Sunday, April 18, 2010

Buy Used and Save the Difference--Sometimes They Get to Treat Themselves

It makes me angry when people use "Duggarisms" that are generally good and then throw them back in their face. For instance: "buy used and save the difference." The Duggars still do that, even though they are now famous and even though they now make more money than they used to. Why? Because even though they make more money, they still have a growing family and they still have growing needs and a need to budget properly.

I read on another blog the other day someone complaining that Michelle buying brand new layette items for Jordyn's birth was such a disgrace and they were so phony and their "buy used and save the difference" was such a lie. I would like to point out that buying brand new things for Jordyn's birth was actually something special Jim Bob did for Michelle because they both thought that it would probably be her last pregnancy. And if you'll remember during that episode as she was oooing and aahhhing over everything and wanting to buy out the entire store, Jim Bob did in fact mutter those famous words "umm what happened to buy used and save the difference?" This person also complained about the family buying each child a brand new bike in one episode. That was also a special event--I believe, and correct me if I'm wrong--was it Christmas? It was some holiday they bought each child a brand new bike. And they did make a HUGE deal out of it and made sure to remind the viewers and the kids that "this never ever happens."

So let's point out that those are the only two events I can remember them buying new items. We saw Josh and Anna buying something new--it turned out to be Joy Anna's birthday present given to her in the episode previous (bad editing.) Otherwise we've seen Michelle take the boys out shopping for used shoes and we've seen Jim Bob take the boys out to buy a used bunk bed---to replace bunk beds that DID NOT come from TLC's massive shopping spree when they bought furniture for their house. Jim Bob did say that the bunk bed they were replacing was over 10 years old--therefor it came from their old house, so not all the furniture that was moved in came as a gift from TLC or TLC's contacts.

Other people pointed out that the kitchen appliances were new---those were gifts from a contact that the designer had--the fancy NY designer. Jim Bob himself knows how to work a deal. We've seen him go in and get a deal for tires, installations, and hotel deals. He has taught us how to work auctions and price down retail. We also saw the women go to a used baby sale. Just because they have more money doesn't mean they are spending it on brand new things.

However, it wouldn't surprise me that on birthdays and holidays new items were given as gifts. Afterall, they aren't "cheap" they are frugal. There is a difference :)


  1. I only have a problem with the used shoes. I think they ALL should get new shoes. Well, maybe now they are actually getting new shoes. I'm only remembering past episodes.

    The clothes they wear appear to be in good shape and it is possible to find name brands in thrift stores. I also think their fans might be sending clothes as gifts. I just wonder how often the girls get to shop. They must have about 50 denim skirts! I love denim!

  2. Used shoes ...that depends...if the kids are young enough, some used shoes are actually practically new--my daughter is 3 and she has had new shoes she's worn 2 or 3 times and outgrown...1 pair she wore ONCE and in that sense, they could be getting "used" shoes that are practically brand new...I doubt they are buying ratty old worn out shoes. I'm sure they are buying shoes people have donated that are either worn once or twice and the people donated because they didn't like (who hasn't done that? or donated them because they bought them worn them once and they hurt your feet?) or some thrift stores do get new shoes from discount stores. I've seen the episodes where they go shoe shopping and the 1 hour special where they do the big thrift shop---the shoes they are buying do look practically new--so my guess is they are going to a thrift shop where the "rich people of the town" donate.

    But there is a difference of opinion on used shoes--"The Tightwad Gazette" (my favourite book) as you all know by now, has covered this as well--she bought all her kids shoes at yard sales. She got flack for it too, people would tell her that her kid's feet would get damaged. She researched it talking to doctors and found no evidence either way, but she does wash the shoes and deodorize them with foot spray to avoid fungus. She said she wasn't buying worn out shoes (to avoid damage to the arch), she'd find practically new shoes--because kids outgrow them so fast, or the people who's yard sales she would go to were so out of step financially that they were buying things faster than they could wear them and selling them quickly at yard sales. This is the problem I had with my daughter. I'd buy her too many pairs of shoes while her feet were still growing too fast and the pair I'd have for her to wear to temple would fit once and the next week they would be too small. Right now she has no "dress" shoes at all--I gave up having nice shoes for her to wear because it was too expensive...she can just wear sparkly fake crocs or sandles with her dress--she's 3 afterall.

    Once they get a bit older, finding used shoes gets harder. I actually can't find used shoes here in Fresno at all for my daughter. I've been to 7, count them 7 thrift stores and found exactly 1 pair of shoes in her size--a pair of cowboy boots she refuses to wear. They didn't have much in any size for anyone really at any of the stores--I have no idea where the used shoes in Fresno are going. There do seem to be a lot of yard sales selling clothing as I drive around, but I'm not a cash-carrier, we deal in airmiles only so I stick to Ross and Wal-Mart for cheap shoes on clearance and call it good, but the Duggars obviously found a good place that carries a wide variety in a wide variety of sizes so more power to them.

  3. Marybeth - my girls (3 and 5)have finally got to the stage where they go up a 1/2 siz every 6 months ish and so we're actually wearing shoes out now! thank goodness. I got comments from parents as i didn't bother buying 1/2 sizes for my girls - there is a real message out there that you will damage childrens feet if you don't buy expensive (and therefore well fitting) shoes.
    The only thing I have a slight problem with is car seats - we are told that you should never buy a used child's car seat unless you know where it has come form and that it hasn't been in an accident. Now I know that you can take all the covers off and check the plastic over but... our Nearly New Sales and various websites are not allowed to allow second hand car seats to be advertised.

  4. I buy used most often but there are a few areas where I refuse to do so as I am likely to regret it and not get a good deal. Those areas are:

    1. Computers (no clue how well maintained or if there are hidden viruses)

    2. Mattresses (we have allergies and in the case of full, queen, or king there is the gross out factor of wondering if someone had sex on it)

    3. Some electronics (our lcd tv is too new to find used and saves space which is always a concern when he has 4 kids and I have 3 {yep total of 7} in this house; newer game systems where used are not a good savings over used {his PS3 bought with taxes last year}, Routers {would be bothersome and troublesome with internet homeschool sales, 2 cyber charter schoolers and ever new wndevours online were the internet to go down due to a router failure.

    4. Shoes and undergarments (gross out factor)

    5. Home Printers (they break too easily we'd love an industrial duplex laser printer though)

  5. I agree with a lot of your used items--mattresses and undergarments (yuck!)....however with the new recession and people liquidating their can find some great deals on things they bought on credit--like big screen TVS and brand new computers...Craigslist is the new yardsale! If you insist on seeing it work and examine it from "head to toe" and get it for a steal, I'd buy it there before buying it new--only because I'd never buy one new (I'm that cheap!)

    I have no problem with used shoes, because the used shoes I buy are the ones that are practically new. When you have a toddler they barely wear them before they grow out of them so they are hardly worn when they wind up in a yard sale or thrift store. I received a pair yesterday from my neighbour from a thrift store for my 3 yr old and the soles aren't even scuffed. They look totally new. I doubt she paid more than a buck for them, why should I buy them new for $5? I wouldn't buy a pair that are worn OUT!

    It just depends on where you find it and who you're getting it from. Knowing your used source is the key. Buying from a business going out of business would be a great place to get office equipment, especially if they weren't in business all that long--no hard use.

    It's just a matter of investing the time to do the research and that time can end up saving you thousands. (Sorry, I am a Dave Ramsey fan.)