Wednesday, 31 December 2008

Wonderful Freecycle

Today, we received the best present for the New Year through freecycle. It is a three piece display/storage cupboards for our dining room. My dolls will have a new home now for display - and I have a plastic container (somewhere) which has some lovely things in that I can put on display. Thanks to our friend R who was a wonderful help to get them home.

If you haven't checked out Freecycle - do so.

The Freecycle Network™ is made up of 4,658 groups with 6,292,000 members across the globe. It's a grassroots and entirely nonprofit movement of people who are giving (& getting) stuff for free in their own towns. It's all about reuse and keeping good stuff out of landfills. Each local group is moderated by a local volunteer (them's good people). Membership is free.

Tuesday, 30 December 2008

Stop Press ... Salvos Phillip Moving and Expanding!

It's official. After weeks of speculation we can announce that the Salvos Family Store at Phillip is moving from Colbee Court to the Phillip Market Place on the corner of Hindmarsh Drive and Botany Street (where JB HiFi used to be near KFC) on 14 February 2009.

The current store of 300 square metres will close on 7 February. The new 850 square metre store will open on 14 February. Current permanent staff will double to two full-time workers.

We declare February 14 2009, Op Shop Lovers' Day.

You heard it here first!

Sunday, 28 December 2008


Did anyone take note of Bargain Hunter's Christmas hours? We're probably in need of some of their free jars and it seems dumb to drive all the way out there tomorrow only to discover that they're closed for the week between Christmas and New Year...

Saturday, 27 December 2008

Post-Christmas Op Shops

What a disappointing morning. There were only 3 garage sales advertised in the Canberra Times, and nothing listed on All Classifieds.

We went to the Mugga Lane Aussie Junk - and there was nothing there. They are arranging their stuff in cabinets, and I couldn't find the clothes and linen section anywhere. Narhhh - not worth going.

Then to Vinnies in Woden - not open, and ducked up to the Salvos, This was better - I unearthed 5 books for a dollar.

I committed evironmental Hari Kari and went to Sam's Warehouse... found packets of 18 Christmas Cards for 50 cents. OK - and will make a great base for card making next year.

There was nothing much to be found at Salvo's Jamison either... Well they do have a major sale on till early January, but nothing there rocked my boat.

I definately prefer garage sales and auctions to the op shops these days... there is still the rummage factor there, and a chance to bargain a real bargain in the process.

Friday, 26 December 2008

On next weeks show, ‘teaching grandma how to suck eggs’.

A couple of days before xmas I heard a little segment on ABC radio, called “how to beat the man and save money” presented by Johnno “beat the man” Atkins.

His ideas on how to save money.

  • Buy stuff with the markdown sticker, ease yourself into this, by just buying one markdown item.
  • Buy marked down bread (if you are going to be eating and finishing it the next day).
  • Keep a diary on when supermarkets mark down their foods and look for a pattern in these markdowns (ie bread gets marked down at 8:30pm, BBQ chickens get marked down at 4pm) and plan your shopping accordingly
  • Follow the person with the markdown stickers. Stay about 10 meters behind them, and when you see them marks something down wander over and see what it is.
  • Go to the local club, they have free water, lots of TVs showing many different stations, and air-conditioning. Just perfect for a summers afternoon.
  • Get the discount vouchers. There is nothing wrong with a Tuesday $6 steak, however avoid the marked down oysters.
  • BBQ chooks get reduced in the evening.
  • Steal salt and pepper from restaurants.
  • The library has free Movies, DVD, Books and Internet. So borrow them.
  • Leftovers save you having to buy lunch, or morning tea.
  • Use the toilets / showers at your workplace, etc. this can save you in the long term.

But don’t we all do this to save money. And what is their next show going to be on, ‘teaching grandma how to suck eggs’.

I found the web link to his page. His programs are a little tongue in cheek, but is worth listening to.

Things that should NOT be bought second hand, ever

While we are all into buying second hand material and giving it a second life, there are times when you are out shopping for second hand material and you come across stuff that you know you should never, ever, buy second hand. When Taph and I have been on our foraging trips we have sometimes come across some things that are like this, and sometimes, we just put them back, but other times, we have remembered to take photos of them so we could post them here.
This is just so wrong and Aussie junk should never have put them on display. I mean who would even consider buying such a thing from Aussie Junk.
Spotted this in the Canberra Times ad-hoc section (On Tuesday 16 December). I do not know if the person is serious or having a joke on Canberra, but I was not going to ring them to find out.
Really would anyone buy this second hand. Guys, a word of advise here, if you are going to buy something like this for your Significant other, THEN BUY IT NEW.
The good old personal massager, never buy one used as you never know where it has been massaging.

