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Frugal or just being smug...have you scored a real deal recently?  RSS feed

 
gardener
Posts: 1813
Location: Zone 6b
197
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A neighbor nearby, they re-clanned, the adult children coming home to live close to mom and dad. Who do a lot of communal gardening, cooking, etc, as well as going to area auctions and finding fodder to sell at flea markets. Well, on occasion they hold a really good yard sale. Which they just did.

30 towels, only a few had a slight bit of fraying or a small hole or two, 20c each. Full bath sized. Two washer loads...
2 Chicago cutlery knives, next size up from paring and good edges, have tips slightly out of true, 25c.
A full sheet pan, steel, had a corner dented up. 50c. It took me five minutes with our auto body hammers to make it like new and 20 minutes with the elbow grease to get it pristine.
Eight assorted smaller baking pans that were also a little dented up. Same thing, a little auto body work over. 25c each (nothing coated!)
A lovely Oneida stainless steel sauce pan, needed some CLR and elbow grease, 50c
2 big garbage bags full of jeans with a few minor holes that just needed a little TLC, 27 pairs for $10. Most will fit my spouse. Some look like they've been worn maybe twice.
12" stockpot flat lid, 25c.
One complete set of eight, the OLD glass corelle ware in almost brand new condition. Sometime in the early 80's they switched glass types, and the older stuff is the miracle stuff that will live forever, for $10. It matches the mostly complete set I still have that's nearing 35 years old. Plus two serving platters. No large bowls though.

And the other one-I am out of last year's pickles so needed to go buy some. This place taxes food yet. So. A jar of brand name pickles, 1 pint and not that tightly packed but sliced up, $4.24. One gallon glass jar, of full sized kosher dill, $7.89. I cut them up and repacked them into wide mouth pints, very full, and had a half gallon of brine left, and filled every jar... he's in pickle heaven and I got a pristine gallon jar for storing stuff, got the lid off in perfect shape. My soybeans are secured!

Okay, what have your "scores" been lately?
 
pioneer
gardener
Posts: 2147
Location: Central Oklahoma (zone 7a)
303
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Nice scores!

My most recent awesome find was a $10 "zombie apocalypse" 9-quart pressure canner. It's a "Kooks-Kwick" model from before WWII that is a gasketless design, which means that come the zombie apocalypse (or whatever) it will keep working forever. I tested it (carefully!) and it works fine, holds pressure, and vents through its relief valve at 22psi just like the manual I found in an online archive said it should.

I also picked up three "dead" gasoline string trimmers for $1.00 each last week. I haven't tore into them yet but if experience is any guide, at least one of them will be dead of nothing worse than busted fuel lines or a dissolved primer bulb.

 
Posts: 145
Location: New Zealand
7
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I found two cast iron skillets at my landlords and convinced him to give them to me. Both are Holcroft & Sons.
I also managed to get a copper hot water cylinder for almost nothing from the dump, not sure what I'll make with it yet. Pretty crazy I'm not supposed to take things away from the dump though, I had to bribe the guy on the gate $20
 
pioneer
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Posts: 1504
Location: Virginia (zone 7)
343
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Great Goodwill find:
Kodak easyshare z650 6.1mp 10x optical zoom digital camera with Denali carrying case and 128mb SD card. Works great, perfect condition for only....$1.95!!!
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Kodak easyshare z650 w/case
 
gardener
Posts: 7562
Location: Victoria British Columbia-Canada
471
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My almost-new, all leather Rockport shoes cost $3. The SAS shoes are almost new as well.

Probably the best recent deal were the the very high end hiking boots that my daughter is modeling. I paid $4 for those.

The rubber boots have a steel toe and steel shank. They are new. I paid $6 at a thrift store.
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Posts: 71
Location: NJ
1
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My last few finds include 2 Pekin ducks, 2 pairs of pants, and a craftsman riding mower.
The Pekins I got for free from a neighbor who decided they didn't want to "bother" with ducks anymore. With the deal they included 2 bale sized packages of wood shavings and a half bag of non GMO feed. I will give them a few more weeks until they become dinner.
I picked up 2 pairs of pants from a thrift store for $2.00 each. Both still had tags on them and fit just right.
The craftsman 48" riding lawn mower I got for $100 from a friend of a friend. I put about 2 hours and just under $60 in parts into it and sold it for a quick $400.

