This is part 3 in our Saving Money Series.... Buying Used.
I'm sure many of you already buy used items..... and some of you have never bought used and are actually put-off by the very idea.
One BIG way to save money... is to buy used.... what a blessing it can be. :)
We have been buying used items for many years... and instead of feeling deprived, I am so thankful to have this option.
Buying used can happen at garage sales, thrift stores, on Craigslist, from a friend, or maybe in other ways.
I have bought hats... for 50c to $5.00 each. They can be MUCH higher, but this is my limit... and I have only spent $5.00 a couple of times. :)
These beautiful big fluffy towels were at a garage sale for $1 each. The hand towels and bath mats were 50c each and the washcloth was 25c.
The exercise ball is just one of a few that I have bought.... for $1-$4.00 each, probably. I don't remember all of the prices, but I am giving you an idea of what I either have spent on these items, or what I may have spent.
The tray is metal and wicker and I have used it for a few years... I think I paid $2.00.
Jewelry is a good deal at used prices... The prices can vary a lot, but I usually spend about 50c - $3 each, and sometimes a bit more than that. I have been able to trade out some of my jewelry and get things I like better... I just sell the ones I am getting rid of, at my sale.
I have bought Sterling Silver items and even real gold. No, it isn't plentiful.. I watch, though.
The dollhouse was at a thrift store... for $5.00!!!! That is lower than their usual prices at that store, and I asked if that really was the price. It was... they just wanted to give someone an extra good deal for Christmas Eve. It became my daughter's gift the next day. :)
Buying used is much different.... You may find many clothes at one sale... at great prices, but not in sizes or styles you can use. Hmm... you may find tools.... but not the ones you want. You may not find anything at all that you want or can use.
Should you just give up? No... shopping for used items takes time... and a whole different strategy.
For one thing... it can help to keep an ongoing list of what you need... whether that list is on paper or just in your head. I also like to pray about the items we need...
My Garage Sale Prayer List
It also becomes important to anticipate what you may want in the near future. For example... if your son is wearing size 10 jeans, it may be a good idea to also shop for size 12, 14, 16 jeans. If you find some... stocking up at that time can save time and money in the future.
If you go to a sale and find a LOT of good things at good prices.. that is the time to buy. If you wait until you NEED it, you could go to dozens of sales and not find what you are looking for.
Thrift stores and church garage sales can give you a better selection of things at one location. The price can be a little higher, but the availability can be worth it.. and these are good options for buying things used.
I have bought the globe, map, organizing items, wrought iron wall decorations, cookie jars, kitchen utensils, lamps, baskets, tools, garden items, shepherd's hooks and lots more.
I have found brand new items many times... new shoes, purses, jewelry, clothes, food, cleaning supplies and more.
Shopping at garage sales is a bit like a treasure hunt.... you never know what you will find.... and it is good to know what variety of things you can use.
If I NEEDED to get a pair of jeans for my son... and he needed them NOW... I wouldn't bother with shopping at garage sales, I would go to a thrift store since I could be quite confident that I could find a pair I could use... on that trip, without extra shopping.
By the way there are many many garage sales that I go to and do not buy anything.
We like having benches because more people can be seated in at the table than with chairs... and with a big family, this works. We have saved 2 chairs... for our parents when they visit. :)
If I was determined to get what I want, when I want it, I would have missed such a deal. Waiting can really help. These kinds of exceptional deals are not the norm, but they CAN happen.... with diligence.
China and dishes are quite plentiful at garage sales and thrift stores. I have added to sets or bought sets and sold others.... keeping what I like the best.
It isn't possible to go to find that when you want it though... this is something that only happens rarely. I have gone to a LOT of garage sales in order to get some of these GREAT deals.
I have had people say they wanted to go to garage sales with me... some want to learn how to do it... others think I "magically" find great deals wherever I go.
Many times I would go to 10-20 garage sales on a Saturday morning. My record is that I one day went to 40 garage sales in 3 hours!!!!! I've never broken that record.
When my kids were little, my "needs" list was quite long... baby clothes, baby blankets, toys, games, hats, jeans, school stuff, .. and the list was quite general, so I could find lots that would work.
I don't need as much now... we have most of what we need... I don't go to as many sales now... and I am much more selective. Maybe I need a specific type of lamp for a desk, so I wait for it...
The rocker and ottoman above were bought for $50 at a garage sale when I was 8 1/2 months pregnant... and miserable. That rocker has been used with all of my kids. I want to sell it and get something else... it has been used in our home for about 18 years... but my kids want me to keep it... they all remember being rocked in it. :)
So, to summarize.. I wanted to show that buying used doesn't mean buying trash.... you can find very nice things at garage sales.... and if you have never bought things used, I hope you will re-consider, since it can really help the budget.
Thank you for visiting today. :)
SAVING MONEY Series:
The NUMBER ONE Way I Save Money!
Saving Money-Part 2-Grocery Shopping
Saving Money-Part 3-Buying Used
Vintage Charm Party