Do you guys shop at second hand stores?
How about garage sales?
If not, why not? No, really. WHY NOT?
Do you even know what you're missing?
I love, love, love shopping second hand, and have worked out a system that allows my family to have and wear almost exclusively pre-loved belongings.
Can I give you some examples of some of my most favorite recent treasures? Just so you know that there are seriously awesome things sitting patiently on shelves waiting to be discovered? Perfect.
My preschooler interacted with a pretend cash register at a friend's house last spring and loved it. We searched for one for months. Finally we found this gem at St Vincent de Paul. It totally works and is in great shape. Cost: $1.99, and it was 25% off. Score!
This microscope was in the game section of SVDP, and was probably offered at a garage sale first based on the "make offer" sticker on top. It is brand new, never opened or played with, and the tag on the bottom says it was $26.99 new. I got it for 50% off $3.99. I am not kidding.
I found this pile of shoes all in one day about a month ago. Red Toms in exactly my size (WAHOO!), sturdy Keen tennis shoes, and unused Teva flip flops. The Toms were marked $19.99, the Keens $4.99, and the Tevas $1.99. All three pairs were in excellent condition and were 50% off. No joke. The super cute brown Simples were a little more well loved, and were full price, but for $3.99 I thought they'd make great play shoes and were just too darling to pass up.
Okay, have I convinced you? Are you sold on the truth that second hand shopping is the absolute best? Good. I really feel strongly about buying used (kind of a funny passion huh?) and I am hoping that by sharing some of my reasoning, I can convert some of you into loyal second hand shoppers too. So, without further ado, here's how to retire early, save the planet, and turn your kids into model citizens all in one shopping trip:
1. Shopping second hand lets you save money so that you can retire early. Like when you're 42. Okay, maybe not. But it really does save so much money! I buy my kiddos clothing year round, and am always stockpiling the next size up. For example, my preschooler is just growing out of his 3T stuff. For over a year now, I've been buying 4T stuff at garage sales and thrift stores. That way, when we're ready to put away his 3T stuff, all I have to do is pull out the tub of bigger clothes, and he's ready to rock and roll. I picked up his 4T winter jacket this summer at a garage sale for $4. That is WAY more helpful to my budget than going out to the store when the weather cools down and paying $50 for a new coat. I bought a pair of Keens last week from SVDP that were $5 and three sizes too big. But guess what? He'll grow into them! And I don't even want to think about how much brand new Keens cost. Planning ahead truly saves so much time and money.
2. Second hand shopping helps you save the planet. This one is for reals. Every time you buy something new, you're purchasing something that required resources to manufacture. Unless that item is a sweater that someone knit out of yarn that they got from their own sheep or something like that. If so, more power to you. But buying used means that new resources aren't being used. Thus, you single handedly save the planet. Gold star for you! Also, many thrift stores are locally owned businesses that support the local community and economy. I'd way rather support them than a big corporation.
3. Second hand shopping gives you many chances to teach your kiddos valuable life lessons, so that they will turn into smart, responsible, kind, and exemplary citizens. Stay with me here. Visiting thrift stores and garage sales can present great learning opportunities:
Well? Some of you may have quit reading halfway through this post and flown to the nearest thrift store, but if you're still with me, here's what's coming up in the next two weeks of Happy Adventuring! posts:
In case you need a little convincing, keep in mind that I own a Petunia Pickle Bottom diaper bag, an organic Ergo, and a wooden balance bike, all purchased second hand, for a grand total of $13. Isn't that wild??!! I am not even kidding you.
Do you have awesome second hand shopping tips? How about killer finds? Please share!
Eugene/Springfield area thrift shops (click name for exact address, multiple locations & directions):
SVDP - multiple locations
Goodwill - multiple locations
Teen Challenge Thrift Store - 555 River Rd
Value Village - 555 W Centennial Blvd, Springfield
Hosea Youth Services Thrift Store - Sixth and Adams St
There are many more vintage and resale shops in town, as well as other thrift stores that I didn't even list. This is just a list to get you started. Did I leave off your favorite? Please let me know!
Parking: Easy peasy lemon squeezy
Food: Umm sure you can bring snacks but please wash your hands first!
Resting/nursing spots: Comfy couches galore of all shapes and sizes
Cost: Lots or little - you decide
Time Frame: If you're like me? Either however long your husband can stay alone with the kiddos, or until your family's patience runs out at the store if they're with you. Whichever's longer. :) (but seriously, second hand shopping takes more time than buying new retail. You have to be patient, and it doesn't often work to go in looking for sometime specific. But when you find something fabulous - hold on to your hats! It's brilliant!)