Oh, one other thing, remember to take baby wipes with you, because after handling this lot, we needed to wash our hands.

Let us know about your finds at ops shops, or at least the stuff you find that should not be there.

Wednesday, 24 December 2008

Merry Thriftmas!

(To steal a phrase from The Thrifty Chicks.)

I thought you might like to see some pictures of the $15 toy kitchen in use:
I delivered it yesterday morning and got these pictures and email around dinner time from his Mum:"Thank you so much for Little E's kitchen! He's used it all day! Though now the floor is covered in crushed dried spaghetti and biscuit crumbs from his 'baking' :-). Hmmm... it normally is anyway, so at least now he's being more creative while he creates the mess."

Now if I'd only picked up some toy cooking and baking ware last time I was at IKEA. But as Taph says "Everything turns up at the op shop eventually if you wait long enough..."

Tuesday, 23 December 2008

Bowled over at Vinnies Queanbeyan

(Reprinted from The Shopping Sherpa) Beautiful set of four Crazy Daisy Pyrex nesting mixing bowls: $18 the lot. Damned shame I don't do green, huh?

(Still trying to decide if these are heading for resale on eBay next year or are the first of the presents bought for Christmas 2009...)

Monday, 22 December 2008

Not really wanted

I saw this in Vinnies Gungahlin over the weekend:

I am not going to say it is the worst film ever made, but it would have to be the worst film I saw in 2008.

Even funnier is that it was released on DVD only a couple of weeks ago, and here sits a copy at a second hand shop for $3.00. Admittedly it is a R1 copy in NTSC format, but to find it like this is a surprise.

We also found these videos in the same store. PufnStuff was one of those 60s -70s kids shows, which is so full of innuendo, that even adults will find it funny. Just say the name slowly - Puf-n-stuff. Nuf said.

And finally sometimes it pays to look around. I found a second hand bookstall at a market had two copies of the Da Vinci code. One was $2 and the other was $5. I read the book ages ago, and I think even the copy for $2 is overpriced.

Sunday, 21 December 2008

New shoes, new chairs

On Thursday afternoon I had the opportunity to sneak out of work an hour early, and car repairs in Phillip had me in the area. Perfect for a quick scour of my local ops - Salvos and Vinnies, both within 100m of each other.

Salvos close earlier than I thought they would (4.30 daily) so I only had a couple of minutes before closing time, but Vinnies is open till 5pm (every weekday), so I trudged on over after getting kicked out of Salvos to find myself a new pair of purple leather flats, $4.

I'm pretty pleased with them.

Vinnies also had a cute set of Vue multicoloured cocktail glasses, which I was heavily tempted to buy for a christmas present for someone.... anyone.... especially at the bargain price of $15 for the set. In the end I left them there, but might just have to head back tomorrow (if someone hasn't already swiped them up).

I only had my phone camera on me, and in the absence of a bluetooth to transfer the pic to PC, all I can offer is this hilariously dodgy picture of the picture on my phone. Hehehehe. Hope you can kind of get the drift.... the glasses are cocktail, coloured, slightly textures, and 100% fun.

And remember the cool chairs that I picked up on eBay?
I could go on for an hour about the process of ripping, tracing, pattern-making, pinning, cutting, trial-and-erroring... the first cover that I made was with cheap $3/m fabric picked up from the Chifley church fabric sale, which was good for a test run on my first go, but probably not the best fabric for upholstery overall. My second attempt, however, turned out much better - having smoothed out some kinks in the pattern I made, and also investing in nicer quality upholstery fabric.
It turned this:
(As much as I like orange, the covers were musty, badly stained, and clash with absolutely everything in my house...)

to this: A bit sedate, but with a gorgeous tweedy texture and a hint of colourful stripe in the weave which you can only really see close up...Success!

Time to tackle chair no. 3. I'm thinking of a similar texture fabric, but maybe in green tones.

