Saturday, January 26, 2013

A welcome return to thrifting form

I went op shopping today. Sure, it was pissing down rain but I'm pretty broke and knew that if I went to the shops I would just get depressed about all the shiny things I can't afford.

I haven't been to my local charity shops in quite a few weeks due to a self-imposed ban. You see, after cleaning up my dining room I discovered I had WAY more vintage stuff that I'd bought for my Etsy shop than I thought.

But today I cut myself a break and went shopping for myself. Ah, the pleasure of sifting through knick-knacks for some little treasure to take home. Yes, it's other people discarded junk but it's always surprising and never not fun.

Today I struck gold with two little Pyrex dishes and a couple of tops. I usually don't shop for secondhand for clothes due to the difficulty in finding larger sizes but recently it's become easier in some charity shops that sort their racks by size.

And so, instead of getting all sad at the mall because I can't afford $49 for a nice shirt, I spent $14.50 on clothes and $5 on Pyrex and I'm as happy as a clam.

Have you found any good op shop bargains lately? What do you look for when you go?

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Bargain Hunting at Bookfest

Dear reader, I hope you know about Bookfest. It is run by Lifeline and for many years has brought Queenslanders much joy. I don't know if they do it in other states, but if they don't, they should!

Yesterday I convinced my darling hubby to take me along to the latest one at the Brisbane Convention Centre. It runs for 10 whole days! Imagine how many books they sell. They put new ones out each night, so that treasure-seekers have a fresh batch to trawl through every day.

I picked up six novels, all from the "quality" section. That means that they are near-new, still in pretty good nick and you pay a bit more. There's also the "unpriced" section (where the biggest bargains are to be found!) and the "priced" section (where you can get good quality books for a few bucks).

The best part is it's not just fiction books - there's everything from textbooks to travel, cookbooks to gardening and everything in between. My favourite is the Sci-Fi/Fantasy category because I'm always on the lookout for second-hand Terry Pratchetts. You never see them, of course, because people who buy Pratchett books never give them away! But yesterday I was in awe of the variety and quality of books I saw there. Any serious fantasy book lover knows the real pain of trying to find every book in a series. Here, you could quite easily complete Eddings' Belgariad  without breaking a sweat (as indeed I did last year).

And the best part was the savings. I bought six books for $5 each. That's $30. To buy them retail, it would have cost me $107.50! (calculated using Booktopia).

The only thing that I do not like about buying books second-hand is that the author gets nothing. This is why when I do have they budget, I do try to buy books new, so at least they get to see some of the profit.

Do you buy secondhand books? What has been your best bargain?

Saturday, January 12, 2013

The Windows

The first few spits would spatter loudly against the window pane.

"Check the windows!" my mum would shout a second later.

We would race around the house, searching for windows with tell-tale rain already splashing against them or putting our hands up to each flyscreen to detect any drops. Western and northern windows would be shut. Southern and eastern windows usually stayed open.

I never thought about this strangeness until recently. Why not shut all the windows? This afternoon I realised why - it's stifling being shut in. Having half of them open let in the blessed breeze that the storm brought with it. Clever mum. No air conditioning back then.

The cool breeze lifted the hair on our hot necks as we watched the lightning storm flicker around the horizon from the sunroom. If the rain changed direction, we would squeal and run around the house again, closing and opening glass panes.

Tonight, I'm here at the farm house all alone. It's kind of spooky. But at least if the rain comes, I know what to do.


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