Monday, April 16, 2012

Backyard Toys and the Book Exchange

Spring has sprung and that means it's time to get outside! If your kids are at all like my kids, their outdoor toys get cracked, faded, and brittle from being out in the sun or broken from being chewed up by the lawnmower or the dog. This year was no different! In preparation for the first lawn-mowing of the year last week I went around the yard collecting the various plastic pieces of what once were toys and tossing them in the trash.

Sadly, the kids weren't left with much.

So we made our annual trip to the Goodwill Outlet for outdoor toys! My kids love this trip because they can toss all the junky toys they want into the cart and rarely hear a protest from me. I love this trip because my kids get to have fun and because all their new goodies will keep them busy outside for hours! I love using Goodwill as our source for outdoor toys because then when they get cracked, broken and eaten by the lawnmower I don't mind tossing them in the trash and no one sheds a tear.

This year we picked up a plastic baseball bat, watering can, dump truck, several small cars and various figurines (most from McDonald's at one point, I think), some baskets and cups (great for collecting flowers and having a tea party), a squirt gun and some other random odds and ends. Most of the small toys will live in the sand & water table.

As soon as we got home the kids raced outside with their loot and had a grand time!

And I got to spend some time with my loot as well:

The stack on the left are books I bought for me- 3 books by one of my favorite authors, Adriana Trigiani, plus two books I've read before but I don't own but think I should because they're just great books (The Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands and All Your Worth).
The stack on the right are the books I plan to take to The Book Exchange, a used bookstore that allows trade-ins of paperbacks. They'll give you 1/4 of the cover price in store credit which you can then use to buy any of the books in the store, all listed at 1/2 their cover price. Since the Goodwill Outlet only charges $0.25 per paperback, it's always a good deal for me. That stack there should net me about $22 in store credit and I only spent $2. Even if they only accept 2 of the books (they don't accept everything) I'll still have come out on top. Sweet, right?

Total spent at the Goodwill Outlet this trip: $8.36 (about $4 for toys, $4 for books)

What's your outdoor toy situation like? Do you prefer to buy used?

1 comment:

  1. Oh, BRILLIANT! I go to both, but never thought about getting books at the outlet to take to the exchange. I will be trying this soon! I've never read Trigiani, but I just read about her a couple of days ago in my Goodreads newsletter- I'll have to give her a whirl.


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