I've never been one of those people who thought of hitting up garage sales, Goodwill, consignment places, or thigns like it to get a good deal. It's been just me and Rich for so long (8 years this June!) that we usually just paid full retail for whatever it was we were getting.
Now fast forward to me getting knocked up and you quickly realize how expensive baby stuff is, and you should utilize all the other avenues of getting stuff for baby. So we hit up Craigslist, on Facebook there are groups for you area where it's like Craigslist, and the garage sales here are AMAZING! (Usually!)
So when I was pregnant we hit up a few garage sales, but not many. We were blessed by some of our amazing friends who gave us their old crib and changing table, so that took a big weight off our shoulders. We were also given boxes of boy clothes from a girl Rich works with (who was gifted them from her parents church, they did a gathering of clothes for them) - who've we've sent given to another expecting couple Rich works with. Some people hate hand-me-downs, us on the other hand? Love them. Clothes are expensive!
Fast forward to B getting a little more active and wanting to try to hold onto - we hit up Walmart and paid full price for stuff. Now, I will say that teethers I'll pay that for - I don't really feel comfortable letting B play with someone elses chewed on toys. But in the 5 months of his life we spent a lot on very, very little.
That's when we decided to give the garage sale thing another try, and boy did we start hitting the jackpot! Garage sales here start at 6am, and on usually on friday-saturday (which we find odd since back in TX we do saturday/sunday to get the most people), and you need to be there even earlier than that! People here like to bring big trucks with trailers on them, and they'll buy everything up and resale it down the road - which pisses a lot of people off, like us. Haha!
Cozy Coupe, found on Craigslist, we paid $25 and it looked brand new, minus slight wear on the tires.
See this room room? I can find only 3 items in the picture that are brand new, 2 of which we bought. Even the mat was a garage sale find, the slide? $10. Zebra in the corner? Free, from my sister. Get the idea? Oh wait, I need to count that large round tub with toys, that's new and full price.
This is a Peg Perago backhoe, retails for $190, we got it for $20, hardly played with. See, this is why you need to look everywhere! This is a little advanced for B - it has a pedal he needs to push with his feet, and he can reach, just hasn't gotten the full concept yet - so it's nice to put away for him for this summer.
That doorway toy is crazy expensive - and my sister gave us one, but it got water damage, so itwouldn't play noises. B didn't care, it was fun to move the stuff and go through the door. Now when we were in TX we went to Goodwill and found it for $3, and it worked. So we put the other one out by the road and someone took it home. Now these balls in the pit here are expensive, $10 for 100 - I got double that for $5 at a garage sale. Brought them home and washed them, and good to go.
Another ride-on toy (we got it form the people with the backhoe above), and Rich got it for $15, retials for over $100. B can play with this one since it's just a button the steeringwheel he has to push, he enjoys it.
We got his for a $1. Yes, one buck. It's a $50+ toy. We weren't sure if B would like it, but he does! I wouldn't be upset if he didn't, I'd either sell it, or put it up for the next baby.
This has become his favorite toy, he pulls it everywhere! It's from Build-a-Bear, we've named him Hedwig from Harry Potter, and it actually hoots. He will throw a t-total-shit-fit if you try to take it from him when he's not ready. I've had to take it to Walmart even. Got it for $1. Obviously I came home and washed him. haha!
Please ignore the room, but this was before his nap, so he'd gone crazy. Haha! There are a few things in there that are new, but gifts, but overall, second hand. His toy box we got for $15, and it holds just about everything in the picture, minus the big stuff. Best money ever spent.
Another view of what was a dining room, and now a playroom. Haha! I got B that big pop up tent, 2 tunnels and a smaller tent for $5. Rich got B a 24" tv for his room (it's the older ones that are thick, not a flatscreen) for $5 - so now B has one in his room. Does he need it? Not yet, but it comes in handy every now and then.)
So, while some of you are out paying full price for this stuff, I'm reaping the benefits of getting him more stuff, for a lot less. Someone spent the money and bought a new toddler bed for $60, and we got to buy it from her for $20. See where I'm going with this? Buy second hand as much as you can! The kids aren't going to know it's not new - and honestly, they're fickle little turds, and will only play with it half the time! Haha!
We've talked about one day, if we got a wild hair up our buts, to go through and write everythign down we have, what it is orginally, and what we paid for it and see what our savings are overall. I'd really like to know!
I do go out and buy some stuff for B new - and a perk of all those sites, is sometimes you'll find toys on there that are new and haven't been opened yet, and you can get them cheaper (it may not be as low as a garage sale, but still cheaper than brand new) - but it's less often now. He is fickle - like right now I hear him playig with a toy he hasn't really played with in 3 months, and I was about to sell it, now I"ll wait.
Another perk for us is how our house is laid out - B has 2 rooms of toys, and we're working on making our "guest room" into a playarea for his big stuff . (Yes, we're getting him bigger stuff! Haha!) Out of the 3.5 years we've lived here I think we've had people come down 7 times - and they had to sleep on a blowup bed since we don't have an extra one righ t now. So, unless we're planning on having a bunch of people down in the very near future, there's no reason to have a room sit empty (ok, it's not empty right now, it's got a bunch of stuff from the garage sale we had a few weeks ago that didn't sell, and some other stuff that needs to go in storage.) So, I'm going to get him a large blowup pit that also doubles as a bounce house, I'd lvoe to get hima water-table (which would gooutside in the summer), and one of those awesome houses - which he's still not into playing outside just yet, so we could keep it in the house until next summer when he'll want to be out all the time. (And the water table and house I found on Craigslist for $75 for both, and the table is new. See?!)
Ok, I'm going to shut up now on the perks of garage saling. It's become something me and Rich really get into if we have an extra $20 on a payday - and B gets to enjoy the spoils, haha!