Saturday, January 28, 2017

My Thrift Store Challenge

Before I made my big move to live tiny in the country, I was a city/suburb person. I lived in big houses, bought the latest trendy crap, and dreamed of the "simple life." When I finally made the choice to jump in feet first and make my move, I started making lists. Lists of everything I thought I would ever need in a house. My lists were formed room by room. I mentally checked off everything at first, then I actually made paper lists. For example, a bedroom would need a bed, two dressers (long and tall), two night tables, two lamps, two changes of sheets, etc. You get the idea. I poured over catalogs, wandered in stores, visualized my particular style, and slowly began ticking things off the list as I purchased them. By the time I made my big move I had collected almost everything on the list.

Two Lamps for $10.95. Score!
Over the years I had discovered I got great joy of finding an expensive item at a fraction of the cost on places like Craigslist, Goodwill, and thrift stores. I made a game out of it - a type of adult scavenger hunt, if you will. I got a rush and sense of personal victory never paying full cost for the things on my list. I made a commitment to buy the best, but never pay full price. I also like the idea of buying things secondhand because I feel it is more environmentally friendly.

I went with a good friend thrift shopping on Saturday and scored two terrific vintage tole lamps for my new recording studio at just $10.95 for both. I also found some fantastic vintage oven pads someone's grandmother crocheted for just a dollar. But other than those two purchases, I didn't find anything I didn't already have or simply did not need.

So here I am surrounded by the things I researched, coveted, and collected. But here's the weird thing: Now that I have all these things and the challenge has been met, I find myself kind of bored and miss "the thrill of the hunt." Shopping no longer seems fun. There are no pressing needs or personal missions with which to focus my nervous energies. I didn't realize how much I enjoyed those personal challenges. This got me thinking about setting up a new challenge for myself.

I am setting up a "Self Sufficiency" or "Prepper" challenge for myself. I am going to scour Craigslist, Goodwill, thrift stores, etc. for items for the homestead that will allow more independence. Here are some of the items on my list:
Old School Meat Grinder

  • Sausage/Meat Grinder
  • Grain Mill
  • Kitchen Aid Mixer Add On's
  • Cider Press
  • Cheese Press
  • Large Crocks 
  • Dehydrator 2/4/17 ($5 at thrift store)
  • Pasta Machine
  • Berkey Big Water Filter
  • Solar Cooker
  • Manual Crank Ice Cream Maker
  • Vintage Storage Baskets

I love an adult scavenger hunt. How about you? What are some of the things on your "want" list that you think you could find at substantial savings second-hand?