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Sunday, November 20, 2011

Banking on It

Last week I bought a metal bank at the Westlake Goodwill. I didn't really need it, but I thought it looked interesting. It's a little old-timey car.

To deposit coins, you drop them in the slot at the bottom. Getting your money out requires unscrewing four screws.

While the bank looked old, it didn't look like an antique, so I didn't think it must be worth much. However, while I was in Lynchburg last Thursday evening, I went into an antique store on Main Street and saw a similar bank. It was a different car model, but the color and the metal were the same. It was marked $20. I asked the proprietress about it; she said that it was more likely "vintage" than antique.

On Friday, I did a bit of Googling. Banthrico Inc. of Chicago made a lot of model car banks. Earlier the company was Banker's Thrift. Apparently, during the 50s (and probably earlier), the banks had keys. Since mine has screws, it must not date back that far. Yep, vintage but not antique.

I found the little car bank on eBay for $22.50 . . .

. . . and for $19.95  (although the wheels on this one don't look in very good shape). . .
. . . and for $75!

I guess I did all right by paying $1.99 for mine.

Friday, November 11, 2011

More Catty Things

Today, on my way back from Lake Writers, I stopped at the Westlake Goodwill just to see if they had anything interesting. As a matter of fact, they did. I found this little cat plate that, according to the lable on the back, is actually a "candle plate" in the Cattitude line from Waxcessories. It's about the size of a salad plate.

It's dated 2007 and labeled  "handmade in China." I couldn't find anything about this particular plate online. I did find some other Waxcessories candle plates that varied from $6 to $8. I paid 99¢. I like it because the cat on it looks like Olivia.

I also found some ceramic cat wind chimes for $1.99. There is no identifying mark or label on them, though. I thought they'd look good hanging from the ficus.

Here's a closer look at the main cat. . . 

. . . and some of the kitties.

Also at Goodwill, I found something not cat-related—a small Emerson Creek Pottery flower pot, dated 1996, for 99¢. 

I own some other Emerson Creek stuff (the pottery is in the next county over) and I paid way more than 99¢ for a flower pot this size years ago.

I hadn't intended to buy anything today, but I was glad to find these little decorative items.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Oneida Blues

While I was in Roanoke today, I stopped at the Goodwill at the intersection of Brambleton and Rt. 419. I rarely find anything good in that store, but today I was feeling lucky. I just happened to see a few things I maybe could use—a large wooden initial (55¢), an outdoor sun plaque (55¢), a little cat basket that I can use to hold office supplies (99¢), and a small ceramic something that looks like a coaster (55¢).

Not great finds, but cheap enough. I kept browsing, though, and found some white soup bowls with blue rims (4 for a dollar).

I can always use bowls that size and I loved the color, so I bought all six. Further down the aisle I spotted some matching salad plates. Further down, I saw dinner plates.

Hmmm. Should I get them. Why not?  I checked the backs and discovered they were microwave and dishwasher safe. Plus they were a brand name—Oneida—and they were in really good shape. I bought all they had—four salad plates and five dinner plates. My total Goodwill bill came to $6.47, including tax.

Did I get a good deal? I Googled the name—Maitre de Porcelain—and found that the pattern was one Oneida had discontinued, but plenty of it was still for sale online. Here are three screenshots:

Given the prices I found on the Internet, I guess I didn't do too badly. 

Plus these Oneida dishes look great with the Pfaltzgraff ones I bought over a year ago and some I bought last May.


Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Cat Plate

At the Discovery Shop yesterday, I saw a plate I just had to have. It had just been put out. Although it was marked $4, the shop was having a special sale 25% off almost everything, so I got the plate for $3.

At home, I looked at the back and saw it was from "Cats by Nina." 

A bit of Googling turned up her website: Nina's Big Store. I checked her site to see if that plate was on it. It wasn't, but there were some similar cat ear plates:

I clicked on them and found what they sell for:

I guess I got a good deal.

Edited to add: I got in touch with Nina Lyman, who creates wonderful animal art on her website. Turns out my cat plate is a reproduction. But it's still a really nice plate.


Sunday, September 25, 2011

Saving on Gas

We always let our Kroger gas points accumulate to the end of the month. This afternoon, following a recent drop in gas prices, we figured we'd better fill up.

Here's the recently lowered price:

We packed Ol' Blue with a lot of gas cans. (When we pulled in beside the pumps, we noticed two other people who had done the same thing.)

Here's how much we'll save on each gallon:

Naturally, we chose Y. We filled up Ol' Blue and a bunch of the gas cans. So here's how much each gallon will cost:

That's a lot better than the price had been for a long time. This particular Kroger has a $125 limit, and we reached it.  See?


Friday, September 2, 2011

Coming Up Roses

I love miniature rose bushes, and I have several planted in my yard. But I hate to pay full price for them, so I usually wait until the store reduces the price. That's what Kroger finally did last Tuesday. When the price dropped to $1.99 each, I bought four.

