Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Egg money, treasure 1

Last summer when Jack and I were walking in the mornings, we were picking up quite a few quarters every morning. Those quarters inspired a few milk money posts.

Last week I happened to go to the grocery store and a garage sale on the same day. After being totally horrified yet again at the price of food, I found a really nice treasure for $3. $3 happens to be what I had just paid for a dozen eggs, so, a little egg money series is born. (The quilt yesterday was also $3).
Jack and I were digging around in a totally dark building and I was trying to get him out the door when I spotted this cabinet. It was a totally hideous, mid 1970's faux antiqued green.
But this beautiful green inside the broken doors caught my eye. When I saw the $3 price tag I started digging it out of a pile. It is solid wood and heavy as all get out. Carrying it out of a dark crowded building was not easy, and Jack was so sweet about "helping" me carry it out of there.
I spent Saturday sanding and painting and putting it back together. It's the first time Jack has really helped me with a "projik" like this, and he did a lot of sanding! (I want to always remember that this cabinet was our first project like this together*...)

A coat of paint, new old knobs, fresh old contact paper on the shelf, and voila! It's so much better now.
I couldn't decide if I wanted to put some kind of paper inside the door insets or not, but after putting the same contact paper that I lined the shelf with in those holes yesterday, I love it even more.

And the total was cost was just $3, everything else was lying around the house.

I have another egg money treasure for tomorrow too!

* As I was painting it I was wondering what Jack will be like when he is older. Will our current thriftiness mean that he is driven to be the type of person who has to buy everything new? Or will he continue to love being thrifty?

Right now he loves going to garage sales, and he asks me every day if there is a garage sale today. Last week he woke up on Saturday and told me we had to get up right now and go to FIVE garage sales. Only five. No more, no less. Then after each stop he did the math to figure out how many more sales we were going to visit.

How many people really do end up like their parents though? I suspect very few.


  1. Holy moly! What a score!
    The restoration is just gorgeous : )

  2. Anonymous5:57 AM

    It's a nice blog.

    Beautiful pictures.

    Please visit:


    Good luck

  3. I love the finished cabinet! What a sweet reminder of a project together!

  4. My three yr old loves to go too. She is my helper but when my 6 yr old has to come along it's a nightmare. They touch and want everything.

    I love your 3 dollar cabinet.

  5. My dad is a big garage saler & garbage picker. I tend to take after my dad and see treasure in junk. My mom not so much. Now that I am into thrifting, they have caught the bug too and it's something they are enjoying together. For me it goes in waves. I haven't thrifted in a while. I have to clean the apartment. Just too much stuff to stomach bringing in more. When I get to this point, I know it's bad! LOL!

  6. I have a litle three tiered table that my Mom bought at a yard sale when I was two years old. She stripped the paint off it and refinished it. I was only two, but for some reason, I took a ball point pen (without the ink sticking out) and scribbled on top of the table after all her hard work. She left it because she knew that I ws just trying to "help" her. The funny thing now is that I wuld really like to paint it white to fit it into my decor now. Maybe my son can strip it again with his kids!

  7. I love, love, love your cabinet! What a find! And what a great transformation!

  8. Anonymous6:57 AM

    We end up very much like our parents. We just don't admit it. I love the cabinet. How DID you lift the thing? After I bought the mangle my husband made the rule that I can only buy what I can LIFT!!! Your accomplishments are very motivating!!!

  9. Anonymous7:02 AM

    Very nice. I want to re-do my bathroom vanity. You have given me hope ;)

  10. So cute! That contact paper is new old stock?? I can never find cute contact paper.

    My parents are super frugal. Although, we always went on cool vacations, we'd stay at pretty horrible motels-- not complaining. I'm super grateful. My point, however, is that I am a spendaholic but still get mad when I get a coupon in the mail AFTER I have just shopped at a store. Passed along from the 'rents, no doubt.

  11. Wowee! That turned out beautiful!!! And even more special that Jack helped.
    The older I get the more I see my parents in me. Somethings I like, some I try to change. I wouldn't change them for the world though and I love all the memories I have with them.

  12. Wow, Sarah! What a find!!! :) I love that Jack helped restore it. My oldest is five and a half and he still loves yard sales. He loves helping me hunt for treasures and he loves to find a random toy here and here (we have a plastic baggie with some change that he gets to take with him to yard sales).

    My dad was super frugal all while I was growing up and while I've always thought of myself as the "maverick" of the family because of the *strange* way I do things (my family all think I'm nuts) while my mom was in town this week and I was sitting there cutting my coupons and mapping out my yard sale hunt for the weekend she looked at me and said "you are more like your dad than you realize"....so I guess we do pick up some stuff from our parents when we aren't looking! :)

  13. Great transformation! I'd definitely trade you a pack of eggs for it!

  14. WOW! That is a find, and a superb job of reviving it!

    I think Jack will always appreciate vintage because of it being a tie between the two of you.

  15. I'm afraid most of us are more like our parents than we are willing to admit!

  16. Maybe when I get up to StL, we could go garage-saleing/thrifting together? My DB lives near St.Ann/Overland area. I used to gs alot in Brigdeton. My best score was an antique Dresden Plate top for $20. I handquilted that every 1" crosshatching, of course! LOL!

  17. That's great! So sweet to share that experience with your son.

    I never even pick up things like this because I don't know where the heck I'd put them.

    Plus I can't even seem to get myself organized enough to re-finish my sewing cabinet.

  18. Anonymous4:42 PM

    Wow, you really brought it back to life. I would love to do something like that but suspect I'd never get around to it. And it would cost a LOT more than $3 here even in the 'before' condition.

  19. that is an amazing $3 project! i am glad to hear that you got some help, too. our eggs are unfotunately more than $3, but that is because i always like to buy free-range organic. and brown. they need to be brown, for some reason.
    my parents were frugal, er, cheap, er didn't have a lot of money, and so now i am frugal on some things and spend when needed (for one pair of good shoes every year or so, for example). so you never know.

  20. Anonymous8:40 PM

    I love the transformation on the cabinet. Very cute.

  21. You constantly amaze me with your finds. what a lovely lovely piece!

  22. Anonymous3:25 PM

    Super job - love the trash to treasure transformation! :)

  23. Sarah, I dragged my daughter to yard sales all the time...she is 23 now and the queen of thrift too. She has very expensive tastes but she knows how to find it for nothing. She bought her designer wedding gown that retailed for $1500.00 from a shop on ebay for $125.00! The dress was also shown on the cable TV show
    "Bridezilla" Her wedding is a year away but she is ready! It was a salesfloor sample and still in perfect condition! I know you are teaching Jack great values and thriftiness!
    And I LOVE that cabinet! So sweet that Jack is old enough to help now!


Hi there. What say you?