This was an interesting weekend as far as frugality goes. I scored a couple of big frugal wins:
The Lost Sock Drawer
A few years ago I decided not to throw out any of my orphaned socks that have no matches coming from the laundry. Instead I saved them in the “lost sock drawer.” My thinking was that even if one sock was ripped or torn, it’s partner may find another partner who has experienced a similar fate. Then they can live together (and maybe their partners will meet up in sock heaven).
Recently, it became very difficult to close my lost sock drawer. It was time to see if I could match some of them up.
I was surprised how many socks I was able to match up!
That’s 35 pairs of socks for those not interested in counting. There were so many socks that I couldn’t put them all in my (found?) sock drawer. I ended up stocking many of them as pairs in the lost sock drawer. I hope they don’t have hurt feelings, but I was able to give them the remaining 23 orphaned socks as friends.
It might be a very long before I need to buy more socks.
Our family went to a church fundraiser this past weekend. I don’t really fit in at an English tea, but the wife liked the idea. We weren’t sure if the 2 and 3 year old were going to behave for it, but there was only one way to find out.
When we got there, we were surprised to find that they had a children’s English tea that was Harry Potter themed. We changed plans and bought tickets for our kids. They did a terrific job with exception attention to detail. I think it helped that the teenagers volunteering to help run it were enthusiastic about being Harry Potter characters.
It was a great time and they had other things such as a petting zoo for the kids too.
As we were leaving, we noticed a book tent. It was mostly books, but there were also a lot of CDs and DVDs. I wasn’t too interested in the books… I have a few dozen on my shelf that I want to read that I will probably never get to.
I thought about the DVDs, but they seemed to be either movies that I had seen or ones that I didn’t have big interest in seeing. One of the exceptions was Rent. I figured it was probably worth a couple of dollars even though I’ve seen it a couple of times.
It was the end of the day. They didn’t want to haul all the books away. Instead they decided they’d sell a bag for 5 dollars and let people fill it with whatever they wanted in the tent. We jumped on the opportunity. My wife and I must have come away with 20 books (and the Rent DVD). We even got the SpongeBob SquarePants Movie Soundtrack for the kids. Yes, it’s a movie they haven’t seen, but maybe some day they will and we’ll be happy to have the DVD.
My books tended to be personal finance books and self-improvement books (fodder for Be Better Now). My wife’s books tended to be fiction books (typically ones that have been made into movies).
The lesson: While showing up early gives you the best picks of the litter, you can often score some big deals at the close as well. I’ve found that this works well for yard sales and farmer’s markets.