Monday, February 1, 2016

deals to be had all over

Driving past our local library this weekend, I saw these chairs at the curb. I told Brian to turn the car around and I jumped out to give the chairs an inspection. Fabric still in good shape? Check. Frame still sturdy? Check. Sink into a well-worn hole when you sit down? Umm...yes. Heavy enough to practically give your husband a hernia as he tries to load them in the car? Another yes. Perfect for a college student and his roomies (after you text him to make sure)? Affirmative. Free is good.

While visiting said college student this weekend, I ran into the nearby Goodwill while Brian and Tim were working on Tim's taxes. I found this vintage child's cup for just 79 cents! While I think it's adorable, I have no room to display it and it's not going to be used, so it will go with me to my favorite antique consignment shop to be sold.

At this same Goodwill, I also found a set of brand-new queen-sized flannel sheets and pillowcases from Target. With a 20% off scratch-off ticket, the entire set was only $8! The bedding is in the wash now and will go on my bed later. 

I only pop into Goodwill once in awhile now since I'm really trying to reduce what I bring into my home. A couple of months ago, I found this set of retro plates which will also go with me to the consignment shop for resale. For me, it's a great way to make a few extra dollars.

The one thing I really can't pass up when I'm at Goodwill is quality apparel that one of us truly needs. On the same trip a couple of months ago, I saw this Land's End barn coat in Brian's size for only $7.99. I grabbed it off the rack before someone beat me to it!

Brian loves this coat. Not only does it look good (cool plaid lining, too), but he said it's warm and comfortable.

Speaking of the brand-new Target flannel sheets that I found at Goodwill (above), did you know that Target donates their merchandise to Goodwill? I don't know how that works...if it's close-out or clearance merchandise that didn't sell, or what. In the past, I've gotten a $50 lamp (Target price) for $13 and a $180 (Target price) chair for $35. Anyhoo, these were the latest Target donations that were in the store a couple of months ago - just so you can see some of the bargains that are to be had. I need new bar stools...these would've come home with me if they had've fit in my car. Perhaps my next car should be a SUV. ;-)

I didn't need this ottoman, nor would it go with my furniture, so I didn't buy it. Again, just to show what you can find at Goodwill. And no, I don't work for Target or Goodwill, nor am I getting paid to mention either of these stores. I'm simply a fan.

On to other stores and deals, have you been in Aldi lately? Did you know they now carry an organic line and and keep upping their selection? They started out with just a few canned and boxed items and now they've extended it to some produce, dairy and bread. Again, I don't work for Aldi nor am I getting compensated in any way for mentioning this store. Just passing along information about good bargains. 

Organic, cold-pressed coconut oil is only $4.99. If you're not familiar with the health benefits of coconut oil, do a Google search. There's a wealth of info out there! 

Not organic, but cold-pressed, extra virgin olive oil (which is another healthy, "clean" oil and perfect for making salad dressing) is just $3.49.

Organic, steel-cut oats are $2.79.

 Talk about a healthy bread! This one rivals the "famous" Ezekiel Bread, which is a bit pricey. I don't remember the exact price ($2-something, I believe), but Ezekiel Bread is $4+ in other stores.

Now, my best deal of all this weekend turned out to be free steaks! We were grocery shopping at Trader Joes and my favorite employee was at the register. He's one of the managers who's been there for years. I hadn't seen him in awhile, so I expressed how nice it was to see him and that I had assumed he had been transferred to another store, or had quit. He told me that he was there just about every day and said he didn't know why I haven't seen him. 

Mr. Manager continued chatting with us as we were checking out and then he told me to go back to the refrigerated meat section and to pick out a couple of steaks! He said, "It's on me." I stood there with my mouth open as other customers started lining up behind us at the register. I said, "This isn't coming out of your wallet, is it?" He said, "No, no! Now run back there and get yourself some steaks." I couldn't believe my eyes when I got back to the meat section. There was filet mignon, rib eye and top sirloin. At $12.99/b., the sirloin steaks were the least expensive, so that's what I grabbed. I didn't want to be too greedy! I got back to the register and Mr. Incredible Trader Joe's Manager didn't even look at which steaks I had chosen. He simply took the package and stuck it in my bag. We profusely thanked him and walked out of the store still in a state of shock.

The funny thing is, I don't even normally eat steak. I haven't had a steak in many years, simply because steak doesn't appeal to me. My sister told me to freeze them for her, ha ha. I told her I was willing to try them. ;-) Even though I'm usually a good home cook, since I'm not familiar with steaks, I'm not sure what would be the best way to cook these. In a cast iron pan with butter? Would this cut of meat be best as a steak sandwich or served "as is"? Any tips would be greatly appreciated.

Hope you had a wonderful weekend ~ and that perhaps bargains were to be had by you, too.

Linking up with Thoughts of Home on Thursday #1.


  1. I have seen Target items at Goodwill before, but not such great buys as you saw. I love a good pan fried steak now and then. Google it and you will find good ways to cook it.

  2. Those are comfortable looking chairs indeed. That was a very generous gesture by that gentleman. Good people do good things. Best wishes!

