The sun shines brightly this February morning, and a warm wave has hit our NC town. My immediate thought spins towards yard sale season and how I am itching to go out on my Saturday morning excursions.

I use the winter months to try and catch up on projects, clear out junk, and save money by not shopping at all, because let’s face it, even though I may be getting some amazing $1 and $2 deals on my thrifty treasures, those dollars still add up.

I have a specific budget line for my yard sale-ing and thrift store shopping, and believe it or not, it’s my largest category. (Well, next to mortgage and food, of course.) Start planning now to add those extra expenses into your budget because if you haven’t, then all the “savings” in the world still adds up to money spent that shouldn’t be spent.

Yesterday, our sons’ regional basketball tournament started, which means I had three games over the course of eight hours. The gym was too far away for me to go back home in between games, so I used my time wisely and searched out the closest thrift stores. Just five minutes away was the largest Goodwill in our region, and huge doesn’t begin to describe it.

My mom was with me and she wanted to scout out some new summer clothes for her trip to Florida. I found some great clothes for myself (I’ll save those for a different post) and my tween daughter found some as well. For our teen buys, we scored some brand new athletic wear from Champion, whose headquarters is in town, and had donated tons of new basketball shorts, shirts etc.

I found this $1 shelf organizer, which always makes me happy. Internally, I am an organizational mess, so anytime I can purchase something like this it instantly makes me “feel” more organized. ๐Ÿ™‚ Last year, I bought the green shelf, and yesterday, I found the yellow one for the second cabinet.ย  If I ever get to the point where I want them to match, spray paint is my best frugal friend. One coat of paint and they will look like I bought them as a perfect pair.

I have been staying away from furniture because I still have three more painting projects, and I made a “semi-vow,” somethingย  just under a promise, not to buy any more pieces. Since it wasn’t a complete vow, and not very often do unbelievable pieces come by like this…

I “Splurged.”

Please, no haters.

I know you are. I can feel it from a far (or maybe because my basketball mom friends already exuded that when they saw what I found in between games. :))

No mourning such as, ” I never find anything like that” because I thought it wasn’t possible to find furniture steals at Goodwill anymore either. Their prices have surged on furniture and I stick to Craig’s List or yard sales for true finds, although THIS PROVES IT. The elusive find is still out there. I literally saw the workers putting this into place and I mourned that it was sold already. They quickly responded, “Nope, we are just bringing this out. It was just dropped off.”

Before I could do the happy thrifting dance, I proceeded to follow my own tips for second hand furniture buying. The material was in perfect shape. It must have been in grandma’s parlor with a sheet over it and a sign that said, “Not allowed in, except for with company.”

I did the smell test, the kid test, and all my other tests, and it proved more than buy-able. Now I was free to celebrate. Even though the fabric is still in pristine shape, it’s very dated. For me, this piece will be worth the expense to have it reupholstered. I will paint the wood white, and spend too much time deciding on fabric, something with a pale blue, light greenish hue.

I still have to think through the perfect place for it, but I am one step closer to redoing our great room and dining room, and so I am buying ahead on a budget. The only reason I ignored my Type A daughter’s inquiry of, “Mom, do you know where you are going to put this? Does it have a place?”

Has anyone else found any great buys recently?