Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Stuff In, Stuff Out

So, I've been needing to find some long-sleeved dresses for Older Daughter for the fall. Buying new would be nice, but I just can't bring myself to spend $20 or $30 for a dress that'll be stained within an hour of its first wearing. So used is the way to go.

Problem: I have a hard time going into a thrift store and coming out empty handed. Even if nothing meets my needs, something usually finds its way into my basket. That's why I really tried going cold turkey on them. It's not a bargain if I buy things other than what's on my list, and add to my house's clutter.

Here's what I bought: Four dresses for Older Daughter, two long-sleeved, two short (but so darned cute). She likes them all, and can wear one of the short-sleeved ones now as it's still quite warm. The other short-sleeved it a bit big; it'll be saved for next spring. One game, a pirate game by the excellent German game company Ravensburger. All the pieces are there, as well as the rules. It looks like fun. Another game will go out the door in exchange for it. Six books for Older Daughter. She loves to read, and getting books for .69 or .99 sure beats new. One book for me. One pair of cold weather short boots for Older Daughter. She's grown out of her shoes recently and needed one more pair. A like new pair of Keen shoes that I'll sell. A bible with fancy tabs for my mom, who's been wanting one like that.

I had an essay in the works on the subject of bargains. Some people can bargain hunt and come out ahead. I suspect, however, that most people end up spending as much or more than they would have had they just bought the one item they needed new and otherwise stayed away from the thrift stores, the garage sales, the clearance racks. Would I have come out ahead? I spent about $40 on everything listed above. What there did I actually NEED? The two long-sleeved dresses and the boots. Retail price for the equivilent quality? About $55. So, did I come out ahead? Perhaps. You tell me which was the better deal!

3 comments:

Jenny said...

I have the same problem. It can be so hard to resist 'great' deals at thrift stores, but too often--in my case at least--those great deals end up as a big waste. I think you did a pretty good job.

Liz said...

What has helped me is I only go to the thriftstore if I have something I need and I don't buy *anything* unless I also get the item I came for. This has made it so I don't go into the thriftstore nearly as often and I've purchased things only once out of the last 5 trips.

Linz said...

I don't know, it sounds like you did all right. Nothing huge, and books for cheap are always a good deal, as long as you like them. So you got a few more things, and ended up spending about $15 less than you would have only getting the 3 things new. Works for me.