There used to be a show on television that I liked to watch where the host would help to furnish a room solely based on bargains she and home owners or renters found at local area yard sales and flea markets.
At one point in every episode the host would tally up all the goodies found from the shopping experience and then say "the best find of the day is..."
This past weekend, I said this very phrase for an amazing find I found for Sarah. It was something that I have had on my radar for quite some time to find without having to spend too much money on it.
Thanks to a local church in my area, they coordinated a giant yard sale with numerous families in the community to participate. For the sellers it became a great opportunity for them to unload their belongings to clean out, clean up and to make some extra cash.
Yard sales like this are an excellent way to find bargains and buy items that are typically more expensive in stores and online, especially if you are on a budget. You can find items that are old, unique and sometimes priced well below the retail cost if purchased new. This approach is also great for finding kids toys and clothes since they grow out of them so quickly.
Watching Sarah's belongings be done with, sometimes more quickly than I would hope, it's less painful when I have not spent a lot of money on them or have been fortunate to have received these items as hand me downs.
Just know that second hand items from yard sales, consignment, Good Will and many other places may need a good cleaning or a little TLC to get them in good condition before play and use.
It's also a good idea to go into these types of sales with your blinders on and with an agenda so that you are on track for what you are looking to find and don't over do it and buy stuff that later becomes clutter.
A great example of this type of shopping experience, where I found the best find of the day, includes a recent purchase for a product I have been searching for with earnest. I have previously scoured the Internet, including Craig's List and Ebay as well as other yard and garage sales for an outdoor plastic house for Sarah to play with.
She loves the playhouse at her cousin's and I have been hoping to find one for just the right price without spending a fortune for Sarah to enjoy.
These outdoor houses can cost anywhere from $100 to well over several hundred dollars. I never had any intention of buying this product brand new because I truly believe it's too costly for the potential amount of time Sarah may play with it. Therefore, it was my goal to find it from someone who gave it some love and attention and now needed to give it away for another child to appreciate it and play with it.
Therefore, my "best item of the day" recently was this awesome, already put together, pink, purple and white house for the bargain price of $20 dollars. And, for an additional $5, the owner offered to drop it off at my house since my car was not big enough to transport it home.
The great news is the owner did exactly as he promised. He delivered it later in the day to a very happy and excited parent, me, and a very pleased and ecstatic preschooler.
With a scrubbing down and hosing off, this house is in great shape for much play time to be had.
I admit that I likely have too many toys, books and clothes for Sarah. As a first time mommy I am not surprised.
There are some items for Sarah that will always be bought brand new. However, for the accessories in life and the extras that I think she will like, but she doesn't necessarily need, this affordable shopping approach is highly recommended. As a reminder, remember to go in with a list of what you are looking for as it can be really easy to steer away from your goal and come home with more than you need and want. I have been trying to restrain myself as much as possible and focusing on the end result.
Happy shopping!!! Happy saving!!!