Fun

Atlas Insider: After the Party, There’s an Afterparty

By Ann Shayne
July 10, 2022

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368 Comments
  • A vintage, navy blue velvet evening gown. Huge velvet bow on the bustle, plunging (but demure) neckline. Makes me feel (still) like a movie star. Goodwill in Pittsburgh. $25. About 30 years ago.

    • I found a pattern I had been looking for for years (out of print, and not available online) at a LYS, and it was in a basket of patterns they were giving away for free!

      • A small vintage tiger maple table that fits perfectly in my kitchen. I happened to mention in passing to a colleague I was searching for one – and he said “sounds like the one my wife has in the garage and has been trying to get rid of!”

        • A recent trip to PA included a visit to a yarn shop. As I entered the store, the owner said that everything in the store was half off. I chose yarn for 3 projects. Beautiful yarn at an excellent price, I couldn’t have been happier!

        • I hit the jackpot last Black Friday. I was at the mall and they have a Humane Society location there. My sister and I stopped by to see what dogs they had. The dogs weren’t there yet and we were just about to leave when they brought a dog in from the main shelter. Needless to say, I went home with the sweetest 1.5 year old Shih Tzu!!!!

        • A Lenox cup and saucer, numbered, from a very elegant jewelry store in Philadelphia. This poor single was on a thrift table in Maryland for $5. Now if I can find its pair! Tea for two!!

        • Best deal ever was at the day after Christmas sale in the late 80s at The Bon Marche. Scored two twin size down comforter for $10 each. Still use them!

      • My own jeans! I accidentally gave them away to the thrift store, my all time favorite pair. Realized it a couple of weeks later, rushed there, and found them, kleenex still in the pocket. Had to buy them back. The cashier commented about how often she hears this same story, lol.

        • I love your story!

        • Brilliant story!

    • While in a thrift shop at checkout a woman came into the line with an adorable teacup Yorkie under her arm. The dog fan in me reached out and she began to laugh.
      “ It’s a purse she says! I found it here on the shelf. My husband won’t let me get a real dog. When I saw this I had to have it. This will really freak him out!”

      • When I was broke in my early 20’s I found a high- fashion brand of heels, never worn, for $15. I bought them, ramen noodles, and generic toilet pair that day – all in the same store.

    • In the 1980s I found a pair of Bass penny loafers for $5 at an outlet store. I wore them for years before having them resoled.

  • A handbag. I’d been saying for years that if I ever found this particular bag I’d buy it. On vacation in DC, I walked into the store and surprise!

    • Thrifted Chanel jeans, Stella McCartney bikini and more! I love secondhand treasures!

      • In a thrift shop in NC my daughter & I found a cute Chanel bag for $20 that I thought was probably a knockoff. My fashionista girl knew otherwise.

    • Yankee magazine used to have a swap column. A retired Shop teacher in Brooklyn offered a Structo Table Loom for free. He had taught weaving to boys in the New York school system for decades. I was living in Chicago with two small kids but my parents were able to drive down from Connecticut to pick it up. Next trip home I packed it up and got it to Chicago. My first loom!

    • An ugly piece of furniture no one wanted at an auction for $50. When cleaned it was a beautiful tiger maple wood in perfect condition!

  • A beautiful velour bathrobe, leopard print, tags still on, at the local thrift store for. $6.00! Original price almost $100.00.

    • I found my wedding dress on a sales rack at a local department store for $12.

  • Best money I ever spent…. the nominal fee for adopting my cat Stella. A rescue from a feral colony, it took time for Stella to warm up. But she is a real lap cat now, a purring machine, and has zero interest in going outside! She rescued me.

    • A Marge Carson chair – on sale then extra discount applied. Still love this chair!

      • I found a (list price) $300 dress on line for $29. It arrived. It fit. But I hated the color on me…a very pale mint green. Not returnable. I bought commercial dye specially made for silk fabric and dyed the dress a deep marine blue. Beautiful!

        • A 24.99 pair of Birkenstock Arizonas…they’d gotten shoved back on a shelf from the previous year so were marked down the following. Brown leather, in my size…perfect!

    • I didn’t think about that until I read your comment after I had answered but you are correct. All the fur babies I have rescued are the deal of the century. The saying that you can’t buy love is wrong. You can. Just go to your local shelter where you will find love patiently waiting for you.

      • ❤️

        • Over the years our dogs have been pre-owned. Our cats have been foundlings. The newest one showed up 7-13-21. A very pregnant, starving cat. She was only about 8-10 months old. 2½ weeks later she had 6 healthy kittens. We were able to place 3 kittens. So we now have our previously only male cat, the mom, and 3 kittens.
          Been quite an interesting year.

          I’m all for giving animals a 2nd chance.

      • You are so right. My massage therapist’s cat needed a new home three years ago, and his love is a daily gift.

    • Funny coincidence. I too rescued a 2 yr old female feral cat that was destined to be put down because no one would take her. Yes it took 2 more yrs of hard work and patience but the “ purring machine” is still here 13 yrs later and she absolutely will not go outside. They know how tough it is to live out there and how good it is inside with a caring host.

  • I went to a thrift store to look for a sweater that I could unravel and repurpose the yarn – an idea I had seen online and wanted to try. I found a red 100% cashmere pullover that was in perfect condition that had been knitted in pieces so I would be able to unravel it. It had a large black mark on it and it was priced at $8.00. I bought it and later realized that it wouldn’t be easy to unravel since the yarn had such a halo. So I washed it and the black mark easily came out. It fit me so I now have a beautiful cashmere sweater worth a couple hundred dollars that I got for eight.

  • The gown for my daughter’s wedding. The same exact dress I was planning to buy for full price ($$$) at one store was on the sale rack at another for $30.! It was a size 2 (I’m NOT a size 2) and I was tempted to wear it with tags dangling from it. My daughter’s good sense prevailed (no tags) and I tried very hard not to tell everyone what a good bargain I’d gotten.

  • An antique Frank Young spinning wheel! We went to pick up a loom that was listed for free on a local buying website. Said loom lived in a storage area of a barn and the owner told me to look around and see if there were other weaving items I’d like to have. I spotted a beautiful, in near perfect condition, Frank Young spinning wheel! I asked if it was for sale and she said, “Yes, is $30 too much?” My best find ever!

  • I enjoy shopping at our local thrift store where I can usually find high end brands that are in great condition for a small fraction of their retail price.

  • I scored a bag of craft kits for $5 at my local Goodwill store. Enough to keep me busy for along time and extra to gift to a friend.

  • I always shop the sales. The best is always whatever I just bought!

  • my best find was a complete set of interchangeable needles for $1.00 at a thrift shop…they thought they were broken!

    • Probably my best bargain has been my husband of 40+years! He can find bargains and if they need fixing he knows the tricks. His most recent find (on Freecycle)—-a Levolor blind, the 8 ft width we needed, appropriate color, works great on the new window he just replaced:)

  • There used to be an awesome consignment shop in Northern Virginia called Twice as Nice. The owner was very particular about the items she accepted for sale. My SIL and I would go on a Saturday and find some incredible things. My best acquisition ever — a bomber jacket made of the softest most exquisite tan leather, in perfect condition. The price tag said $25 and the owner gave it to me for 15 because I bought a bunch of other stuff.

  • Joan and David wood and velvet strappy heels. They were the only pair left in my size and 75% off. It was like they were waiting for me. I’ve had them for 30 years now.

  • A great pair of grey western boots for 1/3 of the price in my often hard to find size. The next day they were back up to full price.

  • I was able to purchase a used spinning wheel and a bunch of other items. Filled a mini van with yarn and the wheel a sewing machine and other things for less than $200

  • Tall brown leather cowboy boots, the kind you would actually ride a horse in, not the pointy embroidered kind. At DSW. For $15.

  • The adoption fee for a rescue dog. She became my daughter’s therapy dog. When my daughter was 11, her father died and she found him. Even before that, she was an anxious kid. They said Bells wasn’t very cuddly, but from the first night she slept with my daughter. All through middle and high school she was there for my daughter. Her pediatrician and I planned for her to take Bells to college as her registered emotional support animal, but she grew strong enough that she didn’t have to! Now, my daughter is a rising senior with a double major and a 3.84 gpa who plans to apply to Harvard for grad school. Bells is an old lady at 14 and is starting to fade. But I am eternally grateful to that dog for helping my daughter grow into a strong, independent young woman. I am so thankful we found her.

    • Your comment made me cry happy tears.

  • A pale pink cocktail dress with sequins on the yoke. It was a 50s style dress and fit me like a glove. I don’t remember exactly how much it was, but certainly less than $10, probably less than $5. I didn’t mind paying for dry cleaning. I wore it a few times to dances in college.

  • I was grocery shopping and found a roast beef for $0.52! I knew it was a mistake so I was going to tell the cashier at the register. The lady in front of me bought a big glass jug of apple cider, which flew out of the cashier’s hands and crashed to the floor. The cashier in the next lane grabbed my groceries and quickly scanned and bagged them. I was so busy trying to avoid glass and a sticky mess that I quickly paid and left completely forgetting about the price of the roast. When I got home I checked my receipt and I had only paid $0.52 for the roast. I called back but the person who answered the phone just said that I had gotten a bargain and hung up.

  • Vintage Fiesta, I trained my dad in what to look for and told him NOT to get excited over a find, that makes the price go up. Well, I thought he would explode when he found that perfect key hole navy teacup for a quarter!

  • A bucle cardigan from the local thrift shop for two dollars. I wore it for years and finally put it in a bag to donate back to the thrift shop. My daughter saw it in the bag and dug it out and wore it for years. She finally decided to donate it back to the thrift shop and put it in a bag to bring it back. I saw it in the bag, it out, and wore it as a bed jacket for years more!