I'm always looking on Craigslist and free cycle for any local scores. A lot of it isn't stuff I actually need or want but occasionally you can find something really good.
 
Deb Rebel
gardener
Posts: 1813
Location: Zone 6b
197
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Great finds everybody.

The week after the great rummage sale, they tossed out fifteen dozen modern mason/ball and kerr canning jars. 12 doz were pint, 3 doz quarts, plus a few extra quarts. They had them marked for $2 each when brand new widemouths with rings and lids are $1.30-1.50 each with tax included. Had they marked them at say 50c each (what the thrift store gets) they would have sold. I dove the dumpster and retrieved them, plus some sheets and sheer curtains. So win-win.
 
gardener
Posts: 1295
Location: Little Belt Mountains, MT
224
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I know this isn't really a bargain hunting win, but I just signed up for one of those sites where you review stuff you get for free/discounts, and just got a 1 lb bag of this organic raw cocoa powder for free, no shipping even All I've gotta do is use and review it, and disclose that I got it for free in the review.

ilovetoreview.com if anyone's curious - I don't get a kickback or anything, it's just kind of a neat little money saving thing we've started doing.
 
Deb Rebel
gardener
Posts: 1813
Location: Zone 6b
197
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Destiny Hagest wrote:I know this isn't really a bargain hunting win, but I just signed up for one of those sites where you review stuff you get for free/discounts, and just got a 1 lb bag of this organic raw cocoa powder for free, no shipping even All I've gotta do is use and review it, and disclose that I got it for free in the review.

ilovetoreview.com if anyone's curious - I don't get a kickback or anything, it's just kind of a neat little money saving thing we've started doing.



I call it a win. I've been reviewing stuff for Campbells for years. They send me product, I use it, fill out a questionnaire. Free foodstuffs.
 
Posts: 80
Location: White Mountains of New Hampshire zone 5
6
books dog hugelkultur
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I was visiting with my brother, who was having surgery soon, and I was going to be his short term caregiver.  Since he could only have liquids and soft foods, I mentioned that I wished I had brought my juicer as this would be a great time to do a juice fast.  So he came back from the dump with a Breville juicer, the same model Joe Cross used in his film, Fat, Sick, and almost dead, where he toured the USA telling everyone about juicing.  I did a 10 juice fast and lost 12 pounds!  After that, I started going with him to the dump!  You would not believe what rich people throw out! You could go to that dump and then fill a thrift store, or hold your own yard sale!

Oh and then at my own dump a couple of weeks ago, I found a whole box of Tea Rose dishes from Pfalsgraf.  It wouldn't be so exciting, except that it's my best friend (since 5th grade) dishes, and she had just mentioned that they were discontinued.  7 dishes (on with small chip) 8 soup/cereal bowls, 8 salad plates, and 7 coffee mugs. 
 
Posts: 126
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Our 20th Anniversary was February 14, my husband asked what I wanted to do. I was looking at Craigs List and I said, "I want to go shopping!" We went to a clean out the barn sale. We got a 3-level chick brooder on a wheeled base for $100!!! And we got a sewing machine in the case and a park bench with rotted boards (the ends are good) for FREE!





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Deb Rebel
gardener
Posts: 1813
Location: Zone 6b
197
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Dana Jones wrote:Our 20th Anniversary was February 14, my husband asked what I wanted to do. I was looking at Craigs List and I said, "I want to go shopping!" We went to a clean out the barn sale. We got a 3-level chick brooder on a wheeled base for $100!!! And we got a sewing machine in the case and a park bench with rotted boards (the ends are good) for FREE!



I have a Kenmore just like that. If it's not bent or totally wore out, that is an older metal body, and it will last a very long time. Massive good score.
 
