Search This Blog

Monday, November 22, 2010

Small Town Shopping vs.The Big City

I recently received this email from a reader of My Dear Trash.

I am a reader of your blog from Flagstaff. First, I love your blog and I am totally envious of all your great finds. Flagstaff does not have NEARLY as many options for good deals or even garage sales. Your blog has made me want to go to Phoenix for the weekend to shop the sales! I am curious as to how often you find/see globes when you are thrifting. I am expecting Baby # 2 at the end of March and have decided to go vintage explorer for the theme of the nursery with the intent of hanging different sized globes above the crib. I have rarely seen globes at our thrift stores here, and I try to make the rounds as often as I can. Do you think I would have more luck in Phoenix



Thanks for writing in, Meagan.  
I love the idea of the vintage globes for your baby’s room.  The explorer theme should be darling and you have lots of options for decorating.  I do not have a globe for sale on Craig’s List, but your email brings up an interesting point.  
Reading through different posts, I can imagine it appears Kelly and I get the luck of the draw at garage sales and thrift stores all the time.  No doubt, we find some great trash and we’re able to accomplish many things with the trash we find, but is there ever a time when we don’t get what we want and do we ever miss out on something we really want?
The Phoenix valley is a huge metropolis, with over 6 million people.  Mesa has over 500,000 residents, many of which are large growing families.  This creates a very jungle-like environment for garage sales.  
The sales are diverse and plentiful for the excited hunter/shopper.  
Just this weekend, Little Sis and I were out garaging.  
Because she occasionally takes a bottle, Reef has reverted back to the bottle and he loses them all the time.  
My stash of bottles has dwindled and I was just about to go into Target or Wal-mart to restock.  I was at a high school fund-raiser garage sale and I found this box of like-new bottles.  
I could tell they were superior quality
and the price was right.
I purchased $250.00 worth of bottles for $2.50.
 I wasn’t really looking for bottles that day at garage sales, but it appeared they found me.  I purchased the entire box.  I looked on-line and Born Free bottles sale for about $10.00/bottle.
I guess my point is I design my life around the trash I find, not the trash I'm looking for.  Like this amazing bookcase.
I didn't need a bookcase until I found this one for $2.00 (yes, that's $2.00).
I didn't realize how much Mayer wanted a skateboard until I found one at Goodwill for $5.99.
Now the $1.00 yoga ball I knew was a must-have. :)
On the other hand, a few weeks ago I followed the arrows of garage sale signs into an amazing gated neighborhood with million dollar homes.  I felt my heart beat go faster and faster.  Every lawn was manicured just right and every home could be the poster home for luxurious living.
“This is going to be good,” I said to Little Sis in her car seat.
The sale was crowded, with people shuffling through clothing and home décor.  The homeowner was just closing the deal on the most amazing hutch I’ve ever seen. It was a large solid wood piece painted the brightest turquoise blue, antiqued in all the right places. It sold for $70.00. 
Yeah, I was a little bummed, but I was able to find some amazing clothes, like this Banana Republic dress I purchased for $2.00 and later sold for $19.99.
I had Little Sis and Reef at another garage sale and there was a huge bin of jeans.  I knew there was some great stuff inside, but Reef was getting tired.  
I had Sis in my baby Bjorn and she didn’t like it when I squatted and leaned over to pick inside the bins.  After a few minutes, I decided it was time to leave because really, as much as I love it, I also want it to be a good experience with my kids.  I passed on some great merchandise and that was alright.
 Last week at Goodwill, I spent most of my time in the bathroom with a potty-training two-year old sidekick who thinks he has to be completely naked before he goes potty.  
Now, to answer your next question: should you come to Phoenix for a weekend to shop?
I think that’s a great idea.  If you could come Thursday morning for $1.00 day at Goodwill, I think you’d be thrilled.  Also, try to come for Goodwill’s ½ off Saturday which would be next weekend.  You will have a blast at the garage sales too.  If you come, we have to meet up.
Many of you may live in small communities where the thrifting atmosphere leaves little to be desired.  I think it would be worth driving into the nearby city and checking out some thrift stores and garage sales.  Kelly and I have even talked about doing a few road trips to see what your town may offer and meet some of you.  I travel frequently to Flagstaff and when I do, I always hit Goodwill.  I’ve had some great finds, but if it was my only option, my eBay sales would be limited too.
Stay tuned because My Dear Trash is working on a spectacular give-away that just might help many of you in this predicament. 
Shop frequently, shop sale days and look on-line or in the newspaper to see if garage sales are advertised.  Do you have a question?  Feel free to email us at
Good luck.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks so much for answering my questions! I really appreciate the time you took. Not sure when I will be able to make it to PHX, but we normally try to make it down there a few times in the winter to get out of the cold. I'll let you know! I'll be on the look out for when you make it to Flag.

    Hope you and your family have a very Happy Thanksgiving!!!