PF Weekly, Grab A Brew #24: Who Has The $23,000 Box

Grab A Brew Reading Line-Up

Two people are on the hunt for the $23,000 box and you might be the winner. I thought since it’s Friday this would be a great post about silly things people do since Saturday is typical a garage sale day around Canada and the USA. Today I’m sharing what I read about Eric and Racquel Cloutier from California just because I enjoy reading stories about things that make you go, hmm.

This poor guy really did have the best of intentions for his wife and children but now he hopes that honesty will bring back his mistake and make it right.  Keep reading to find out what happened. I’ve talked about what you can and can’t sell at a garage sale  in Canada and for good reason, a potential safety hazard and protecting those from harm, mainly children. Then there was the post where I share garage sale tips and another on how to price items at a garage sale.

Now I’m thinking I might need to write another post on what Not to sell at a garage sale and why you should always ask other occupants of the home if it’s OK to sell something. You don’t want to end up on the news like Eric hoping that someone does the right thing.

Grab A Brew Time

What did he do?

He just bought himself time in the corner, spare bedroom, the dog house, take your pick I’m betting his wife was far from pleased with him. While his wife was in hospital having their fifth child he decided to sell items in the house that have collected dust. What better time to hold a garage sale just before you bring your new baby home.

Clutter really does take up space and with five children space is at a premium for most families. Typically people go around their home and pick out stuff that has no value to them. When I say no value that means it’s worth nothing or hasn’t been used and likely won’t get used in the near future.

When you have items worth some money and you let them rot or collect dust it’s comparable to leaving money on the ground and stepping on it instead of picking it up. I have to interrupt my thought here because another story caught my attention in regards to silly things people do.

We’ve talked about 5 unusual places to stash your cash here at Canadian Budget Binder but where should you NOT stash your cash?

Just don’t make the same mistake as the woman in China who stashed $65,000 US  in her dresser drawer only to find out 6 months later that it was eaten up by termites. Yes that did happen, can you imagine the horror opening up your secret stash of money only to find bits and pieces left of it. I’d be horrified. Put it in the bank people or invest it, don’t keep piles of money or very expensive items stashed around the house that easily could get lost or in that case eaten up.

Back to the story… I seem to get off track when I start thinking of these odd stories I read on Yahoo while drinking my morning brew. So the husband goes around the house with good intentions of course picking out items on his own that he thought hadn’t been used and that he could score some money selling from.

He comes across this box which was a watch box in the closet which he felt had been there for far too long. He whips it out and prices it for ten dollars and sure enough someone snatched up this bargain which was likely worth between$120-$130 according to the Yahoo article.

What was in the old watch box?

Yep, Eric sold his wife’s $23,000 wedding ring, oh that was bright alright now you’re in big trouble. We’re not talking chump change here either. She hid the ring in a bottom compartment to keep it safe from their 2-year-old twins. Just not safe from her own husband.

I’m sure every person reading this story in California that went to a garage sale on the weekend and bought a box is currently hoping they find the golden ticket like Charlie and the Chocolate factory. The winner gets a dollar reward though but no chocolate factory tour unless of course they fancy a few chocolate bars for compensation. Honestly, if it were me I’d just give it back and (I’d take the chocolate and run).

Who has the golden ticket?

Although he is offering a reward not quite equal to $23,000 but a plea to the lady who bought the valuable box with his wife’s wedding ring inside. Any married couple would know that this is a big deal, sentimental and part of their union as husband and wife. I am going to be optimistic and say that the lady buyer will do the right thing and bring back the wedding ring to this couple.

Mistakes Happen

The morale of the story is we all make mistakes and sometimes costly ones for that matter. All we can do in life is learn from our mistakes because that is what helps us grow. If the buyer turns around and says you sold it to me, tough-luck buddy, well he just sold a box worth $23,000 for ten dollars. He will have to live with that decision for the rest of his life. I’m pretty sure he won’t be holding a garage sale on his own any time soon though.

My advice, next time you plan to have a garage sale and you are in a relationship or live with others in the home, do it together. If you have expensive items or cash in the house at least make each other aware of where in the home you stash your cash and valuables. If it’s not yours to sell, don’t sell it. That’s the easiest way to stay out of trouble.

Always make sure to have your valuables insured and/or leave them in a lock box at the bank for higher security measures if you only use the item once in a while. The price you pay for these services might be worth it in the long run. Short of cash, buy a vault, just one that you can’t move or sell at a garage sale. That’s a good way to make sure no one gets their hands on it, not even your spouse. I’m pretty sure insurance won’t cover, oops I sold my wife’s wedding ring at a garage sale a potential claim.

He made a mistake, it happens let’s just hope they both have a happy ending.

