I thought this post might be a good time to bring up a favorite past-time shared by my parents and myself: giving a new home to previously loved treasures! We find them everywhere, from the street to tag-sales, flea-markets, and auctions. Originally, my mom started going to auctions because she is an art collector, but then my dad and I got on-board, especially with tag-sale-ing.
I've learned a lot about problem-solving from watching how my parents make use of their finds. For instance, after I graduated from college, my mother wanted to put on a graduation party for me, but we couldn't find the extra boxes of drinking glasses that had been put aside in a "safe place." So what to do? Well, the party was on Sunday, so on Saturday my mother went out tag-sale-ing. Lo and behold, she returns an hour later with about 1 1/2 dozen glasses that she bought for $0.10 each! What a success!
Of course there have been some other great finds throughout the years. When I was on the golf team in high school, a full set of golf clubs in a carrying bag was picked up for free by the side of the road. Various kitchen accessories have been found for under $1 or free from many places. My college coffee-maker for instance--left out by the road after someone's tag-sale...this college necessity was all mine for nothing!
After reading this, I hope the message you all get isn't to go dumpster diving (although I do have a cousin who used to do this--they actually do arrest you if you get caught!), but to explore other avenues of acquiring the things that you need. Yes, some things you may want to purchase from a store; like I have never bought previously worn shoes, eww! But sometimes, you get lucky, whether you're hunting for something specific or not. Just because someone else used it before you doesn't mean that its useless! Take a minute to take a drive, go tag-sale-ing on a Saturday morning, or join an online website like Freecycle.com. It will always be worth your time!