This is something that appalls my brother. When I tell him about my half-price Goodwill forays, he just rolls his eyes. Yes, I can hear them rolling right through the phone. So this weekend, I went in search of bargains at the Watertown Mile-Long Yard Sale. My yard sale price standards are even higher -- or lower, depending on how you look at it. At Goodwill, toddler clothes are $1.25/item. At yard sales, I'll pay no more than $1/item, and 50 cents is even better.
Driving into Watertown was like cruising the strip in Pigeon Forge during Rod Run -- it took FOREVER. When I finally arrived, parked miles away and elbowed my way through the other five gazillion people seeking a bargain, my heart was no longer in it. I walked around for an hour and didn't buy anything!
Just when I was about to give up and visit the funnel cake tent, I happened upon a huge crate of globe beach balls (with a world map imprinted on them). I searched out the seller who said they were a quarter each. I said, "I'd like them all, but can I let the air out of them so they're easier to carry?" She looked at her friend and sighed, "I just blew them all up. They sat here flat all day yesterday and nobody was interested." So I said, "Well, I'm going to take them to Africa and give them to some kids in an orphanage." That corked her cryhole and she helped me deflate them. Two separate women stopped while we were working and sheepishly asked if I was buying them all. I told them why and let them each have one. That find put me in better spirits, so I kept shopping.
A little later I visited a house that had only big plastic crates in the front yard, full of what looked like boys' clothes. I quickly realized this woman was no cheapskate -- Gap, The Children's Store, Tommy Hilfiger, Nautica -- all in pristine condition. She said a quarter apiece and 50 cents for shoes. Let me tell you, you can have no shame when you encounter a bargain like this. I dug through the crates like women let loose in a "clothing-by-the-bale" liquidation. For some reason, I had no competition. People seem to be more drawn to clothing on hangers at $3/each down the block. I gathered all I could carry the half-mile back to my truck. Score! D is going to be stylin' til he's at least 3. Eat your heart out, Stevo!