September 02, 2011

I Wish I would have bought .... and Tightwad Gazette III

Have you ever found something that you would like to buy at a garage sale or auction but your spouse says absolutely not? Well, sometimes I get these crazy decorating ideas and my husband looks at me and shakes his head. Normally he goes along with many things such as the colors we painted the exterior of our house and the colors I painted in our living room, but last year he put his foot down about something I wanted to buy.

I really wish he would have said yes as I had a place for this item in our yard and I imagined what it would look like. I tried to explain to my husband that this item would look very “Kitschy” and then I had to try to explain what that was.

We were riding our bikes one evening and I saw what seemed like a wonderful purchase. We drove by this house for the next few days and I kept gawking at it until I finally told my husband that we should buy it. For $100 we could have been the owners of a 1950’s little trailer.

It looked very much like this but it was yellow instead of red and a little smaller.  I wanted to put it in our backyard and then put a little awning in the front of it. My plan was to store our garden supplies inside it or I was going to make it look old again with newer cushions and pretty little curtains in it and we could sit in front of it and read or sit in it and read and relax on rainy days. It was just something cutesy that I thought would be really cool to have in our backyard.

But my husband was a definite “No way” to this idea. I regret not working on him a little longer as I really wish I had this. Oh well – perhaps there will be another one on sale in a couple of years when I have worn him down.

This is the only purchase I have ever regretted not making. Usually it is the other way around in that I will buy something and regret purchasing it later on.

Now some tips from Amy Dacyczyn of the Tightwad Gazette III.

When Amy was a child her mom shopped at a grocery store that had a bin full of imperfect fruit, brown bananas and grapes that had been separated from their bunches. These items were sold at a reduced price.

With all of the upscale type of grocery stores that became the new trend, (and still are), it is very hard to find sub-prime fruit or vegetables at a reduced price. One day a reader made a comment to her grocery store manager about wishing there were some reduced priced produce to purchase. He told her to come back on Tuesdays, Thursdays or Saturdays and she could have all of the over ripe produce she wanted. Well, she did just that and found herself bringing home bushels and carts of produce for about $1.00 a bushel or cart.

Amy sent a staffer out to several different grocery stores ranging from high end stores to small Mom and Pop stores to investigate any opportunities to purchase reduced produce. Each store had their policies regarding selling over ripe produce. Examples of these policies were selling this type of produce every now and then, donating all of it to a food pantry or a farmer bought it, being careful not to order too too much produce in the first place or throwing it all out. One store did sell over ripe produce at a reduced price when it was available.

So what does it come down to? Being bold enough to ask a store manager if they sell any over ripe produce at a reduced price.

Last year I was canning apple butter and I needed some more apples. When I went to my grocery store, I asked the produce manager if they had any bruised apples to sell. He told me to wait and he would be right back. He came back with a paper sack filled with apples that were in pretty good shape. I purchased these apples for $1.00. Many of the apples were perfect so I picked those out for eating and the rest I used to make applesauce. Now if I want to bake banana bread and there aren’t any over ripe bananas for sale, I simply ask if they have any. Usually the produce manager is able to find some to sell me at a reduced price. It always pays to ask.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

frentslaMartha, you were right .
You should have bought the vintage Shasta. It is collectable and at 100 bucks a steal. I have been wanting one for yrs for a kitchy outdoor writing room.
I love your idea of a garden shed even better. Good luck with your search. Your husband was wrong but you knew that didn t you.