Boot Sale Bargains

Whether you live in Marlborough, UK or Menlo Park, CA, summer is the season for garage sales. The only difference between the garage sales in the US and the ones in England is that the sun doesn't shine on the ones in England, and they're called car boot sales. Instead of holding the sales on their front yards, people pack their stuff up in a car and gather at a common ground.

Today we went to a car boot sale near Alfie's parents' home. We saw the usual assortment of used clothes, shoes, toys, books, and furniture...

... along with some really nice antiques, crafts, and art. Any vintage collector would have had a field day searching through this car boot sale.

We also had our first introduction to another British tradition, the tombola or British raffle. I've read about tombolas in Enid Blyton books but haven't ever seen one before. It looks like a great way to get rid of unwanted presents while raising money for charity! Prizes ranged from beauty salon certificates to stuffed toys to candy bars to vases and other odds and ends. We paid 50p for a raffle ticket, and walked away with a portable beauty case.

I wasn't expecting to buy anything, but the kids found some great bargains they couldn't pass up. I normally frown on impulse buys, but they cost so little (literally spare change), I let them experience the thrill of bargain hunting. Our finds:

  • 4 Wii games, 50p each
  • 3 peppermint tins, 50p each
  • 1 bottle of glitter nail polish, 50p
  • 1 plush cow, 50p
  • 1 Harry Potter tote bag, 50p
  • 1 booklet of tear-out bookmarks, 20p

  • 2 skate boards, 2 pounds each
  • 1 mini plush cow, 10p

Usually things cost way more in the UK, so we were extra happy. The kids are thrilled that they were able to get 4 Wii games for $6! There's no way we could get even a single game for less than $10 in the US. And 3Po has been looking for cows to add to his stuffed cow collection, so these British additions fit his budget perfectly.
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