Finds of the Week #39: My $5 Budget Challenge

So just for the fun I decided to give myself a $5 thrifting budget for this past week. I know, what a terrible idea… right? Who in their right mind would think that sounds like fun? lol.

Probably just me. 🙂

Truth be told I’m naturally thrifty. It’s just the way I was raised, and even though I’m being more choosy in my finds these days I never give myself a budget because I want to be free to buy what I love.

But I really wanted to challenge my thrifting self in two ways.

First… to see what I could actually find over the course of a whole week with only $5 to spend, and second, and more importantly, to see if I could stick to the budget.

Would some tantalizing treasure tempt my thrifting heart?

pansy round doily with caption

I have a weakness for handmade floral doilies. This pansy doily includes pretty much every colour of the rainbow and for two doilies for 25 cents I had to pick it up.

I’ve never crocheted myself, but I really appreciate the time and talent that goes into making these.


floral oval doily

Here’s the other one I found. I’m not really sure about the pink with the orange and red, so I might take this one apart and use the the flowers in a project.


silver salt & pepper set

I collect small silver and glass salt & pepper sets and this $1 three piece cruet set is a wonderful addition.

It’s unmarked so I don’t know anything about it, but I’m so loving the patina. Too bad it’s missing its little spoon. Now I’ll have to be on the hunt for one.


royal winton cream and sugar

This Royal Winton Grimwades cream and sugar set is sweet and petite and cost $1.50. The creamer is just 3 inches tall.  Love the gold with that speckly spring-like green. So pretty.


wooden rulers

I found these eight wooden rulers for my collection for ten cents each. I don’t see these too often so when I do I grab them. Once I’ve collected enough I’ll be using them in a project.


brass horse and rider statue

And last but not least is this rather heavy brass horse and rider statue.

I walked around the thrift store for a bit carrying this while I decided whether or not I would buy it. I like horses, but I wouldn’t call myself a horse person. Still, something drew me to this piece and I just couldn’t put it back on the shelf. Ultimately the patina won me over… it’s very aged. Also the fact that it was only $1 probably didn’t hurt either.

In my neck of the thrifting woods it seems the more patina means the cheaper the item.  Works for me! 🙂

So what was my total for the week?  $4.55. Woohoo! I did it! With 45 whole cents to spare, and I love the things that I found.

Have you ever thrifted on a budget? How did that work for you?

I have to admit that I was a little tempted by a couple of spring form cake pans to add to my craft room for storage, but they were $3.50 each and they weren’t very old. Considering that I usually get vintage ones for $1 or less it was easy to talk myself out of them.

See what I mean… more patina… less moola. lol. Totally works for me. 🙂

Thanks so much for reading and until next time… keep on keepin’ on.

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  1. Using a $5 budget you did exceedingly well. I love all the things you found but especially the horse and rider and the rulers. I collect rulers and yardsticks but I don’t know if I will ever be able to part with them to do a project. sb

    1. I feel that way about some of the things I collect too, but not all. Some things I collect just for projects and I get to enjoy them in the meantime. A good patina is really underestimated by the thrift stores here, like with the horse and rider, but that just works in my favour. 🙂

  2. Wow! You are amazing! A small budget does make one more choosy, doesn’t it? You found some amazing things! I’m particularly fond of the green and gold cream and sugar set! Agree with you about the pink/orange/red combo. I’m sure you’ll find a fabulous idea for the flowers! Dona

    1. Thanks Dona! The cream and sugar set is really sweet and I did some research and have seen similar but not identical sets on etsy and ebay for much more than what I paid for it. It’s always fun finding bargains.

  3. Love that idea Tuula! I think I’d have to set my budget a little bit higher though, our thrift stores around here don’t have anything less than .99 cents usually unless it’s a little private owned shop and there are a couple of those :o)

    You found some great things. My favorite are the doilies, they remind me of my grandma. She was a master of crochet. She tried to teach me once but I couldn’t get it :o(


    1. Thanks Tania! I’ve pretty much never met a floral doily that I didn’t like, but they don’t seem really popular these days. I had some for sale in my etsy shop for what seemed like forever before I decided to not renew them anymore. I’ll keep them myself and maybe do something with them someday. My mom is an amazing knitter and I could never quite grasp it… so I can totally relate. 🙂

  4. Mother Deer says:

    I shop in the same fashion…we are kindred spirits 🙂 When my daughter was little and I didn’t have a car or much spending money, I allowed myself to take her for a walk in the stroller on Saturday morning to visit garage sales. If an item would fit into the stroller for the walk home, I purchased it. If not, I left it behind. Now that I’m older and have a little more spending money AND a car, I have to make a mental spending limit for each type of item, and that keeps me from bringing too many treasures home with me 🙂

    1. I do that too. I often have a mental list of things that I’m looking for and I kinda decide what I’m willing to pay. I usually stick to it but not always, but setting a limit does help because even if I do go over it’s not by much.

