Hmmmmmmm . . .

A trip to the laundry mat has me ‘re-thinking’ my Goodwill shopping strategy.  Last Sunday Michael and I made the ‘dreaded trip to the laundromat’ to wash all our blankets and down comforters.  Would have taken me all WEEK to do them at home, not to mention that since we are on well water, we really don’t have enough water to do all that extra laundry.

I HATE waiting for laundry.  So we put the clothes in to wash and zipped down the road to McDonald’s for lunch.  Came back and put the clothes into dryers, then went across the street to Goodwill to pass the time.

Now I really AM, very seriously, in ‘use up what I have mode’, BUT I still need to shop for the things I can’t make; and to keep the the right ‘product blend’ in my booth.  Afterall, Stars IS an ‘antique mall’!  Have to be sure I keep the ‘majority of vintage stuff.

USUALLY I do my thrift shopping on Wednesdays, on my way home from stocking my booth at Stars; because Wednesday is ‘senior discount day’.  AND because I really don’t want to make an extra trip JUST for thrifting.  Gas is so expensive and we live so far out that I really have to carefully plan and combine my trips.

I also try, as much as possible to look for the ‘half price color tag’ of the week when I am at GW. A few times when I have gone on Wednesday (or even later in the week) there are barely ANY of the half price color tags to be found?!?! And I have occasionally wondered if they didn’t PULL all the color tag half price items.  It’s has been that bad at times!

It was totally the OPPOSITE yesterday though!  Everything I picked up had a green tag (color of the week)!!!  We only had a short while to shop, and get back to the laundromat,  But I could have spent a LOT more money AND gotten everything I bought at half price!

I always knew the new color started on Sundays.  But never really thought it mattered WHEN I shopped.  MOST customers in the store are shopping ‘retail’, so they are happy with the regular prices.  But since I need to ‘mark mine up’ enough to cover rent, commission, gas and a pinch of re-investing money; I want the lowest prices I can possibly get.  So now I’m thinking that maybe I should plan my GW shopping days for Sunday from now on!!

I’ll certainly ‘explore the option’ more carefully at the very least.  More half priced items beats out the 5% senior discount any day!!!

Do you do your thrifting on one particular day of the week?  Or find some days better than others??

Valuable advice: Price mark down guidelines for Costco and Target

Michael forwarded this information to me last week from a newsletter he gets.  I HAD already read the info “somewhere on-line” in the previous week; but I couldn’t tell you WHERE I had read it, OR how to find it again!  So, for my own benefit as well as yours, I’ve decided to copy and paste it into my blog.  This way it will be easy to find again when I want a reminder; you can just enter ‘mark down guidelines’ in the search box here on my blog:

Retailers love to pull this trick with their prices. They hide deals and codes in plain sight of their customers.  Costco and Target are two of my favorites.

You can tell when you are getting a good deal at Costco by paying attention to the last number in the price. For the most part, regularly priced items end in $0.99. So if you see an item for $24.99 or $7.99 you can be pretty sure that price is the original one.

When you see a price sign at Costco that ends with $0.97, you have found a deal. Any time an item ends in $.97 it means it’s been marked down.  When you see an item with this price you usually won’t find the original price marked on the signs with a slash through it like you do in most other stores. Costco doesn’t want you to figure out their pricing strategy so they leave off the original price in these instances. But rest assured if you see an item that ends with $0.97 the price has been slashed and you are getting a deal! Stock up if you are in need of that item.

You may also see prices at Costco that do not end in $0.99 or $0.97. Odd prices that end in $0.89, $0.79, and $0.49 mean the merchandise has been marked down too. Items that are priced like these signal that Costco got a special deal from the manufacturer and they are passing the savings on to you. Usually items priced like these are good deals, especially compared to other retailers, but they are not as good of a deal as one that ends in $0.97.