    • My favorite comment!

    • Love it!

  • Last summer I found an Evan Picone dress in my colors at a thrift store, I wore it to a wedding that weekend. $1.60.

  • Twenty years ago I purchased eight sturdy patio chairs, new (Martha Stewart) with cushions. Still sturdy, comfy cushions, best $80 ever spent at KMart.

  • My best “find” was winning the raffle at a Vogue Live event in Chicago a few years ago- a huge bag filled with yarn and accessories including a magnets slap bracelet from Coco knits.

  • Last year I was getting groceries and although salmon wasn’t on my shopping list I stopped at the free standing case and peeked at what they had. I found a huge 3 lb. Piece of fish marked 24 cents. The other pieces were smaller and priced upwards of twenty dollars. So I took it. When I checked out the cashier did a double take at the price but didn’t bother to check into it – not that it mattered. They always sell the items as marked. She just rang me up and I was outta there. At home I looked more closely at the label. The weight was marked .01 lbs or something minuscule like that. It looked like the label got stuck when it was printing and those sections with the weight and price skipped over several digits. It had been a long time since we had eaten something so extravagant for dinner so I was tickled pink to show my husband my lucky find.

  • I got two Schnauzers for the price of one. Double the fun (and vet bills, over time!). These little guys added so much love and fun to our lives. Best deal ever!

    • My best bargain find? $4 dress slacks by my fav. Clothing designer on the sale rack at Macy’s! It was years ago but I still remember the feeling like I had just won the lottery!

    • Lucky you! I have rescued two mini schnauzers, separately, and it’s been a crazy and joyful life!

    • I give up! It’s back to the thrift stores – hoping to to score one of these amazing deals.

  • Cashmere sweaters and other things from a big heap for a dollar per pound at a vintage store called Dollar-a-pound in the 1990s.

  • A beautiful camel’s hair cape, purchased at a thrift shop years ago. A friend had given me a deerstalker’s hat from London (yes, Sherlock Holmes – I’m a big fan), so the cape was a perfect addition. Wore them for many years during the fall months.

  • My Best Buy was the 9” Iron Skillet. Growing up, we had very nice cookware but never cast iron because of its weight and suspected care to keep it seasoned. That cast iron skillet has become our favorite and used several times a day from cooking on the stove and oven to baking. So economical and easy to clean and season or to re-season.

  • I’m still buying things that are just like something my grammie owned. So each of these peculiar things (random vase, beside the door boot scraper, hanging lamp) was an incredible find at the time of purchase and can remain a reminder of my incredible (knitting) grammie.

  • The adoption fee for the best orange cat (apologies to your very good orange cat)!

  • $2 at a garage sale for a Hackman enamel bowl, white with big red hearts circling the rim. Bought because it’s adorable and a little research shows it is vintage and worth more than $100. Not selling.

    • I went to Salvation Army to drop off clothes and there was a Peg Perego John Deer Gator for $50.00. My boys were so happy when I said we could get it

  • My first coffee table was the largest tile I have ever seen in a wooden frame. It was $2.00 at the yard sale. I repainted the wood and my son has it now 40 years old.

  • Two Mardi Gras gowns (I live in New Orleans) at the Junior League thrift shop for $20 each. Someone who was exactly my size and has exactly my taste in gowns must have turned them in right before I went gown shopping. I also have a friend with a resale business who knows my taste and size and will sometimes grab things for me when she goes thrifting. She found me an amazing jacket/poncho from the llate 50s/early 60s that is beautifully made and exactly my style. I don’t know exactly what she paid (she would not take any money from me) but she said that it was just in with all the junky clothes at the thrift store and priced accordingly.

  • My sister in law used to shop at a place called Unclaimed Baggage in Alabama. Full of stuff from airplane cargo and such. I asked her to look for knitting stuff. She brought me a giant trash bag sized load of various partial projects and such that she got for 50 bucks. Upon sorting it out, there were at least 20 sets of needles and a Clover interchangeable set, along with a gadget called a Knit Kit of tools for travel. Those 2 items had a value of over 150 dollars, so all the other stuff was bonus. I was like a kid in the candy store!

  • Really great yarn for a fraction of the original cost at the thrift store… can’t remember all the bargains exactly over the years but there’s been many!

    • I bought a pleather (when it was a things 2010s?) motorcycle jacket from Century 21 for $25 and I wore it everywhere! It went with everything with jeans, over dresses, even party dresses! It lived until two years ago when it was repurposed as a costume for the high school band!

  • Walking through a shop, I found a $60 piece of luggage on sale for $17. That was years ago and I still use it.

  • At a flea market I got several new cases of canning jars for $1-2 ea. I made lots of salsa, pickles, and dilly beans that year!

    • As a newly wed AF wife, I bought a seasoned iron skillet a a local flea-market for 50 cents.
      This past January, my husband and I celebrated our 50th wedding anniversary & the skillet is still in use today. I marvel at its versatility; it is my 2nd best treasure but always the 1st thing I unpacked at our new duty station.

  • A pair of 9 West Mary Jane heels for $10. The main time having small feet pays off. Or a pair of Ariat boots for $20. I also found some nice fingering weight wool, 2 skeins at $1 ea at Goodwiil

    • Currently it has to be the used big wheel tricycle I bought my first grandson at goodwill for $4.98. He has ridden that bike till the plastic tires are worn down and cracked. His little brother is starting to play with it and we’ll see if lasts for the next boy. That’s a lot of joy and fun for 5 bucks!

  • I got some great finds at the local Salvation Army when I was in college. One visit I found two skirts, one black leather and one brown suede, for a few dollars each. The best find there was a huge sweater hand-knit in Ecuador that I scored for $5. It’s beautiful, bulky yarn, and so warm that I use it instead of a coat in winter. Still gets worn regularly, and I’ve had it for 20 years!

  • Beautiful handblown crystal goblets that would have been always out of my reach. I love using them all the time knowing they cost me virtually nothing

  • Never have enough bags!

  • My new residence last year was a surprise. So glad I found it.

    • BOGO event at our local animal rescue. 2 older fur-faced boys rescued us that day. Moved right in like they owned the joint and were always meant to be with us

  • Some of my best bargains were found in Hong Kong both times there. Almost 20 years later I still use a portable clothesline that cost less than $1 , also have draperies made from fabric found at a huge fabric market.

  • A brand new Burberry quilted jacket for $30 at a sadly departed local thrift shop.

  • I bought a $140 purse for $14 because it was mismarked as were all of that style.

    • A small cast iron skillet for $5 at a neighborhood garage sale that I gifted to my best friend for her birthday (she’s an avid collector!)

  • I found a linen shirt in the sale bin for $5 about 8 yeras ago that i still wear all the time.

  • I’m a real estate agent who has been gifted someone’s stash when they needed to do a serious downsize of their home and storage capabilities. Twice.

  • A $150 cashmere blazer, beautiful coral color. On sale for $20. I was Christmas shopping and told myself no. Finished shopping and came back to it one more time. Decided to buy myself a Christmas gift!

  • My $140 silk skirt on the clearance rack for $7. Loved & wore it to death.

  • I got a national park lifetime senior pass before the price increased from $10 to $80. Covid and age have had a huge impact on our travel but we have visited several western parks on the pass.
    What a treasure the parks are, and the long cross country drive allowed time for knitting.

  • Just had a new patio laid. The patio set I wanted was $1999.00. Found it online for $699.00. While on vacation I went to the brick and motar store, they had the same set for $199.00. So I bought 2 sets.

  • Have to agree with many others! My dog! He has brought me such joy and unconditional love. An unbelievable bargain at any price!

  • An Icelandic poncho in the 70’s! It was waaay too expensive for me to start, but evidently everyone else thought so, too! By summer it had been marked down multiple times and despite the season, I got it for $29!

  • Traveling through a town I saw a going out if business sign at a yarn store. Everything was 75 percent off and there were so many wonderful, high quality yarns!

  • A Lenox Autumn soup tureen that, at the time, was selling for close to $400. The department store was clearing it out and I got it for $50. Don’t use it much but it looks beautiful in the china cabinet!

  • A designer dress in a department store that had been marked down so many times that I paid $1. Still have it and wear it; this woolen dress has cost more in cleaning than the purchase price and sooooo worth it.

  • Mine was a dress that fits me like a glove with side pockets and on sale.

  • In the last 2 wks I tried to return 2 items I didn’t like, one was $20, other $110. Both companies refunded the complete purchase price to me and also told me to keep the products!

  • Just about everything I buy is either on sale or bought second hand, so it’s hard to pick the sweetest deal. Most recent find was two pairs of vintage Ferragamos, excellent condition, for $35 and $40 each.

  • I have to agree with Suzanne Reid that my national park lifetime senior pass is the best bargain I’ve ever scored!

    • Me,too!

    • Ditto!

    • Absolutely! I got my pass before they changed the price. It was a real steal.

  • A local 2nd hand shop has “Bag Day” every Friday … all you can fit in a grocery bag for $3. One Friday, several years ago, I already had a bag fairly full of clothes, but took one more look around. I spotted a Brother Profile 551 knitting machine poking out from under a pile of other things on one of the shelves. It was in its case and appeared to have all its needles in working order. I asked the manager how much they wanted for it and he replied “oh, that will fit in your bag.” I was so surprised. I said I’d be happy to pay more, but he said nobody had known what it was and it took up so much space on the shelf that he just wanted to have it gone, so he was fine with me including it as a part of my bag booty! And, yes, it was fully functional.

