Dream Shard Blog: The Scintillating Adventures of Our Household

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Jul '08

Bag Sales and Thriftiness

My friend Alicia shared on her blog some of her amazing finds at garage sales (and they were pretty darn amazing). I haven’t been to many garage sales since I moved to Utah, but I gotta admit–I am a sucker for a good deal.

When I was a teenager my grandma would take me to bag sales on Saturdays. Bag sales are like yard/garage sales, but they’re usually held in church basements. And if you’re wondering how that works since churches don’t have basements, you’ve lived in Utah way too long. My hometown is heavily Catholic and the churches held bag sales to raise funds. You take a paper grocery bag with you, stuff it full of whatever you fancy, and the entire bag of treasures costs just $1.

My grandma was a seriously thrifty person and I think we, though two generations apart, were made from the same cloth. Every time I descended into a pale, musty basement lined with folding tables piled with used clothes, books, and knickknacks, I felt like I was walking straight into heaven.

Since the stuff for sale was donated by church members, and many of the active donors were rather ripe in age, sometimes shopping a bag sale was like browsing a vintage shop. I think I was the only teenager in my ward (and maybe in the whole world) who wore nylons to church with a seam running down the back of the leg. Apparently that was considered stylish about fifty years ago. But I figured, nylons without holes in them, and practically for nothing! I wore those bag-sale nylons for a year until I wore them through.

I love getting a good deal so much that if people comment on something I got a deal on I can’t help but blurt out how much I got it for. One time in college my brother complimented my button-up yellow shirt and my reflex response was, “Thanks! I got it at DI.” Because I was really proud that I had found such a great shirt at the thrift store. But my brother gave me a weird look and said, “Maybe you should consider keeping details like that to yourself.” Apparently he wasn’t impressed. I’ve tried to quell the impulse, but it still spills out. The other day my sister complimented my new shirt and without thinking I said, “Thanks! I got it on clearance at Wal-Mart.”

I’m sure I probably come across as completely classless. But I can handle that if it means I have more money in the pocket in the long run and still end up with some pretty decent stuff. Besides, half the fun of buying is the thrill of the hunt.


2 Responses to “Bag Sales and Thriftiness”

  1. tara72 Says:

    ah yes, I loved those bag sales! though what did we get? mostly a bunch of junk….although I DID love that little wire doggie envelope holder that I sort of pretended to use for years because he was cute.

    and when I read about your Wal-Mart shirt to Jonathan, he commented “hey, that really WAS a good-lookin’ shirt!” and it was.

  2. alicia Says:

    Oh man, I had to laugh so much reading this. Because it is so me. I can’t help but blurt out where I got my good deal or for how much. :) I get some weird looks too. And it is all about the thrill of the hunt in bargain shopping. I get adrenaline rushes sometimes. :) And here I am admitting this.

    I think it is good I don’t live near those Bag sales! Wow, $1!! That is paying pennies for things!

    Love it!

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