Dana Jones
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On that same shopping trip, we also got a pet carrier, a heavy iron and porcelain double sink and a nest box, also free!
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Josephine Howland
Posts: 80
Location: White Mountains of New Hampshire zone 5
6
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Deb Rebel wrote:

Dana Jones wrote:Our 20th Anniversary was February 14, my husband asked what I wanted to do. I was looking at Craigs List and I said, "I want to go shopping!" We went to a clean out the barn sale. We got a 3-level chick brooder on a wheeled base for $100!!! And we got a sewing machine in the case and a park bench with rotted boards (the ends are good) for FREE!



I have a Kenmore just like that. If it's not bent or totally wore out, that is an older metal body, and it will last a very long time. Massive good score.



I still have my Kenmore machine from 1977 that is metal.  I've used it, even professionally, and it is still going strong.  I never even had to have it serviced.  Just keep yours oiled and remember Never, ever touch your tension knob unless your pressure foot is down and engaged.  Those two things will keep you sewing along for a long time.
 
Dana Jones
Posts: 126
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We had a 36'x36' barn built. We hired a couple of friends, as barn building was beyond our abilities. So yeah, we had to pay for labor and we made the decision to buy brand new metal to clothe it with, so we did spend some money. Buuuut---I am a scrounger and had a huge pile of used lumber, reject lumber, 1/2 price from Lowes, and telephone poles. The savings came from my piles of what is to me, wealth, and to everybody else, junk. Well, I guess I showed them! LOL

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Posts: 94
Location: Lancaster, UK
5
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A nice slatted bench for my allotment (freegle) a heavyweight Jones sewing machine (circa 1970) from swapshop, swapped for a bar of chocolate and about 20 lengths of pitch pine flooring from a demolition site round the corner!!
 
gardener
Posts: 1790
Location: Just northwest of Austin, TX
200
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Two nice winter coats (one stylish wool, one snazzy trenchcoat) for just over 100 dollars for a 10 and an 11 year old girl.

Doesn't sound impressive until you learn that we expect it to be the last coat we have to buy for them till they're adults. Careful tacking of the cuffs and reinforcing the buttons will let these coats grow with them without looking tired and ragged.

We stumbled across the Fourth of July sale at the leather outlet on the way home from work shoe shopping.
 
Deb Rebel
gardener
Posts: 1813
Location: Zone 6b
197
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Favorite dumpster to dive: 41 sheets, 2 sets of curtains (100% thick cotton) two old lace tablecloths and two pairs of disreputable jeans. Totally righteous collection. I always can use old sheets and old jeans...  oh, and 8 pillowcases. Took two trips. (had to add, forgot the floor length denim skirt--it'll turn into another front covering work apron. I can just get enough out of one to turn it into a front full apron with pockets)
 
Dan Boone
pioneer
gardener
Posts: 2147
Location: Central Oklahoma (zone 7a)
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Last week it was a genuine old-fashioned heavy galvanized steel watering can with the screw-on brass water-sprinkling spout.  For $2.00, because somebody had uglified it by painting a bad design on the outside and stuffing it full of plastic funeral flowers.  I didn't get to keep it though, because my sister had a standing request for a "real watering can" and this was it.  She professed to be delighted.

This is actually something I have observed: all manner of nice containers that would normally cost $5 or $10 or $20, and that I see for sale at such prices every week, become one and two dollar bargains because somebody has stuffed them full of plastic flowers and made them "decorative".  I don't know why this depresses the price of wooden buckets and brass spittoons and steel watering cans and miscellaneous pottery, but it emphatically does!  I throw away so many plastic flowers after my garage sale outings....

Also last week, a new-as-in-barely-used "full" sized mattress for $10.00.  Had a 2000 date on the mattress label but looked and smelled fine.  As we were coming up on a hard deadline for getting a particular bedroom habitable and were looking at having to buy a new mattress, this was very fortuitous.

This week: four 55-gallon plastic barrels (for rain barrels or to be cut in half for the container garden) for $3.00 each and a steel Craftsman toolbox (slightly rusty) for $2.00. 
 
