One thing that Jer and I have talked about recently and committed to trying to do as much as we possibly can is buying things used or pre-owned. And we’re not just talking about cars, we’re talking about all kinds of different products that we buy: clothing & shoes, housewares, books, baby items, electronics, etc. If there is something that we want to purchase, we really want to try to find it used first, before we just go out and buy it new. This is something that we are just beginning and learning to do – we definitely are not “experts” by any means, but I wanted to share my thoughts about this with you.
Buying used will accomplish a couple of things for us:
1. It will save us money. Buying things used is much cheaper then purchasing something brand new, although we do have to be careful to make sure we are actually getting a good deal for the quality of the item we are buying used. But, I think in most cases we can buy gently used items that are in excellent shape if we are willing to look hard enough. Also, if we are patient in trying to find something used before just running out the store and buying it, we may decide that we don’t really need it after all, and that ultimately saves the most money of all!
2. It reduces the impact that our stuff has on the Earth. When we buy something used we not only keep it from going to the landfill, we also prevent the use of resources that go into making that item brand new. Buying used also eliminates the pollution produced and energy used to manufacture the item and ship it from wherever it was made to here. Also, used items usually have little to no packaging, as opposed to new items which we can all agree are WAY over packaged. (Have you opened a new toy from a box lately?)
3. It will help to keep us from becoming too materialistic. If we are thinking about our purchases and whether or not we really need to buy something, we are not drawn in by the ad on TV or in the paper, or the fancy display (or sale, in my case) at the store. This also forces us to be less concerned about having the newest, latest, best, trendiest things. It helps us to remember that it’s just “stuff” and we can’t take it with us when we leave this Earth.
Here’s a recent example from our life – Kaelyn was growing out of all her pj’s. We decided that she needed some new pj’s for the summer and that we would like to buy The Children’s Place zippered sleepers that we love. I checked online and found a few on sale, but then went to Ebay and found a lot of 10 Children’s Place sleepers in her size – the exact ones that I wanted and some gender neutral so we can use them for the next baby too. I bid on them and ended up winning. So, for less than half of the cost of buying them new, I got 10 used sleepers all at once (no shipping from multiple sellers) – and they are in great condition. I was quite proud of myself! Although because I didn’t just run to the store and buy new ones we did have a few days of K having to sleep in VERY tight pj’s. 🙂
So, the next time you are thinking about going out and making a new purchase, stop and think if you can find what you are looking for used. Your wallet and the planet will thank you! Now I’m off to search for some Crocs for K for the summer!!
Check out my list of resources for buying used!