Hope your weekend thrifty finds are fun and rewarding!

Market intelligence

(Reprinted from The Shopping Sherpa)

I was going to say "I rolled out of bed super-early this morning" but that would be a lie.

So let's start again, shall we?

I rolled out of bed at my usual pre-7am time this morning and headed off to Trash and Treasure. The plan was to buy some more plants and pop into Coles to use some gift cards I'd been given for Christmas to buy a mix of essentials and Christmas treats.

But the plant people I bought from last time weren't there and the other plants didn't look to good so instead I ended up buying:
*A brand new shrink wrapped copy of House of Eliott complete series 3 for $25. Damned shame I don't have series 1 and 2 yet...
* A copy of Lonely Planet London for $4, only because I discovered recently that my name appears in it. So this isn't really a travel guide, it's actually a piece of memorabilia!
*A very cute vintage sewing machine accessories tin for $1 to replace my very boring plastic one.
* Yet another vintage row counter for 50 cents.

Don't the colours all blend nicely with each other?

(Alas, I forgot to ask the chap on the gate when they reopen in the New Year...)

Friday, 19 December 2008

Vinnies Narrabundah

Netted me a copy of the Scissors Sister's self titled CD for $4, a free slice of Chrissy cake (my first for the season) and the discovery that they are now open Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays 9am - 5pm.

(Christmas hours: Weds 24th Dec: 9am - 1pm, Weds 31st Dec: 9am - 5pm, Fri 2nd Jan 9am - 5pm then as normal)

Thursday, 18 December 2008

It all started because J wanted a CD rack...

(Reprinted from The Shopping Sherpa)

...and I had magazines to drop off at Lifeline in Mitchell.

First stop, Salvos Mitchell where J donated a new in plastic roll of engagement wrapping paper and, in return, The Frugalling Fairy smiled upon us.

I know it's almost too late, but if you need Christmas cards, tasteless decorations or gift cards, head ye to Salvos Mitchell and check out the very large carton of vintage goodies. At one stage I pulled out a set of gift cards with Strawberry Shortcake on one side and, on the other, a cartoon character which looked vaguely familiar. It took about 20 minutes until I exclaimed, as we drove away: "

See this pile of loveliness?

$1 for the lot. I have evil plans for next year.

But first I may pull out and keep the grey and black cards for myself....J had no luck with CD racks that she'd actually want in her home so we headed up to Aussie Junk. Where we found a suitable CD rack, visited the
Yarn Barns and then wandered into the Better Bits corner where I spotted these:which are identical to the lights J has in her kitchen. One of which has a shade which has gone a bit dodgy to which the seller of the original set declared there was no such thing as a spare part and she'd have to buy a whole new set of lights (around $100) to replace one dodgy shade.

Or, as became obvious today, spend $15 for both sets (brand new with tags attached) and the wooden CD rack and have spare shades and bulbs to last a lifetime. Thank you, Frugalling Fairy!

At Vinnies Gungahlin (which we had to visit to check the opening hours for the Google Doc spreadsheet
) I rounded my spend for the day to $10 with the purchase of this for $9:Hopefully for a blog reader who wanted to buy my Little Singer for her daughter for Christmas. So really, my spend was $1.

Hello from "The Old Flame"

If a shop has "cheap" in its name, it usually isn't.

Hello all, i am the latest "I op, therefore I am" writer. I am "The Old Flame" as in Taph's Old Flame.

To find out more about me, you will have to visit my blog. Hopefully I will fill in some more posts over the next few weeks.

I love a bargain as much as the next person and believe that if you do not haggle, then we should call the
Roman Guard. However i do have a slightly different focus when it comes to op shopping. Sorry, but it comes from having a XY chromosome, but that also means i will have some different insights too.

Hopefully these insights can be used to effect by you, or feel free to ignore me.

A few other Xmas closing dates.

Here are a few other Xmas closing dates for op shops in the Belconnen region.

The Y Shop
Closes 23 Dec. Re-opens 2 Jan

Closed 25 Dec - 29 Dec & 1 January
open 30 and 31 Dec

Another Chance (Scullin)
Closes 12pm 20 Dec
reopens 10am 19 Jan

Saturday, 13 December 2008

Orange things

Orange things
Originally uploaded by redmag
After a having last weekend's op shopping activities called off due to some ghastly 24-hour bug - I was primed and ready to hit the shops just after 9am this weekend.

