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Thursday, January 15, 2015

Secondhand Lifestyle :: Where We Shop


Shopping for our family secondhand is such an adventure and there are a variety of options for acquiring goods secondhand. Today I will share different options that our family uses.

1) Craigslist/Facebook Groups - These I find to be most useful if I know exactly what I am looking for. If there is something that I know we would like to purchase, I will check local "for sale" facebook pages and Craigslist to see if they have any for sale. I am not as successful with these methods as others I know - though that might be because my price goals tend to be very low which is more compatible with other methods of purchasing second hand.

2) Thrift Stores - This is one of my most successful methods for finding secondhand deals. I have a few different thrift stores that I tend to shop at. How "good" the shopping is at different stores may vary from area to area, but here is where I shop in our area:

  • Savers - This is a decent drive from our house so I don't go very much. They also are a "nicer" thrift store and the prices tend to be higher than I prefer to pay (especially for baby clothes). However, they will have good sales on holidays and I try to go during those sales because this store also tends to have more nice clothes than other stores. I do love shopping books and educational toys at Savers. They always are a good deal and they tend to have a very large selection.
  • Salvation Army - There is a store fairly close to our house. The clothes prices are very reasonable and on any day a certain color of tag will be 50% off.  They don't usually have a large selection of baby clothes, toys, or books - but I have repeatedly been very successful shopping for myself here. 
  • Maj-R-Thrift - This store is less than 5 minutes from my house. It's not a super "clean" store but the deals are amazing. Each week two colors of tags are 50% off and two colors of tags are 75% off. This is where most of Meghan's clothes come from. We have also found several great toys at this store. This is the store where I have found a brand new ERGO and a like new ERGO before. I sometimes find clothes for myself - it's hit or miss for me here. 

3) Amazon - You can purchase from the Amazon Marketplace and purchase refurbished items at Amazon for things like appliances. This is how we purchased my pressure canner, griddle, vacuum, etc. They have been refurbished and rigorously tested to be sure they are in good working order and we have had nothing but success with these purchases. You can also purchase used items through third party sellers - this is usually the only way I buy non-kindle books. Most of the time I can find a used copy in good enough condition for sale for $.01 - with the $3.99 for shipping that's a $4 book.

4) Garage Sales - I don't frequent garage sales regularly. It's typically not worth the gas to drive as many sales do not have items we are looking for or prices that we are willing to pay. However, in the spring a nearby town has a City-Wide Garage Sale that I will often drive around through. Even better is the weekend when our neighborhood and 5-6 surrounding ones have their sales. Very little driving and lots of walking can often result in great deals for our family!

5) Freecycle - I don't use freecycle to acquire things for our family very often; I most often use it to pass along things that we no longer need. However, I have gotten a few things this way and it has been wonderful - I especially use this method for things that I am not positive will be super useful for our family but would like to try. That's how we got our Prince Lionheart Bumbo style seat and baby play gym - both of which Meghan ended up hating. Luckily, we hadn't spent anything on them. We will then plan to pass them along to another family on Freecycle.

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Those were the main ways that we purchase secondhand. Do you have any other ways that your family acquires the things you want/need secondhand?

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