Why did this stop me in my tracks, you ask? Partly because I had found this same exact toy in really good condition at my local thrift store. Partly because my jaw fell open at the price Target was selling it for: $34.99! I got mine for...wait for it...$4.99. I kid you not. And it was in really good condition too. Of all of the little buttons and interactive bits, only one button didn't work. And you know what? It doesn't matter! My kid LOVES this toy! Okay, but before I get into all that, here's why I love thrift store/craigslist/secondhand items:
1. While I'm a stay-at-home mom at the moment, when I do work, I work in television. While I LOVE my work, it takes up a lot of time and sacrifice. As a result, I want my money to stretch as far as it can go because I had to work hard for it.
2. I like to think that something used that I can use prevents it from ending up in a landfill. Good for me, good for the environment.
3. Often, I buy stuff from shops that are benefiting good causes like The Salvation Army, Goodwill, or smaller stores that benefit veterans. I like that my money goes to support someone who can use it as opposed to making someone who's pretty rich even richer.
4. I love good deals!!! Seriously! I hate shopping in general, but if I can find an amazing deal, that totally makes my day.
5. When it comes to kid stuff, I try to buy used as much as possible, because:
A. Most of it is over-priced.
B. Kids outgrow things really quickly.
C. Kids get sick of things really quickly.
D. Kids break things really easily.
D. Finding cheap versions of new things like toys and books are fairly
6. There is so much you can find at thrift stores that is already awesome or with a little love can be made to be awesome. Over the years, I've found so many amazing pieces:
- Beautiful Art
- Kitchen Crockery
- Picture holders
- Household Decor
- Awesome Jewelry Boxes
- Holiday Decor
I actually keep a list of things that I want to try to thrift before I resort to buying new. This saves me a lot of money in a couple of ways. First, because sometimes I can find item at a thrift store, which will save me money. Secondly, I only go thrifting when I have a lot of stuff I want to look for. If I went too often, I'd probably buy a lot of junk I don't need. (Junk you don't need is still a waste of money if you don't need it. =D)
The one thing I don't thrift are clothes for myself, and that's because I loathe clothes shopping most of all. It's bad enough going to a regular store and trying to find things that flatter me. I think if I had to search for clothes in the needle-in-a-haystack sort of way that you'd have to do in a thrift store, I'd probably resort to walking around stark naked. And nobody wants that. Seriously. Nobody.
So hopefully if thrift stores have seemed unseemly or scary in the past, you'll give them another chance. Heck, invite me along! My enthusiasm for it is fairly infectious, and the thrifting bug will bite you too! =D