  • I am a huge lover of Joji bags and I wait for her sales of seconds. I am great and the fast click!! Lol I was able to snag a hobo bag in the caramel color I wanted !! It holds so much yarn it’s amazing

  • Austin, 1992. I am killing time in an Urban Outfitters. I buy a black and red silky long skirt that’s totally out of character for me, pair it with Urban Decay nails and lips, and it becomes my signature ‘fit for the next five years.

  • A vintage Art Deco cocktail shaker for $2 at a jumble sale. Just needed a good polish. Found an identical one on First Dibs for $225!

  • My German Shepherd rescue.

  • Oh my, it’s The Precious! The Skill Set Tote!!! I must have it!
    My most miraculous find (that still stuns me when I think about it) is a 1st Edition/1st Print in original dust cover of Patricia Cornwell’s first Scarpetta book, Postmortem – in awesome condition – for $.50 – just sitting on a table with a bunch of junk at a yard sale

  • I bought my 1962 Ford Galaxy (robin egg blue!) from my brother for $100 in 1975. It was a gas guzzling beauty, but my friends and I had a blast in it all through high school.

  • I got some great 1/2 price yarn deals at a sell your stash sale at our LYS! Great way to bless others with your excess!

  • My last two years’ Christmas Trees are my dazzling buys. 2020 I got a lovely 8′ spruce free and in 2021, I paid $10 for one. Our local grocery store puts them on deep discount a couple weeks before Christmas day and I’ve timed it just right. They’ve been gorgeous trees that have lasted well into January.

  • I found a string of faceted cherry amber at a local antique shop, hanging with the costume jewelry, for $8. I’d seen similar necklaces at an antique show for $300.

  • A Speech/Language game for $1 that goes for $50 online! Many thanks to the SLP that donated that to Goodwill!

  • There have been a few things, like an almost brand new $800 loom for $50, Joan and David sandals for maybe $15, a sterling silver turquoise inlaid belt buckle for $20. But my favorite is my puppy, who just showed up at our house a week before Christmas, just when I was needing one. Someone dumped her off, at about 8 weeks old. She’s the best!

  • I love a good deal and find! The treasure hunt is sometimes grueling, yet leads me to search. I can’t say that I have one unbelievable deal to share, but have been rewarded many times that keep me in the thrifting journey along with stacking coupons, deals for a best price.

  • In the 80s, a friend and I lucked into a storage locker sell out at an old dry cleaners in Knoxville,TN. I bought an actual truck load of vintage 1920-30s furs, and prohibition era men’s suits,lady’s dresses- spent maybe $40! I sent almost everything to my sister in NYC, and the furs and clothes,all in excellent condition (temperature controlled storage for decades), wound up in stage/film costumery rooms around the city. I think that’s where they belonged….

  • “Best of Rowan” knitting pattern book at Goodwill for $6 – with Kaffe Fasset’s autograph on inside cover page!

  • Canoe paddle from a garage sale. It’s a long story on how I lost my canoe paddle to begin with. I put it out to the fates to find a new one and one Saturday while garage shopping there was my replacement. $10 what a deal!

  • Nothing comes to mind even after reading all of the wonderful comments above. I do like a good sale on most everything I buy…

    Oh wait! the NY Lawn Bowling Club in Central Park! $105 for the season which runs from April through October, equipment included. Endless hours of light exercise and camaraderie as we try to out-bowl our opponents!

  • Many years ago I had the opportunity to get a table saw (yes, I do woodworking when I’m not knitting) but the owner was moving and I had to take his cat if I took the table saw. I had never met the cat. Quite a choice for a non cat person but I did it. The table saw was great but the cat was wonderful. Thomas was a ginger cat with the sweetest personality in the world. I later adopted another cat and they ended up good buddies and both tolerated the dog pretty well. Thomas, and the table saw, – best deal ever!

    • ❤❤❤❤ yay for Thomas!

  • The house we bought 12 years ago during the bad times for housing. Unbelievable price for a new build so we paid cash.

  • I love travelling to a local nursery to buy “rescue perennial plants” on clearance, bring them home and nurse them back to health.

  • Handwoven lime green Indian cotton at 1000 Fabrics in L.A. in 1963. I made a very plain jacket, lined in a matching green, wore it for at least 35 years. Still looking for another 2 yards.

  • A pair of my favorite Converse sneakers for $10 instead of $60!

  • There was a shawl that I always wanted to knit in the suggested yarn, but it was expensive yarn. My kids gave me gift certificate for the yarn as a gift. When I ordered it, I found that it was on sale, and now a better price for me.

  • A $2 Hermes silk scarf at a thrift shop!

  • A local department store was going out of business and my daughter and I were looking through the formalwear, just to look. She’s a film student and we joked about needing an “Oscar dress” for the future. We found a dress that had a slight boo boo – nice grey with a subtle sparkle. A $200 dress marked down to $40 and then 80% off. It came home with us for $8. I miss Lord & Taylor as that is where I got a lot of my office wear.

  • In addition to looking through the yarn bin in thrift stores, I always look through the men’s sweaters. Found a cashmere in my son’s size and color, in perfect condition, for $2. That was a bargain.

  • My best find/buy is knitting related; I found a beautiful swift for sale for $36 in a thrift shop. It was in pristine condition and I’ve used it ever since, giving away my old swift, and always marveling that someone no longer had use for the delightful tool.

  • I bought a skein of hand dyed silk yarn at Goodwill this week for $2.99. It will be part of a lovely handwoven scarf!

  • A vintage leather jacket found thrifting in Canada when I was a teen. With the exchange rate it ended up costing me $6

  • When my husband and I were in college, many years ago, we bought a kitchen table and 4 matching chairs for $8 at Goodwill. When we moved out, left it behind for the next renter – it fit in so nicely.

  • I bought a beautiful painted 3 drawer chest for $180. I was so exited, A year later I saw the same chest in a store in Vale for $1110! 🙂

  • A ceramic chicken fruit bowl. I was smitten!

  • Top three: Two cones of Jaggerspun 2/9 for $4 each at a thrift; a Herman Miller desk chair ($800 at the time) for $50 at a thrift; and an $800 designer down jacket for $29.90 on clearance at Nordstrom Rack.

  • i am not usually a shopper, more of a browser. my best scoop was a lovely bag for my daughter. we were at marshalls, a great place to find deals, looking for some pants to fit her ‘off to college’ bum and waist, a hard fit. anyway, we gave up on the pants, and were on our way out, when she said she needed a bag. she was very specific. it sounded to me like a mary poppins bag, bigger on the inside, if you catch my drift. well, i saw a rather large, flat white rectangle with a bit of bright yellow on the side. i pulled it from the back. this was a white leather bag, with a zippered edge on three sides. it expanded, and expanded, until it was almost an overnight bag. she was excited. now to look at the tag. she was afraid. ‘it’s leather’ she whispered. i pulled out the tag. there was a second sticker and a red marker line both on that darn bag. originally $200 (regular price $400) at marshalls, it had gone through many mark downs until that bag was now $12! i bought it for her, and forgot all about the pants.

  • A porcelain figurine I gave to a friend. I really wanted it for myself, and it was expensive. After she passed away, her family had an estate sale when I was able to purchase it back for myself for $5, and now I remember my friend each time I see it.

  • Non-knitting: GE hand mixer for $2 at Goodwill. Used it for 20 years.
    Knitting-related: 13 hanks of Alice Starmore Dunedin in my LYS clearance room for $2.95 per hank.

  • The Ackworth School Pattern Book for 25 cents at a yard sale (Jacqueline Holdsworth from Needleprint). Out of Print and going for $40 these days. Actually found by a friend, but given to me!

  • Not dazzling but very special – when my son was about 5, and my company had gone under, he wanted cowboy boots for Christmas. In a thrift store I found one pair of cowboy boots, and they were his size, and cost a dollar. He loved them and was especially happy that they were well worn, as that fit with the image he had in his head. (My son, now 36, has always been the BEST receiver of gifts)

  • Really too many to list, but mostly related to my husband. Does that count?

  • I found a 1950 Singer Featherweight sewing Machine at a thrift shop for $5. It had a piece of tape on it that said it was broken. Not so! The bobbin was installed incorrectly. It is in beautiful condition and sews like a dream!

  • I have some yarn stash for years and finally found a pattern to make exact project to knit from a thrift store. Who knew that waiting was worth the wait!

  • Just about a decade ago I found the most flattering BCBG Shift dress at Lord & Taylor for THIRTY DOLLARS ….. gray, purple, white pattern which looks amazing with heels and a long string or two of pearls …. I have worn it to countless events and still can !!!! Thanks MDK for all of the FUN and Inspiration !!

  • The best ‘purchase’ I ever made so I could enjoy knitting: getting laser eye surgery to remove my astigmatism!

  • Black Prada booties found in the children’s department. they fit.

  • Sweater on needles – and I ran out of yarn. Found the needed 2 skeins while on vacation. On sale no less. Always visit the local yarn shops when traveling!!

  • I have a hand pasta machine that one day mysteriously lost its crank handle. So it sat on a high shelf in the pantry, bereft and lonely, the homemade noodles of the past just a semolina dream. Then a year later, I made a random stop at a garage sale. Browsing through all the trinkets, a lone crank handle caught my eye. When I got back home, I discovered it was a perfect fit. Semolina dreams are now drying from every chair available!

  • Back in the 70s, before there was one in every shopping mall, I found some amazingly cheap designer duds at Loehman’s.

  • My daughter had a whole wardrobe of designer clothing that she wore in high school. Every item was from a thrift store. New shirts that were 30.00 we were getting for 1.00 and the denim shorts she liked were 5.00 a pair.

  • A huge Corridale fleece for $10.00. I spun many hours using this fleece!

  • I’m still searching for THE amazing deal….

