Thursday, March 22, 2012

Frugal Friday: Six Items that I Will Not Buy New

1.  Children's Dress Clothes & Shoes

It seems like Connor is growing non-stop and every year he needs 2 new sets of dress clothes (1 for Christmas time & 1 for Spring time).  It is so frustrating to purchase expensive dress clothes and shoes that are only going to be worn maybe 3-4 times.   I quickly realized that if my child only wears his dress clothes a few times then other people's children probably only wear them 3-4 times too so I started searching thrift stores. 

This does take some time and a little planning ahead but the savings are definitely worth it.  I usually pay $2-$3 for a pair of boys dress shoes that are like new (probably worn 3-4 times or less),  around $5-$7 for a designer (The Children's Place, Ralph Lauren, Carters, Gymboree, etc.) dress shirt & sweater vest and $2-$8 for designer dress pants.  This would easily cost $50+ new. 

 I don't have a daughter so I have never really looked at girl's clothing at the thrift stores but I am guessing that "like new" girl's dress clothes would also be abundantly available.

2.  Coffee Makers (& Iced Tea Makers)

I think I might have a coffee maker obsession.  Yes, I currently own every coffee & tea maker in the picture above.  We use the single-cup maker most of the time but I keep the 6-cup maker for when my parents are visiting, the 12-cup maker for when we have dinner guests and the large percolator for when we have a large party & the iced tea maker is for when it is too hot for coffee. 

I have used each one of these at least twice within the last year so to me it is worth it to keep them.  I also paid less than $25 for all of them at thrift stores and/or garage sales!  Most thrift stores have a large selection and wide variety of coffee makers for $5 or less.

3.  Baskets (Especially Easter Baskets!)

Almost every thrift store has an abundance of baskets with most of them priced under $1 and because of this I never buy baskets new! 

If you want seasonal or special occasion baskets (Easter, Christmas, Flower Girl, etc.) this may require a little advanced planning.  It is easier to find seasonal or special occasion baskets in their off season.  For example, it would probably be difficult (but not impossible) to find Flower Girl baskets in May or June.  However, there will probably be an abundance of them in October or November.

4.  Storage Shelves

I used to purchase those big plastic shelves to use for storage in the basement.  You know, the ones that start at $50 and quickly go up from there.  I found the cabinet pictured above at a thrift store for $50.  It is perfect for storing my small appliances that I don't use on a regular basis and it also has cabinets and drawers for storage. 

Sometimes, if you just think outside of the box you can come up with a storage solution that meets your storage needs and costs significantly less than new products designed for storage.  I am currently scouring the thrift stores for a large dresser to store old towels (used for cleaning).

I don't just buy basement storage at thrift stores.  I purchased the cabinet pictured above for $20 at a local thrift store plus about $10 worth of paint and voila I turned it into this:

I use this cabinet to store my good china & stemware in our dining room.

5.  Large Plastic Children's Toys

All of my son Connor's large (& most of the small too) have come from thrift stores or garage sales.  These items are outrageously expensive new and there is an abundance of them available second hand.  It does take some patience and searching but it is definitely worth it for the money saved.  The Little Tikes Car pictured above retails for around $60 (oh yes $60, that is not a typo) and I found this one at a thrift store (in very good condition) for $5!!

We received the boat pictured above for FREE from friends at church. The retail price for this is around $200!!!!  Their children had outgrown it and they wanted it out of their yard.  Don't be afraid to ask friends or neighbors for large plastic toys when their children are done with them.  Most parents can't wait to get them out of their yard and are happy to give them away or sell them very cheap.

If you are in the market for a large plastic toy (car, kitchen set, table & chairs, tool workshop, sandboxes, water tables, baby doll furniture, etc.) I definitely recommend doing some searching at thrift stores and/or garage sales.  You can save a ton of money with just a little bit of work & patience!

6.  Bread Machines

My very first bread machine was a wedding gift and it sat in a cabinet collecting dust before I was brave enough to try using it.  Bread making can be very intimidating in the beginning.  I soon became confident with bread making and now I could not live without my bread machine. 

My first bread machine was a gift so it was new but for many years I had seen lots of "new" and "like new" bread machines at thrift stores and garage sales so when my bread machine died I decided to hit the thrift stores.  I really wanted one with double paddles but I just wasn't able to find one.  Then, one day my Mom called to tell me that she found a double paddle Wolfgang Puck bread machine at their church rummage sale for $20!!  I absolutely love this bread machine (pictured above) and it is something that I would not have been able to afford new at a retail store.

What items do you only buy second hand? 

Share with us in the comments!

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  1. Dress clothes are super inexpensive at garage sales, too. And yes, there are plenty of girls' dresses at resale shops. However, I prefer garage sale prices, since the resale shops are often as much as I'd pay on ebay. I've gotten boys dress pants for .50 to $1 each this way, and vests and ties for .25 or .50.

    My boys wear dress clothes to church every Sunday, and I've had great successs in finding them for very little in like-new condition at yard sales.

  2. I almost alway look for secondhand items before shelling out retail prices. It's a great way to save! Visiting from Frugal Friday.

  3. Hi! I just washed up a salad spinner I got at a thrift store for .25! I was so happy to get it cause mine broke and I haven't replaced it. So glad I waited! I also found a Zo bread machine last year for $9.00 at a thrift store and a Magic Chef bread machine for $3.00 at a yard sale! I'm saving the Zo for when the $3.00 one quits! Blessings from Bama!


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