As I drove through Brewer recently and noticed three gas grills next to the street, within a half-mile area, it occurred to me that sidewalk shopping season is here.

What Kinds of Things Can You Find?

You never know what you're going to find on the side of the road. It could be a pile of kids' toys that the owner's children have outgrown. Maybe it's a couch that's still good but the owners got tired of it. Or it might be a broken gas grill. It's hit or miss. But, like the old saying goes, one person's trash is another person's treasure. If you see something you're in the market for, it's always worth pulling over and taking a look.

Have You Ever Found Anything Good?

My husband and I have some experience with this. A couple years ago, he noticed a neighbor's gas grill out by the road, so we went down and asked about it. There was nothing wrong with it, but they had just upgraded to something fancier. Jim and I don't need fancy, as long as it cooks a steak, so we grabbed it. And over the weekend, we put our old table and chairs out by the road after we bought something smaller, that fit our kitchen better. The old set needed a lot of love (some of the chair dowels were held together by rope), but apparently someone felt they could get some use out it.

What If I Don't Have a Pickup?

Just remember, there's no layaway or 'holds' in sidewalk shopping. It's first come, first served, so consider taking the pickup when you're driving around town. Or, if you don't have a truck, program your truck-driving friend's number into your phone and stock up on gift cards to thank them for their help. Trash? Treasure? It's up to you. But the sidewalk shopping season is officially open.

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