A Little About Me and Junkin'

Let's tall about.....


Okay, let me first start out by saying that my mom was the queen of finding great deals. I remember being kicked out of a St. Vincent de Paul because my mom refused to accept the high dollar price tags on some used pieces of old luggage. Yup, she argued with he manager and told them that they get this stuff free and it is supposed to help people who can't afford to go out and buy new things. And how dare they over price their items so people can't afford them.

I grew up going to yard sales, garage sales, auctions, flea markets and thrift stores. Now, I don't want to give you the feeling that we were dirt poor, we weren't. We were fine. My dad worked two jobs but, we had everything we needed and then some. But, my parents believed in cash, no credit cards. My mom ran the house and the budget. She believed in reusing and re-purposing things. She would much rather reuse a piece of tin foil (wow, does anyone use that term any more? LOL) and save the money she would have used to buy new for our family vacations. It's all the little things that add up.

My mom would find amazing things on curb sides, take them home and re-finish them. She made most of my clothes and they were so awesome that she actually had a list of people who requested my hand me downs when I out grew them (I am the only girl in the family).

I grew up in a great home and have the very BEST childhood memories. And I was taught a lot by my mom. She and I still go thrifting together. You often hear me talk about a shopping trip we went on together.

So, it should be know surprise that my blog is called The Thrifty Groove. I would have to guess that about 30% off the things we buy are new. And those are at bargain prices. Everything else was from junkin'.

Thrift stores....love them and hate them at the same time. Some things you should know about my bargains. First off, I make "rounds" to my thrift stores on a weekly basis. MANY times I go in and want to just scream and throw my hands in the air in disgust at the prices. And I walk out with nothing in my hand. And this really happens a lot to me. I know I am always showing great deals I found but, you have to remember that I stretch our my finds over many posts. When I post some thrifts that I found, they weren't just found that day or even the day before. I spread out the love over weeks! LOL

With that being said, I do find some awesome priced stuff. But, it happens over time quite often. I will see something at Salvation Army and think, "I would buy that if it were half of the asking price" so, I wait until that sticker day is 50% off and hope for the best. About 75% of the time, the item is gone. But, some times I get lucky.

It is a rarity that I just "run into the store". I generally plan out my junkin' adventures. It's my favorite "me time" activity. And I really search through stuff. As you all know, I am one of those irritating people who takes forever going through things. I am the one you all complain about when you are browsing the aisles at thrift stores ('I wish that freakin' woman would move out of the way so I can look at the stuff!').

I also have a pretty good "Walk away from it if it is not a bargain" skill. Which really amazes me. I also have no problem with haggling. And I do walk away from some great stuff because I didn't get the price I wanted. If you are going to haggle, you have to stick to your guns! I am going to tell you about one of those experiences in an upcoming post.

And something to keep in mind. even if it is the same thrift store chain, not all stores price the same. a lot of the time, it can simply depend on the area the store is in. It general is up to the individual store managers. I recently talked to a manager about some of their pricing of the "higher end" items. She said they go online and see what they are listed for on Ebay! Um, hello? just because it is listed on Ebay does NOT mean it gets sold for that price. I know, i have been an Ebay seller for a LOT of years.

On to "Curbside Pickups" and "Dumpster Diving".

I do both! I see it as the ultimate recycling. This stuff is headed for the landfills. It always amazes me the things people throw out instead of donating. of course, these days I also know for a fact that a lot of people put things out at the curb in hopes someone will come along and pick it up. And dumpster diving? I do follow the laws. If it is posted, "No Dumpster Diving" I don't go through it. However, I have found some amazing things sitting next to dumpsters or hanging out of them. I won't even get into a list of all the things we have gotten. But, here are just a couple of things:

* 6 dressers
* a wheel barrow
* an entire gym of work out equipment
* a new gas can with gas
* a new propane tank with propane
* 3 brand new Coleman coolers
* A china Cabinet
* an end of the bed bench

These really are just a few items we have found that were in perfect or near perfect condition in just the last couple of years. The list is long! A lot of the things we find are given to family or friends who need them. A good example is the dressers. My brother, after a recent divorce had to move into a new home with his 3 teenage sons. All of them needed dressers. The wheel barrow went straight to my dad. We didn't need any coolers so, we took them camping with us one year. And offered them to any campers who needed a cooler.

So, junkin' not only can benefit you but, it helps out others.

