My family and I have just finished a year of Buying Nothing New. Throughout the year our local op shops and second hand stores have been a saviour when it’s come to finding things we have needed or wanted. The thing I love most about op shopping is the ‘lucky dip’ factor. You never know what you’ll find – and you can go in to the same stores day after day and find different things popping up here and there. Op shopping with a list was new to me, and it helped me to realise that if I’m willing to wait long enough I can find pretty much anything I need. Here are a few examples of things I found at op shops just when I needed them:
· Insulated lunch box for when my daughter started day care and needed to transport bottles of milk.
· Space saver bags (new in the box) when I was putting away too-small baby clothes.
· Blank cards in a card-making kit for our daughter’s first birthday invitations.
· Unopened packets of serviettes and re-usable plastic plates, for the same party.
· Toddler swim hat, still with tags, just in time for summer.
· A second build-a-car toy for my nephew – I bought one for him on eBay for Christmas, only to discover some pieces missing. I found the second set by chance, which filled in the gaps and gave me left over pieces to fashion into dolls house accessories for my daughter’s second birthday.
· Mem Fox’s Reading Magic which I had borrowed from a friend (in order to loan it to another friend…complicated) just the day before.
· A Godzilla costume for my daughter…which we didn’t technically need, but definitely cheered us up on a day we needed cheering up desperately.
· Unworn shoes in the size my daughter had just grown into.
· A vintage glass jug almost identical to the one my husband had accidentally smashed a few weeks earlier.
Although I am always one to advocate a quick browse, I highly recommend keeping a ‘hunting’ list for dedicated op shopping trips. It has really helped us in our quest to Buy Nothing New and reassured me that if I am willing to wait and willing to hunt (which is really the fun part) I can find almost anything I need second hand (and at a fraction of the cost I’d pay for it new).