I think if anyone who knows me was asked to describe me in three words, the word “thrifty” would not make an appearance. Neither would “frugal”, nor “economical”, and “prudent” probably wouldn’t be in there either. It’s not to suggest that I am wasteful or careless, but when it comes to budgeting and specifically when it comes to shopping, I will admit, I can be a little – how shall I put this – “free-spirited”. Ahem.
Anyway, today, I was both thrifty AND prudent, so much so in fact that Richmond Daddy (who as an accountant is all of those adjectives that I am not) gave me a big kiss on his return from work, so delighted was he to hear my story of how I saved money on buying a whole bunch of new toys for Richmond Baby by raiding the charity shops of Richmond and neighbouring St. Margaret’s. Get me!
It all began this morning when I noticed that Richmond Baby seemed more bored than usual of her current collection of toys. She has a good number of toys in my opinion, not an excessive amount, a good amount, but it seems that she is growing tired of them and they’re not keeping her occupied and interested in the same way that they once did. But here’s the thing, I’ve realised that most toys seem to live on a 10-day cycle: day one, they’re the best toy every in the world, like ever, by day 5 they are merely mildly interesting, by day ten, she’s over them. Hmmm, this could get expensive.
So, I set myself a challenge. Rather than just head off to Mothercare in Kew, or the very gorgeous (but sometimes quite pricey) independent toy store in Richmond that’s 10 mins from our house, I decided to have a rummage through some charity shops to see how many fab items I could buy, for the least amount of money. And, do you know what, I surprised myself at how great my haul was. Outlined below is the full extent of my swag-bag of goodies:
Purchase One: Oxfam – 99p – A5 sized board book “Peepo Baby”
Purchase Two: FARA – £2 – Tomy Pull Along Quacking Ducks c.1995 (vintage! love it!)
Purchase Three: FARA – £2 – Tolo Spinning Rabbits High Chair toy with suction pad
Purchase Four: FARA – £4 – Moulin Roty Ladybug’s House, complete with two ladybugs inside!
Purchase Five: Princess Alice Hospice Trust – £2 – old-fashioned large teddy bear
Purchase Six: Octavia Foundation – £1.50 – Clackety Clack Monkey book
Purchase Seven: Octavia Foundation – £4.20 – wooden alphabet/numbers rack
Total Spent: £16.69 Items Purchased: 7 (!!) Amount Saved: LOTS & LOTS & LOTS!!
I am totally amazed and delighted with my haul and of course Richmond Baby is equally over the moon to have a whole new host of toys to play with! And, as aforementioned, Richmond Daddy is literally weeping with joy at my new-found frugality. As I said, he kissed me he was so happy… I don’t know what this suggests about the state of our relationship that it takes something like this to provoke a random act of affection. Should I be worried….?!?
One of my absolute favourite finds is the Moulin Roty Ladybug House. It is so beautiful and in good-as-new condition. I had a little browse online and found out that it was created by French children’s toy/furniture/etc. designer Katherine Roumanoff as part of her Dim Dam Doum collection. I then discovered her actual website and there are some seriously beautiful things on there for little ones, I am in love! The Moulin Roty soft ladybug house is made in jersey velvet and inside it has the two most adorable ladybugs. The website I found it on, which did state it was out of stock, had it priced at $56 – reduced from $98! Just a reminder… I paid £4!!! I am MOST pleased with myself. Here is a picture of this thing of beauty and if you fancy having a look at other Moulin Roty toys, then click here (they have some beautiful beautiful things, I shall be browsing for Christmas pressies…).
So, I’ve decided, I shall operate a system of toy-recycling. When Richmond Baby gets properly bored of a bunch of toys, I’ll cart them off to the charity shop, and in the meantime I’ll keep my eyes peeled for fab toys from the charity shops rather than expensive regular stores. My challenge will be to spend little and gain much. Win-win eh?!
Right, I’m off to do some toy washing and disinfecting… well, you can never be too careful…!
Are you a good charity shop shopper? – is it just me who’s late to the party on this one?