Thursday, April 16, 2009
Know Your Prices
Shopping used can save you tons of money on toys, clothes, books, and household items but are you really sure you're getting a bargain?
If you are new to shopping used it is very easy to get carried away buying all the bargains. I have found that yard sale prices vary a lot. You might find Old Navy clothes at one yard sale for $2 for a pair of jeans and then at the next sale up the road find an entire table of "brand new" clothes for $.50 each. After spending way too much at yard sales I decided I would create a price book for the items I typically bought at them. Here is an example
* we are a home school family and books are important to us but I aim to spend $.50 or under for books unless it is curriculum or a very valuable book
* having five children I also am on the hunt for clothes. I have found that I need to raise my clothing budget for my son ( he's 10) because it's harder to find use clothes for boys in his size. For my girls my goal is no clothes over $.50 unless it's a jacket- under $3, shoes $1, or a fancy dress $3. For my son I'm willing to pay $2 for jeans and $3 for sweatshirts.
* Again since I have five children we are also shopping for toys. I try to buy toys that have a decent resale value like Fisher Price or Little Tykes. I stay away from stuffed animals and barbies. The most I will pay for a toy is $1 unless it's in really nice shape.
* household items I will only spend $5
Sometimes no matter how many yard sales you visit you still can't find what you're looking for. Don't go to Walmart yet...check out your local thrift stores. Visit each one to see how their prices compare and the quality of the items they stock. You might be surprised at what you find. In my small town we have four thrift stores. My favorite is a Goodwill that is like shopping at a department store, it's huge and has a large selection, however they also have higher prices. I love my ACTS thrift store, I don't think anything is more than $2 and they have an amazing selection of name brand clothes. I shop there for my son because I'm guaranteed to find his sizes.
If you can't find what you need at those two places check your local consignment shops. They typically have the highest prices but the best quality and most variety. However, I find if I shop the days of their sales it is just about as cheap as a thrift store. I shop consignment when I'm looking for birthday gifts before yard sale season begins.
For more Frugal Friday ideas check out life as mom