Okay, I didn't realize how long winded I was getting on this post LOL I could seriously go on and on about this subject but, then we would have people all over falling asleep at their computers! LOL so, I won't even go into yard sales, garage sales, church basement sales, outdoor flea markets, estate sales, Craigslist, Freecycle, and so many more junkin' places!

Don't forget to check out this week's giveaway!
It is for this beautiful blue and white rose cake plate and server!!

Subscribe to The Thrifty Groove by Email


  1. Diann I am a novice compared to you!!! I see things sometimes but have no way to 'get' them. Now I can sometimes pickup stuff, but the ultimate would be if I had a truck. Still I do pretty well in the thrift store finds, I agree making the rounds and knowing when to walk away is how you get the best bargains. I wanted more on yard sales, etc.....maybe another post soon???

  2. I'm with Linda...I am a junking novice compared to you. I shop the thrifts on a weekly basis and an occasional antique mall but I haven't done any dumpster diving. My husband doesn't have the same love for thrifty items so if I would rescue anything big out of a dumpster he would probably throw it right back in!
    I enjoyed your post.

  3. Diann, I'm the Queen of the junkers in this family. But I'm also very frustrated lately at both thrift store pricing (ours does the Ebay thing too!! GRRRR) and also with people who have a yard sale and price according to a " I saw one JUST like this in Macy's last week!" mindset. Ummm... the one in Macy's is new and if I'm going to spend the same price, I'll get it there!
    xoxo Pattie

  4. Hi Diann,
    I'd say that we novice junkers have a great deal to learn and we can learn it from you with all this good advice and information.

    I have noticed that prices are going up at our local thrifts and it's rare that they will negotiate. Also the Habitat Resale stores are raising their prices.
    Thrifting is becoming popular with everyone now, so there ya go!


  5. I've never heard anyone else call it "Junking". It's a wonderful pass time my adult daughters and I love to do.

    My best find was a silk robe from Saks, with the original tag still on it.... That was a little local thrift shop!!

  6. We share A LOT of the same experinces...My Mom sewed all our clothes for years, parents took us to the flea market starting in jr high and I've been into garage sales for YEARS...love free curb stuff, estate sales, thrift stores and more!!! IT'S THE THRILL OF THE HUNT!!!
    Deb :)

  7. Thank you for ths lovely and fun introduction! I also love thrift stores, secon-hand bookstores, etc, etc... :o)

    Kisses from Nydia.

  8. Oh you are a woman after my own heart! The joy of a bargain find is far more rewarding than feeling absolutely ripped off by expensive items we are led to believe "We must have!"
    Thanks so much for contributing!
    Denise (ABC Team)

  9. Do you give lessons in junking? Wow! I like jumble sales and second hand shops, and in the past quite a bit of my furniture came from there. Nowadays it's mostly the extras in my home and books. The best buy I ever made was of a breadbox. It was priced at 4,50 guilders (2 euros) and I bought it immediately. My sister wanted one as well, so the week after I tried to find one for her. The only ones were in antiques shops and cost ten times as much as I paid for them and they only looked half as good!

    Now I just need to learn how to haggle...

  10. I rarely pay full price for anything anymore. But I do draw the line at dumpster diving. :-) Junkin' is sort of like a fun scavenger hunt!

  11. I loved hearing about your "junkin" history! I love to go junkin! I love yard sales the best and then church flea markets. You can pick up some great things at those 2. Thrift shop prices have gone through the roof lately. I think they are taking advantage of their recent surge in popularity because of the economy!! I was not brought up enjoying the treasures that Junkin could provide. My Mother would have died first then to walk into a thrift store other then to leave a donation. She was always driven by what others would say or think until I did show her what could be had from junkin. At the end of her life, she did join me on many yard sake excursions and we had great times doing that,for which I am grateful for those memories!

  12. I certainly agree. Sometimes the items are so overpriced. I take it a step further and ask them to reduce the price. I always ask the people I know. Sometimes they even discount my items because Im a regular.

    Mr. Goodwill Hunting

  13. I grew up in the era of jumble sales and my goodness! Didn't we find some bargains! I started my married life with a Murphy Richards iron I picked up at a jumble sale for about 25p and it lasted for years! Love the treasure hunt and the bargains to be had. I do agree about charity shops these days. Time was they were great places to hunt a bargain, but sadly, no more.

  14. There are lots of entrepreneurs on garbage night in these parts.
    Totally agree that it's not a bargain if you really don't want/need it.


Thank you for taking the time to comment! I love to hear your ideas. If you ask a question, I will answer it here in a comment back to you. Please check back! Thank you for visiting and have a wonderful day! Diann :)