Tying the Knot in a Meaningful and Memorable Way (Without Losing Our Savings or Sanity)

Friday, February 13, 2009

Buying Things Used

Photo courtesy Kella MacPhee via Snippet & Ink

A while back, I saw a lovely glass drink dispenser featured in a Snippet & Ink wedding. Said drink dispenser has been the object of my affection and pining ever since. I just think it would be the perfect thing for outdoor dinner parties. I’m thinking lemonade, sangria, peach iced-tea—the list goes on.

And even though rumor had it that a similar drink dispenser was available from Target, I resisted the urge. Whenever possible, I try to buy used rather than new. I just know there are vintage and less expensive glass drink dispensers (and beautiful cake stands) waiting to find a new home in my humble abode.

And then Matt and I walked into our favorite antique store. I really shouldn’t even call it that. It’s not stuffy and froo-froo enough to be called an antique store. It’s run by a retired couple who do it because they love it. They only open the shop for ten hours a week. They don’t price anything, and when you ask them how much something is, they usually say, “Well, we paid $8 for it, so why don’t you give us $9?”

Matt and I have purchased a lovely school map for $15 and a workers’ bench (probably from the mid-1800s) for $100. I’ve also scored an assortment of random vases and planters. (Side note: Matt and I have a bit of an old-time school house theme going on for our home d├ęcor, so if you see anything on ebay or Etsy that we should buy, please let me know!)

We try to stop by every weekend (did I mention they serve free cookies from the local bakery?).

On one of our recent forays, there it was. A beautiful Italian glass drink dispenser. I asked Bob how much it cost and held my breath: $15.

I thought there must be a catch. I wondered if perhaps the nozzle didn’t work any longer. He let me schlep the container to the bathroom and test it out. It worked perfectly.

And there you have it. I have once again convinced myself that it pays to be patient. It’s possible to get beautiful things used: just like the case of the crock pot.

I guess that’s another argument for having a longer engagement. It gives you more time to patiently collect things.

(Editor's Note: I promise to post pictures as soon as the sun comes out and I can get some decent light for pictures.)

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Anonymous said...

The Goodwill near us is great for these reasons. We probably go once a week.

My boyfriend got a remote-control toy tank with camera for $7, still working and still even had batteries inside. It retails for about $60. We got this huge Star Wars model for $11 that's still selling at Target for about $80 (and was over $100 when he bought it) that he had his eye on. The only thing missing was a little laser gun for the little guy that came with it. (It's now on display next to our TV in the living room.) I found a really nice handmade blank wedding guestbook for $3. Still in the box! I love Goodwill, and we're lucky enough to have a really nice one only a few miles away.

-Sarah H.

Kaitlin Wainwright said...

Couldn't agree more! I would much rather buy used, from the Salvation Army or from an antique store (or Craigslist...though that can be sketchy at times)
My favourite finds so far are my teacups. So delightful, and different they are.

rachel box said...

not for nothing.. but you would love shopping with my mom! she goes into these stores and manages to neogotiate the price is further down.. its a gift of hers i swear to god! i got her hooked on thirft stores when it came to me buying winter coats for the east coast as i was leaving california to go to school (before then, neither of us were big on 2nd hand stores)

she loves them way more than me now... theres a whole room in my parents' house that is full of things from community thrift shops... the couches, the glass table, the little trinkets... we have have a piano bought used off of someone in the next town over...

and everytime i go home, i have to bring an large empty suitcase with me because she sends me back with so many clothes.. i havent bought clothes since my last visit in june (besides the wedding dress and some much needed rain boots). she even bought a lace vintage wedding dress just for fun (didnt fit me).

hehe (sorry if this reply is really long)

rachel box said...

ohhhh one more thing... from reading your blogs... its pretty apparent you hate when people spend a ton of money on thins and just throw them away and whatnot...

but thats kind of an advantage (especially from where i came from in california). people are for the most part well off and i knew a girl who would only wear an outfit once and then never wear it again...

...luckily these people also had garage sales or would donate to goodwill... my mom picked up a china set back when i was still in high school (real porcelain) off a family i knew had a lot of money at a garage sale. it was a full set for 8 (maybe minus 1 cup and a saucer)... $12 is what it cost her.. and shes giving it to me as my wedding china set lol.

Rowena said...

I love thrifting and yardsaling so much. I am starting my list of the things I want to get....and I'm outfitting a whole house from scratch, so it's going to be a lot.

It's not only from a philosophical, economical and ecological standpoint that I find thrifting attractive, but it's also FUN.

The primal thrill of the hunt. The creativity needed to see the beauty in a thing that hasn't been styled within an inch of its life. The flexibility to see new uses for an old thing.

Oh, fun fun fun, I can't wait.

lauren said...

Ooh, I want one of those dispensers. And I don't even have a backyard or porch to host a party.

I really want to find a used yogurt maker. I hate the waste of all those yogurt tubs, but a new yogurt maker seems wasteful too. I am trying to hold out for a used one, but I may lose my resolve.

kadler said...

I just wanted to say that "old time schoolhouse" is by far the coolest home decorating theme I've ever heard of.

Sara E. Cotner said...

@ Lauren: Ooh, a yogurt maker!?! I never even heard of such a thing. I'm so immersed in a processed-foods culture that it didn't even occur to me that one could make his/her own yogurt. Thank you for inspiring me to take up a new hobby!

lauren said...

Sara: You can make yogurt without an electrical appliance, but it is a bit trickier. I figure the machine will help me actually make it (plus you can buy ones with multiple small glass containers to make different flavors!)

But, it can be fun to try to make it on your own(with experimenting of course). Here are instructions:

My favorite recipe:

In a thermos:http://bean-sprouts.blogspot.com/2007/11/how-to-make-greek-yogurt.html

In a non-electric doohickey:

Anonymous said...

that is so awesome! i had a travel theme going in my living room, and randomly found an eiffel tower lamp at goodwill and an old leaning tower of pisa (sp?) wine holder. it fit perfectly.

also, i've taken to ebay for some of my wedding needs. since mine is kind of a mini-destination wedding, my plan is to put a beach towel and some sunscreen in the guest rooms for each guest. i think we'll only need about 20, if that, and an initial look at ebay tells me i can get that many for about 30-40 bucks...although i'm waiting until after summer...i, too, have a longer engagement (a year and a half) so i've had plenty of time to plan what i want, it's just a matter of finding it.

btw, save-on-crafts.com is AMAZING.

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