All posts tagged yard sale

Garage sale strategy: Go where the hordes aren’t

Today is one of the biggest garage sale days of the year.

An old, established, and relatively well-to-do neighborhood nearby has a tradition of doing a massive 4-block yard sale every September. People put it on their calendars. You never know what you’ll find there.

I went somewhere else.

My SSD experiment, coming soon

SSDs are the first technology to excite me in a very long time. Next-generation drives with ultralow seek times and transfer rates around 100mb/s are finally available from Crucial and OCZ, but at a price of $600-$700 for a 32gb drive.

I’m going to wait for prices to come down and experiment with a cheaper alternative.

Why I never kept up with the Joneses

I had a bit of a financial epiphany over the weekend.

I have a well-deserved reputation for being a tightwad. Part of it is in my blood; I’m largely of Scottish descent, and Scots just tend to act that way. But I think part of it is what I observed growing up.

More lawnmower adventures

Well, the $25 lawnmower my wife scored at a yard sale late last year died a week ago. It just quit in the middle of the yard, leaving me with a yard with a mohawk, since I’d already cut the front and most of the sides.

I bit the bullet and bought a new Toro.

Setting up the tree and the train

Although some of the people in our neighborhood had their Christmas stuff up well in advance of Thanksgiving, my wife and I did the traditional thing, setting the tree up the day after Thanksgiving.

My lawnmower adventures

I’ve had the same lawnmower for the last 4 years or so. Maybe three. I lose count. It’s a piece of junk–worth slightly more, perhaps, than what I paid for it (nothing) but it didn’t work right when I got it, and this mowing season it just fell apart. And besides falling apart–the wheels really were coming off, and I couldn’t find anyplace that sold new ones that fit–it was getting to be impossible to start.

My wife found another one at a yard sale for $25. It didn’t start either, but at least it was in good physical condition and it was only a year old.

Target is selling Lionel trains now

A number of hobbyists are reporting that they have spotted a Lionel train set at Target, priced at $249.

From the pictures, it looks like pretty much the same old starter set Lionel has been selling since the early 1950s, with the addition of the modern "Fastrack" with integrated plastic roadbed that plugs together easily. That’s not all bad.

The road to financial independence

Early in The Millionaire Next Door, Danko and Stanley single out the Scottish. When my wife, Emily, read it, she said, “That explains everything about you!”

When I read it, I thought it explained everything about my two grandfathers–one was rich, one was poor, both were Scottish, and both spent their money pretty much the same way.

I’ve been reading a lot of these kinds of books because I’m not going to let what happened to us back in May ever happen again.

Cheap ground foam for trains

Ground foam is a commonly used scenery material. You can use it to simulate grass and other ground foliage, and people often use it to make trees as well.

But there are two problems with it. What are the odds of you running out when working late at night when all of the hobby shops are closed? Too high. And it’s expensive. But I found two explanations how to make your own.

Shopping an estate sale for trains

My girlfriend loves shopping at yard sales, flea markets, thrift stores, and basically everywhere people look for bargains.

I’m not into that all that much. I’m a guy. So I just asked her to keep an eye out for tools for me if she happened to be garage sale-ing.

This week she found an estate sale with tools and trains. It started at 7:30 this morning. So I dragged myself out of bed to go.