Posts: 71
Location: Boston, Massachusetts
6
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Late this Spring, I yanked the starter cord out of our mower, so without the proper tools at hand...and after some fussing, I got it reattached. I got most of the mowing done when I ran over something... I looked to see the starter cord shorter and missing the handle! I'm sooo done mowing for the day!
Fast forward to mid-Summer and I still haven't fixed the mower, and I don't want to scythe all the narrow paths again... I'm at the dump, a usual Saturday, and this guy drops off a decent looking mower at the metal heap. I ask him about it, says it "came with his son's house" and he says he and his son both couldn't get it to start, so he bought his son a new mower. Without hesitation I put it in the truck, expecting the carburetor just needs cleaning, and go home. Once home, I check and there's a tiny bit of gas in it... so, I give a try...prime it, pull once...VROOM!
That's only the most recent (and karmic) score...

We have a flower farm, so I had been collecting vases from the swap shop at the dump... until we had... enough.
They were the typical florist stuff, and a few nicer, but still inexpensive pieces. Good for vases we won't see again...
So, "no more!" I'm told... but I still bring home a few of the nicer ones now and then.
One day there's an interesting one, looks chunky, feels heavy! no chips, just dusty... cool!
Once home I wash it up, and while drying it off I notice "Waterford" etched in the bottom!!
 
pollinator
Posts: 2323
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We are moving into a Tiny House Today, so need meant obtaining a few things:

A free refrigerator came from a guy who had a rental storage unit, and someone dumped/left the refrigerator outside. I took it for outside, non-working storage, but just for fun plugged it in and the darn thing worked.

I tried to get an old Renai heater working for our Tiny House, but it needed work, so now that it is dropping below freezing, I managed to score a 38,000 BTU pellet boiler. Not really want I want, but it keeps us warm for now.

We scored (4) 3 x 4 foot insulated windows
 
Posts: 293
Location: Middle Georgia
44
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Not a spectacular deal but a bit of synchronicity.

I decided to stop by the thrift store and pick up an "emergency blanket" for the car since winter is coming.   So I see this bright red plaid bundle and it is marked "pillow case and blanket", it is obviously wool and very heavy. Also looked new. I wondered why anyone would want a scratchy wool pillow case but since it was wool I bought it.

Got it home and opened it up. Sure enough it had a pillow case and a blanket but with an odd 10" zippered opening right in the center of the blanket. I was puzzled trying to figure out what it could be for when it dawned on me "Duh....you went looking for a car blanket right? Well here is your car/travel blanket set -- the zipper makes the blanket into a poncho for sitting".

Struck me as a very odd coincidence, or more likely synchronicity. Plus the set looks brand new and  pricey. Guessing it was given as a gift and never used. Will seal it up in mylar and keep it in the trunk (so it stays clean, my trunk carries everything from bags of feed to bails of straw).

 
Lucrecia Anderson
Posts: 293
Location: Middle Georgia
44
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Scored a Oster food dehydrator for $8 at the thrift shop today! It looks like it was never used. It is a cheapo brand ($50 on Amazon) but my Nesco blew a fuse a while back and I still haven't gotten around to ordering a fuse and fixing it.

Been using the oven to dry some parsley, basil, and other stuff, this hopefully will work better.
 
Posts: 140
Location: 4b
30
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I just scored a Senco finish nailer, new in the box, for $10 at an auction.  Good day.
 
Travis Johnson
pollinator
Posts: 2323
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I needed some drywall for my tiny house and a local swap paper had over 7 sheets for $20. Since drywall costs $12 a sheet here, it was a great deal...

But the owner and his wife were super-nice, and gave me a book that they felt could help with my thyroid cancer. They were 100% homesteaders with a gorgeous woodburning cookstove, and had visited permies.com they said. The drywall was great; but knowing great people  in my own community is even better!


 
pioneer
gardener
Posts: 2254
Location: Northern WI (zone 4)
400
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I found 6 non-standard short patio doors without frames at the Habitat Restore that are the perfect size for my greenhouse - $100 for all of them

Also found four 8' tall patio doors without frames that will become an exterior door and entry vestibule for the greenhouse - $32 ea.

