Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Toys on the Cheap

I'm a part of the "kids really don't need that many toys" camp. If my child is thoroughly entertained by an empty two liter soda bottle, an old magazine, or the pots & pans in the cabinets, that's cool. That being said, my kid has doting great grandparents, grandparents, and aunts. He's got toys. He would still much rather chew on my cell phone. However, the little man has a birthday coming up, so I have been on the lookout for presents.

Most people probably look for toys at normal stores like Toys R Us or Target or Walmart. I hunt for toys at the Goodwill Outlet whenever I visit my sister-in-law Sarah in Richmond. She lives 10 minutes from the only Goodwill Outlet in all of Virginia. I checked. There aren't many Goodwill Outlets around, but if you want to find out if there is one near you, check here.

The Goodwill Outlet is basically a giant liquidation center for Goodwill Retail stores. It's a big warehouse with lots and lots of bins of clothes and junk. The clothes are something like $1.50/lb and the junk is about 50 cents per pound. It's so awesome, but you have to dig through all of the scary stuffs...

And it can get really scary.

Anyways, back to the toys. When digging through bins, I look for toys that can be washed, are in good condition, and that have a snowballs chance in hell of being played with.

Remember... Fifty cents per pound. You are looking at about $1.50 worth of toys right there.

I've also been putting together a collection of costumes from the Goodwill Outlet for a dress up box. Costumes encourage imaginative play and are almost guaranteed to get played with.

We got lucky and went to the Goodwill Outlet on a day when all of the Halloween costumes had suddenly showed up. I snatched up a special forces vest, Transformers body armor, skeleton suit, muscle suit, bat cape, chicken hat, & two lion costumes. Not a bad start for a costume box. And you should see some of the tutu like costumes Sarah snatched up. So cute!

The full body lion costume still had the tags on it. It's going to be Joseph's Halloween costume this year. And again, all at $1.50 per pound. SO FREAKIN' AWESOME! I would show you some pictures of Joseph actually wearing some costumes, but it's late and he's asleep and I'm too impatient to delay this post. Another time perhaps.

But my biggest weakness at the Goodwill Outlet is the children's books. Fifty cents for hard cover and twenty-five cents for soft cover. I love books and you can't beat that price. If I like them and they are in good condition, then I'll take them.

Seven of the books in that pile had US prices listed on them and they totaled at $51. And that's just seven of the books. I paid about $7 total. Oh, Goodwill Outlet, how do I love thee?

I'm always looking out for Eric Carle books. I'm still trying to find The Very Hungry Caterpillar. One day.

And I found two of my favorite books from the second grade. Joseph really likes Chicka Chicka Boom Boom. Probably because of the BOOM BOOM part. My sister-in-law Sarah had actually never heard of Chicka Chicka Boom Boom before, so she and I had storytime. And there's nothing strange about two mid-twenties reading Chicka Chicka Boom Boom to each other. Nothing.

Pop-up books are really popular with the little man.

Strange, though... They keep trying to eat my child.

I found a few Christmas books for next December. I love Christmas books with beautiful art. And Santa Mouse is adorable!

Who could pass up a Where's Waldo book? Especially when Daddy looks like Waldo. Wait, what? I didn't just say that.

HEY! I found him! Waldo... Not Daddy.

Now, if I could just find a bunch of Dr. Seuss books.

So, if you find yourself in Richmond or another city with a Goodwill Outlet, go check it out, do a little digging, and see what you can find. It's like an adventure!


  1. My daughter loves the "Chicka Chicka Boom Boom" book. It was my favorite when I was younger too :) so catchy :)...Alana will always read "...up the coconut tree" and the "chicka chicka boom boom" part with me :) I should check out if there are books at the Goodwill store near us :)

  2. I may have continued singing Chicka Chicka Boom Boom even after you left. That's not weird, right?
    I love that you love Goodwill Outlet! :)
    And ohmygosh! Daddy DOES look like Waldo!

  3. A. LOVE that photo of Sarah!
    B. I get most of our toys from Once Upon a Child or consignment sales, but those prices are better than anything I could ever find there!
    C. I've been looking for Chicka Chicka Boom Boom for Colton, I think he would like it since it's rhythmic, but he'll probably just want to eat it.

  4. i am soooo jealous of you people near goodwill outlets!!!! not fair!!

    i loved chicka chicka boom boom when i was a kid! great finds on the books and toys!

    my nieces are each almost 1 - and this post makes me want to get them dress up clothes!


Your comments make my day!!