There is a oft-said phrase that every jeweler wants you to believe: “Diamonds are a girl’s best friend.” That, however, is wrong. While diamonds are enchanting, with their sparkle and the way they glimmer on a finger or an ear, they don’t do much more than sit there and be expensive.
I want to introduce you to a new phrase: Savers is a girl’s best friend. Savers is a store, and while you may not have a Savers nearby, chances are you have another thrift store, be it Goodwill or another nonprofit organization. Savers saved me hundreds–if not thousands– of dollars when I first moved out and continues to save me money.
When I moved out I had nothing, not even a plate or a spoon. I had a limited amount of money, so I went to Savers and immediately became addicted. Gently used plates, clothes, furniture, books, for a tenth of the cost (or less, in the case of furniture) as in a retail store. If Savers were a bakery, then I would have drooled so much that I could have been a water feature.
I spent more money than I thought I would, but far less than if the items were new, buying bookshelves, lamps, a table to serve as an entertainment center, a bedspread, and enough dishes and silverware to have guests (or not do dishes for a week). Then, over time, I went back for pans, plates, mixing bowls, a blender, cookie sheets and baking pans, bread pans and bread knives, spending a pittance compared to what everything new would have cost. Before I knew it, I had a fully-stocked apartment, complete with things you don’t think about until you move out like clothes irons and food processors. Though I still have difficulty removing the sticky price tags, I felt accomplished. I felt well off.
There is another upside to buying things new, which I will touch on briefly because I haven’t done any recent research on it and am pulling this from memory. Recycling by donating your old things and then buying used things helps the environment. Each iron you donate is one less iron in the dump, and each iron you buy at a thrift store is one less iron that needs to be produced.
It always amazes me how many coffee makers and irons, how many juicers and food processors, end up at Savers simply because they weren’t the newest and the best. I have never, not once, bought something at Savers that didn’t work, not even that fishy looking VCR or that old table lamp. I’ve bought things that were dinged, things that looked dingy until I cleaned them with some elbow grease, clothes that were totally in style (and not because what was out of style had come back in). I even found a perfectly well working SLR camera, complete with a bag, batteries, and two rolls of film (unfortunately, my exuberance in this case was undone by the realization of how expensive it is to develop film. But I still have grand dreams for that camera!). By buying these items, I not only helped contribute to the National MS Society, but I also gave these items an extended life. I helped reduce my load on the environment by not needing that new juicer or that brand new blender. True, I don’t know if these are the most energy efficient items on the market, but I didn’t feed the market (that hungry, hungry beast).
So next time you think about adding some more diamonds to your collection, stop by your local thrift store first.