I'd almost thrown away the coupon for a dollar off a $5.00 or more purchase from the floral department because I figured I wouldn't use it. However, it was still in my coupon holder, so I used it. Plus, it was Senior Citizens' Day, so that took off another 5%.

It pays to shop at the right time—and to use coupons.


Thursday, September 1, 2011

Going Blue

When I visited the Discovery Shop and the Westlake Goodwill yesterday, I must have been feeling blue.

At the Discovery Shop, I found some towels and washcloths in blue. Each pile was $2.00 They'll go in the main bathroom with all the other blue towels.

I scored a even better buy on blue placemats. The two on top were 75¢ for both; the two on the bottom were 25¢ for both. Also in the 25¢ bin was a little book about the meanings of dreams. It even had an attached bookmark. Well, it's not blue, but it was a good deal; originally it sold for $4.99.

At Goodwill, I found more blue—or at least bluish—stuff. The decorative dish, receiving a cat scan from my senior cat Foxy, had a lot of blue. It was 99¢.

You can see the blue details here:

I also bought a grapevine wreath with blue flowers for $1.99. It looks great on my yellow door.

Finally, I splurged and spent $4.99 for a Vera Bradley bag. The picture below doesn't do it justice. It's a lighter blue than what appears.

The bag has been modified, though. It originally had a zipper closure, but the zipper part has been turned under and a velcro closure has been sewn inside. I don't know if the buttons which secure the turned-down part originally came on the bag or not, but they look good with it. Here's a detail (with the correct color of blue):

Finally, I bought a blue top for $3.50. It's kind of whimsical, but I should be able to find a place to wear it. Again, the picture doesn't do it justice:

And those are my blues from yesterday. All are things that I can use. 

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Good Buys for July

I scored a few good buys in the last few days, although a few were splurges for me.

Saturday, we went to the new Tractor Supply grand opening, but it was so crowded we didn't stay long. While we were in the neighborhood, though, we stopped at Purrfect Treasures. I'd heard the cat lamp that had been $50 for months and months was reduced to $35. I splurged and bought it.

I'm not sure where it will end up, but it looks nice in the den—which has a cat and horse theme. On the way home, we stopped at Foster's Greenhouse. I figured some of their plants might be reduced. 

I was right. I bought two daisies and an ornamental oregano for $6.25

Closer to home, we noticed a yard sale. This metal flower holder was marked $5 but I got it for $3.

Here's how it looks propped up with my new plants in the holders:

I'll still have to find a good place to hang it. I'm thinking on the patio. Meanwhile, on our way to Bedford yesterday, we stopped at the Westlake Goodwill where I found a full-sized quilt for $15.99.

That price was another splurge for me, but I really liked it. Here's a close-up of the center. 

 I love the colors. It was made on a sewing machine, but was hand-quilted. It looks old, but the backing is a polyester cotton blend. It has been washed several times, appears colorfast, and is wonderfully soft. Because it's so lightweight, it's perfect for summer.

So—those are my good buys for mid-July.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Pot, Pig, and Plants

I stopped briefly at the Rocky Mount Goodwill and found two goodies for only 50¢ each.

The pot (or maybe it's a vase) is, according to what's left of the label on the bottom, from an FTD arrangement. No markings were on the little folk art pig.

Later, at Kroger's, I noticed that the mums had been marked down from their regular $9.99 price. I bought two.

How much did I pay? Can you see the label in the picture below?

I paid $2.99 each.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

May Savings

On the last day of May, we wanted to up our Kroger gas points to 1,000. We'd let our points accumulate so we could get a dollar off a gallon. Gas prices have been so high, that we had cut back on our driving. But now that prices have dropped, we decided to fill up again. We only needed to spend another $200 at Kroger today to make our 1,000 points, so we knew we'd do it.

I had a lot of coupons to use. First I downloaded some onto my card from and printed out the list:

I'd already clipped some coupons from the newspaper and filed them. Plus I had a bunch of coupons that Kroger had mailed me, including two "checks" for $15 each.

At the Rocky Mount Kroger, I couponed another $25.39 off my total. Plus, I'd used my card to get some discounts ("Kroger Plus Savings") of $74.90.  Then there was the senior citizen discount of $12.83. 

My total grocery bill came to 222.88. We ran out of our resusable bags and had to get two paper bags. It took two large and one small shopping card to get the groceries to the parking lot, where they filled the back of the old PT (which holds more with the back seats removed):

After we'd  unloaded the groceries and had lunch, we took my old truck and a bunch of gas cans and headed for the Westlake Kroger, where gas was a few cents cheaper than the one in Rocky Mount. We were able to get 51.889 gallons (at $2.409 a gallon) before the pump stopped. Total $125. That'll keep the lawn mowers and the truck going for a while.

On the way home, we stopped at Goodwill, where I found some three Pfaltzgraff dinner plates in my pattern (either Blue Sky or Denim—they're similar), four salad plates, and three saucers for 49¢ a piece, a picture frame that looks like it's made of money, a interesting-looking tote bag, and a flower pot. 

I spent a total of $9.54 at Goodwill. 

I'm proud to be a cheapskate.