Also found a Craigslist seller getting rid of an 8' patio door with frame and screen door for $50 a couple miles from my dentist appointment (80 miles away).

Not sure if they're great deals but they will work perfectly for me and I was very happy with the price.
 
pollinator
Posts: 2021
Location: Cincinnati, Ohio,Price Hill 45205
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Freegan  Food:
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3 months of smoothy base...
 
Posts: 29
Location: Rural Unincorporated Los Angeles County
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Deb Rebel wrote:Okay, what have your "scores" been lately?



By far this is the biggest "score" of our lives.



My wife and I bought a small piece of rural land and built a tiny house on it.
Total cost: less than 200k. Current Zillow estimate: 1.1m.

 
Posts: 547
Location: Central Virginia USA
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I got several solar panels (about 2300 watts) for 500$ 
 
pollinator
Posts: 481
Location: mountains of Tennessee
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Snagged the remaining 6 or 8 bags of navy beans during a closeout sale today. Two pounds bags for less than the one pound bags of the exact same product. Kaching.
 
Posts: 390
Location: Western Canadian mtn valley, zone 6b, 750mm (30") precip
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I've rarely gotten an amazing score.  It’s very competitive around here, since many people in this area live similar self-reliant lifestyles and have a keen eye for a bargain and for “useful salvage”.

Things that do come to mind from fairly recent years include a modest-size (but high quality) hydraulic trolley jack for $25 (worth about $100), a good splitting maul for $5 at a yard sale (retailing for $70), an oxy-acetylene setup (regulator, torches, tips, hoses) for $150 (worth about $500, got it at an estate sale), three ceramic block heaters (all working, and left by a curb for free), a good durable high-suction (but off brand) vacuum cleaner given to us by a rich friend, a very rusted (frozen) blacksmith’s leg vise (again a free-bee that I cleaned up and made usable).  Oh, yeah... just remembered: an 8-inch speed wrench for $4, at a second-hand store, that would sell new for about $30.

I manage to get reasonable prices on used things fairly frequently, but I get excited when one of these, what you'd call, amazing scores comes my way.
 
Posts: 186
Location: Australia, New South Wales. Köppen: Cfa (Humid Subtropical), USDA: 10/11
29
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It's not so much as what I gained as what was lost ...

I don't know what it's like in the USA regarding asbestos removal, here it's treated like nuclear fallout - even though millions of houses contain the stuff and it's very costly to dispose of it in a legal manner. Yes, illegal dumping occurs on a regular basis too.

Anyway, we did some major renovations to the house and was left with a significant pile of the stuff, almost all of it was painted on one side over the years. Through the family/friends grapevine, I was advised that our Local Council provides free disposal of non-commercial quantities of asbestos via contractors. Guess Council is tired of cleaning up dumped stuff, or quantities hidden in the weekly domestic waste collections, so have been proactive and organises this at least twice every year!

It's a win/win situation.
 
Greg Mamishian
Posts: 29
Location: Rural Unincorporated Los Angeles County
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I did a small job for a client demoing their automatic gate opener which had been hit by their car.  When it came time to get paid I told them if they didn't want to keep the opener, they could give it to me as payment. They were happy to see the heavy bent up metal box gone. So I took it home and using a torch and sledge hammer banged it back into shape and put sprayed some paint on it. The motor, belt driven cog mechanism, main circuit board, and wireless transmitter were all in perfect condition. I looked online to find out the value and that model went for $1,200 new.

We have a 24 foot rolling gate at the entrance to the carport which we open have opened and closeed by hand for 18 years so the opener will really come in handy!

A friend of mine used to tell me, "Give a deal... get a deal." by experience and observation I have found this to hold true as our actions tend to come around full circle.
 
Joel Bercardin
Posts: 390
Location: Western Canadian mtn valley, zone 6b, 750mm (30") precip
29
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Greg Mamishian wrote:So I took it home and using a torch and sledge hammer banged it back into shape and put sprayed some paint on it. The motor, belt driven cog mechanism, main circuit board, and wireless transmitter were all in perfect condition. I looked online to find out the value and that model went for $1,200 new.


