I love to shop! Sounds typical for a woman, right? Well, it’s a little different for me. As much as I love to shop AND enjoy nice things, I can’t bring myself to pay full price for something for which I KNOW I can get a deal, discount, coupon, sale, or barter. I love to discount shop!
Growing up in rural Indiana, shopping was about the only thing to do on the weekends and I did that a lot. Although I usually had lots of clothes, they were most likely purchased after a furious day of scouring the clearance racks at all the local glorified mall. It was almost like a game to me. What could I find with a tremendous value for the lowest price? Did the risk of waiting another week for markdowns pay off? Was the coveted item still there at an even lower price?
Although this might have created a monster in me that my children sometimes don’t appreciate, I am grateful for the ability to hunt out a bargain…especially with such a large family. Although I didn’t grow up shopping thrift stores, I did catch that bug pretty quickly after having kids as well. This has allowed us to keep up to date with fashion as well as challenged us on what we really need versus want. We try to teach the kids how to prioritize so they don’t end up being gluttonous.
I would say, most of what we purchase is second hand, borrowed, discounted or bartered. We all want nice things. The kids want the latest technology. I want the latest Louis Vuitton. Jason wants the most recent gadget for the car. We all want things that we can’t afford to buy off the shelf. So how do we manage to have such nice things without paying the high retail prices? We are resourceful!
There are many ways to buy and sell second-hand items online. Offerup, Craigslist, 5miles, ebay, Etsy and Facebook to name a few. Facebook marketplace has become one of my favorite places to both sell and buy. People seem to be a little bit more reliable since their personal profile is available to everyone see. And what about all the resale and consignment shops…Clothes Mentor, Plato’s Closet, Uptown Cheapskate…the list goes on.
I haven’t even broached the subject of recycling and repurposing for the greater good of our world. Why do we need to keep producing more and more items if we can reuse and repurpose so many things we currently have? I love to repurpose things!
Bartering and trading are also a fantastic way to get items that you otherwise wouldn’t put in your budget. As photographers, we offer our services and products dollar for dollar. Who doesn’t want pictures of their kids or family, right? Do you have a skill or even a piece of equipment to loan out for trade? How about something you no longer use or want laying around. I try to always sell/trade an item before I buy a ‘new-to-me’ item. That keeps my hoarding at bay as well as helps me with the funds to get the next item.
What has been your greatest treasure find?