Curb shopping

Yum

As mentioned in a previous entry, mid-month was the major curb-shopping event in my town. It’s also known as “hippie Christmas” because the curb and dumpsters offer so many gifts, and I’m okay with that name even though I’m not a hippie. Renters who hate the idea of throwing away perfectly good stuff but don’t have time to get to St. Vinny’s or the food pantry to donate it often leave boxes of stuff out on the curb with signs that say “FREE.” I’m guessing this sign was a joke, though:

SKIP THIS NEXT SECTION IF YOU ARE EASILY GROSSED OUT

Dekalb and I have no problems digging through the trash for stuff, but it’s always nice when people walk out of their apartments with bags of unopened food and say, “Hey, I don’t mean to offend you, but do you want this?” We always say, “YES!” We end up bringing a lot of it to the food pantry, so it’s a win-win-win: we get free food AND we get to help out a stressed renter who wants to do the right thing AND the food pantry gets stocked.

Our best score was when someone walked out with the contents of their entire freezer. Apparently this person believed in stocking up, because we got about 20 pounds of chicken (mostly organic), 2 pounds of venison, 8 pounds of catfish out of the deal, several pounds of frozen fruits and vegetables, and untold numbers of kosher hot dogs.

As someone who used to teach people about food safety, I realize that there’s the possibility that the meat wasn’t stored properly and had been allowed to thaw before freezing. But it looks fresh and passes the smell test when thawed, and I haven’t got sick from eating it, so I assume that this did not happen.

IT’S NOW SAFE FOR THE SQUEAMISH TO READ AGAIN

The whole adventure prompted me to reorganize my pantry. I kind of had to in order to fit all the new non-perishables into it.

The plastic bags on the door kind of detract from the look, but they are there because they are drying. I put cup hooks on the inside of the pantry door so I can dry the plastic bags out of the way, where they don’t clutter the kitchen counter and downstairs cat won’t eat them.

The string of lights goes around the entire pantry. I removed it from a homemade foosball table that I found next to a dumpster and deconstructed. I deconstructed it for the lumber, which I’ll be using to build a wall in my basement, but I’m glad I got the lights, too. Dekalb was nice and spliced an on-off switch from an old lamp I had onto the light string’s cord.

During hippie Christmas, my old roommate moved out (she did NOT dump all her possessions into the trash). Since my new roommate isn’t moving in until tomorrow, that gave me almost two weeks to turn the house upside down with long-awaited home improvement projects. I installed new (used) vanity lights in both bathrooms and repainted the upstairs bathroom, which had previously been a shade of blue that was just a little too purple for the green floors. (You can see a before picture here, but I haven’t taken any after pictures yet because I’m waiting for the paint to sure longer before I reattach all the towel hooks etc.)

Here’s what the new (used) lights look like:

I got these at the Habitat Restore, but didn’t like the faux copper patina, so spray-painted them with aluminum spray paint.

And since then I have been prepping and repainting the living room, which was previously bordello red:

a room with deep red walls
My friends don’t really look like this. They just wanted me to distort their faces so the whole world doesn’t know they associate with me.

It was an awesome color, but too dark for winter. Plus, all my cool red furniture and art just blended right into the wall. I had to repaint because there were patches in the wall and ceiling from a ceiling fan installation earlier this summer, so while I was at it I figured it was time to change the color. Companion was fabulous this weekend and overcame his loathing of DIY to help me repaint the ceiling. I’m not done yet (second coat goes on today), so you’ll just have to wait for the after pictures. But here’s upstairs cat helping me with the project:

Not dead. Just chillin’.

Oh, and all the tarps are from the trash, and the paints for bathroom and living room were either free from the county paint drop-off site and/or trash and/or cheap from the Habitat Restore. The roller covers and many of the paintbrushes were free after rebate from the home improvement store. Other paintbrushes and rollers were hand-me-downs from friends.

0 thoughts on “Curb shopping

  1. Love curb shopping! If you need another place to look, check out your local lakes and camping areas after big weekends. It's amazing what you'll find that people leave. An old neighbor worked for a big lake and would bring home brand new tents, chairs, tables, sleeping bags, lanterns, tackle boxes/poles, etc. People would go buy all new stuff, camp for a week, and then just leave it all there when they went home! The best find I've had was a 4 room tent, recliner, and dorm fridge at one time.
  2. Love curb shopping! If you need another place to look, check out your local lakes and camping areas after big weekends. It's amazing what you'll find that people leave. An old neighbor worked for a big lake and would bring home brand new tents, chairs, tables, sleeping bags, lanterns, tackle boxes/poles, etc. People would go buy all new stuff, camp for a week, and then just leave it all there when they went home! The best find I've had was a 4 room tent, recliner, and dorm fridge at one time.

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