One of the things that bugs me the most about having a kid is the COST of everything - from clothes to diapers to toys and food. Sheesh, it never ends.

Which is one of the reasons I was so willing to share all the stuff Claire has grown out of with my sister-in-law and brother-in-law. Especially for things that have a limited time frame of newborn gadgets...the co-sleeper and baby bathtub, the baby carriers, the maternity clothing. Why spend lots of money when you don't have to! We've gotten a ton of stuff from other people, so pay it forward, I say!

Which is why I am so excited at today's garbage room find. See, the building has recently been in the process of hiring a new super - and the guy they hired to fill in for the time being has been tasked with cleaning out the basement storage areas. There are a bunch - and there have been a succession of 3 large dumpsters outside each filled to the brim in it's turn.

All the garbage and recycling are kept in this one big room, and generally, it's open season on stuff that's in good shape, but discarded by the original owner. Now, Kayakboy and I have an advantage - we have to go in and out of the laundry room, past the main garbage area AND we have to take out our trash there, so we get to see what the rest of the building is getting rid of.

Finds have included a play purse for Claire; a folding banquet table; and a butcher-block topped work table that fits PERFECTLY in our kitchen (all it needed was a good scrubing.)

And today's find - a Little Tykes brand play kitchen!!! I had gone in to take some trash on our way out this morning and figured if it was still there when I came back, it was mine!! (there aren't a lot of babies in the building - the other one I know of, is a little boy, and his parents seem pretty traditional gender-role oriented...)

So there it was. I had hoped the super would be around to help me - but he wasn't. So I propped the door open, so Claire could still see me - then carried the kitchen to outside our door. Wheeled Claire inside, and put the kitchen in our storage area. Yeah, it needs a good scrub down, but that's why we have vinegar and hot water! And it's missing a few parts and all the accessories, but the company sells those - so I'm getting about a $140 toy for an investment of $20, give or take, plus elbow grease!

Can you tell, I'm excited about this?

What have you done to be a frugal parent?


Grampa said…
The Old Fart Birthday Boy is proud of you. You're your mama's little girl, as evidenced by the stuff in the basement from Jameson and Braden, and the little unnamed boy across the street....Well, I suppose he is named. I just don't know it, which is the same thing, oui?
Le Petamane Ancien, PF.
Suzi said…
Wicked good find! I was never above using elbow grease on perfect, if dirty, good finds. I've always shopped at goodwill, when the girls turned into "image conscious snobs", my mom miraculously discovered she had a "friend" who just happened to be one size larger than my rapidly growing teens! Jill has no idea her entire bedroom linen set came from goodwill. I plan to tell them someday...maybe.
That's an amazing find! It is great.

And it is great you are paying it forward with your family. That is a great way to do it. I wish my family was like that.
Anonymous said…
Hi Diane! Great blog! Used stuff is the BEST! If we like-minded parents succeed in passing on this spirit of conservation and reduce/reuse to our children the next generation will be much better off (although I confess a horrible weakness for the Gap). BTW - Claire is a love!
Yes, second hand stuff is the best! I think about 80% of Jonah's clothes belonged to his cousins Hudson and Landen. It is amazing to think that many of his things have made it through 3 toddlers and still have a lot of life left in them! Give Claire a hug from us!
Raliza said…
Lucky you! Wish I lived in a building where people just toss things away that only need a little TLC. Hope Claire loves her new 'kitchen'!

With my nephews being only a few years older than Maddie, we are constantly being given terrific hand-me-downs. Toys are the best because they can always be cleaned. And then as she outgrows them, I've been passing them on to another family who's daughter is 6 months younger.

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