Telltale signs of very wealthy people...  heh, heh.  Torch you used — propane?  Anyhow, everybody wound up happy... congratulations on the score.
 
Greg Mamishian
Posts: 29
Location: Rural Unincorporated Los Angeles County
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Joel Bercardin wrote:

Greg Mamishian wrote:So I took it home and using a torch and sledge hammer banged it back into shape and put sprayed some paint on it. The motor, belt driven cog mechanism, main circuit board, and wireless transmitter were all in perfect condition. I looked online to find out the value and that model went for $1,200 new.


Telltale signs of very wealthy people...  heh, heh.  Torch you used — propane?  Anyhow, everybody wound up happy... congratulations on the score.



Thanks! They actually weren't wealthy nor were they being wasteful. The opener was ten years old and pretty messed up. The gate was also bent up so they eliminated the whole setup and went with a simple open entrance. I was willing to take a chance on repairing it. I used a Mapp gas plumber's torch, a 4 pound sledge hammer, and a section of train rail as a makeshift anvil to pound the housing back into shape. I'm looking at youtube videos to learn how to mount the unit on a concrete pad and to properly connect it to the gate. It's a fun project!
 
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Joel Bercardin wrote:

Greg Mamishian wrote: I looked online to find out the value and that model went for $1,200 new.


Telltale signs of very wealthy people....


I love it when rich people get rid of things!
We are building a home, I have a cousin who bought a foreclosed house who has opposite taste of me. Everything i thought was pretty in her place, she's pulling out, putting sleek modern stuff in instead. She keeps me a pile going in the basement :D When I am in her area, I go through the pile and haul it home. A bunch of the cell type shades, she didn't like the color, mine! Lights, fans, etc, if I don't like how they look, I'll put them somewhere I don't care about. The color of the ceiling fans in the garage doesn't matter to me at all, having the air movement does. They dumped at least 8 ceiling fans at me, and their garage has really bad with air flow and could have used the fans. I'll never understand....  If hate the color of something, I'll paint it. I'm a cheap thing :)
 
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Seven "Buddha Hand" citron fruits in the clearance produce bin at my local supermart for $.59 each -- these are usually  six or seven dollars each.   (They are grown in Asia and on a very few acres in California from what I understand.)

They are a very aromatic citrus that has no juice or pulp -- they are all about the pith and skin.  I chopped up two of them (filled a quart mason jar) and covered with vodka as the beginning part of the recipe for making a traditional bottle of limoncello. 

The other five I cubed and candied per a recipe I found on the internet.  Blanched until translucent, then cooked in sugar syrup.  Drained off about a quart of citron-flavored syrup (it's going to make a very fine cocktail mixer) and when the beautiful green translucent cubes have air dried a tiny bit more I'll be coating them in granulated sugar.  They already have a wonderful sweet/bitter flavor like a good grapefruit marmelade.

The thing that made me laugh is that when I blanched the cubes I suddenly realized what I was making.  If you've ever made a fruitcake, you may have purchased candied cherries (sticky florescent artificial red and green food coloring colored and infused with corn syrup and sold in 8 or 16 ounce tubs) to mix in.  I've sometimes bought them for $.99 after the holidays on clearance to soak in Everclear and eat as a snack, although I gave up that habit when I decided the Red Dye ## 4, 9, 18, and 67 was probably not worth the fun.  Well, sold on the same shelf in the same tubs there's a product called "Citron" that is electric green cubes (Green Dye ## 3, 6, and 11) that's utterly flavorless except for the corn syrup.  I never looked at the ingredient label; maybe it really is made from the Italian (lemon-shaped) citron fruit, but if so, all the citron flavor has been blanched out.  But what I got following my candied citron recipe with the Buddha Hand citron fruits was the same translucent green cubes (only natural) and as I mentioned, these have a lovely aromatic bitter-citrus flavor, plus the sweetness from the sugar I boiled them in.  I truly had no idea until my cubed citron began to go translucent that my candied citron and the bastardized supermarket artificially colored no-flavor product were nominally the same thing.
 
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