  • Once I found Lovely wooden box that was full of vintage sewing items, needles and a high quality pair of buttonhole scissors for $7. Another time in a Thrift store, my hubby spotted a very nice tailors ham in with the pillows. When we were checking out, the clerk ask us if we knew what it was because they had no idea whAt it was. My hubby then explained about sleeve rolls and she laughed and said there was one of those over in the pillows too. We bought both for $3.

  • I found a professional level baritone saxophone at a music shop for $3000, less than the original owner paid for it. 35 years old, still in original lacquer with only a few scratches, fully rebuilt and repadded. Replacement cost? minimum $9000. (that was 15 years ago. now it’d cost me $12K.)

  • A heavy (unlike I’ve ever seen since) vintage black cashmere, Chanel-style sweater I found in a thrift shop in 1988 for $3.99. I still wear that sweater in the winter – not a hole or a snag or a missing button. It looks like it must have in the 50s when it was new!

  • Bought a cast iron pot with a cast iron lid in an antique shop somewhere in Idaho probably 45 years ago. $8. And I am still using it. Perfect for pot roasts.

  • My best find was 2 pairs of jeans for my two boys when they were babies. They were on clearance for $2 each,and had adjustable waits and long pant legs. I got two years wear out of them before the boys finally outgrew them!

  • I found a beautiful Newcomb College Pottery vase at a community garage sale for 25 cents. Lucky happy dance here!

  • A Duncan Phyfe drop leaf table at a yard sale for $20. I didn’t know what I was buying, but my daughter was moving & needed a table that would fit into a small space.

  • I always loved when I would find the perfect gift for my Mom. I always felt like she had everything, yet she always cherished whatever she received—right up until the end!!

  • My wedding dress for $22 wasn’t bad!

  • You know how, even in the Before Times, it was impossible to find a Mini Cooper (new or used) for less than $20K? Four years ago, I found one for $14,200. I test-drove it, discovered that it ran like a dream, basically fell in love, haggled the salesman down to $13,500, and went for it. My husband was sure it would turn out to be a lemon in some way, but it still runs like a dream, and I’m still in love with it. (That’s right, Roger Taylor, I’m in love with my car.) I may have used up my remaining lifetime shopping luck with that purchase, but it was entirely worth it!

    • Jules, is it a vintage Mini? I’ve been looking for a 1963 S for years. Had a 2008, enjoyed it, but needed to upsize. May you enjoy yours in good health!

      • Ooh, no, I wasn’t that lucky. 🙂 Mine is a 2015!

  • Back in the 1990s, a knitting friend was moving and she invited several of us to come pick out whatever we wanted from her huge yarn stash for free as she didn’t want to move it. We all took home multiple huge trash bags full of great yarn. My 3 trash bag haul included al sorts of expensive yarn including a very large bag of Alice Starmore shetland wool in a zillion colors that she had gotten on a trip to Scotland. I still have lots of her stash left in my stash.

  • My DIL helped me get through a crowd to pre-order an iPad mini for only $199. I never would have done that on my own (I hate crowds) but she got right in to the sales people in no time

  • I found my mother of the bride dress on the 70% off rack so it cost me $12! The groom’s mother bought her dress sat the same time and spent $150.

  • Five or 6 years ago Target was offering the choice of a current release of iPhone or Samsung phone for 1 cent. So I upgraded both my phone and my DH’s for 2 cents and extended our contract.. The cashier said I didn’t have to actually give her 2 cents, making the new phones truly free.

  • The best $10 I ever spent was the entry fee to attend an “Old School Friday” dance party at a local hotel in 2018. I ended up dancing and falling in love with a gorgeous man that night who became my husband in 2020! ❤️

  • I found a not very attractive, but heavy, gold heart at a garage sale for $5. It turned out to be 14K gold

  • I found a set of interchangeable needles on the freebie table at my quilt guild. But my mother found the ultimate bargain at a California thrift shop, years ago: a San Ildefonso Pueblo pot, signed by Maria Martinez, for $7.00.

  • Walking past a library’s sidewalk yard sale, I saw an old photograph of a late 1800s Native American woman sitting outside of her teepee….for $1. I have treasured ever since.

  • My grandson loved legos when he was younger so I was always on the lookout for them at garage sales to keep on hand for when he visited. One day I found a lego train set priced at $10 and proceeded to talk the seller down to $8 (as you do at garage sales). Later my son looked online to see what it retailed for and imagine my shock to find it was listed at $495. It was in perfect condition and my grandson loved it. He insisted it had to go home with him which it did.

  • 13 years ago one of my co-workers found a kitten in the road and planned to drop him off at the local animal shelter after our business meeting, He was so social that I took him home, quite certain that with a little advertising he would find his way back home. No one claimed him, so Freddie the Freeloader never left.

  • My best find was a very expensive wide soft leather belt. So stylish, I don’t remember the price but it was at least $150 & I found it for $20 dollars. At the time I was working my way through college & I never could have afforded it at the original price.

  • While strolling through one of the department stores in Chicago many years ago I came upon a dress I fell in love with. White lace over blue lining. What a beautiful sight and in my size. But the price was way beyond my secretarial salary. So each time I strolled through the store, I would look
    at the dress. After waiting patiently it was reduced in price and it became mine for 50% off. Unfortunately I don’t have the dress just the happy memory of finding something I loved and had the luck to find on sale.

  • It sounds it will always remember Dash went upstairs and there was her yarn room with good high quality yarn that was going at Bargain Basement prices I ended up with about eight bags of yarn and I still have one bag and net but the rest went quickly! I think fondly of that woman and appreciate her high quality stashing

  • A pewter leather Sundance bag I’d been craving showed up a year later 1/4 price!

  • I bought a beautiful hunter green, princess style light-weight wool coat on sale for $10 when I was 20 years old. Sixty years later I still have the coat and still wear it occasionally when I need a spring coat. I have loved that coat forever!

  • My most amazing buy was a serendipitous stop at a LYS where I fell in love with and bought a kit to make a moebus shawl/cowl. That purchase required me to get my friends to re-teach me how to knit. That was 15 years ago and I’ve never looked back. I LOVE KNITTING!

  • I don’t think I have a story of an amazing find but I do have one of an amazing gift. I am a professional preceptor and have received many small thank you gifts in my life but by far was the student who knew I loved yarn, knew I loved purple and went out of her way to find the perfect skein of yarn for me. I knit up a pair of mitts and every time I wear them I think if her…..

  • A beautiful Irish linen tablecloth that had never been used for $2.

  • A handmade linen hackle, hand forged metal tines, in a junk shop in Oklahoma!

  • I found a composter at a garage sale for $10. I use it turn my fruit and vegetable waste into compost for my vegetable garden. It’s not pretty but it was cheap.

  • First edition of Their Eyes Were Watching God for 50 cents at a yard sale on Mullet Day in Bluffton, SC. In the yarn category: two giant garbage bags of UNCUT Paternayan yarn in great colors—works well for stranded knitting—for $5.00 each, also at a yard sale, in rural CT.

  • 2 things: -a lovely linen shirt for $5 that wasn’t my size, but when I tried it on, I found it fit perfectly. And second and even more fun, I was able to acquire an all-white, “show-quality” (but retired from showing and from having kitties) female Devon Rex kitty for about $300 back in 2018. These cats, esp if show quality, go for about $1,000 each. The breeder (her owner at the time) said she wasn’t much of a lap kitty. He could not have been more wrong, leading me to suspect that he must never have sat down long enough for her to hop onto his lap. She sleeps with me each night and loves to sit on me and watch birds on the back porch.

  • Years ago, at a thrift shop in Hohenwald, TN, I was able to purchase a custom made silk jacket and skirt set from Hong Kong. Although it was custom made for someone else, it fit. It was gold silk and cost me less than $10. Even if it didn’t fit, the fabric alone would have been a worthwhile purchase.

  • My most resent amazing find was a set of festival chairs for the Winnipeg folk festival! Purchased off o FB marketplace. They made our festival experience (along with the yarn and needles stashed in the convenient backpack attached to the back of the chair) very happy!

  • Our guild has an annual stash sale—I always get something wonderful there!

  • A Singer Slantomatic 500a, for $75 at a tag sale. What a workhorse! You should’ve seen me, awkwardly carrying it to my car, with little grandchildren in tow, to lock it up before they changed their minds

  • An awesome Möbius shawl from an Ukrainian knitter!

  • A Janome mini sewing machine. My daughter was 8 and was really into sewing and wanted her own machine. (My Bernina was a little intimidating and she just wanted “a little plain sewing machine”.) I had just read a comment on the old MDK blog about Target no longer carrying sewing machines in store so the remaining inventory was 50% off. Bingo! Our local Tar-jay had a Janome mini, Hello Kitty edition for $49.99 and since they were also running a “50% off all clearance” and the cashier further discounted it a bit because the box was dented (top corner, nowhere near anything but the packing material), we ended up paying a little less than $24. My daughter is currently 21 and about to start her senior year of college and the machine, with a few minor adjustments and a new bobbin case, is still going strong! She just sewed up a sundress to wear on a trip to NYC with her boyfriend (who proposed while they were walking across the Brooklyn Bridge yesterday! She said yes!). Worth every penny!

  • 2 come to mind: $41 Jack White tickets (i feel like I’m being punked with concert tickets under $100) AND my very own MDK Outside the Lines from a library sale.

  • Not craft related, but my favorite shopping thrill came when I found a dinner plate of my mother’s good China for 75 cents at a St. Vincent DePaul thrift store. Her pattern was not from a major maker. Years before she’d cracked a plate (which now hangs on my wall). She has a complete set again.