The Bargain Hunter in Quenbeyan is always good for fabric and other crafting supplies but this morning it was excellent - here are some of the new additions for my ever growing stash.

There was also lots of good quality kids books there too (no photos)

Hope you had luck in your hunting too!

Tuesday, 9 December 2008

My brain hurts...

So I think I've worked the Google Map thingy out. Sort of. Kind of. I could spend a whole day wresting with it ("Brain Injury Trust op shop is HERE you moronic map thingy NOT THERE!!") but I have to go somewhere tomorrow, sit at a desk and get paid to stay there for a certain number of hours. And not play with my map thingy and spreadsheet thingy :-(

So I suppose I'm saying if you fancy helping update map thingy and spreadsheet thingy please let me know and I'll add you as an author ... Ditto for blog thingy!

Including the kitchen sink...

Captured at Salvos Jamison, where we stopped on a whim mainly to check their hours.

Micki kitchen play set, perfect for Little E whose mother was muttering something just a few weeks ago about wanting to get one for him. There's a sink with water (!), 4 hobs, an oven*, knobs which go "click click click", a cupboard (with broken hinge but a quick call to my distributor who stocks these confirmed hinges are available as a spare part) and a hanger with pot mitt.

RRP? $170.00
Salvos price? $15.00

(*non-working, obviously!)

Taph FAFing About - Time for a Cuppa

DATE: 19 November 2009
SOURCE: Aussie Junk, Mitchell
OBJECT: 5 x Wedgewood cups and saucer
NOTES: For friends who have been collecting this set since their wedding 40 years ago.

Monday, 8 December 2008

Salvos Christmas hours

Spotted on the door at Salvos Weston. The woman behind the counter assures me these hours are the same across the city...

Thu 25th Dec: Closed
Fri 26th Dec: Closed
Sat 27th Dec: Normal hours
Mon 29th - Weds 31st Dec: Normal hours
Thurs 1st Jan: Closed
Fri 2nd Jan - Sat 2nd Jan: Normal hours

Sunday, 7 December 2008

Budget? What budget?

After a week without op shopping I headed to Jamison Trash and Treasure this morning with a $30 budget: $20 from my $5 note stash (I save every $5 note that I get as change. It's quite amazing how quickly they add up) and $10 from a book I sold to Booklore this week.

All was going well. I picked up a Richard Scarry for 50 cents (anyone who knows me knows
I don't go past a Richard Scarry if I see one)It needs some mending. Little E will love it.

I grabbed a Beatrix Potter CDrom for a friend who is recreating Beatrix's house in mini: $1.

Some plants. $6.

Then I saw this:which was $80. Way beyond my budget. Also beyond the combined wallet contents of me and friend Tania who was with me. But then I discovered it was being sold by someone who I'd known professionally. And it was the only grey dressmaker's dummy I've ever seen.

So caution was thrown to the wind. I trotted galloped off to the money machine. Tania went to get her car. And thus it was that Lovely Linda now lives with me and my budget is shot to heck. (Good thing I got another food parcel this week, hey?)

Thursday, 4 December 2008

It's a start...

Many of you have tried to links on the right to google maps and google docs and found they don't do anything.

Sorry about that: been on my list for a couple of weeks and tonight I finally made some time to start working on them.

The good news is there's a list of op shops and opening times there now.

The bad news is it's based on a rather elderly document I have so it's out of date. And I can't get google maps to work for me at the moment.

As I've been visiting op shops over the past few weeks I've been collecting their details. But Canberra's a big place so I'd love it if you could check details of op shops you visit regularly and verify the opening times for me. Also let me know the details for the ones I know are missing from the list at the moment.

If that's not an excuse to get out there this weekend, I don't know what is!

Monday, 1 December 2008

Taph FAFing About - Sauce for the Goose

DATE: 19 November 2009
SOURCE: Salvos, Tuggeranong
OBJECT: Corningware Saucepan with liquid measurements on the inside
NOTES: I had to be talked into this one. I know it's gorgeous, in mint condition and suitable for both normal people and southpaws, but its original price was $20. I would not have paid that. As it was, all bric-a-brac was half price and the Voice of Frugal Reason insisted I bring it home. I love it.

Also on Unravelled.