Friday, August 19, 2011

Treasure Gathering

I have a kind of a primal need for treasure gathering. This is not treasure hunting; I do not much like searching for things. I mean the process of rummaging through a collection of stuff looking for something good. The most natural expression of this is berry picking. I like picking berries and fruit, and I am good at it. My mind enters a flow state, as I focus on identifying and selecting the best things to pick. But berries are only in season part of the year, and I need to to this at least once every two months. So I tend to go through thrift stores or discount stores looking for deals.

A few days ago, I went to Amazing Savings and saw, to my dismay, that is was closing down. But the good thing was that there was a 2-for-1 sale on everything in the store, so the already low prices were cut in half again. In one part of the store, there was a lot of stock that was not even priced or sorted. I could go through the boxes, and anything I found would be two for a dollar.

As I searched, my mind entered the same kind of flow state that it does when I pick berries. I went through the stuff, setting aside things I did not want and hunting for the treasures. And there were treasures, including five bottles of premium olive oil and two jars of coconut oil. Those seven things alone were worth what I paid for the entire haul.

After some time, I ended up with three banana boxes worth of high-quality food for $53:

Notice the tall stacks of tomato sauce and spaghetti boxes in the back.

I will probably not get a bargain like that anytime soon. But still, it is amazingly easy to acquire stuff for almost no money. Today I went to two thrift stores, looking for a toy plastic bat for a martial arts demonstration. I found one, but I also found a nice aluminum baseball bat, a game with a collection of good riddles and brain teasers, and a good kitchen knife block full of medium-quality full-tang kitchen knives, all for less than $10.

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