Monday, May 11, 2015

Saving Money-Part 3-Buying Used



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. 



In this post, I wanted to share with you some of the blessings God has provided... that are used, and not new. 

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.
This beautiful wicker dresser was at a sale with a matching desk, chair, mirror, stool and end table, I think... for $100 or so. My husband bought it all and I sold all of it, except for the dresser...  so the dresser ended up costing me very little. :)

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. :)
You cannot shop for used items in the same way you would shop for new ones.  When you go to a store to shop, you can be assured of a selection of clothes, tools, toys, books, shoes, furniture and whatever else you would like to look at.

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.
The same is true with homeschool materials, with craft materials, tools, and more. 

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.
If I can be patient and shop...  I may find some nice things. If I know I would like to find something.... say a coffee table or a table and chairs or a rug, but I don't have a need for an exact thing... I can watch for what appeals to me and fits my budget.... and I can bypass what doesn't.

By the way there are many many garage sales that I go to and do not buy anything.
The table was a blessing and had chairs. I bought another table that had benches at another sale. I kept this table (it has 2 self-storing leaves, which I like) and sold the chairs. I kept the benches and sold the other table.... so my table and bench "set" had a lower price for me...and we enjoy using it. :)  

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. :) 
This table was part of a set... 2 of these tables and a huge round matching coffee table, since it really was too big for our home. We used the set for a while... and liked it, but eventually we sold the coffee table. I think I paid about $45 for the whole set... and I sold the coffee table alone for that much or more.... so these two tables became free for me. :)

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.


I like cabinets and I found this one on Craigslist... it was one of 4.... the price was $80 for all of them. I liked them all, but one of them was old and had a musty smell that bothered my allergies, so I didn't want to even paint it.  I sold it for $45.00, I think.... which made the cost for the other 3 only about $11.67 each. WOW! 

 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.


I have gone to many garage sales over the years... we would go quickly... quickly out of the van... in to the sale... quick evaluation... Are the prices good? I check a few things... if not, we leave... if they are good, I look... if they are REALLY good, I linger and look very thoroughly. 

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...
Everything in the pictures on this post, except for the first picture of the garage sale... has been purchased used in some way.... mostly at garage sales. 

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
 

Shared on:




Vintage Charm Party

30 comments:

  1. So true. I mostly buy used as well and find it fun to treasure hunt.

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    1. It can be a lot of fun.... and work, but after having a system, it works out very well. :) Thank you for visiting.

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  2. We love shopping at thrift stores, too. God has blessed us to find some very good deals. I find that I need to stay out of them these days, as we are intent on downsizing and de-cluttering. Sometimes, when thrifting, I find that I buy things I really don't need, just because they are such good deals! LOL! But, it can be very beneficial if you are looking for a specific item. Thanks for sharing your good finds here. :)

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    1. I agree... it can be so tempting to buy too many of those good deals! I find that I need to pass up many of those great deals or we would be over-run with way too much stuff! I have realized that God gives me wonderful deals... but also that He intends some of those wonderful deals for other people... so I usually pray that the person who gets the item will be blessed by it. :)

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  3. A woman after my own heart!! Excellent!!

    Elizabeth
    allkindsofthingsblog.com

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    1. What a great comment! :) There are many wonderful blessings to be had when shopping used... and the price is so much better than new. :)

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  4. This is a wonderful idea. This permits one to reuse items, without always buying new.
    Saves money, saves valuable resources - particularly the environment.
    Also, many a time, I find many an used item to be of better quality than the shiny new ones :)
    Thanks for visiting my site.
    Have a Beautiful Day!
    Peace :)

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    1. I have found the same to be true... that the used items are better quality... and made to last longer. I also find that I can afford to buy much better items than if I had to buy everything "new". I don't understand the need to have "new" to impress others... Thank you for visiting. :)

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  5. Great post! Linking up with you from Tuesday Talk. I think I struggle with finding stuff at garage sales, because like you say it is a treasure hunt. When we lived in South Carolina there were tons, but since moving to the San Diego area they don't seem as popular.

