Thursday, September 2, 2010

One Man's Trash

I've never been much of a thrift store shopper. Over the years I've had several friends who have made thrifting into an enjoyable and sometimes even profitable hobby. I find myself in thrift stores once or twice a year, and one of two things usually happens. Either I'm all over the store, marveling at the bargains and buying up things I think I might use one day (which then take up residence in my small house indefinitely until I donate those items back to Goodwill or another charity) or I get overwhelmed by all the random stuff, convince myself I don't need anything, and buy nothing.

The thing is, thrift stores could be a great resource for my family if I just shop carefully. Buying things I don't need is a problem for me everywhere I shop. It's probably even more harmful at a place like Target where everything is full price. So I have started a list of things that I specifically want to look for at thrift stores. For example, I'd really like a hanging fruit basket. That's the kind of thing I would probably buy on an impulse for Target or Amazon Prime (which is horribly enabling of impulse shopping and designed to be that way, I'm sure). But right now I have some extra time in the mornings because I live too far away from Nora's school to go home. I'm going to look for that fruit basket at Good Will, Last Chance Thrift store, etc. I bet one will turn up soon enough!

In the meantime, I did make one impulse purchase at GoodWill that I think will turn out to be a great one. I found a Kitchenaid stand mixer for $17! I saw it sitting on the shelf and my heart skipped a beat. This model runs $250-$300 in stores. As I plugged it in to make sure it worked, other shoppers crowded around, poised to buy the mixer if I decided to pass it up. It works, but I'm pretty sure the motor needs servicing. I figure even if it needs a rather expensive repair, it will be a great bargain because they cost so much full price. I have been frustrated with my stand mixer for a while and fantasizing about a Kitchenaid, but I wasn't planning on getting one because we didn't gave the money and even if we did, I'm not sure I bake enough to justify the purchase. I'm pretty thrilled with this purchase, and now the hunt is on to find accessories. Mama needs a (inexpensive) dough hook. I'd say this mixer is, as they say, a thrift score.

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