By Bobbi Burger Brunoehler of BobbisBargains.
Do you know the main idea that separates people who live over-budget from those who live under-budget?
People who go over-budget do so because they think they must have NEW stuff. This often translates into buying at the highest price. Go to the mall and buy a new shirt. Top dollar. Go to the car dealer and buy a new replacement part for your car. Super top dollar. Go to the bookstore and buy a just published book. Very expensive.
Some people feel that it is “bad” or “uncool” or “low class” to buy recycled, used, or discounted. Well, if you are super rich and have money to burn, then, be my guest and buy retail. I surely want to go to your yard sales and I certainly don’t want to try and balance your budget.
People who live under-budget think new stuff is a waste of money. They would rather get used stuff and re-purpose it.
So where are the best places to get great re-purposed stuff? Here is my top 7 list:
1. Yard Sales – You just can’t beat a yard sale for great prices and wild diversity. I love the adventure of yard sales. Go to a family neighborhood for kid stuff. Go to an area with lots of artists for cool and unique items. Utilize Yard Sale Treasure Map to find the yard sales in your area.
2. Thrift Stores – You never know what kind of great buys you will get in a thrift store. I’ve seen designer suits for $9.95 and service-for-12 Noritake china for $29.95. It’s important that you check for nicks, tears, broken zippers, stains, etc. when buying at a thrift store. There is no returning. On the flip side, I love donating to my local thrift store. I get a tax deduction plus I know I’m putting treasures into someone else’s hand and out of the landfill.
3. Swaps – Find a swap, attend a swap, create a swap. Just swap! The best way to recycle and re-purpose and end up with new-to-you stuff. Many swaps have some sort of minimal entrance fee plus you need to bring stuff to swap. I’m hooked on swaps.
4. Your friends and/or co-workers – Have a closet clean out with your friend. Get your co-workers to swap clothing, books, electronics. It can be as simple as putting a basket in the office lunchroom for a book exchange.
5. On the curb of the sidewalk – I have found the most wonderful stuff on the curb. I’ve gotten a great light table for graphics, an end table and a treadmill. Keep the universe happy and put your cool stuff out on the curb for others to find.
6. Consignment stores – Not as good as a thrift store, but sometimes you can get GREAT deals on very high quality designer clothes for young and old.
7. Specialized consignment sales – Some sales, like the LA Kids Consignment sale specialize in public such as kids, plus size or sports equipment
Learn to love the re-purposed lifestyle and do what you REALLY want with the money you save. How do you re-purpose?
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