  • A dress for my daughter to grow into. The collar and waist were the dark green that she still wears as an adult. She wore it from the time it was a titch too long until it was short enough to hand down–years later. It was in the Grand Marais, MN thrift store. I was there on vacation and just meant to walk in and find it.

  • I found MDK books 1 & 2 at my local half price books yesterday!

  • My church group does an annual rummage sale, and I scored a rug hooking loom, tons of wool strips and pieces, and the pokey tool for $20. All in time for a class at my local guild.

  • A singer 301 at an estate sale.

    • Lucky, lucky, lucky!!!

  • My favorites are the odd vintage stemware. Nothing matches, but the wine always tastes better!

  • It has been fun to read about everyone’s bargains. Wish I could duplicate them.

  • Loved this consignment store-bought gown for a wedding event but had to alter the length. Was not sure about my seamstress skills but nobody noticed. They all loved the dress too! (And had a hand knit shawl to top it off, and my husband looked like a million bucks as well)

  • A seaglass bracelet I bought for myself to celebrate the end of a bay time in my life

  • My husband was buying me a ring for our thirtieth anniversary. I had decided on a particular ring. When the saleswoman looked at the price I could tell something was up. And then she conferred with the owner. If we didn’t buy that ring the price tag was going to change.
    We did buy it and I still love it!

  • I loved reading all these comments! Such a rush of unexpected adrenaline over all the good finds!
    I do a lot of secondhand shopping but I cherish my Italian table top swift ($2.50), my Quebec Production Wheel ($140 or so at an auction) and of course, every single adopted dog. I have also scored some very good deals on tools that went on to new homes: A $350 Leclerc floor loom, among other things.

  • Just today I was at Wool and Honey and found a fistful of fabulous patterns for a dollar apiece!

  • A Siamese kitten, the description perfect for us, already sold. I left my name anyway. The breeder, not hearing how the kitten was doing, went to the buyer’s address, and found the kitten hiding under the house, the new owner ill and unable to care for herself properly or the cat. That wonderful boy came to us and we had fifteen happy years together.

  • My mother was a veteran shopper of the sales racks at our local department stores. One score for me when I was in high school was a beautiful pair of wool pants. I think they were Jones of New York but they were a lovely olive brown with a nice texture and were a wool-fur blend so they were very soft. I wore them for years until they were no longer fit to wear. I think she paid $10 or $15 for them.

  • My favorite PG Tips tea for $1.49 a box!

  • I just read others wonderful finds! Last week my landlady texted me to asked me if I wanted a small wooden table for our deck. I said Yes please! Serendipity stepped in b/c just a week before I was thinking about finding a small table for the deck! She brought over a beautiful little table with an older hand-crocheted cloth cover on it! It is beautiful. I’m still amazed.

    Then, the other day, landlady texted again with an offer of old sketchbooks! She was cleaning out her spare bedroom. Yes, yes, I would love them. She brought me several sketch books and artist lesson books, along with several pencils and sharpener. I’m still flabbergasted by her timely gifts ❤️

  • That $12 Goodwill Polo-brand men’s sweater that was hand knit in Uruguay and was never worn or washed! The yarn was this lovely bulky-weight thick and thin yarn with one white ply and one black ply. I made a work satchel from it –I tinked the sweater, knitted up the bag, and then felted it. I made a fabric liner with a zipper on top and pockets for my laptop, for file folders, smaller pockets for other odds and ends out of fabric from my stash and sewed on purchased leather handles, which brought the total out of pocket cost to about $30. I made it five years ago, used it hard pre-COVID, and it still looks and works great!

  • I was in Vietnam in 1995 and bought 5 watercolors from an art student in a park for $5. Our guide told me I paid 100x too much. They cost over $300 to frame back home, still hang in my office and I love them still. A bargain for me and a windfall for the student.

  • 2019 at Stitches Midwest in Schaumburg, IL .. they had 2 different quilting guilds selling raffle tickets for handmade quilts. Spent $10 on tickets from the first group who were raffling their quilt to bring attention to a local charity (can’t remember which one). Spent $60 (because this was all the cash I had left on me by the time I got to their booth) on tickets for the second group who were raffling their quilt to raise money for more quilting supplies that were going to be used to make quilts for Veterans. I come from a military family and my husband is an US Air Force Veteran and my son is an US Army Veteran, so anything that helps military Veterans is very dear to me. I was so excited when I got the phone call telling me I had won the quilt from the second guild!!!! It’s absolutely stunning!

    Also, at this same event, I won a coupon for $25 off at the Signature Needles booth, so I was able to get a pair of Signature Needles for $10 plus tax.

    Best year ever at a Stitches event!

  • Probably my most exciting early yarny find was cones of Harriville yarn in a bin at a Fiber festival for $2 a cone. Each cone had the equivalent of like 400 yards or something! I bought many cones!

  • Found a shimmery pants suit for under 20 dollars and wore it to a wedding! I was embarrassed by the price. Everyone was complimenting my outfit and wanted to know where I bought it, which embarrassed me more! In the end I was happy. I had purchased something so different from my norm and apparently it looked nice!

  • A pair of Ralph Lauren magenta dress pants with cuffs made out of a sublime wool. Found them at a local discount store while in college, NWT, for something like $8.00. They fit like a dream and were so versatile. I wore them for years and always felt like a million bucks. More recently I was able to score two bags of Brooklyn Tweed Shelter and Loft yarns for $5 a skein. I adore this yarn and am so glad I welcomed it into my BT stash. Already using two for your brioche cowl!!

  • A local yarn shop going out of business. So sad to see that. But, in a grab bag try I did get some good deals on odd yarns that are now challenging me to learn new stitches and try new patterns.

  • One of my best bargain finds was my senior prom dress over 20 years ago. Fun, bright blue two piece dress with fringe beads on the top and a beautiful long skirt for only $15! And it was my size, only had to hem the skirt. Hadn’t thought about that dress in years until this prompt!

  • Over 30 years ago at the Talbots outlet I picked up a fully lined long wool skirt in the most gorgeous deep green and a cream colored silk for about 90% off for both pieces, so maybe $25. A friend found a silk dress at the same store for $15 it did her proud for 2 weddings and a holiday dinner all in the space of a month — it cost her more to get it dry cleaned!

  • Mother of Pearl earrings, small, carved flower hang down from a small gold stud. $10 at a swap meet. It always me feel like it’s summer time when I put them on.

  • So true, places that are nearby for us are destinations for others. We saw a lot of new things in our own backyard the summer we had a friend from France staying with us.

    Spent Saturday afternoon in a nearby coastal town. Just an hour away. It was like an entire vacation in one day. Found a vintage Laura Ashley dress for my daughter in the back room of an antiques store. (Should have saved mine. Who knew?) Had lunch. Browsed in the art galleries. Drove home via the back roads. Stopped at a large book fair and stocked up on some summer reading.

    • Oops, This was meant for a different MKD post.

      Though the Laura Ashley dress could qualify.

  • My then fifteen year old daughter dragged me (tired of the “Please, we’ll just look!”) out of state to look at a puppy companion for our Maltese. Needless to say, we came home with the cutest Maltipoo, who still warms our hearts and laps today, and loves a six mile hike!

  • Found a signed copy of Kaffe Fassett Classics at a thrift sale many years ago for pennies. Also found Family Classics at a clearance a few months later. I’ve never knitted anything out of them, but I sure like looking a the pictures!

  • This list is long… if I have to pick one, I would say the embroidered winter parka. I first spotted it in a high-end ski wear catalog. The price (over $2000) was prohibitive. A year or so later I was in an outlet store in New Hampshire. It was the middle of summer. Ski wear was very much on clearance. There was my jacket!. Totally unexpected. I won’t say it was inexpensive. I will say it was affordable. It is beautiful. Everyone asks me about it when I wear it. And, turns out-it is by far the warmest coat I own. So, practical as well.

    Also rans–the totally timeless Scottish cashmere skirt and sweater set from a high-end boutique purchased for $10 at the thrift store. A couture (local designer) knee-length wool jacket for $6. A quilt made of Kaffe Fassett fabric for $5. My first Filene’s Basement purchase-a Ralph Lauren plaid summer skirt for $8. Buttons up the front. Found on the floor under the rack. Probably reached such a good price because the size tag was wrong. (Look everywhere and try things on.)

    Knitting, and sewing, have definitely made me more aware of quality materials and workmanship. This makes it much easier to identify bargains.

  • When I was in my early teens, I was walking past a hair salon when I noticed a vase full of wooden knitting needles in the window. I went in and asked about them and they told me that the previous shop owner left them and they had nothing to do with their salon except as an odd decoratio that had nothing to do with a hair salon. I asked if they wanted to sell them and the owner said sure – $2 for the bunch (there had to be about a dozen in there. I still have them and love thinking about the hands that have used them before. They are well worn and a lovely color. Now – 50 years later and many, many moves later, they are in a primitive pitchere in my knitting room. LOVE them.

  • found 12 skeins of NORO at a second hand store for a steal of $35.00 for the lot!!! i told them i was stealing from them but they just laughed at the yarn nerd!!

  • Some great knitting books for free at my LYS – they had previously had a lending library and decided to get rid of the books so they would have room for more yarn. One of the books was Wendy Bernard’s “Custom Knits” – which had been a huge help as I’ve learned to modify patterns to my liking and designing my first sweater.

  • The free high-quality, barely used mattress found on Freecycle

  • I ordered the set of Tulip needles and am very glad that I did. Love them!

  • a copy of Number Knitting long ago.

  • So fun reading all the comments! But to “cut” to the chase, so to speak, one of my best yard sale finds were two Sabatier chef’s knives for 50 cents. These are carbon steel knives which need a bit of TLC to keep them in good shape, and clearly the seller didn’t understand how to care for them, or care at all. I brought them home, cleaned them up and I still have them. Well-honed, they are brilliantly sharp.