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    1. That's too bad... I know they are a bigger deal in some parts of the country than in others. Hopefully, you will find other ways to find used items and save money. I have no idea what is popular out there in the area of making the money last. I've always heard things are expensive there. Thank you for visiting. :)

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  6. Amen! Great post, my dear :) I love having you share your posts with Roses of Inspiration - thank you!

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    1. Thank you... it is something the Lord has certainly taught me about over the years. :) Thank you for the great link up party.

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  7. I love to shop at thrift stores and garage sales. I've gotten some great deals too! Thanks for sharing your thrifty finds!

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    1. They are wonderful places to get great deals!!! :) I'm glad you have been blessed in that way also. :)

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  8. I love garage sales and thrift stores! I especially love to buy my children's clothes there. Children out grow their clothes so fast it isn't worth it to buy brand new!
    Sarah
    www.sarahefrazer.com

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    1. That's for sure.... especially when they are little. As they get a bit older, the boys (at least mine!!!) wear the knees out so fast, so I always needed extras for them. :)

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  9. I love this post, I also buy almost exclusively used. It helps from a financial standpoint but more importantly (to me) from an environmental standpoint. I'm currently looking for a new set of metal measuring spoons so I'll have 2 sets - one for wet ingredients & one for dry. I'm constantly having to rinse and dry measuring spoons when I'm cooking. My daughter found some and called to ask me if I wanted her to pick them up for me. I asked if they were used, she said they were new. I told her no thanks I'm not in a hurry, I'll keep an eye at the thrift store or garage sales. Hopefully I'm planting a seed in her mind too. Dropping by from the Homestead Blog Hop

    ~Taylor-Made Homestead~
    Texas

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    1. Good idea... I find it is rewarding to wait.. wait for the right item or the right price...and God does provide. I, too, have hoped to influence a couple of people who find it so easy to buy quickly because they "need" it... the item they "need" is rarely an actual need though. Patience is not well-accepted in our time, but it is a good thing to cultivate. Thank you for visiting. :)

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  10. Buying used is such a great way to save money! We just got a Goodwill about 2 minutes from my house, so I like to stop in a see what they have whenever I have a little extra time. It's a great way to get home decor, food blogging props and more for cheap! Thanks for joining us for Hump Day Happenings.

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    1. It sure is... and it is a good way to be creative in figuring out how using such finds could eliminate the need for something else. How nice to have a thrift store so close. :)

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  11. Great information that you have shared with your experiences. I wish I could have a yard sale but will use Craig list. Need to learn how that works. Thanks for stopping by this week to share on Oh My Heartsie Girls!
    Karren

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    1. It is helpful to sell on craigslist... especially if you can't have a garage sale... it isn't too hard once you learn the process. :)

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  12. Love this post and use some of the same strategies. It actually kills me to buy anything new these days!! And when I need to, I hem and haw and research until I am blue in the face :) Thank you for sharing this wonderful series on the Art of Home-Making Mondays! :)

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    1. I agree... I tend to put off buying something that I have to buy new... or do without for quite a while. We are getting a NEW stove this week... and I am so glad... we have only had 1 of the little burners working on ours for over 2 months and that has gotten tiresome! Thankfully, we have an extra oven and crockpots. :)

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  13. I too love op shopping (this is what we call thrift stores in Australia), there are always so many good things for a very small price. You have found some wonderful bargains and I appreciate you sharing this theory and your buys with us at Good Morning Mondays. Blessings

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    1. Op shopping is a new term for me.... interesting. :) Isn't it nice that there are people who get rid of things because they are tired of them or want a different color or style? It sure helps those of us who buy their used things. :) Thank you for visiting.

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  14. What a great post! You have found some wonderful things. I love buying at thrift shops and yard sales. I mostly look for vintage treasures! Thanks for sharing with SYC.
    hugs,
    Jann

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    1. It is fun to find those treasures... and to find them for a great price too. :)

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  15. You would enjoy my post today--we have much in common when it comes to shopping! Thank you for sharing your thrifty tips @Vintage Charm!

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    1. I look forward to reading that... thank you. :)

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