22 April 2013

Snowy Earth Day

It's snowing in Denver. Again. On April 22. Earth Day. I did manage to ride Benny to school before the storm moved in. That just means that I'll have to pack up his bike in the car on the way home. Ah well.

In honor of Earth Day, I thought I'd post a list of things that are better to buy used. It's no secret that I'm a big fan of used items. But Earth Day and this list is are good reminders of how much money you can save and waste you can avoid by buying used items.

1. The first on the list is bikes. I was this close to buying a new bike this weekend. I have some extra money to spend at REI so I figured I'd buy a new bike there. But, I think I'm going to wait it out for a bike on Craigslist. If you know anyone who is selling a women's cyclocross, send him/her my way! Benny's bike is used - purchased from a great nonprofit bike shop in the neighborhood.

2. Textbooks are number two. I'd argue that buying any book used is best. In college, I bought almost all of my books off of a site called half.com. It's a great site to find any used book. Amazon also sells used books from sellers around the country. My book club is also going to experiment with a book exchange in the next few months. I also like the Park Hill Community Book Store - a great nonprofit in the community. Oh, and using the library is the best way to save money and enjoy a whole world full of books!

3. I rarely buy my kids' clothes new. I can count the number of times we've purchased clothes new on one hand. I make trips to Goodwill pretty regularly. I also stock up at the beginning of spring and fall at a great consignment sale called Just Between Friends. There are JBF sales all over the country. You can find great deals on clothes, shoes, toys, strollers, diaper bags, etc. This weekend I spent less than $70 to outfit Lila and Benny for spring and summer as well as some new shoes and a potty training toilet seat. Another great way to score used is to find friends and/or relatives with hand-me-downs!

Ben and Lila wear hand-me-downs or clothes from grandparents almost
exclusively, including both of their jackets in this photo.
4. Used cars are just about the best and they're number four on the list. We've never owned anything but a used car. And we won't be buying any new (to us) cars any time in the near future.

5. Although number five is a great idea, we've purchased our fair share of new appliances (excluding washers and dryers). Our oven, fridge and dishwasher were new when we bought them. And we'll probably never replace them.

6. Buying used toys (number 6) is another weakness. But we're getting better. I have purchased almost every baby cargo devise, including my Bob stroller and my Burley bike trailer.

7. I'm always amazed that people sell furniture because "it doesn't fit in their space." In our entire marriage, Nate and I have bought five pieces of furniture new. And we'll probably never buy new again. Craigslist is our best friend in this category.

8. I'm hoping to never have to buy wedding attire again. However, Nate and I were relatively smart when we  got married. My wedding dress was hand-made and Nate still wears his wedding slacks and shirt.

9. Pets. Not applicable (much to Lila's disappointment).

10. Entertainment. Also not really applicable (thanks Netflix!).

11. Buy a used house! I don't think we'd ever consider buying a new house. Ours is most definitely used. And we'll be working on it for the rest of our lives!

12 and 13. I'll combine the final two of jewels and designer duds. I don't buy jewels, so another not applicable. But designer (and all duds) are most certainly better used. At this point, my closet is probably at a 50/50 split. Goodwill is a great place to go. But for more quality, high-end items, I really love the local consignment boutique called Plum. Recently, I scored a Coach clutch and Banana Republic jacket. Both are lovely. I also have friends who clean out their closets and offer great pieces to me. One friend outfitted me for the entire winter with new sweaters, shirts and pants. Yes, I'm a lucky girl!

This great dress is from a friend of mine.
Happy Earth Day to you! I hope it's sunny and springy where you are!

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