Another pricing trick Costco hides right in front of your face is when an item is being discontinued. If the shelf tag has an asterisk (*) in the upper right hand corner, you know the item won’t be reordered. Whatever Costco has in stock is it and will not be replaced. Probably the item will be marked down if it’s been on the shelves for a few months, but not always. So if there are only a few of an item left but the price ends in a $0.99, you know the item has not been marked down and will not be seen again—at least not until next season. If you need an item and the shelf tag has an asterisk in the upper right corner, then buy what you need then and there; don’t wait for a price reduction that may not come in time.

The good news is that Costco has a 30 day price guarantee. So if you buy an item and see it at a lower price anytime in the following 30 days, you can bring back your receipt and be credited for the difference in price. This way you never get left out of a good deal!

Target has similar pricing secrets that they love to hide in plain sight. There is a lot of information that can be found on their clearance stickers that can help you determine if you are getting the best deal.

Next time you go to Target look at their clearance tags. The price in the bottom left hand corner is the item’s original price. The price in the upper right hand corner is the percentage the item is marked down by.

In the picture you can see it reads 50. Most of the time you will see a 15, 30, 50, 70, 75 or 90 listed in the upper right hand corner. These are Target’s standard percentages off. Although I should note that food, furniture and electronics usually don’t get marked down by more than 15 percent ever.

Target doesn’t just hide their pricing secrets on clearance stickers; you can tell if you are getting a deal on regular price tags too. Regular prices at Target always end in a 9, like $7.99 or $12.89 or $24.79. If you see a price tag like this you know that an item has not been marked down, it is at its original price.

If you see a price that ends in something other than a 9, you know an item’s price has been reduced. Prices that end in an 8 have been marked down, but are slated to be reduced again in the future.

Prices that end in a 4 are the best deals though. If you see a price ending like $19.54, $7.44 or $54.54, then you know that’s the lowest it will go. Stock up on an item if you see a price ending in a 4 because it won’t get any cheaper!

What happens though when you see a price that ends in an 8? You don’t necessarily want to buy that item because you know the price will be reduced sometime in the future. Well don’t worry because Target has a mark down schedule they stick to! About every two weeks, Target marks down an item. Now you know when you should go back to buy that item. No more wasting time checking back on random days to see if an item you want is at its lowest price!

Target’s Mark Down Schedule

Monday: Children’s clothing, baby items, electronics, office supplies, wrapping paper and stationery 
 Women’s clothing, home decor and domestic items
Wednesday: Men’s clothing, toys, food, health and beauty, garden items
Thursday: Housewares, lingerie, shoes, sporting goods, luggage
Friday: Cosmetics, jewelry, hardware, automotive, and home improvement

The more you know, the more you save. You just have to be able to decipher the information retailers like Target and Costco are hiding in plain sight. Knowing the codes and clues to look for will help you get the best deal possible.

Option # 2 it is then!

My thanks to all of you who took the time to give your input.

 Option #1 is an analogy of sorts of the Dr. Seuss book,  “Horton Hears a Who”, which is coming out as a new movie soon.  I thought it was very clever, but if no one else gets it, it’s not so clever!  My mind works in strange ways sometimes.  But I think y’all already knew that!!!

Published in: on March 12, 2008 at 6:43 pm  Leave a Comment  

Which do you like better????

I’m working on my ad for the next issue of Country Pleasures Magazine.  Typically, I advertise ‘the store’; but I’m thinking of taking a different approach “just to see how it goes” and have the ad be about the BLOG.  (which of course ultimately directs readers to the store!) 

While I always include the web site in everything, including the store ads, I just have a feelingthat reversing the order might work better.  Can’t hurt to try, eh?  People see the ad all over the Northwest (Oregon and Washington), but unless they are right in THIS area, I’m thinking they probably won’t look up the web site for the store.  BUT, if the blog is emphasized, they may at least check out the blog and become a fan and regular reader and so on . . . .

