Big Bargoons (the Joys of Liquidation Shopping)

Treasures you might find in a liquidation store

We try to never pay full price for anything. Your money goes a lot further and it makes for interesting shopping trips. At the grocery store you can always find reduced products or items you can purchase with coupons. When Mike finds something we regularly use on sale his first instinct is to buy one or two cases, which is just common sense when you live in a house with lots of storage, but when you live in a 35 foot  fifth wheel it’s not so practical. So when he’s piling the savings into our shopping cart my comment, delivered in a whiny tone, is “where are we going to store it?” His answer is always, “we’ll find room.” That only works for a while before you’re sharing the bed with paper towels and the shower is stacked with canned goods. I now refuse to put this stuff away. If he buys it, he stores it.

Roadside sign will bring us in every time

Back in the days when I was working most of my clothing came from quality consignment shops. That’s where I found my nicest things. The problem with this kind of shopping was,when you found something you liked, but it didn’t fit, you couldn’t go back to the rack for your size or a different color. Everything was “one of” and if you didn’t take it then it might be gone the next day.

You never know what you might find

Thrift shops don’t appeal to me but as a source of cheap housewares they’re okay. Like the great Oster blender we found, with a broken spline, for $5. A new spline cost $8, Mike repaired it and it works great.

Or where you might find it

Liquidation stores are excellent places to find bargains, but there, too you have to purchase the item right now or it might be gone the next trip and you also have to know your prices because their deals aren’t always deals.

You need to look carefully

You never know what you might find, so frequent trips are necessary. We’ve found all kinds of treasures and got caught on a few; like the heated foot bath with vibrating massage that didn’t heat or massage, but the sign at the cash said “All Sales Final”, and they meant it. We made a few other mistakes like the water filter system, missing an odd sized gasket that could not be found anywhere, so now we avoid any electrical items unless we check the return policy. Mike stocked up on a really good deal on plastic scrubbers that he thought would be good for getting those pesky squished bugs off the front of the fifth wheel after a few days of summer travel. Good thing he tried one out on the windshield of the truck first. That plastic scrubber scratched  the glass right at eye level on the passenger side, it’s a constant reminder to not use plastic scrubbers on the fifth wheel.

Mirrors for sale

Our best buy this winter was an infrared heater for the trailer at a saving of $100. Other great acquisitions were an air purifier, UPS for the computer, the weather station mentioned in a previous post, all kinds of food items, most notably smoked salmon packed in a beautiful wood box (which we gave away….space you know) and 8 pounds quinoa. Doesn’t everyone need 8 pounds of quinoa? Oh yes, and the three cases of dried seaweed that no one but Mike will eat, and he loves it.

Madam Seemore

And toys

We bought 25 pairs of the nicest socks, and 30 packages of dental floss and 30 packets of Listerene Pocket Pacs. Remember the rule – buy it while you can, it might not be there next time.

I've always wanted an Elmo squirting noodle

And then there is our most bizarre purchase, and my favorite story. This past winter we bought a 55 pound carton of freeze dried, powdered blueberries from France!  Blueberries are good for you, don’t you know? Now this carton was big!  Three feet high, and a foot and a half square, and it was heavy….well it weighed 55 pounds. Oh, I mentioned that. Remember that other rule….where do you store it? We spent two evenings repackaging  this stuff into small 1 pound bags using the vacuum sealer (which we purchased at a discount store). You might ask,” what one does with 55 pounds of freeze dried powdered blueberries?” We use it in smoothies and added to cereal, but at this rate we’ll be eating freeze dried powdered blueberries for years to come. As for where to keep this stuff, we took most of it to our storage container where we can retrieve as needed.

Washer/Dryer anyone?


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