House Poor Summer Tour: Adventures in juicing and garage sales

In the spirit of “staycationing” in our new home, I’m writing a new series of posts about ways to save money and live frugally without being extreme or insane. I used these methods to save for my down payment, and I continue to use them to survive being a new, yet thrifty, homeowner.

Let’s embark on the House Poor Summer Tour 2013!


Being house poor means Clay and I hit random garage sales almost every weekend lately. Sometimes garage sales are great and other times, it’s a bust. We check Craigslist on Thursday or Friday to find the good ones, and since I run at Isle of Palms most Saturday mornings, I can hit up yard sales East of the Cooper while Clay hits the West Ashley ones.

Plus, here in Charleston, you can find garage sales at random times- like Saturday evening or Sunday afternoon. You can also find estate sales that last all weekend. Score for those of us who run or race on Saturday mornings, or like to sleep in, because we can still score some deals.

Saturday evening, I hit an estate sale in West Ashley and purchased a $10 juicer. Since the price was $10 and it was early in the sale, I knew the seller wouldn’t come down, so I talked her into throwing a random cookbook or two in with it.

That’s right. I *never* pay full price- even at yard sales.

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I was hesitant to buy the juicer at first- ten dollars is ten dollars, and if I’m not going to use the item, it doesn’t matter how cheap it is, it’s a waste of money. It’s an entry-level juicer, so I can always upgrade if I like it- beats buying a pricey one and not using it, right?

I watched Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead a few months ago when some friends started juicing, which inspired me to branch out and try the juice bar at Earth Fare. Now, I really like the juice bar at Earth Fare and frequent it once a week. Since I’m 9 miles away in the “boonies” and Earth Fare isn’t open 24-7, I figured this would be an easy fix.

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So far, I’ve made two kinds of juices- the first one was carrots and one pink lady apple. The second juice was carrots, a little spinach, and strawberries. Both were really tasty and also strangely filling. I love the carrots and they’re cheap, plus they generate a good bit of juice. The strawberries were going bad soon- so what a great way to use produce before you have to throw it out?

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I’m pretty proud of my little garage sale juicer and can’t wait to try new concoctions and recipes I find online. Any suggestions?

Have you ever tried juicing fruits and veggies?

Do you like garage/yard/estate sales?

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18 Responses to House Poor Summer Tour: Adventures in juicing and garage sales

  1. Fun! I am trying to decide if a juicer would be good for us. I love fresh juices (clearly) but just don’t know about adding one more appliance, lol. I am attempting to juice with my blender, aka just toss stuff in and see how it comes out.

    I personally am not a garage sale lover, my grandfather was when i was growing up and i would tag along with him to keep him company.

    • Amy Lauren says:

      Yeah, it’s one of those things you love or hate. Sometimes I love it, sometimes I hate it (usually when I spend an hour driving around and looking and finding nothing). Plus it would probably remind me of my grandpa if that was the situation, so I wouldn’t blame you there.

      I also thought about a juicer, but that’s why I got this super cheap one. I figure if i don’t use it much, at least I didn’t spend a bunch of money on a high end one.

  2. I saw so many garage sales here last weekend and we wanted to go to all of them, but figured we need to move out of a one-bedroom condo and into a house before we can start doing all teh garage sales!
    I would actually be afraid that I would spend so much more money on fruits and veggies to use in my juicer, so make sure you are juicing frugally! I love ginger juiced into just about anything, too. It is too strong to eat on its own but as juice it is great.

    • Amy Lauren says:

      You are right on juicing frugally! Most juice produce is fairly cheap though, like carrots aren’t expensive at all. The thing is, it takes a lot of produce to make a little juice, so I could see where it could add up, especially if you like a bunch of different things in it. I’m also trying to juice veggies before they go bad… at least that way they get used 🙂

  3. silkandtofu says:

    I’ve never tried juicing but I’m a little skeptical to try. Spinach in smoothies sounds so weird to me but a lot of people say you barely notice the taste, so I may have to try it sometime. I’m not much of a garage sale person but I absolutely love good sales at thrift stores and fairs! 🙂 They are my favorite thing to do on the weekends in the summer time as well!

    • Amy Lauren says:

      You should definitely try the fresh juice. Don’t go out and buy a juicer or anything, but stop by a juice bar and just get them to make you something. Tell them you’re new to juice, and pretty much anything with apple in it is good and sweet.

      I’ve put spinach in smoothies before and you don’t notice the taste, if the green color weirds you out, add blueberries because that turns anything purple.

  4. WOW!!! That’s great! $10 for a juicer! That’s awesome! And welcome to juicing! 🙂
    I’ve been doing it for weeks now and I feel amazing! 🙂

    • Amy Lauren says:

      Thanks girly, yeah I feel good after I drink them too. Seems like the extra “shots” of veggies just help my body. The juicer is pretty low key and definitely not the best, but if I want to upgrade in the future, I can, ya know?

  5. Kara says:

    I’m so glad you’re sharing your tips, because I definitely need help with saving money!! That’s awesome that found that juicer…I kind of makes me want to get one 🙂

    • Kara says:

      Wow I can’t type apparently – sorry for all the typos 🙂

    • Amy Lauren says:

      Thanks girly! I need to link up to my other posts as well. Honestly, it’s not that hard to save- just couponing, buying things secondhand, etc. It really helps. Just gotta think about your purchases, I think impulse buys are what get me sometimes!

  6. We don’t personally own a juicer like that, but my sister used to. I remember we used to put strawberries and orange juice together and it was pretty tasty! (She would also crush some ice, and make it more of a slushy)

  7. Hey there! I do love garage sales and yard sales… but actually, I haven’t been to one in over a year I always end up spending my money on other things or bills, but you know? Maybe I should make an effort to go to a couple the next time I get paid. I haven’t been to one since after getting an apartment, and it seems like the perfect activity for a single person to attend. 🙂

    We have a ton of garage sales in the area.

    I did try fresh orange juice at my parents’ back in high school. I remember the juice was very foamy. 😀 so fresh! My parents never used that juicer since, and I never bothered to get one. That’s a really good idea on watching how much money you spend on kitchen appliances.

    I love your staycationing series.

  8. allieksmith says:

    I love that you negotiated at the garage sale. You’re a go-getter!! I haven’t tried juicing yet, but it seems really interesting. I went to a seminar at my chiropractor’s office and a woman did a juicing demo. It looked fairly simple and super healthy!

    • Amy Lauren says:

      Honestly, the most complicated part is having to clean the juicer. The rest of it is not bad. You just cram the veggies in there!

      I don’t think I could ever do a juice fast or one of those reset cleanse diets. I just like food too much (and mostly, I like sweets too much). But, it’s not a bad idea to juice to supplement or replace a light meal, like breakfast or lunch.

  9. I LOVE garage sales! and what a great deal, I really want to try juicing myself (mostly because I want to see what it is all about haha)

  10. Steph says:

    I’ve never tried juicing, but I’m always interested to see how other people’s experiences are with it. I’m like you, I don’t want to spend money on something if I won’t use it.

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