  • In Scandinavia a friend talked the shop owner into 50% off the yarn on clearance. That Is off the regular price. I was thrilled.

  • Baggu bags for the Win!!!
    Kniktting triumph — found a lone Sirka marker in a sale bin at a yarn crawl…. silly but it made me happy. Yarn and fabric does as well…

  • My dazzling find was a Missoni skirt which I found at a consignment shop about 20 years ago—I still have it!!

  • I got a Monet for $180! Actually, he is a toy poodle named Monet. We adopted him from a local animal shelter. He is adorable, smart, funny and has brightened every day since he joined our family.

  • In the late 90s, when I needed work clothing: a navy blue cotton work appropriate dress (perfect when silk scarf added), that looked great from Bloomingdale’s for $15!! And it was machine washable!! I got lots of compliments on it. I dubbed it the Magic Dress.

  • A very satisfying recent bargain was getting $1/gallon off gas, just as the light came on. Perfect timing.

  • I rescued a chihuahua that came from Puerto Rico about two years ago. For $200, I got the sweetest, most loving dog and she’s been my loyal companion since my husband passed less than a year after I bought her.

  • Found a wonderful CoCo knits Maker’s Board while shopping at a quilt shop.

  • My car! Was about to buy new, salesman called to say same car traded in with only 15,000 kms. Saved a bundle!

  • Some years back I found a gem of a yarn store that was going out of business in a tiny town in Maine. I scored a bunch of nice yarn at going out of sale prices.

  • I found a hand made, hand embroidered, hand quilted beautiful quilt from the 1950s at a thrift shop in NJ. It was in a bag in the corner of the store on the floor. I walked past it and thought it probably was ripped or stained. I wandered around a little but was drawn back to that bag. I decided to have a look and took it out of the bag. It was like it had never been used. Pink and white, embroidered and hand quilted. What a find!! Quilt Happy Dance! It was marked $25. When I got to the register, I found it was half price day. What a great fine – $12.50. I now donate all of my clothes and other items to this thrift shop. They sell the items and donate the money to many of the local charities and homeless shelters in the area.

  • A leather jacket priced at $49.95 that had the original price tag of $300 in the pocket.

  • An Italian espresso machine at a garage sale that I bought for $20 – the couple had gotten the machine as a wedding gift but didn’t drink coffee. Still working on my barista skills

  • A prom dress for my daughter,10 bucks fit like a dream.

  • Walking into a branch of a “thrift store”& seeing a sewing machine. While deciding if I wanted another machine at $29.95, the clerk told me there was another one in the back & it was cheaper, had a case & I might like it better because it was cheaper. Could it be? Indeed it was! A featherweight with a case, all accessories & it worked, for $24.95 Never found a better deal at any of this thrift store locations!!!

  • Not that kind of shopper I think

  • A vintage Nordic Track cross country ski machine for $20 from a local thrift shop. . .which I couldn’t fit in my car and had to get my husband to go back and bring home for me. . .I enjoyed the heck out of it for years. . .

  • About 25 years ago, at the recommendation of a friend, I visited a new-to-me yarn shop. They had just received their first order of KUREYON yarn made in Japan. I was stunned. I sat on the floor in a state of wonder and shock. I have always loved bright colors but never really knew what to do with them. I felt like this was a big coming home moment for me. I was on my lunch hour and was an hour late getting back to work. I emptied my bank account. I have never looked back!

  • I went with a friend to an annual rummage sale in a small town in the next county. I found a bag full of balls of yellow mohair yarn, not my favorite color but perfect for a big warm beautiful shawl for my niece. I think it cost $5.

    • Also a copy of Barbara Walker’s Charted Knitting Designs at our local new/used book store, for only a couple bucks. I didn’t know who Barbara Walker was at the time, but I’ve since added her other stitch pattern books to my collection at a much heftier price. It was a great intro to a great knitting resource.

  • at a moving sale of a yarn shop, i got some cashmere for a steal! bring on the deal days!

  • A beautiful sweater at a thrift shop, of course, for only four dollars!

  • My wedding dress 20 years ago. I had a picture in my head of what I wanted, and I found the exact same dress (that was in my head) in my size hanging on a rack in a wedding dress shop and it was marked down, marked down, marked down to $99.

  • I went shopping with my sister-in-law and we found an out of the way knit shop where they had a cashmere blend. She kept petting it so I bought it and made her fingerless mitts. It was something she still treasures

  • Often-well, often enough-I find yarn at garage sales. I only buy it if it’s a dazzling bargain. I made my mother a sweater once from a kit of real Irish Aran yarn that someone had started and given up on, but the most fun was the variegated blue, green, and purple yarn that I made into a throw for my grand daughter, and there was enough left to make a small dragon, and then bought some more to make another dragon, and another, and another…

  • Silk beaded yarn from an indie dyer from India. Amazing!

  • A beautiful cashmere shawl in a discount store. Price was still a bit much. I kept going back to admire it. Finally was marked down to a reasonable price. Grandchildren love cuddling in Nana’s softest shawl

  • A local nursing home had a yard sale. They had 5, 2 shaft wooden looms as a lot for $25.00! 20″ weaving width. Reasonably sturdy. Myself, and 4 friends are happily using out $5.00 looms; for which we always need more yarn :)).

  • I teach knitting classes at a yarn shop near Madison, Wis. The owner was celebrating the shop’s one year anniversary and so had a huge sale to clear out some yarn she bought with the purchase of the store. I bought 28 skeins of Kelbourn Woolen ‘Scout’ which retails for $16/skein for $4 each! As if I needed more yarn. Now, what to knit…what to knit…

  • I bought 41 balls of Rowan Kidsilk Haze from someone tired of working with it – for around $200. It was SO WORTH IT because a) it was much less than retail, b) I’ve made 2 shawls and a shawl/scarf already and there’s more yarn left and c) Kidsilk Haze is just a delicious yarn!

  • I collect vintage American pottery… Best score ever was a vintage 15″ Fiesta Chop Plate in Red. Got it for $10. It was not marked, which sometimes happens, but I had it authenticated by an expert. Today’s value is anywhere from $150 – 250.

  • I love our local shop, “Empty the Nest,” where they contract to empty homes. They sell what they can and donate the rest to various charities. Nothing goes to waste. I found a glider rocker in perfect condition and they sold it to me for $35.

    While in Anchorage, Alaska, I found Qiviut yarn at the Wooly Mammoth—oh, my goodness!! It was my best vacation souvenir.

  • My most recent yarn purchase was my best ever. I bought yarn for a pair of socks, plus alpaca mix yarn for 2 size L women’s sweaters and a 2 skein shawl. All for $77. It was an awesome sale!!

  • Thursday, a dozen roses, 10$.

  • My daughter and I thrifted both her homecoming dress and her prom dress this year. So satisfying! And she looked beautiful in both.

  • Our vintage Ercol armchairs. Amazingly comfortable and cheaper than bottom-of-the-range new. I don’t know why more people don’t buy second-hand. They don’t know what they’re missing.

  • A $25 upholstered rocking chair from a thrift store, stayed with me through my first apartment, a cross country move, and rocking two children to sleep.

  • My most memorable knitting-related shopping buy?
    – Great quality used knitting books on the Half Price Books website!

  • A vintage aran sweater I rescued from a thrift store about 15 years ago for $2. I hated the color (pink) so I dyed it using navy blue Rit and now it’s a beautiful wearable purple color and I am in love.

  • I found a gorgeous little teapot in an old thrift shop that perfectly matches my grandmother’s china.

  • For yarn – I found some great alpaca silk on sale for $2 per skein. I made a whole scarf/cowl project with 7 skeins for about $15. Great deal!

  • A designer dress marked down to $11. it was a find.

  • Always the last great thing I found at the thrift store!

  • Years ago I found fabric on sale for 50 cents a yard. I bought it all, took it home and made a full skirt shirt dress out of it. I got so many compliments on it. Oh, and the fabric was labeled as ‘shower curtain material’, lol.

  • I found a beautiful cashmere cardigan at a thrift store for $8. My husband has been wearing it for ten years now.

  • My husband found a treasure trove of spinning and weaving supplies that the family wanted to get rid of (they inherited the house and were moving in) but you had to buy the whole lot. A floor loom, three table looms, two spinning wheels, a drum carder, books, magazines, the works. Had to drive six hours to get to it (but stayed with some friends) and it barely fit in our large SUV but it was a bargain.

  • When going to New Orleans with a youth group I really wanted a Mardi Gras poster (I was a kid remember), but it was the wrong time of year. We walked into the coolest, most stereotypical voodoo-like shop where a lady walked up to me saying she’d like to show me something: the poster I imagined!!

  • My best sale find was in 1978: my wedding dress, in the clearance room of the now-defunct A&S department store in Brooklyn, NY. It was marked down to $35, and fit perfectly. The other serendipitous factor: I saved the ad for this dress from the Sunday newspaper years before.

  • Just recently found some lovely Koigu yarn ($14/skein & I got 4 skeins) at a thrift store for just under $4. Happy happy!

  • I went to a Habitat for Humanity store and saw 2 large abstract oil paintings leaning on a desk. Loved them and thought I knew the artist although a signature wasn’t easily found. When I asked how much, the man said $30 – for both! When I went to pay I found out it was Senior Discount Day. I bought them both for $24!!! (worth at least $2,000 each) Incredible find!

  • Icelandic wool at Goodwill, lots of it, and marvelous colors. Unusual!

  • Has nothing to do with knitting sorry, but it was amazing. I purchased a bread machine for my son and his wife for Christmas and they sent him two instead of one!! They would not take back the second one, I was the beneficiary! I consider that amazing even though I didn’t find it, it found me!