SO, I’m trying to think of a clever way to present the blog in an ad.  I have about a 4″ x 4″ space to work with.  I’m thinking of REVERSE coloring (the background BLACK, and white letters) to really POP off the page compared to all the rest of the print which is black on white. 

This ad is for April; which is Earth Day month and there is a LOT of local buzz about earth friendly anything.  Which is right up our alley, so that was my first thought for the focus of the ad.  BUT THEN, I had another thought after seeing multiple ads for an upcoming movie. 

So, here are the two I am thinking of.  Tell me which you think would capture readers attention better and get them to want to look at the blog.  Remember, the background will be black and the letters white. (but I don’t know how to do that here in my blog!)  My ad deadline is the end of the week, so I have to decode SOON!


We are here! We are here!



We are here! We are here!



Hillsboro hears a who?


                            They may be just a speck on the map, but Sophies cottage in Hillsboro

Is doing big things! see how they turn trash into treasure













(I appreciate your opinions!)




Published in: on March 11, 2008 at 9:46 am  Comments (6)  
Tags: , ,

Worthy causes . . .

 . . . and we can all help with just a click!

Click the link and then click on the purple button to help provide food for rescue animals.  Add to your bookmarks and click every day!  Be sure to check out the several other ‘click to help’ links on the top of the page.

Count your blessings.

Published in: on June 29, 2007 at 5:54 am  Leave a Comment  

It’s almost over . . .

The closing sale for the store, that is.  Sorry I’ve not been keeping up with posting projects on my blog, but the closing sale has kept me SO busy I’ve not had time for much else. 

 After closing this Saturday, it’ll be full steam ahead on projects for the new store and I’ll have plenty of time to get back to posting.

Stay tuned!

Published in: on June 20, 2007 at 9:22 am  Leave a Comment  


No, this kitty is not Ralph.  This is Lewis, aka Lew Magoo, aka bubbalew, aka Lewigi, aka Lewige MaSqueege.  And he is very patiently waiting for belly scratches.  Sorry Lewis, I’ve got blogging to do . . .

Lewis is 12 years old and was practically born IN my lap!  His mama was a bit nervous and did not want to leave my lap for her kittening box to deliver.  Finally I had to sit right next to her box and rub her belly to keep her in there.  Sweet little Lewis was the spitting image of his mama, Tiger.  Sister Lucy didn’t come along till almost 20 hours later, much to our surprise!  Hard to believe that was 12 years ago!

So, who is this Ralph that I am professing my love for???  Ralph Lauren!  Well, his paints at least!  I got to crack open my first can and use it last night.  I must confess to usually buying the ‘bargain brands’ when it comes to gallons of paint.  But Home Depot was crazy busy and all the other paint sample boards were too crowded to even get close to.  I was on a mission for a certain color, and there it was, on the Ralph Lauren color board.

I got Interior Matte Acrylic Latex.  I may never buy another brand of paint again.  Totally worth the extra cost!  Went on FAST and sooooooooooooooooo smooth!  (like butta!)  Dried quickly and barely needed a second VERY light coat.  And this was an old piece I was REpainting, (had THREE layers of previous paint on it!),  all I did was sand the surface to prep it.  (With our new ORBITAL SANDER that Michael recently bought!  I was gonna wait till Father’s Day to shop for new tools.  That’s when the BEST tool sales are btw, if you are in the market for tools!)  Can’t wait to finish this piece and show you the pics!

“Still waiting for that belly rub. . . .” says Lewis patiently.  Patience is a virtue, bubba!  Love you too!


Published in: on May 8, 2007 at 4:12 pm  Comments (1)  

I’m sorry, I just HAD to look!

Final set up day for the final spring show and I am just to tired to think of anything to say!  (to which I’m such Michael will flash a delighted yet quizical grin)  So I was just seeing what else was out there and this came up as the top blog on Word Press.

Thanks.  I needed that!

Published in: on April 23, 2007 at 3:27 pm  Leave a Comment