How to Not Spend Money at the Flea…

I hit our local flea market, The Groves Antique Mart at Irvine Valley College this Sunday (first Sunday of the month)–one of my favorite “outdoor living” activities. My goal was to not spend any money. (I was dreading our Mastercard bill from the holidaze. But I plucked $60 from my husband’s wallet, just in case.) So, don’t buy anything. Right…

Well, I did end up spending a little bit, OK the entire $60 (every penny), but upon reflection, I thought, what great stuff for just $60! I started hitting flea markets about 15 years ago, first by going to the humongus Rose Bowl flea in Pasadena, but was so thrilled when we got our smaller version in nearby Irvine!
Enough babbling. Here’s my loot. The point: If you haven’t discovered the joy of buying other people’s junk, pay attention and GO!!!
A vintage Kokeshi doll. I paid $10 for this one. It’s signed and about a foot tall (that’s large for Kokeshi standards.) At the end of the flea, the smaller one was still there, so I offered $5 and got him, too. Hee hee!!
Anyone know Japanese? (This is the writing on the bottom.)


This was my first buy. Ten bucks. A Bauer planter. Medium sized, beat-up, hole drilled in bottom. But I don’t care. I just keep picking up colors I like and sticking succulents in them. Great butter yellow!

An old guy who was getting rid of what he called “50 years of collecting” had old bottles, plates, cups, etc., in cardboard boxes with different prices. They all look junky piled like that, but if you are willing to dig…I found this 18″ vase, hand-blown glass vase, and a nice teal color, in the $4 box.!! How ’bout that reflection action?
I also plucked out these two restaurant-ware platters. Not Tepco, or Wallace, but that type of thing, super heavy, indestructible, nice colors. $4 each.


I got this little Tolle piece (yes, with a little chip in paint, but easy enough to patch up) for $3.
Recognize these guys? You better! A vendor sells these letters (the alphabet is hot right now with the hipsters–Scrabble games, vintage blocks, letters from church signs, movie placards, bingo games, etc.) After I spent $10 on some blocks (below), he threw these in for free!
So far, these look juvenile everywhere I put them (wonder why…). I can spell “Buzz” with the flip side. Ten bucks was a bit steep, but you gotta pay to be cool!


It’s just a little General Electric clock. But I LOVE it! I had this digital clock slash Ipod holder by my bed, but I lost the directions and can’t even set the alarm. It bugs the heck out of me. This clock I can set the time without feeling like an idiot. She wanted $8, buy I only had $7, and she took it. Gotta love the flea market!!! It’s always a serendipitous experience: you rarely find exactly what you are looking for, but you find great stuff you didn’t know you needed!
Grand total: $57. Plus I bought a $3 egg burrito. $60!!! Next time, I won’t buy anything!

10 thoughts on “How to Not Spend Money at the Flea…

  1. Oh, I adore the flea markets! You sure got some good stuff. The tolle candle holder is killer, but that blue vase with the sun shining through? Gahh, gorgeous!

  2. Oh, I adore the flea markets! You sure got some good stuff. The tolle candle holder is killer, but that blue vase with the sun shining through? Gahh, gorgeous!

  3. Hey, cool loot! And since the money came out of your husband's wallet, did you really buy anything? There's lots of new stuff I think is really amazing, but really nice older stuff stays amazing. Nice that you're giving some of it a good home.

  4. Hey, cool loot! And since the money came out of your husband's wallet, did you really buy anything? There's lots of new stuff I think is really amazing, but really nice older stuff stays amazing. Nice that you're giving some of it a good home.

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