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Bargain Shopping Made Easier

Acworth Patch (Website) - 8/24/2011 by Kelly Miears
Size 22W used nylon underwear was the “surprise” my grandmother's former maid received one day via FedEx. “They will make fabulous dust rags!” Grandmother exclaimed as she stuffed the envelope. Visualizing the combination of furniture polish and panties, my jaw dropped in horror. Some things just should not be recycled.

A child of the Depression era, she would rather give away than toss. She would spend a small fortune shipping items she no longer wanted to family and friends in order to avoid throwing them away. Not only were Christmas bows saved and reused, so were the greeting cards. A quick snip down the fold line turned them into postcards or gift tags.

Every time I went for a visit, she would load me up with an odd assortment of items. There could be anything from non-working electronics to expired salad dressing. One time she even passed on 50-year-old blackhead remover. “It would be really good for your skin, Kelly.” Though she was somewhat eccentric with some of the items she passed on (I still cringe at the stained handmade felt toilet seat covers), I did learn a valuable lesson. I learned to preserve and care for the things that I own. I also learned to think of others in need before just throwing away an item that could be reused.

With the current economic situation, more and more families who used to live the throw-away lifestyle are turning to the practices of yesterday. Getting a good bargain or finding a treasure at a thrift store is no longer a stigma, but worn like a badge of honor.

With the high price of gas, continuously scouring yard sales, church consignment sales and thrift stores is no longer an option for many. Technology comes to the rescue with sites such as eBay, Freecycle, craigslist, PaperBackSwap and ThredUp that cater to those looking for bargains. Meetup groups exist for those seeking to swap children's items and some even exist for those of us who are “label snobs”. Pages are popping up all over Facebook such as the Cobb County Online Yard Sale and the Bentwater & Seven Hills Cedarcrest Area Online Garage Sale.

Toss the raggedy underwear, but save the items worth reusing. Swap, sell or give away-help someone in need.
About this column: The sharing of tips, musings, challenges and perspectives from two Acworth moms.