October 24, 2006


I mentioned in a post recently that I love the thrill of the hunt when it comes to saving money; I get a real charge out of finding something we need for a great price. I'm like a kid in a candy store whenever I pass through the doors of a second-hand store. My husband gets overwhelmed by it - he hates having to search through racks and stacks of things he doesn't want in order to find those few things that he needs. But for me it's more like a treasure hunt, with that perfect thing I've been looking for just waiting for me to find it. I'm fortunate to live in a city that has so many wonderful thrift/consignment stores.
Not only is thrifting a great way to stretch a dollar, but it's also a fabulous way to recycle (there's that frugality/sustainability connection again). By purchasing something used, you're saving the packaging that would have been involved with buying something new, as well as the resources required to make a second thing exactly the same as one sitting unused on a shelf somewhere. That's not even taking into account the oil saved by not having to ship a shiny new item from halfway across the country (or across the world).
With halloween rapidly approaching, we headed off to the local thrift shop to find some of the things we needed for the kids' costumes (they're going as Harry Potter and Hermione). We managed to find white collared shirts for both of them, and a cute kilt for Bee (all of which will become part of their regular wardrobes after the big night). I may have to do some quick sewing of robes to complete the ensembles though, as we didn't find anything like that where we were, and there's no way I'm going to pay $30 each for the cheap nylon ones we've seen in the stores (you know, the ones that turn to shrink-wrap if you stand to close to a heat source).

This is one of the things I was most excited to find. Susan Herrmann Loomis is the author of one of the best memoirs/cookbooks I've ever read, On Rue Tatin, which is an account of her family's adventures buying and renovating a house in France. is a collection of recipes and anecdotes gathered from farmers all across the US. She discusses the various methods of farming, as well as why it's important to buy local and in season. The recipes themselves look tantalizing and homey - I may have to do a cookbook spotlight on it after I've had time to read it thoroughly.
This next find was one for the kids. They love the Horrible Histories set of books, so we were thrilled to find one from the science series. They're just disgusting enough to keep them coming back for more.
Bee found a nice pair of jeans with a gorgeous flower design embroidered up the pant legs, as well as a cute shirt to match. Jay got a new pair of swim trunks that still had the tags on them. Dad even found a great baseball style shirt that looks like it's hardly been worn. Throw in a glass storage container for the pantry and you've got a pretty successful shopping trip, all for less than we would have paid for Bee's jeans had we bought them new!


Lu said...

Hi Cheryl -- please let us know how you like the Farmhouse book for sure! Is it paperback?

Cheryl said...

I will for sure, I've already spied several promising recipes I'm dying to try!
Yes, it's a paperback. She's also got a French Farmhouse book and an Italian Farmhouse book that I'm going to look for at the library.

Lu said...

I do know about Susan's other Farmhouse books. Guess where I'm heading later today? To our library to swoop them up. (They don't own the original one). So many many cookbooks. I made a purchase request at the library. I've requested the holiday knitting book. I am trying not to BUY another knitting book - but I suspect once I read through it, I will probably but it and add to the collection. Sigh. :-)

Cheryl said...

That's funny - our library has the original but not the French or Italian. I'd love to hear how they are.
The knitting book is a nice one!

Danielle said...

The Farmhouse cookbook is one of my absolute favorites--well worn, dogeared and pencil-modified.

Love the food photos and recipes on your blog—they're so inspiring!

Cheryl said...

Danielle - Thank you!
I can see my copy becoming well worn in no time!


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