  3. you have secured such great deals this month / those chairs are amazing! :)

  4. Wow, free steaks! You are a lucky lady ( or your sister is!) should run out and play lotto quickly. Do you know anyone who works there? ;)

  5. Very good deals!
    Brian looks comfortable and stylish in that bargain coat. I expect he will wear it and enjoy it for years.
    We are Aldi fans. I have not seen that bread but will look for it. Two Aldi products you also might like are the frozen whole green beans and the frozen Asian style vegetables for stir fries. Both are very good values and quality.
    I am not a steak eater, I just don't enjoy it. But my family all likes their steak cooked outside on the grill. Jeff grilled a bunch of steaks this weekend when some of our children were here. I ate turkey sausage.
    Besides eating plain, sirloin is good in stir fry and beef stroganoff.

  6. The chairs were a great find! I love the Target items at Goodwill, too, and found a new SureFit sofa cover this week! We do much of our shopping at Aldi, all of the organic and gluten free items, and their prices are great!

  7. Our youngest daughter and her husband worked for corporate Target for about 5 years, and many of the store's returns and items left after sales were donated to Goodwill. I wish we had a Target nearby that donated to our local Goodwill!! You found some great deals, Melanie, especially for your son's college apartment!

  8. Free steaks, what time is dinner? My favorite stores are Aldi's and TJ. Aldi's is close but I can to go 17 miles to get to the closer TJ's What a great find on the chair and hope you son enjoys them at said college.... I've been bringing my vintage pieces to a consignment store too...every bit helps.

  9. My college boy loves to thrift shop for his winter flannels. He says he finds the best deals. Great jacket for Brian.

  10. Trader Joe's employees are happy workers. I love standing in line watching the checkers. They talk to each customer as opposed to some of the other stores where a plastic smile is pasted on. So, it doesn't surprise me that the manager offered you the steaks.

  11. You did well! How great for you. Sounds as though you could have a little business going with finding treasures and then selling them on! xx

  12. Here's a good recipe and super easy too!

    The butcher at my Whole Foods gives me a deal on new things he makes to see if they're good enough to make again. It amazing how nice people are when you actually talk to them. Most people treat them like dirt. Anyway, I'm not surprised he gave them to you, because you're a sweetheart :)

    I had no idea about Target giving stuff to Goodwill either. How great, but odd! Loved the husband's new coat :)


  13. You've gotten so many good deals lately. I wish our Goodwill stores had things that nice. Seriously, I've never seen anything as nice as the stuff you get. It's very disappointing. How nice to be given those steaks! I usually grill steaks outside on the gas grill myself; I'm not crazy about pan-cooked meat, but I know it can be done well (just not by me, I'm no good at it!). I had a similarly generous experience with meat right before Christmas, when I wanted to buy a roasting chicken but all they had left in the store (Smith's, a Kroger family store) was the very expensive free-range chickens at something like $4 a lb, which is a lot for chicken. The butcher gave me one of those at the low price of the basic chickens, which was so nice of him. It made the chicken less than half price. No way can I spend $18 on a chicken!

  14. Sirloin steaks can be tough...but they would make a great beef stew! Great bargains, good for you!! Good thing I don't have a Goodwill near me, I'd be popping in there all the time and end up with way too much stuff in my house!

  15. Those chairs look like they would work great in a college boy's room. Looks like you found some goodies! I didn't know that about Target donating to Goodwill. Interesting.


  16. You certainly have had some amazing deals and the free steaks just tops the story off like a dessert! :)

  17. I love it when I find a bargain in something I need. I also look for brand names at Goodwill . . . two of my favorite wardrobe pieces are both from Lands End, a black blazer and a blue and white striped button down shirt. I love pairing them with jeans for a dressier casual look. Add a pair of boots and a string of pearls and Connie looks like a million, for only pennies on the dollar, LOL. Got to love thrift shops!
    Happy shopping.
    Connie :)

  18. Melanie, you're one of the best bargain shoppers I know, and today's post certainly proves me right - again! Wow, what amazing stuff - from the chairs to the ottoman to your hubby's jacket! Just two weeks ago, all of the Goodwill stores across Ontario closed down, from one moment to the next, leaving many employees out of a job, with absolutely no warning! I felt so sorry for them; imagine, showing up to work and seeing that 'out of business' sign on the window!

    Enjoy all your goodies!


  19. Melanie,
    You did score big! Every item which you shared with us is in such fabulous condition, I just don't know how people part with such things.
    The ottoman is an adorable find, as are the chairs.

    Good steaks are such a treat and even more so when they are gifted from such an awesome manager!

    Hope you are enjoying the rest of your week,

  20. What wonderful finds!
    There is nothing better than a great find.
    What fun!
    Thank you for joining our first ever Thoughts of Home on Thursday party.

  21. A month or two after my dad passed away, mom made a rare trip out of the house and went to Trader Joe's with me. At the check out line, mom got emotional and started to quietly cry. Dad had always done the shopping with her and one of their weekly stops was TJs. I whispered an explanation to the cashier who promptly whispered to the manager. The kind staff then handed mom a beautiful bouquet of flowers and gave her a warm hug. Gotta love customer service.


I read and appreciate every comment!