Another Mexico Shopping Tip

A very common business in Mexico is reselling of quality used American goods bought in bales or pallets. These goods can be resold here for a tidy profit while still offering good value to the buyer. These are the people you see having “garage sales” in front of their houses. Frequent posters on garage sale sites are also usually running this type of business.

These folks are a great ally for people like me who prefer to buy good quality used things for a number of reasons, including a better price, finding unique things not available in stores, and doing my bit for the environment. This is because these sellers see a lot of merchandise, more than you can sort through at a thrift shop or scrolling through online ads. I’ve learned to put feelers out with them and then let them find that rare pearl for me.

Just recently, someone posted a genuine leather tote bag on the local garage sale site. I asked if the colour was true as it appeared to be a nice pink, but the seller said it was red. Well, she got back to me a few weeks later to see if I’d be interested in a not as nice but very inexpensive real leather tote in a coraly-pink that she had grabbed for me “just in case.” I snatched it up!

Now, we come to tonight. I’ve got a doggie and housesitter incoming soon and I still don’t have a complete set of decent linens for the guest room — I have sheets but no nice blankets to go with them. I saw an ad the other day for a yellow and orange duvet cover with pillow shams that I thought would be nice and asked about the fabric composition. A lot of linens here have polyester, which makes no sense in this climate. Unfortunately, this set had polyester.

The seller said she’d keep an eye out for a 100% cotton set and I told her size doesn’t matter but I’d prefer matrimonial (full) or larger. I have twin beds right now but don’t want to end up with a bunch of teeny sheets and things when I move — you can just tuck the excess under the mattress. 🙂

Well, tonight she texted me a photo of 100% cotton duvet cover and shams.

The other side of the sham is turquoise and the other side of the duvet is navy. So you basically get two sets for the price of one!

I said I was interested and could perhaps pick up tomorrow. She asked where I live as we could possibly meet part-way. I don’t know who responded faster with the laugh-crying emoji when we discovered she’s practically my rear neighbour! She was on her way out, so she swung by my place and dropped the lot off.

Good quality linens are surprisingly expensive in Mexico. A set like this could have easily set me back $1,000 or more. The $350 I paid is an absolute bargain. and I gasped when I saw the colour as it works with other colours in the house, especially the master suite with its mostly turquoise bathroom. In fact, I’m tempted to keep the set for myself, it’s just that nice. 🙂

Neighbourly Respect

I was surprised to finish work super early yesterday, and even after taking on several extra jobs. I decided to make a Costco run as I was about out of almond milk. Costco is one of the few places where it really makes more sense to take the truck than to bus and Uber since I come back with so many large heavy things.

When I signed the lease, the landlady warned me that the mechanic next door often has so many cars that he has to park them along both sides of the street and that she had a zero tolerance policy for any of his cars parked along the front of the house. If I wanted, she could give me the number for the towing service she uses.

Well, I only have one vehicle and I don’t have guests, so insisting on keeping the street in front of the house clear seemed petty to me. I figured out what parking bay is most easily accessible with my truck and then I went to talk to the mechanic. I told him that as long as that bay door was clear, I wasn’t going to complain about cars in front of the house.

So this scene is super common in front of my house:

Yeah, it’s a huge pain to get the truck out when there’s so many other vehicles around (especially when parked on both sides of the street) because the angles of entry and exit aren’t forgiving, but I have enough room and I’ve never had a moment where I wanted to take the truck out and the middle bay was blocked. In fact, I was walking home the other night and someone was in the process of parking in front of that bay. The driver jumped out and said that he’d only be there a few minutes as he knew he had to keep that bay door clear. He would find another spot for the night. Well, I had no plans to go out with the truck in the near future so I said it was fine if he stayed this one time, and the vehicle was gone by the morning.

It’s little concessions like these that buy peace with neighbours and make it that the very odd time that the mechanic is making so much noise that I can’t hear anything even with the doors and windows shut, I’m comfortable strolling next door to ask how long he thinks he might be without sounding like a harpy.

So at any rate, off I went to Costco yesterday and boy did I make the trip worthwhile. I picked up several things that are better off bought in bulk that I haven’t been able to afford to buy in bulk. Most of the items on my list were on sale as well, so my timing was very good. My only real splurge was for some Asian dumplings I’ve been wanting to try forever, but which are very expensive. Not only were they on sale yesterday, they were being offered as a sample. So I knew I’d get my money’s worth at the sale price, but was reassured that I was smart not to pay full price.

My membership is up at the end of the month and my renewal was automatically tacked onto my purchase even though, in theory, I had another week to renew (I didn’t mind — one less line to stand in!). So this was one of my biggest Costco runs ever. On top of all the discounts I got on sales items, I got an almost $75 (5CAD) discount for paying with my debit card (would have also applied to cash. Those discounts really add up!

Of course, I stopped at the food court on the way out to grab a slice of al pastor pizza for a late dinner. 🙂 I like my pizza at room temperature so by the time I got home after a huge storm, having to take quite the detour as Calle 60 was not moving, greeted Bonita, unpacked everything, filled the fridge, fed Bonita, cuddled with Bonita, and finally sat down to eat, the pizza was at the perfect temperature. 🙂

Oh, and I don’t know if this is a “thing” at other Costcos, but in Mérida, attendants with giant umbrellas will escort you from the store to your vehicle in inclement weather. I rather felt like royalty. 🙂

Getting the truck back into the parking bay is tiring work and I wasn’t up for it once everything was done last night (plus it was dark), so I left it parked on the street as I’ll need to go pay my bills in the next few days and do a supermarket run. Then, she’ll probably be put away for close to two months — I really don’t take her out much!