratulate us as we sat and waited (we got married at the courthouse, btw.)  After exchanging our "I do's", the officiant asked us if we had any big plans, to which we answered at the same time:

Hubster:  I'm going to take these shoes off
Me:  I'm going to put on my slouchy clothes

What can I say?  When we got home, Hubs cleaned the windows in his car and I took a nap.  Yes, it's a glamorous life, indeed!

I kid, but truthfully, I couldn't be happier.  The honest truth is though, that this was the most anti-climactic wedding ever.  We have pretty much considered ourselves married right from the day we met.  Now we have rings and a piece of paper.  I'm reminded of a Sondheim lyric:  Everything's different; nothing's changed.

An interesting thing happened as we left the courthouse and walked back to the car.  We ran into the assistant director of my library system while crossing the street.  We looked at each other, I smiled and said Hi! and got the blankest look ever in return.  It only took me a nanosecond to realize that I was wearing a suit and she had never seen me cleaned up before.  I LOL'ed.

But you're not here to hear about our wedding, you want to see the good stuff I found, right?  Well, I actually have a few things to share this week (surprise, surprise!)  So on with the show:

1.  Divided tray!  We were talking about these at work the other day and my department head (who is a fully grown adult, by the way) wished she had one, as she does not like her food to touch.  When I saw it at the Goodwill, well, I didn't even have to stop and think.  Goodwill, $1.00

1.  RF Modulator!  The new DVD recorder doesn't show a great picture on my ancient TV and the manual said that if the signal goes through an RF modulator (which is has to), the quality will suffer.  I thought I'd try getting a new one to see if that helped and this one was brand-new, sealed, and only three bucks, plus it has an S-Video out port.  When I went to install it, I noticed that my current one has the S Video jack as well, so I didn't really need this.  I also noticed a switch to go from 75 ohms to 1000 and I set it to 75 and it seems the picture improved.  Well, it doesn't hurt to have a spare, right?  Plus, it was certainly cheap.  Goodwill, $3.00

3.  Christmas Tin!  I have been avoiding buying tins because it's a slippery slope, you know?  But this was the first one I've found that was vintage and a picture I like.  We can either use it to store something, or to distribute cookies at Christmastime.  Savers, $1.99

4.  Cool Alarm Clock!  I've never seen anything like this before,  It's an electric alarm clock, but the alarm is a music box!  It has a great mid-century vibe, with the gold flecks in the ivory case and I think it's headed for ebay.  I can't figure out what the tune is, maybe someone can tell me:

Sound familiar?  Anyone?

RingPlus update: So I wasn't going to switch cellphone carriers until the end of the month, but my Virgin Mobile phone died for the second time in one week so I bit the bullet and went ahead and signed on with  RingPlus.  Here's a breakdown of the charges and plans:

Virgin Mobile:  300 talk minutes, unlimited texting, and unlimited data:  $37.00/month with taxes.

RingPlus:  400 talk minutes, 400 texts, 300mb data:  $12.00/month with taxes.

So the two plans aren't really comparable, but I don't think I've ever used more than about 15 minutes of talk in a month and even with the unlimited data plan, I never hit 200mb.  So while the Virgin Mobile plan is definitely cheap, it's still way more than I need.   The RingPlus plan fits me much better, not to mention the fact that it's $25.00 a month cheaper.

The reason RingPlus is so cheap is that when you call someone, instead of listening to the phone ringing, you hear an ad.  As soon as the person answers, the ad stops.  It was a little strange at first, but for $12.00 a month, I'll get used to it fast!

Like Virgin Mobile, there's no contract and you have to buy your own (Sprint) phone.  I got a Samsung Galaxy S3 from Mobile Karma.  It's a refurbished model and cost $170.00.  I ordered it on a Monday and got it on Wednesday.  The thing looks brand-new, too.  So far, I'm loving it.

And that's it for this week, kids.  Sorry I had so little to report ;)  

This week, I'm proud to link up with  Sir Thrift A Lot, Thrifter/Maker/Fixer/Farm, and We Call It Junkin.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Thrifting Finds #55: Here We Go Again!

Greetings, fellow Thrifters!

Before I start bemoaning the sorry state of affairs at the local thrift stores, it's time for me to start kvetching about the weather.

Bet you thought I was done with that, didn't you?  Ha!

Actually, I'm not going to complain, just report.  Last Wednesday I took off work so I could scrub floors (really) and we had rain.  Crazy rain. Insane rain.  Every time I thought it couldn't rain any more, the heavens opened up again.  It was wild.

Let me explain that I love rain.  But this was a bit much, as it caused significant flooding and damage.  Oh, and washed away a street in Baltimore:

Skip ahead to the 1:00 mark to watch it get even worse.

So yeah.  Too much rain.

I was remiss last week in reporting something (darn this short-term memory!)  Hubs and I went to another estate sale.  This was totally different from the previous  one.  This one was more of a downsizing sale--all they had was decorative furniture, knicknacks, crystal, silver, and wall art.  And not cheap, either.  There was no kitchen stuff, no linens, nothing of a practical nature.  

Hubs and I really liked the house, though.

Anyway, fast forward to this past weekend.  Hubs had to go in to the office and do some work and I went along to help, which meant we didn't get to do our usual Sunday rounds.  We hit a couple of places but that was it.  I only managed to snag one thing:

1.  DVD Recorder!  Some of you may be asking Didn't we go through this already?  We did, indeed!  Unfortunately, that one didn't work out too well, so we're using this one, which is significantly better.  Need to find a decent remote for it.  Goodwill, $20.00

And that's it for the thrifted finds.  I do, however have a 

Bargain O' The Week!

A: Tide!  I've never tried this particular version before, but it's Tide, you know?  From CVS:
Regular price:  $6.99
Sale price:        $2.94
Coupon:           $2.00
Net price:          $0.94

FreedomPop Update:

Much as I like the idea of FreedomPop, not to mention the price, I have to give up on it.  Turns out I can't make or receive calls from the two places I need to most.  I'll check back in sometime in the future and see if anything's changed but for now, I'm cancelling my account and returning the phone.

My new obsession is Ring Plus.  The plan that fits me best is significantly more expensive than FreedomPop (400 minutes, 400 texts, 300mB data for $12/month including taxes) but the service doesn't rely on VoIP for calls, which is where the problem lay for me. Even at that price, it'll be $25/month cheaper than Virgin Mobile, so that's still some significant savings.
There are some advantages, too:  I can port my old phone number (couldn't with FP) and the service works with Blue Tooth (doesn't with FP, but they're working on it.)
I've ordered a new phone and once I have everything set up I'll report back.

And that's it for this week, kids!  Geez, I hope things pick up at the thrifts soon; I'm getting tired of walking out empty-handed.

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