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I have a used couch and used cars. Just how did I get all of this second-hand stuff? FW made the coffee table! An investment— a good one anyway —yields actual returns. A coat, on the other hand? Reusing and recycling material possessions is an easy way to reduce your impact on the planet. I find that I experience a higher level of contentment with my used things because I have lower expectations of them. My free red sideboard, for example, is one of my favorite pieces of furniture, yet it has a chunk missing from one of its legs and is in dire need of repainting. Used items also encourage us to embrace imperfection. For more reading on this theme, check out: Perfection Is the Enemy Of Frugality. And, contrary to what you might think, fewer choices make us happier. Research has documented that too many choices lead us to either paralysis by analysis—and a total inability to decide on anything at all—or to second-guessing our eventual decision and experiencing anxiety over our choice. Conversely my free bread machine, which has to be about as old as me, works just fine and I never give it a second thought. For additional reading on this topic, please enjoy: It Takes Less Time My very fave thrift store dress Related to the boon of fewer choices, shopping used takes less time. Used Stuff Is Gross! But the vast majority of used things are not. I have long narrow feet—an unusual foot form to be sure—and I own but one pair of used shoes: Other than that, I never find anything second-hand in my size, except ironically, for the shoes I wore on my wedding day—hand-me-downs from a great Aunt also afflicted with long, narrow foot syndrome. The mattress we bought on Amazon is a great illustration of our failure to find one used, and not for lack of trying! The used market is a long game and it favors those who plan ahead, as does frugality in general. My recent failure in this department was my winter muck boots , which as I shared , I had to purchase new. For more on the frugal imperative of planning ahead, please enjoy: Shop smart even when shopping second-hand. Found this beach bag in the trash. Hand-me-downs Another preeminent option for free items are hand-me-downs! Babywoods many months ago! Even minor car accidents can cause imperceptible damage to car seats. But if a seat is accident free and up to date? No reason not to use used—we do! Our fabulous used high chair—which I LOVE—did indeed have a recall and so we ordered the parts free of charge from the manufacturer and fixed the chair right up. Research any changes in baby safety technology. As fellow parents know, drop-side cribs are considered unsafe and have been recalled. However, there exists a conversion kit you can install on a drop-side crib to make it no longer drop-side. This is what we did to our hand-me-down crib and Babywoods has been rocking it for 15 months. Everything for kids is washable. Nothing in that photo except for the picture frame above the dresser of her little feet-prints and the nightlight was purchased new and yet, it looks pretty good. Yes, even the Diaper Genie was used—I washed that thing real good, let me tell you. And for anything that Mr. Enter me, ready to cart away their wares free of charge! And I like paying it forward by giving away anything we no longer need via these outlets. FW and I have driven to plenty a sale that promised a bounty of goods only to find a few piddly items strewn on a lawn. Having this list in mind helps me mentally sort through what I see on offer at a rummage sale without getting overwhelmed. Since I plan ahead several seasons, on my list right now are toddler ice skates and snowshoes plus a helmet! Craigslist Craigslist chair, table, and decor! My complete guide to successful Craigslisting is: Before making the trek to buy an item, ask the seller for: Photos of the actual item—not a link to what the item looks like brand new. The exact dimensions I once failed to do this with a couch and Mr. Be prepared to pay in full in cash. Always offer less than the asking price. Thrift and Consignment Stores Free chairs and free jewelry chest that I refinished myself No used compendium would be complete without a mention of thrift stores! Consignment stores are even pricier than thrift stores, but they typically have the best clothing selections. If you need a fancy dress for a wedding or a suit for work, a consignment store is a great option. But for casual clothes or pots and pans? For more tips on sourcing second-hand clothes, check out When To Thrift: Chic On The Cheap. Hence, I recommend applying the hour waiting rule to used purchases wherever possible obviously this is not feasible while at a rummage sale, so try a five-minute waiting period. I put myself on a ban from buying clothing which lasted three whole years even though I bought exclusively used clothes. One way I combat the urge to over-shop is by making a list ahead of time. But for the times when you legitimately do need something, sourcing it through the used market will save you money, time, and stress. What are your tips for finding used treasures? There was an error submitting your subscription. Email Address We're not fans of spam, canned or not. None of that here. Powered by ConvertKit You may also like
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