Weekend Review: Start of Spring Sales

KMart extra 20% off including Clearance apparel and shoes, extra 10% off all other clearance, Sunday, April 6 Only !  Download coupon for in store savings or Promo Code:  900251231012 for online savings.

Avon.  One of MDM’s favorite Avon items has been the Skin So Soft.  MDM remembers when her mother-in-law, an inveterate  Avon shopper who liked the convenience of the Avon representative coming to her home, asked what MDM would like for a Christmas present from Avon.  MDM responded by stating that Avon Skin So Soft  Foam Bath would be nice–MDM later learned that this inquiry was disingenuous since her mother-in-law’s frugal nature wouldn’t allow her to spend that kind of money on a daughter-in-law.

However, maybe just maybe she would with this terrific sale.  The Skin So Soft Super Sale, match any 2 skin so soft products for only $6.99–a savings of up to 55% off!  Plus Free Shipping on orders $15 or more Promo Code:  SPRING 815  Sale ends April 10, 2008.  Load up for Mother’s Day, and Mother-in-law’s Day, too–we all have issues, but what the heck!

Dell™  Inspiron 1525 Laptop only $649.  Comes with  a new upgrade to 320 GB  Sata hard-drive and 3GB Memory for a savings of $70, in black, until April 7, 2008, e-value code: 6VAFF-DNDAPD1

Oops! I Did It Again!

It’s moving out and moving in time in the Twin Cities around the U of M Campus providing a treasure trove of fabulous finds for all those with an eagle eye and the wherewithal to retrieve these items from the dumpster.  Apartment complexes add additional dumpsters to handle the influx of discarded items during this time. You may scratch your head wondering why items ranging from new to repairable end up in the dumpster rather than recycled or donated to thrift outlets.  A number of reasons explains this phenomena beyond the conventional theories attributed to the "throw away society."  Time is a large factor since packing up and moving out has to be done in short order once a new residence is found.  Many singles, especially students, are limited to what they can carry in their individual cars, and some may be moving into smaller quarters and must choose what to keep and what to toss. 

Oops!  Once again, MDM just couldn’t let these items end up in the landfill. As shown, this is just a sampling of what can be recovered from dumpsters including a desk organizer with light, a task chair that only required a screw to fix,  a brand new gift basket of bath items, a lamp, and a perfectly good apartment-sized vacuum.   It’s important to retrieve items as soon as possible, the longer they sit in the dumpster the more likely damage will occur.  Dumpster diving is ecofriendly by recycling items for further use–remember if the item is worth salvaging, even though  you, personally, may not have need of  it, there are others who do and would appreciate receiving it.   In fact, MDM would like to suggest to the owners/managers of apartment complexes to contact their local thrift stores and arrange a day for a vehicle to do a pick-up at the complex for donations.  

A win, win for all including the environment!

College Dumpster Diving: Big Payoffs

The month of May is the beginning of the college exodus from dorms and off-campus housing.  This will go on until the beginning of June depending on the end of spring semester of your local university or college.  One of the problems of our modern society is that we have become a throwaway culture and like with any change in our habitats many items are simply tossed. 

There can be many reasons why the campus and surrounding area are great for pickers at the end of Spring. 

1.  Some students will be flying home and do not want to be burden with the task of boxing up and the cost of shipping possessions home.

2.  Some will be breaking up quarters shared by several students, and items bought simply are no longer wanted or needed–especially if there are plans to upgrade items such as electronics, etc.

3.  Some items may require cleaning or repair and that takes time and motivation.

Whatever the reason, as the old saying goes one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.  One of MDM’s staffers found this perfectly good small TV with VCR left near a dumpster and retrieved it from its future home at the landfill.  Nothing was wrong with it, it was from a well known electronics manufacturer and worked perfectly fine, the only thing it needed was an external antenna. 

The end of the semester is fast approaching, so keep a lookout for retrieving these items.  Even if you can’t use them, MDM recommends recycling these items as donations to the disadvantaged.  Being Green is not only being environmentally conscientious, but it’s just plain smart!


Free Stuff: Curbside Recycling

 May is the opportune time to go hunting for free stuff in the neighborhoods around campus.  Many students will be going home for the summer and cleaning house before the last day of May.  Additionally many communities will be having spring cleaning campaigns that allow residents to clean house and have unwanted furniture and other items picked up at the curb without additional charges.  Some communities initiate Spring clean-up campaigns by having a "free day" at the local dump. 

BIKEThis year MDM was able to pick-up and donate to a women’s shelter the exercise bike pictured at left.  It was in very good condition and free!  MDM talked with the homeowner who said that there was only a minor problem in the electronic readout, and the shelter was pleased to receive it for their clients.  In past years, MDM has recycled rugs which only needed a powerwash cleaning on the deck, doors, fluroescent light fixtures,tables, and chairs from this annual rite. 

The pickers (those bargain hunters who pick-up items for resale) will be out,  Take sometime and tour your neighborhoods, you may be suprised at what you find! 


Street Scavenging

Many of the most knowledgeable people I have met refer to themselves as “junkers.” These are people who avail themselves of every opportunity to make a find which includes street scavenging. What is street scavenging? Usually it is retrieving valuables from debris and garbage to be hauled away to the dump. A different type of curbside recycling.

What items are retrieved? A lot of perfectly decent construction items can be found in front yards. Some may have a “Free” sign posted, others are just strewn among the garbage cans. These include fluroscent light fixtures, doors, toilets, sinks, carpet and rugs, and occasionally furniture.

Where do you look? The best places are where garbage is picked-up. Most often it is curbside in front of a residence. Sometimes garbage is collected off an alley in the rear of the house, in the back loading area of a commercial dwelling, or near the highway or road in rural areas. One time on a trip I found an antique 1930’s bread tin and matching cannister in pretty decent shape in front of a rural home at the driveway entrance. I know of a wooden table that was found roadside by a metropolitan architectural salvage business that was later restored and updated into a beautiful piece that would look perfect in any cosmopolitan dining room.

¬†What are the best scavenging days or times? Obviously, if there is a set citywide timetable for garbage pick-up, for instance east locales MWF and west areas of the city T,Th, Saturday, the best time to look would be in those scheduled areas the night before, or in the early morning hours of that particular pick-up day. Also certain times of the year are better than others. If you live in a college town you may find some treasures when the college kids break-up apartments to return home for summer vacation. I once found a 1950’s red and chrome kitchen table that college kids were putting out at the curb and were happy to unload. Another time, I found a perfectly good full size rug that originally sold for $60 at Target–a power sprayer cleaning made it look wonderful! Many junkers scour the alleys and areas where senior citizens reside especially in the spring when there are more estate sales and spring cleaning.

Reminders. Unless there is a “free” sign posted, be sure to check with the owner to see if you can remove the property, and that it is indeed being tossed and not just placed there for future use by the owner. This will also allay any fears in these times of identity stealing and any unnecessary confrontations. Be courteous!