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GUEST COLUMN: True confessions of a thriftoholic

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Deb Schramek-O’Hagan

I keep telling myself, ‘enough is enough.’

Deb Schramek-O'Hagan
Deb Schramek-O’Hagan

But I can’t stop. I’m a thriftiholic. I live for bargains and the thrill of bagging a dusty treasure somewhere for a few shekels.

It’s been going on as long as I can remember. The seeds might have been planted when I lived on my cousins’ hand-me-downs and made my own clothes in home-ec class using fabric bought at Cranston’s on East Street.

Who knows? But I have made some great finds.

Our home is basically decorated by Habitat.

For starters, there is the 100-year-old wooden dining room suite made in Berlin, Ont. (now Kitchener) that came with six chairs and Captain’s chair for $125 – with the original sales receipt.

And then there is that great, blue, leather La-Z-boy sofa for $200.

Habitat for Humanity has finds for everyone, and the volunteers are top-notch.

You’ve probably guessed by now I’m a senior, and take full advantage of my senior’s discounts.

Oh, the joy of Monday and heading to the Goodwill on Michigan Avenue. There, I bagged not one, but two sets of Christmas dishes. I am, happily, the designated host of our family dinner.

Mom turns 92 in November and she also enjoys shopping for goodies. And the exercise is a plus for both of us.

Bibles for Missions has graced me with, among other items, lace tablecloths.

And who doesn’t like Vinnie’s (St. Vincent de Paul) on Davis Street. Give me a spray paint can in glorious colours and I go wild on new decorative furniture pieces.

Tuesdays, you’ll find me and other Thriftaholics at The Salvation Army on Christina Street hunting for clothes.

My husband doesn’t have the same radar, but he does like buying CDs for a $1 at the Goodwill on London Road.

There are so many places to search for treasures in Sarnia, including Value Village, the Sunday flea market on Christina Street and, of course, the garage sales that dot Sarnia neighbourhoods in summertime.

My greatest claim to fame so far is the two-piece Calvin Klein dress suit I found my husband for $15. Who cares if the dry-cleaning cost just as much? Online, the same suit cost more than $400!

I confess, I am also starting to gather items for my daughter. Perhaps one day decades from now the Antiques Roadshow will arrive in town and my daughter will reveal some thrift store item I found for them.

“What?” she’ll exclaim. “Mom’s item is worth how much?”

And I’ll look down from heaven (hopefully) and say, “Your welcome, dear daughter, Carry on. Carry on.”

Debbie Schramek-O’Hagan is a Sarnia women with a passion for thrift-store shopping



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