  • Years ago I worked at a major department store; they had a 50% off sale of gowns. I put a beautiful turtleneck, flowing, sleeveless teal gown in the back to buy later when I had the money. I then forgot about it. 6 months later, I went to buy it and it was 70% off plus my employee discount and I got it for almost nothing. I wore that gown for many years! I wish I still had it!

  • not mine, but a friend’s: found ~6 skeins of Lett Lopi at a thrift shop for $1–total [!!]. the shop was moving, so everything was 50% off. 🙂

  • I’ve had a few “amazing buys” in my life but the first that comes to my mind is a man’s vicuña coat that I bought for .75 cents at a thrift store when I was in college. I still have it! And have been wearing it off and on for 50 years .

  • I found a beautiful emerald green hand knit sweater made out of brown sheep yarn at goodwill for $5 + my senior discount = $3.75. I was going to shrink it to make mittens but my husband grabbed it and tried it on – fits him like a glove. He has worn it several winters. When people ask if his wife knitted his sweater, he proudly exclaims “No, but she could have.”

  • The town where I live used to be Birkenstock’s US distribution center & they would have an annual warehouse sale. $15/ pair. My mom & I still wear pairs purchased 30!yrs ago.

  • Best unexpected purchase… I was in high school when i stopped at a junior league thrift store in Tacoma WA. There was a bin of clothing, priced 25 cents a piece. I pulled out a beautiful blue fabric, it was a cotton jacket. I bought it for the quarter and wore it for years as the choice whenever I couldn’t decide what to wear. It was a Japanese fish store/seller’s work jacket.

  • My wedding dress. Found it for $150, never worn, at a second hand shop in downtown Kalamazoo. Fit perfectly and it saved me from going to bridal stores which I was dreading…

  • I walked into my local Salvation Army store in Hells Kitchen and spied what looked like a 60s era Singer Featherweight sewing machine at the front desk – no price – it had just come in. I asked what they wanted for it and the cashier eyed me up and down and said $100. Knowing they were selling for upwards of $400 on eBay at the time, I snatched it up. The case was full of amazing vintage notions and patches from the 70s. It’s been a fantastic quilting workhorse and now is being used by my 11 year old to learn to sew!

  • I read this week’s prompt to my husband and said I couldn’t think of anything. He pointed to himself—and reminded me how I “got him” by buying him ju-jubes (candy) when he was my boss. Best deal ever!

  • A cardigan. I was working at a ladies’ wear store and a woman came in with a cardigan covered in lipstick-the lipstick was left in the pocket and got all over everything in the wash. she thought the cardigan was ruined so came back to the store to buy another one and told me to throw this one in the garbage, so I did. After she left I took it out of the garbage, took it home, scrubbed the lipstick stains off with soap that cuts through grease, and I’m still wearing it almost 25 years later.

  • I really wanted a wooly board to block the Norwegian sweaters I’ve been knitting and most were only available in the UK and during the pandemic, lots of vendors would not ship them to the states. So checked Facebook marketplace and there was one available in Columbus, OH for $40. I was going to drive out to pick it up as my son lives an hour from there (bonus visit with my kid ), but then they shipped it to me for $17. I love it and it really makes a difference with the drape of my sweaters.

  • Found a wooden kitchen stool at a garage sale for a few dollars. It was in perfect condition except for layers of paint. It was a lot of work removing the paint but now have a beautiful wood stool that I use as a plant stand.

  • $5 navy blue blazer, Lands End, pockets still based closed, brand new. Husband packs it on trips, fits him perfectly

  • My hubbie and I had just moved into our first house and we wanted a boxer dog to start our family. We didn’t have money to spend for a breeder, so I was scouring the Sunday newspaper classified ads for rescues (this was before the internet). I threw the paper down in frustration and glanced down – my eyes landing on the cats section. There was an ad for two boxers free to a good home. I asked my hubbie, the cat guy, if there was any such thing as a boxer cat, and NO was then answer. We jumped in the car, met the two dogs, and before we could blink, we came home with two dogs we fell in love with immediately. Those two dogs gave us so much joy, and started our tradition of having a boxer (or two) as members of our family for 28 years.

  • I’ve been lucky enough to have bargains come my way, but I must say just reading the comments, and peoples’ joy in finding treasures is a best find for sure !!

  • We found an Eames chair knockoff on the side of the road several years ago. It was the good, mid century imitation. My husband pulled it apart to clean and recover, but just never got the ball rolling. So we sold it, in pieces mind you, for $100 on eBay. The purchaser had rehabbed several of these chairs and his work is fantastic. A few months later, the hubs rushed in and said we had to get to the Salvation Army first thing the next morning. There was another faux Eames, we came to call them fEames Chairs, not as good as the first one, but he wasn’t going to let another get away. $15 is more than free, but it is the best piece of vintage furniture we have ever found. Fanciest dog bed we ever found, too!

  • My best finds are the ones in my grandmother’s garden. The only real “cost” is my time. And I net not only durable plants, but also time gardening with a master talking and catching up.

  • The bad news: my favorite yarn store was closing forever! The good news: sale prices too good to resist! I now have enhanced my stash so that the pain of no more weekly visits and time to have a knit with friends was eased.

    • Similar thing happened to me. LYS closing sale a few years ago. Got tube of buttons, yarn, and interchangeable Lykke needle set on great discount. Still miss that store in Princeton NJ. Great people!

  • A leather jacket in a used clothing store in France when I was 24. Sigh, just glorious.

  • A few years ago, I found a set of Metropolitan Museum of Art books while impulsively stopping at a used bookstore in the middle of nowhere. These are the same books that my parents owned and, as a child, I was not interested in. I bought them purely for the nostalgia factor, but have now reread them several times. What a find!

  • All of these adopted pet stories made me think of mine. I went to the shelter to adopt a dog and out of all of them I was attracted to the most pathetic, ugly one (to me he was cute though). They got him from a hoarding situation where he was living with 19 other dogs so he was terrified of dogs and he was severely underweight, matted fur, and had one blind eye. I knew he was perfect for me though. My parents were initially unsure if adopting a dog while I was still in college was a good idea but now agree he was the best decision I ever made. Anyways, at the shelter they price the dogs based on how likely they are to get adopted. Puppies were $500 while older big dogs were as low as $50 or no adoption fee to encourage them to get adopted. My dog, Winston, was a little more expensive because he was a small dog but he was 6 years old. We had him and we were putting in our paperwork and paying the adoption fee. The shelter worker looked at him and took $50 off because he was missing an eye This always cracks me up to think about. What a bargain!

  • I love sales! My best bargain is my previous buy! I enjoy finding these deals!

  • An antique kindergarten table and matching chairs. Purchased for $150 already refinished (yay) when my oldest kids were 2. We used it for puzzles, games, snacks, dinner, included the chairs in special photos. So many, many memories. Now my 5yo granddaughter is using it. I get choked up when I visit.

  • Beautiful yarn skein I NEEDED to finish a project at a thrift store at a great price!!

  • Qiviut!!! I was pinching myself. Just this week at my local Value Village in the craft section in a little bag I found 6 balls 28 g ea., 1 is 100% Qiviut (Smokey green), 1 is 15% Qiviut with 80% Merino 5% Silk (Smokey blue) and 4 are 100% Suri Alpaca (burgundy) all from the Qiviut Boutique Alaska. $12.99 CAD!!! The original price tags still on, $85, $28 and 4x$15, totals $173. US, ~ $215 CAD.
    Now looking for ideas on how best to use them. 217 yards in each ball. Enough for a sweater. Maybe the original purchasers plan? Loose gauge colour work? I know this fibre must be honoured.

  • I stumbled upon a “Frances Houseman School of Dance and Watermelon Transportation” t-shirt, which I bought for my daughter, whose favorite film is “Dirty Dancing.”

  • I love finding wool sweaters that need a little TLC at my local thrift store. I get to practice visible mending and end up with a cool OOAK sweater.

  • I’m a terrible shopper. But this week my favorite Peet’s coffee was on sale and I bought a whole bunch of it.

  • A number of years ago I discovered that was yarn storage space right near where I live. The warehouse was a storage space for a German yarn company. They had a sale of the most delicious yarn & it was marked way down! I bought as much as I thought I could ever use. Unfortunately the place closed & I never saw the yarn in a yarn shop.

  • The one that got away! 40 years ago a really ugly piece with green peeling paint. Not quite an antique but good bones. Pregnant, with a toddler, cat and puppy I talked myself out of it because I knew I didn’t have time to refinish it and take it back to beautiful. Regret!

  • In the 1980’s I was going to the Taos Wool Festival. I asked my grandmother what she wanted me to buy for her. She requested something really different and special-but a surprise! So I bought her some alpaca yarn. At that time it was rare to find and expensive to buy. I still have the sweater she made for me. I have mended it and removed the buttons-I’m a little wider that I was then. I look at the yarn and remember the trip and her making it.

  • My most amazing find came at our local library book sale — an out-of-print needlework “bible” for $3. This book was over $100 from other sellers.

  • Too many to list at Nordstrom Rack at a fraction of their original price!

  • My most memorable shopping experience was when I went into TJ Max, was wandering around, and found a beautiful theSak brand bag in just the style I like, which is a satchel. I was amazed that at checkout it cost me just $35! It sold for $100 elsewhere and I still have it and love it. It goes with every color scheme.

  • My best friend was getting married and had picked out a china pattern. I found one first quality 5-piece place setting, while discount shopping at some outlets, that cost me a fraction of the original cost.

  • Our current adorable rescue dog! For $100 in fees, he’s saved us thousands in therapy, and made our pandemic lives so much more fun.

