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Okay, I have a confession to make. I am a sucker for free finds during bulk-pickup. Yes, those mounds of brush and miscellaneous household discards are one of my favorite places to scrounge for free finds.

Here’s my strategy: I pack up the kids in the van and drop Skyler off by 8 a.m. at school. Early in the morning is best because most people are off to work so you won’t look too crazy digging through their junk. And it’s crucial to make sure I have plenty of snacks/toys/music to keep the other two occupied while I’m crawling the neighborhoods. This morning I told Liam we were going on a treasure hunt and that kept him content in his carseat for about 30 minutes. I begin by systematically driving down each street scanning the piles for anything that catches my eye. With the kids in tow it has to be something worth grabbing to get out of the car. It definitely takes a bit of pride-swallowing to dig through other peoples junk in broad daylight, but I’ve found enough great finds that it’s proven worthy.

And this morning I found this snazzy blue vintage suitcase. I pulled over as soon as I saw it, waved hi to the junk pile’s neighbor, and snatched the case in less than a minute. It seemed to be locked (and without a handle) when I got it home so like and idiot I tried prying it open with a screwdriver only to realize it wasn’t when Chris got home and suavely opened it for me. I plan on cleaning it out and using it to store fabric and craft supplies since my storage space is limited to a computer armoire and an old wicker chest (which I also found free during last year’s bulk pickup!). All in a day’s work for this fantastically frugal stay-at-home super-mommy!