If you know our family well, you know that we like to be thrifty. Frugal, some may call it. Cheap, others may say. Resourceful and creative is how we like to look at it. Over the years, we have had several roadside opportunities. What are those? Those are treasures we have found that might serve our family purpose in some way.
There are a few reasons we have started to collect stuff we see on the road.
4 Reasons to Find Roadside Treasures
1. It’s so fun!
We like to find a good treasure. We love the thrill of spotting something that might serve our family. This past summer, we picked up two bikes for our boys off the side of the road. My husband spent a few minutes tuning them up and adjusting them and they were perfect for our two oldest! The boys could not believe we were blessed with them.
We have a fire pit that we love to sit by on cooler summer nights and into the fall. My husband and I both grew up camping and those family times sitting around a campfire meant so much to us. It’s important to us to have a cozy place to sit around and visit with friends and neighbors. Over the last couple years, we have collected ten adirondack chairs for our fire pit. Some were down right nasty and we spent a lot of time cleaning them up, painting them, and adding a few screws for support. Some were in awesome shape and jumped right in the fire pit circle with no refurbishment required.
Other exciting finds include patio furniture and a wicker table. These three pieces were all from the curb.
I spent some time cleaning them up and grabbed my favorite spray paint. Rustoleum Heirloom White is our “go to” color when spray painting projects. Our hardware store runs a sale on them every now and then and we stock up with a few cans so we have them on hand when we need them.
2. It meets a need
It’s amazing what random things we have needed for our home or a project that we have come across on the curb. This year, we wanted to expand our fruit and vegetable planting. We wanted to use our regular garden but also do several pots on our patio. Every single one of these pots (except the large one with the post holding our patio lights up) was picked up on the side of the road. They work great. We even found a few extras to prop up some of the other pots to discourage our free-ranging chickens from sneaking a taste. They serve their purpose well and we are already enjoying the produce that is growing in them.
After getting our plants established we knew we needed some fencing and cages to support and protect our growing produce. We priced fencing at Menards a couple times and kept putting it off. One day we found several pieces of fencing that my husband was able to use for our garden and potted plants. We also were looking for large planters to put on either side of our garage door and got some beautiful ones off the curb that work perfect.
This past summer, my husband spotted a couple of matching nightstands. He and two of our boys grabbed them and brought them home.
I put in a few hours of work cleaning them, painting them with chalk paint, and waxing them. They made a huge difference in the feel of our room. It is so nice to have matching tables with lamps that we fixed up ourselves.
3. We are Making Memories
One of our favorite finds is a cedar chest. My husband was at a baseball game with our oldest son and I was driving through town with our two younger boys when we saw that beauty. I thought to myself, “How in the world are we going to get this in our van?” We saw the potential. We opened the chest and smelled the fresh cedar. I looked our eight year old in the eyes and said, “We can do this.” I don’t know how, but we loaded that thing in our van without getting hurt. It wasn’t easy, but it was worth it!
After we shimmied that chest into the back of our van, I looked up and saw two older ladies in wheelchairs watching us. I looked at my son and then told myself, “Girl, just own it.” I straightened up my shoulders, smiled my biggest smile, and gave them a big wave. They waved back excitedly and said, “You got some great stuff!” They were celebrating with us. It was fabulous. We cleaned up that cedar chest and we love the vintage look of it on the outside and the fresh clean cedar on the inside. It currently resides as the coffee table in our family room downstairs.
One day I received a text from a good friend saying she saw a piece of furniture on the side of the road and thought of us. I went and picked her up and she helped me load that baby in our van. We got it home, my husband repaired the broken base to it and we have a delightful piece of furniture for our guest room. I love that she thought of us and I love that we were able to repurpose a piece of furniture to meet our needs.
4. It Helps our Budget
Besides being fun and exciting, we also look for roadside opportunities to help our budget. We are a one income family and every financial decision we make is a big deal.
Now I want you understand this, we have what we need and even more. As we have committed to tithe to our church and expanded that giving over the years, God has proven, again and again, how he takes care of us. Whether it be a treasure on the side of the road, a woman buying our cart full of groceries, or a random note in the mail— it always comes at the time it is needed.
Being good stewards of the money God gives to our family is a big deal to us. We try to make it go far.
When we see a roadside opportunity that is in good shape or we can help it to be in good shape, we grab it. We don’t grab everything we see (although the boys would like to sometimes)! We show the boys the work we put into it and we make sure to point out the blessing it is.
Sometimes we see a piece that we don’t have a need for but it has potential. We then fix it up and post it on the Facebook Marketplace to make a few extra dollars. One day, one of our sons was taking a friend through the house saying, “This was from the curb…this was from the curb.” Oh the memories we are making with our roadside opportunities!
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What great finds have you come across? We would LOVE to have you share them with us!