Tuesday, September 29, 2009

public service announcement

I got new bedding for our guest room. It's Italian, sateen cotton and it's from Restoration Hardware....a store I would love to shop in, but alas, I can not afford. This bedding is so simple, but really soft and comfy! So, how did I land this?? You guessed it, craigslist. I have been looking at comforters for our guest room since we moved into our new house and even cheap ones at Target run around $100. My hesitation at buying a bag of bedding from one of the major retailers wasn't cost exactly, because we could afford it, it's just that I don't think something that covers a bed should cost that much....and since my opinion doesn't really matter to manufacturers of bedding I was left with few options. I actually thought about making a duvet cover myself, but I am currently juggling too many things to add another project and I really didn't want another four months to pass with a sad, plain white down comforter on the guest bed. So.....what do I do when I'm disillusioned with the cost of life and am looking for a deal??? I obsessively check craigslist until I find what I'm looking for! I was actually pretty lucky and it didn't take me long this time. (some things take months to find exactly what I want) Anyway, I found this bedding, it's in great condition and not very old and I only paid $40. There were actually three 100% silk shams that came with the bedding that I'm not going to use, so I'm going to list them on craigslist for $20......if they sell, then the bedding really only cost $20. Deal.

New bedding
(Maddie is testing it out)

Moving on......I washed all of the bedding (twice) and as I was ironing it (took almost 2 hours) I realized that nearly every room in our house has something in it that we bought off craigslist. I even used craigslist to buy furniture and find apartments to rent while I was still living in San Diego......6 years ago! Wow. Dan and I have bought and sold on craigslist so many times it's hard to even remember everything. We have even sold things that we bought off craigslist years later......and you know I'm a good bargain hunter when we can sell these items for more money than we paid for them! Pretty much anything you could ever want can be found on craigslist. From furniture to farming supplies, kids toys, electronics, vehicles and antiques. And since it's all local, there isn't any shipping involved. You arrange a meeting with the seller, check out the item and take it home. One draw back (or benefit for those of us who are staying away from debt) is that 99.999% of the time you have to pay with cash, but that is necessary. People have mentioned concern about going to a strangers house to buy something from them, but if you do it during daylight it's not much different than going to a garage sale and if you don't feel comfortable going to their house you can always meet in a public place. I have had one bad encounter with picking up a box spring but it turned out fine.....it was all in my head (the guy had Japanese swords all over his house) and all my own fault (Dan didn't know the address I was going to and my cell phone died), and since then if the person I am buying something from is a man, I send Dan to pick it up! :)

I know that there is a stigma with buying used, but it's really a shame because there really are a lot of benefits to it! First and foremost, it's cheaper! Why pay retail when you can save so much money buying something used? I have always been a thrifty gal, but with the economy being how it is right now money is tight for most people. That works out well for those of us buying used because people are selling fantastic stuff to make a little money. Which brings me to my second benefit.....you can get a better quality, name brand, used item for what you would spend buying a cheap, low quality brand new item. I spent a couple of months looking for a table for our entryway. Walmart and Target sold ones I liked but they were cheaply built and made out of that fake wood stuff and they cost over $100. I found a beautiful table on craigslist from Bombay Company and only paid $70. Not a big difference in price, but a HUGE difference in quality and craftsmanship! Another great benefit of buying used is the environmental factor. Reduce, reuse, recycle. Buying someones "trash" keeps it out of the landfills and you know what they say....one man's trash is another man's treasure.....or in my case, woman.

So, that was my public service announcement. If you are planning on making a purchase, check craigslist out first. If you can't find what you're looking for, keep checking.....new stuff is posted everyday, sometimes every hour! It's easy, (you don't even have to leave the comfort of your own home) it's cheaper and it's better for our planet! CRAIGSLIST

Here is a photo tour of just a few of the items we have bought off craigslist:

Ladder shelf

KitchenAid mixer (commercial grade)


Play kitchen

Dan's workbench
(it is actually a kitchen island we used in our old house)

Toy box bench

Bunk beds

Dining room table and hutch

Sofa table

Entry table (my Bombay Co. find!)

Guestroom bed
(the box spring and bedding too)

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