  • This wasn’t my most dazzling buy because of the price but for meaning and joy it has brought me. I’d just signed off more money anf papers than ever imagined for a house while, still dazed, wandered into a store and found a sextet of instrument-toting frogs serenading me. (Yep, you read that right.) They’ve been on the mantle (although sometimes they roam) for 20+ years now, always making me smile and feel really at home.

  • I found an LL Bean down jacket in like-new condition at the goodie pile at our recycling center. It fit my toddler grandson for 2 years and then we passed it on through the Salvation Army. It may still be circulating.

  • A glorious Calvin Klein dress in palest pink with two different color sleeves. Loved it and then saw it on sale. I was thrilled.

  • Perfect quick-dry kayaking pants (aka capris) with zip pocket on the thigh. 99 cents at the thrift store. I bought two more pairs in other colors from online used clothes sources, and paid much more for each one, but still worth it–three pairs of sturdy outdoor and travel pants for less than $30.

  • A high end designer black, alpaca winter coat, like new, $8 at a non profit thrift shop. I went back to the store, wearing the coat and the staff asked where I bought this fabulous coat.

  • No big bargains. But Air Canada lost my carryon bag that they forced me to check this past week… Not happy. But went to Talbots to find some replacement clothes and discovered a wonderful surprise of a 40% sale on everything! And I even found two tee-shirts that closely approximated two favorites that I’d lost.

  • Best purchase ever: “No sewing needed, cut with scissors to hem, black micro-pleat wide-leg, elastic waistband pants” from Sam’s club about 30 years ago. They are my go-to comfortable evening pants, always stylish. No fur-wearing socialite at the opera has ever guessed they were $20 from Sam’s Club!

  • A huge box of yarn at Good Will for $10. Different weights, mostly wools, some silk and cotton. All currently available premium brands and spinners. Three of the wools were in sweater quantities! Some quick math and I estimated $600 value. Needless to say I was in heaven and still talk about that day.

  • So many small delights picked up on travels abroad!

  • Kind of silly, really, but one of my favorite “finds” was of an art poster that I’d initially had back in the 1980’s — an exboyfriend wrecked it ~1990. A few years ago I looked around the internet and found a pristine version of the original for a mere $5.00! Sentimental value has no price tag. 🙂

  • When our kids were in their early teens, I desperately wanted a GMC minivan for hauling them (and their friends) to soccer matches and on school field trips. I went to several local dealers, but nobody had what I wanted. Went to a small town nearby. The dealership had exactly the model and color with all the bells and whistles I wanted. Drove it home that day and all over the southeast for years.

  • A thrift shop find of four skeins of Uneek yarns worsted for a song!

  • I found a yarn I loved in a Colorado Springs yarn shop that would be perfect for a sweater for my very tall husband, but there wasn’t enough for a sweater. A local friend took me to another nearby yarn shop where I found not only the same yarn, but it was the same color and dye lot!

  • I stopped at a LYS small house, and found mohair in the sale bin! Amazing & so unexpected!

  • My favorite yarn find story is the first time I encountered Newton’s Yarn Country at the Stitches Midwest market. I had never seen yarns like these & the sale prices were better than Red Heart. Now I’m lucky enough to work in that booth at many of the convention markets & work up some of my designs for sale in that same beautiful yarn.

  • Found Elizabeth Zimmerman’s first book on a knitting shop bargain shelf

  • Rosenthal China- plates (dinner and salad), serving bowls – nothing over $3 a piece. I knew it was good quality but when I went to replace one of the small bowls and it was going to be $120 (back in the late 80s) I really knew it was a deal – still using the rest of the set today!

  • Floor models of Stickley oak furniture. I realized that I could afford good furniture that I loved if I simply waited for the floor model sale each year.

  • Four skeins of pure American cashmere, at a yarn shop that was closing for good. Happy now, sad later.

  • I bought an enormous number of knitting books from Amy Detjen when she moved back to Minnesota. The copy of Starmore’s Tudor Roses alone was worth what I paid for the lot.

  • I found a beautiful red cashmere coat at a thrift shop here made in London. $25 and a look alike Audrey Hepburn. It is silk lined. I made a felted wool hat to match.

  • Walking along the San Francisco waterfront, three friends from hot & humid Florida, Texas, and Chicago suddenly realized they were FREEZING COLD! In AUGUST! We all bought fleece jackets and it’s still my favorite cozy item!

  • Can’t wait for the Honeycomb video and kickoff!!

  • At a local thrift shop for senior support I found a bag of Lopi yarn, enough to make a beautiful poncho for the winter.

  • Decades ago I found a unique and clever kitchen tool to remove that first piece of whatever from a pan, such as brownies. Every time people see it they want one. I can’t help them as I’ve never seen another one since my purchase. What a useful and great find.

  • A melitta white drip ceramic coffee pot..bought my junior year in high school! Still using now I am 71! Most every day!

  • A ball of pure Qiviut yarn at a estate yard sale. It was a very, very hot day. Most of the items were gone. The lady minding the event put a Free sign on a box of yarn. Most of it was Acrylic and I thought a local art teacher might like it so I looked through the box. In the bottom was the Qiviut. I asked if it was really free and she confirmed it was. I took the whole box, donated everything but that one ball. It was a lovely shade of blue (my favorite color) and I still have it. I haven’t found something I feel would do it justice. I take it out every now and then and let it know it is loved beyond measure.

  • A few years ago I spotted a pair of arts and crafts oak arm chairs at a garage sale for $75 each. Upon further inspection they were stamped “Stickley”, and had Stickley oval gold nameplates. I asked the person collecting money if they would take $100 for the pair and he said sure. They’ve been authenticated and valued at over $1,000 each. They are beautiful and comfy. Many happy hours have been spent in those chairs, knitting and enjoying the fire on winter evenings.

  • I was at a craft show/ festival in Durham NC 25 years ago one lovely pottery vender had a 2nds section and I found a beautiful round blue-violet casserole dish for like 6 bucks. A craft held in the fall in Knoxville TN, I found a huge circular pottery platter and the artist let me have it for 5 bucks because a spot on the edge was not properly glazed and it was again my favorite colors blue-violet-aqua.

  • A pair of brand new, never worn sandals at a local Goodwill. They were still on the brands website for $150 and I paid $4.50!!!!

  • I found out about Mason-Dixon Knitting Outside the Lines yesterday on the #mdkdishclothkal and bought it for $4.39 on thrift books.com. A steal!!

  • The flooring I found for our house from the Habitat restore! A hardwood flooring company was moving locations Andi got this beautiful hardwood for less than $1 per square foot

  • The first piece of furniture that I bought for my apartment was a coffee table off Craig’s list and I still love it to this day! Only paid $20 and they had just refinished it!

  • Tiny antique shop on a road I never go on. Found two beautiful glass vases, with an hourglass shape and a twist, almost as if someone had wrung them out one time. I had them made into lamps. Perfect

  • At the Textile Center Garage sale a few years back (Mpls) I found a vintage copy of EZ’s Knitting Workshop and a Treasury of Knitting Patterns by Barbara Walker. I got them for something like 10 dollars. I refer to them frequently. (plus a whole bunch of Jamison Yarn in various colors for 6 dollars–win win)

  • Found a brand new blender at a tag sale. Best bargain ever.

  • I once found a loop-knitted urn with lid made from undyed yarn with a handwritten note inside that reads “Made by a young mother with 4 little children and raised her own sheep and her own weaving etc., spinning and preparation. Her husband has since died. She lives on a farm at Dover, MN.” For a mere 50¢!

  • Our local Knitters Guild occasionally has a swap and shop evening. One member de-stashed some amazing skeins for $1.00!

  • Opened an old drawer in an old-fashioned craft store and found quite a few vintage knitting and sewing tools, such as knitting needles and pattern weights. The prices were much less expensive than modern counterparts and were of much-higher quality.

  • I found my vacation house online.
    Without my hubbies knowledge I asked the realtor to meet us there. We bought it that same day . We both loved it immediately

  • The print recipe for Jordan Marsh’s famous blueberry muffins!

  • A vintage wicker chair with velvet cushions at a garage sale for $10. I can sit in it and knit for hours.

  • A Wolf toaster oven that was marked at a discount. That was a mistake, because they are never on sale! Good for me!

  • Found two huge cones of wool at the Salvation Army store for a few dollars each

  • A Dooney and Bourke bag in perfect condition sitting on the garbage bin outside my gate recently. Just like the one I accidentally ran over with my car 20 years earlier. Serendipity!

  • I found a ‘handknit in Alaska’ qiviut smoke ring at the thrift store, priced at $1.50. That color tag was 50% off that day, so it was $.75. I treasure it! I also found graphing calculators for my high schoolers at that thrift store. Bag of them for $2. they needed batteries but otherwise worked great! My other great bargains: goodwill posted about a ‘garage sale’, so I commented to ask if they had yarn. I got a DM from someone who said her friend died and she was selling part of the stash she inherited, and I could do a private shopping in her garage. I agreed. $2/skein. I got a qiviut blend skein in my haul. It was all beautiful hand dyed sock yarn. She threw in a bag of scraps/leftovers for free. I spent about $200 and got beautiful yarns. I was the last customer she had. I still wonder what she sold before I got to take a look!

    My final bargain was at a country fabric/quilt store about 80 miles away. I had never driven that far by myself and was hoping I could carpool with someone, but it didn’t work out. I put on my big girl pants and made the drive with my then-toddler. I got Noro for 50 cents a skein, Elann sock yarn, etc. All $.50-$1 per skein, plus I got a bunch of books. Someone had died and they were selling the stash. I spent nearly $300 and had an SUV load of yarn and books.