28 October, 2012

Op Shops - What's Your Take?

Are you an op shopper?  I am!  I'm a convert!   There were times when I never even dreamed of stepping foot in one.  It's terrible but I really labeled an op shop as a place for poor people, of which I wasn't one.  I couldn't go in them when there are people out there that really need the cheap things.  It's quite embarrassing to say that really!  But...

The arrival of children really changed my thinking.  First it was the baby items that were needed.  There were some things that I just couldn't imagine having second hand.  Mostly fabric type things.  Unless I could really wash something I didn't want second hand.  But then as things were given, slowly but surely my mind seemed to change...  I was given clothing for the boys from friends.  Really good stuff too.   But really little kids don't wear stuff out in a hurry.  They grow out of it too quickly & baby clothes are almost brand new still!  I was then given larger sizes from a friend too.  I really like it.  Some of it is good stuff.  Sunday clothes is what we would have called them as kids!  lol  Other stuff is still good for playing in the yard & paddock!

Little by little the idea of not needing nice new clothes all the time was making me think about these op shops!  So I ventured in!  I started picking up play clothes for the boys.  Well, at the time it was only Boy!  Then ...  I started looking at stuff for me!  I would find some good deals.  You know, a Nike windcheater for a couple of dollars!  A couple of shirts that would be nice for work for a couple of dollars!  Then I even started to look at jeans!  I must try jeans on though!  There are so many variations on pants aren't there?  But hey, when I can find a pair of jeans for $4 I think, yep I can get $4 worth of wear out of them!  But you know what?  The op shop had a half price sale the other week so the jeans were only $2!  Yep, for sure I can get $2 worth of wear out of them...

So now, I actually have a few pairs of jeans!  There was a time when I only ever had maybe 2 pairs.  One for good & one not so...  lol  You know, you go & buy a new pair & relegate the old good pair to second best & the other pair are the really bad ones now for wearing while painting or something!  I am finding now I can have a bunch of jeans & not feel at all guilty about it!  In fact, I have made a donation to a worthy cause by supporting one of the mission stores in my purchase!

My mind has really done a turn around in the last few years?  For one thing there is the "Reuse, Reduce, Recycle" slogan.  I was really taking it on board with toys.  Picking up second hand toys in different places.  A wash & a clean & you wouldn't know the difference!   Some people won't buy plastic toys because of the landfill issue!  But reusing them & passing them around is good isn't it?  They will still end up in landfill anyway, but it is cutting down on the purchase of new ones to create more rubbish!  A couple of years ago I even got some Christmas presents on ebay.  Well BJ was only 2 or something.  Thomas Tank engine stuff is expensive new.  So I get a few different items to add to his train track for cheap.  I was lucky!  He certainly wouldn't know the difference!  Stuart gave a couple of the pieces a clean up with some new paint & we had a few new building to add interest to the tracks.  Good fun!

I now feel the same about jeans!  I don't know that I will buy new jeans again!  On a day when I am in the mood & can manage with 2 boys or if I get to shop on my own, I will try on jeans...  Maybe buy a pair or 2.  Sometimes I don't find any!  Sometimes I can't make up my mind so I will get a few!  Lucky me!  It's a win win all around isn't it?

I love second hand books!  I eventually realised that I don't need to keep every single book I love!  Major self analysing...  "Am I going to read it again?"  Most likely not.  So why does it need to sit on the shelf making me dust it?  (If I bothered to dust!)  So collecting dust at least?  Why not trade it in at a second hand book shop & grab some different ones?  Yay!  Why not!  I now read a book & make the decision immediately on to keep or not to keep.  Usually it is not.  I have a place I put them in readiness for the book shop, when I have a decent stack to take in.  It's fun leaving with different ones!

I recently went to a market that was targeted at kids stuff.  I actually had a stand there.  It wasn't very successful unfortunately.  I came home with most of it.  Must have been a busy day for other things.  An off season for that kind of stuff to sell.  Who knows?  So now I am still sitting on most of this baby stuff that I don't know what to do with yet.

Garage Sales are another good stop!  I don't go to many.  If I am about town & see one I may stop. I did this past Saturday.  I got 10 Golden Books for $2.  Bargain.  I don't get out while it is still dark to go hunt down a garage sale bargain.  Nope, not me!   The other week I stopped at one.  I don't know what makes me stop at the ones that do.  But recently I was very excited by this find...

They are pretty cool dinosaurs!  There are no tags or labels on them.  I don't know what brand or anything they are!  But they were only $5 for all 3!  Very cool!  They aren't really small either.  BJ uses them as pillows!  All of them!  He loves them.  

So are you an op shopper?  Do you visit garage sales?  Do you trade books?  Give old clothes to op shops?   Hold a market stall?


Bron said...

Don't much stop at Garage sales...I actually fine them intimidating....but I love an op shop and especially a great bargain...most of my favourite clothes are pre loved ones I have sourced. I leave heaps at the op shops as well.
I do think though you don't shop at oppies now for cheapness because you can go to Kmart or the like and get brand new for the same cost...so I op shop for the thrill of the find and what may be around the next corner...a one off.

Sally said...

Yep - I'm an op shopper. Love 'em. Love that I can go there with the kids and be "Yes" Mum rather than "No" Mum.
"Sure you can have that top/toy/book..." It is a nice feeling ... and so good for the environment too!!! Waste not want not!!