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Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Showing off: a big pile of trash

Moving into a new area means The Bargain Queen's making a whole lot of fantastic new discoveries. In the way of shopping, there's luscious cheap seafood, more dollar stores than you'd believe, fantastic Thai food, lots of Asian grocery stores and a massive home improvement warehouse just up the road. Loving it all! But the absolute best thing so far is... the garbage collection!

In the area we've just moved into, they still do an old-style large waste collection day. This is the one day every six months or so when the Council will pick up all the stuff that doesn't fit in your regular trash - old matresses, broken couches, building materials, etc etc. In the area we used to live, you could call any time and they'd pick this stuff up, so it didn't all happen on one day any more.

The Bargain Queen headed out early yesterday morning to check out all the things that were being thrown away.

Here's what she came home with:

Framed Indian poster

Indian poster

The Bargain Queen LOVES this picture. It only needed a quick wipedown to remove a few years of dust and it'll look fantastic hanging in our bedroom. Score!

Funky striped rug

Striped rug

This is super-bright on one side, muted on the other. It works really well under our dining table and hides some of the so-so carpet we're about to pull up... so it'll soon be hiding yet-to-be-restored floorboards instead. It was freshly cleaned, neatly folded and has only a little damage, so we're thrilled to get it!

Mid-century leather-upholstered chair

Mid-century leather-upholstered chair

This was sitting by the side of the road in two pieces but took only five minutes, a mallet and a screw to repair. Not because The Bargain Queen's so clever, but because it was so well-made to begin with.

So what will we do with a single chair that doesn't match all our others? The Bargain Queen's trying it out as a dining-room-friendly desk chair, since our new place is so tiny that her work space has to be in the living/dining room. If it's comfy, that means no big ugly office chair in our living room, which is a big improvement.

60s placemat set, new in box

This 60s placemat set for two was still in its original packaging. It needs a quick clean to de-moth it but is otherwise perfect, so we'll use it when we're eating at home along together (which is most nights).

placemats in box

This is how they look in use:

placemats in use

Big spice jars

Jars - eight of these!

Spices are much, much cheaper to buy in big quantities and they keep better too. We're a few jars short after the move so it was fantastic finding eight of these in a box by the side of the road. The person who threw them out had even cleaned them and packed them in a box with handles for easy carrying. Thank you stranger, whoever you are.

Blue dress

blue dress

This blue evening dress has a beaded trim and fits The Bargain Queen really well. It was thrown out in immaculate condition and perfectly clean.

(The Bargain Queen hoards evening wear a little, because although she rarely has occasion to wear it, having formal wear on hand saves so much money and stress when it's needed.)

Red dress

red dress front

Another discarded evening dress, this time in sexy red satin. It's not ironed because The Bargain Queen only irons when her life depends on it, which is practically never. It laces up the back like this:

red dress back

The Bargain Queen's especially thrilled because the lining and lacing combined provide enough support that she doesn't have to wear a bra with it - which means it's one of the few backless dresses she can wear!

And last but not least, the strangest find of the day:

Stacks of condoms

The strangest thing The Bargain Queen found amongst all that trash were boxes and boxes of condoms that someone had thrown out. Each one contains 100 condoms, with a sticker for a herpes treatment stuck on each one.

...just like this

The first thing The Bargain Queen thought when she saw them was, what's the logic with that promotional gimic? Are they trying to say 'Don't get herpes, but hey, if you do, use our product!', or was it more like 'Hey happy herpes patients, try not to pass it on!'.

Then she thought, well, a job's a job and some people must hand out condoms with herpes treatment stickers on the back to make a living. If that's your job, what would you do with the leftovers? There's only so many you could use yourself and they'd probably remind you of work, which would likely remove the need for them in the first place. So, into the bin they go.

And in case you're wondering, The Bargain Queen brought them home merely to photograph - she might wear other people's garbage but she's not entrusting her reproductive health to it.

Mr Bargain Queen has been greatly enjoying them though... for making balloon animals!

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  • At 1:41 am, Blogger Rebecca said…


    I am definitely jealous, they do nothing like that here. You really did well ... love the rug and the chair.

    But, the BLUE DRESS! SCORE!!! It's beautiful. And blue is great because it's not black (so you're unique), but it goes everywhere black goes.

    Honestly I'm really happy for you (but still a little jealous). =D

  • At 10:00 am, Blogger SlaveToShopping said…

    What suburb still does this? I'd love to cruise the area for the next collection day!

  • At 10:27 am, Blogger The Bargain Queen said…

    Thanks Rebecca!

    SlaveToShopping: I'm in Sydney, Australia so it's probably a little bit far to come from Canada to take a look! :)

    If any of the local councils near your place do it, they probably mention it on their web site.

  • At 11:09 am, Blogger ~Dawn said…

    HAHA, Excellant pickups.

  • At 6:09 am, Blogger SlaveToShopping said…

    Thanks BQ - I'm moving to Sydney in exactly one month from today. (I have family in the eastern suburbs and contacts all over Sydney.) This is how I found your site + I want to learn the local tricks from a pro ;) So I'm defenitely going to be in the Sydney market !

  • At 1:44 pm, Anonymous Josh Parris said…

    Condoms have a use-by date, perhaps they were out of date?

  • At 8:47 am, Blogger The Bargain Queen said…

    Hi Josh, they weren't past the use-by date but it was only a couple of months away, so maybe the previous owners realised that they weren't going to use hundreds of them in time!

  • At 2:06 pm, Blogger Style Graduate said…

    Hi Bargain Queen,

    a women's health clinic, or a reproductive rights or GLBT organization at a nearby college, could probably use those condoms. Maybe it's best to share the bargains?

  • At 3:54 pm, Blogger The Bargain Queen said…

    Hi Style Graduate, that's a really good idea! Although I don't know how they've been stored and if they get too hot it weakens the rubber... plus I already put them in the bin. Oops!

  • At 10:55 pm, Anonymous SkyeBlue said…

    I live in Mena, Arkansas and our little town still does an annual "Citywide Cleanup". City trucks come by and haul stuff away that is leftover after all the frugal people have taken what they want!


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