Thursday, March 19, 2009

Thrifty Thursday: It's Chic to be Cheap {5}

Today's Thrifty Thursday post will feature an item that was 
::{ThE BeST $15 DoLLaRs I EvER SpENt}::

I've spent a lot of money in $15 increments in my twenty-faux years, so it's really saying something to give this item a place of honor in my shopping trophy case. Drum roll please.....(scroll down)

So what? I bet you're thinking. An old 90's dollhouse with a couple of accessories out front? Let's take another look, shall we?

With the exception of a couple of new people, the dining room set, and the home office, I got the dollhouse and all the accessories for only $15! I walked into a local children's consignment sale to buy some Spring clothes for my kids early last year. I was shocked to see that baby marked for such a low price. The new Fisher Price version sells for close to $200, I am told. This one is clearly not new, as evidenced by the missing trunk door on the car, and the fact that the kitchen table's candle no longer lights up, but I felt like $15 was a steal. I knew it would make the perfect Christmas gift for Natalie, and so it stayed hidden in our downstairs shower (which no one has used in two or three's the cleanest spot in the house!) for months. I really struggled with the idea of her *big* gift being used, but I came to the conclusion that that was just crazy talk.

To my three year old, this was not an old, circa early 90s, used toy. It was the highlight of her Christmas. If you don't believe me, look at the expression on her face when she saw it under the tree on Christmas morning:

As evidenced by the plethora of playthings in our home, I don't have anything against new toys, but they sure can be pricey! This is a picture of her *big* gift from the year before. No, that's not Natalie. I don't have a picture of the actual toy because it is in the attic. Get my drift?

Kids lose interest in things so quickly! I can't even count the number of toys or books she just had to have, and they now lie in the black hole I call "Toy Box", or they have been secretly donated to less fortunate children who will no doubt also quickly lose interest in them. After that fabulous, thrifty purchase, I will never look down my nose at consignment sale or even yard sale toy purchases! That's not to say that I won't ever buy a new Christmas toy again (cause I love me some new stuff!), especially as they get older, but this was just too perfect!

If you don't have children, you are probably wondering why this was money well-spent, as opposed to the mink coat I got for free from my grandmother's closet. Unless Natalie enjoyed spending time in the closet, which she does not, the mink does not occupy her attention for a period of time longer than to ask if Granddaddy killed that coat. That house keeps her occupied for several (non-consecutive) hours every day, I'd bet. That time is gold. Sometimes, Michaela Byrd will even sit under the dining room table (commandeered for play now), waiting to scavenge any stray "baaaaybeees" who might fall from their perch. 

It's also been fun to work in the kitchen and hear her playing. The dollhouse mommy seems to do a lot of yelling. Ahem. 

Cost of dollhouse: $15 (plus a few disinfecting wipes)
Cost of extra people: $10 (Valentine's Day gifts)
Cost of time so that Mommy does not lose her sanity: PRicELeSS

The crib mobile lights up and plays
 (annoying) music.

You can change the picture on the TV, and it even came with three (enormous) VHS tapes....Get with the times, people. It's all about the Blu-Ray now! 

This picture shows the obvious differences between the old (right) and new (left) versions of Fisher Prices' Loving Family. The old people are chunkier, and quite frankly a little alienish looking. Natalie definitely noticed the difference. 

Natalie named the bride and groom (she took the bride's skirt off, as she clearly prefers the more casual capri look) after Matt and Kate, her uncle and aunt that got married last November. Matt and Kate are allowed to enter the dollhouse now, but there was some major segregation going on after the first time I put them in there. She threw a huge fit the first time she saw that I'd set them up in the kitchen (sometimes I play clean up the dollhouse after she goes to bed), and shrieked, "Matt and Kate will never eat in my dollhouse! Never!" For some time, poor Matt and Kate had to sleep in the car in the "driveway." This is where Matt and Kate have to sleep now:

Poor things...they are newlyweds and they have to sleep on opposite sides of the roof. 

So, do you have any stories of toys, books, or games that you bought for a song and that your kids seem to love more than the $40 car set that broke after two uses?


  1. Methinks I am just going to send YOU into second hand places to shop for me. lol I will pay commission for good pieces. I completely stink at finding cool things at great prices.

    I am usually the one selling the good stuff at a cheap price bcs the kids have ignored it for forever...just ask Katie D., I am pretty sure she owns a lot of our toy box from 2 or 3 years ago...;0) lol

  2. I want a little girl so I can have a doll house! Great find! I love to find good deals in the toy dept at ROSS, but you have to be willing to sort through disasterous shelves while taking your life into your own hands as the toys fall on you.

  3. Seriously...I think we were seperated at birth. I LOVE you. Not in a creepy jailhouse sort of way, but a very plutonic blogging buddy sort of way...I had to clarify, ya know? So, I too bought my kids some rocking second hand toys and games for Christmas. My hubby thought it was just plain wrong. But I am convinced it is GENIUS. My 3 year old got a like- new kitchen that she has played with every day since Dec 25. And my boys got a fabulous electronic air hockey table that keeps a digital score...they love it and never once noticed it was used! And I'm just gonna be totally honest here...I am SO jealous of that 90's dollhouse. You scored BIG time on that one. The best part of this whole post was Matt and Kate's sleeping arrangements. HILARIOUS. I think our daughters would be best friends.


    Wait, I was wrong. The BEST part were the GINORMOUS vhs tapes!

  4. yes!! several years ago, i scored a new (plastic but not cheapy) tea set that sang "i'm a little teapot" when it was "poured." the kids loved it. it was in like new condition and i got it for $4- AND it came in the box still!! it retailed for $20 at the time. and- another time i bought a new tool bench and create it set from little tikes for the kids and had it delivered by the lady selling in on ebay for $70 UNDER retail!! can you believe it? i get so excited about a total "score." it must go back to my hunter gatherer genes. ;)

  5. Great find and making one little girl very happy. I too love a good bargain. I love rummaging through garage sales. I have found several educational toys for the grandkids; but my highlights are all the new baby items they didn't have when my kids were growing up. The old high chair, swing, stroller and car seat (that was not the law 30 years ago) are my biggest finds.

    I love the saying "One man's/women's/child's junk is another one's TREASURE"


I love to hear your feedback! Please feel free to leave comments...just don't send me spam asking me to buy stuff off your website! I've got three kids and no money to purchase your magic weight-loss pill or bust enhancement, or whatever else you might be selling. Thanks, and I look forward to hearing from you! :)

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