Saturday, January 12, 2008

Saturday Survival Tip: The Cheaper The Better

If you're like me, one of the main concerns of having a bunch of monsters--*ahem*--children is that they just cost so dang much! Especially when you consider that the things you buy may or may not be in use 6 months later. They grow up, grow out of clothes, become disinterested in the toys you JUST BOUGHT (because they're "baaaaaabbbyyyyyy tooooooyyys Mommy!") and generally endeavor to consume as much as possible.

Not that I am unwilling to give my children the world. I'm completely willing-but LORD KNOWS the world costs a lot of money, so we're going to have to set up some kind of payment plan. They can be ahead of the credit card debt and behind the electric bill.

So where do you find kids stuff without spending a fortune? Well, there is the obvious (Goodwill/St.Vincent De Paul's) but you're lucky to get a good (read: in good condition) find there. I say go to your neighbors!

Luckily, in the age of cyberfriendships, you don't actually have to go ask your actual neighbors (which I think is considered panhandling). I personally recommend checking your local Craigslist if you haven't already where people in your area post things they are selling. Sometimes people get dillusional and try to sell a binkie for $20, but most of the time the prices are reasonable and the people play nice and are generally very neighborly.

I have also recently discovered Freecycle which, in my moderately humble opinion, is freaking awesome. Maybe because in the land of "the cheaper the better" FREE is always the best! Basically, you and the people in your area post things that are in good condition that you are willing to give away if someone will just come pick it up....then you get up to the minute emails of what everyone is offering. You have to be quick, but if you are the fastest emailer people will generally give the item to you providing that you can pick up quick enough. And they just give it to you! For FREE! I love free things.