    1. Thanks Tina! I do love me a good challenge… and a good bargain.

  5. That pansy doily? Gorgeous! I have a soft spot in my heart for them.

    1. Me too! I just can’t pass them by. They’re so pretty, and always remind me of spring.

  6. I love pansy doilies, I found a couple last week! I love all of your found treasures featured! Good Eye and under budget!

    1. Thanks Candice! One of these days maybe I’ll learn to crochet, but until then I’ll enjoy these beauties that some unknown but very talented crocheters have created.

  7. I find that here too. Some people equate lots of patina or chippiness as junky. I call it fab-u-lous!! I really love all of your treasures. I have a floral doily in my parlor that is similar to yours and I just love how it adds to the room. That cruet set has the best patina!

    1. That’s so true AnnMarie! I know quite a few people who don’t get patina at all. They want everything brand spanking new. But that’s OK, because there’s just more for you and me to find and enjoy.

    1. Thanks Janice! Some weeks I’m lucky, and some weeks I find nothing much at all. That’s just the way the thrifting ball bounces. 🙂

  8. I love it all–but mostly the doilies.

    1. Aren’t the flowers pretty? They remind me that spring is just around the corner… hopefully. 🙂

  9. You stole the horse brass – those are much higher – $10 and above in the thrift stores here. I would have jumped on the doilies. I would Mod Podge them on something. I spent ZERO last week. That has got to be an all-time record for me. Though today I attended the Annual Book Fair and blew through $50.

    1. Oh I’d love to go to one of those book fairs. They don’t have that kind of thing here anymore. Patina is highly under rated around here. Not sure why, but that’s just the way it is. But that’s OK. More for me! Not sure what I’m going to do with the doilies, but I’ll enjoy them until I decide.

  10. Tuula, I’m amazed at what you found for under $5!!! I love the brass horse and rider! Those doilies are beautiful!!! Great job at staying under budget and finding awesomeness!!!

    1. Thanks Keri! I’m so glad it was just a one week experiment because I’m sure some weeks it would be much harder to stay under that limit. But that said… there I weeks I don’t find anything. That’s really under budget. lol.

  11. Patricia B says:

    Hey Tuula,
    Oh my goodness, I love your finds! I always try to limit my spending…. Sometimes it actually works….lol

    1. lol. I hear you Patricia. I think I’ll try to limit my weekly dollar amount more often, but maybe increase it to $10. It seems to give me a little more self control. lol.

  12. I would have to say you rocked that challenge!!! Some pretty cool finds. I am wondering what you are up to with those rulers. Something fantastic I am sure!

    1. Thanks Karen! I’m still collecting rulers so I can’ tell… yet. lol.

  13. I should try your budget shopping tip, I think it would force me to look harder. You did good!!! Love the patina on the salt and pepper shakers, and I would have grabbed those rulers too.

    1. It was kinda fun restricting my dollar amount… this one time. lol. It definitely gave me more self control.

    1. Thanks Cecilia! It was a good week. 🙂

  14. My husband and I have been married for 43 years and a few years ago we decided to challenge ourselves to only spending $5.00 on each other for our anniversary gifts at the monthly flea market that we go to. What was I thinking? Men are impossible to find anything that they would like but to limit myself to only 5 bucks was crazy. Last year in desperation, I grabbed an old Florida souvenir of two frogs sitting under a shell umbrella with a sign that said Florida on it. I changed the sign to say ” You and Me” and drew a heart. At least this anniversary gift made him laugh. Oh, BTW, he found a silver box that he hand engraved for me. Wish me luck for next year!

    1. I think that’s a great challenge Sheryl! It sounds like you both did well to me. I do wish you luck for next year!

  15. I can’t believe all you picked up for under $5!! Patina is definitely our thrifting friend and you have found some pretty gems. the creamer /sugar is ready for St Patty’s day…and for spring, period. Looking forward to see what you make with the rulers and good for you that you didn’t budge on your $5 limit, although I know how tempting that is!

    1. It was a lucky week, not just because of what I found but also because there wasn’t too much out there to tempt me. Thrift store limited aren’t too difficult for me. Not sure I could limit myself during garage sale season though. That would be way too much of a test, and I’m sure I’m probably flunk it big time. lol.