You can read the full story here.

Have you ever sold something worth money by accident?

Have you ever bought something for cheap at a garage sale worth alot more than you paid for? 

Top Recipe


If you haven’t had a change to check out my New Facebook Page titled The Free Recipe Depot please come around and Like my page. It’s a place where I share recipes and only recipes from blogs and websites from around the web. You come share your recipe and I’ll share it with my fans. It’s that easy.

Since the page went live I’ve had one page that has passed by every day and I want to recognize her. Her name is Bunny from Bunny’s Warm Oven and she shared this lovely Chocolate Cream Pie that I knew would be my Top Recipe today. Check out Bunny’s recipe and indulge, you deserve it.

Don’t forget to pass by my Canadian Budget Binder Facebook Page every Sunday for Frugal Food Sunday to share a blog recipe so I can share it with my almost 5700 fans!!

PF Weekly Reading Line-Up

Here are a few blog posts that I thought were worth mentioning this week.

Top Story: A Sad View Into Making Ends Meet Debt Round-Up

Have a great week everyone and I hope you enjoyed this edition of my PF Weekly Reading #24 Grab a Brew.


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  1. Yikes! I definitely would want to check over any items before letting them be sold in a garage sale. Even more so after reading this story. I think a $23,000 ring is a bit much though. That’s a downpayment, even in Vancouver!

  2. OH dear, my tummy felt a bit sick when I read this. There have been a few times when I wanted to give Rick a good slap upside the head for doing stupid stuff (and I’m sure he feels the same 🙂 ), but this guy takes the cake. My friend one time bought a new digital video camera for $5. She asked the wife “Does this say $5?” The wife says “Well, my husband priced it, so, I guess that’s what he wants to sell it for.” and off Jess went with a shiny new video cam. I often wonder if a fight ensued in their household later. 🙂

  3. My husband & I got our rings at Walmart. He keeps trying to get me to buy a better ring. I dont want one. This little $60 gold band means the same as 1000 s of dollars rings do. Till death do us part. Love,sharing& caring is what makes it work. No ring is the secret to a long & happy marriage.

  4. Oh Lord !!! I’m speechless . Yes definitely tell each other where your hidy holes are. Hope the lady returns it. A very expensive lesson. Hope they have a stronggggggg relation ship & a happy ending.

  5. That’s a crazy story! However, I think a $23,000 ring is crazy too. My husband and I got married without rings…if he had spent money on one we probably would have sold it to pay off debt (yeah, that’s how much we care about wedding rings). $23,000 would pay off a lot of my student loans!

    1. Yes that was a pricey ring but not the most expensive I’ve personally seen on a woman. When some men have the cash they stop at nothing to put a big rock on a woman’s finger. My wife would have divorced me before we married if I spent that much on a ring… not this guy!!! Cheers

  6. I heard about that sale with the ring on the radio this morning, in a little less detail…Wow……must be quite the ring to be worth that much!!!! I took my ring off a while back as I had a rash underneath the ring but I know exactly where it is right now!!!
    I’m looking forward to checking out more of the reading list some time on the weekend. I saw that recipe for chocolate pie….. I’m still drooling!!! Have a good weekend!!!

  7. If I sold my wife’s wedding ring you can be sure I’d be placed up for sale the following day.

  8. Thanks so much for the mention Mr. CBB, I really appreciate it! I had heard about this story and is really sad that it happened. Hope you have a great weekend sir! I am going to try and unplug for a few hours this weekend. 😉

  9. And that is exactly why I do not keep valuables in the house…theft, fire, flood, act of God are all good reasons for a safty deposit box in my humble opinion. 😀

      1. Mr CBB, I have all of my jewellery that is not on my person, coins, cash, credit cards, family heirlooms, our wedding photo negatives and the wedding video and all of our important papers (not including the wills, powers of attorney and medical directives) in our various safety deposit boxes.

        I too have one of “those rings” that I inherited from my mother and I don’t wear it because I can’t/don’t want to afford to insure it. It’s an heirloom that I have in safekeeping for the next generation.

        Our end of life documents are all with the lawyer but all the possible executors are aware how to find them. I have three levels of executors in case someone is “unable or unwilling” to handle the affairs. You never know what will be going on in their lives at the time. I just noticed the annual bring forward to make any necessary adjustments is coming up again next month… and there are changes to be made. Here comes some more legal fees.

  10. Thanks for the mention, Mr. CBB. I appreciate it! I did read that article too and since it’s neighborhood, relatively speaking, it was a hot topic of conversation. I feel so bad for the poor couple. I would be devastated and like you – I hope once that woman realizes what she has that she will do the right thing and return it. Have a wonderful weekend, Mr. CBB.

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