Welcome to my blog about my experiences working in early childhood. I have called it Nurturing Forests because I believe that raising children is not a isolated activity but takes a whole community.

As early childhood professionals, we are actively involved in this process but we also need to work closely with the children, parents, community as a whole and other allied professionals.

I hope you enjoy my site. I also have a facebook site of the same name where I provide links to useful sites for teachers, parents and others interested in the early childhood: www.facebook.com/nurturingforests

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Searching for bargains

One aspect of me that seems to work very well in my new career is my constant search for quality materials at low prices especially as constant budget constraints are often a issue in the industry. There are a number of ways I look for bargains.

Michael and I have long held a love of the Rozelle 2nd Hand Market in Sydney ever since I dragged him into the Inner West (which much convincing) in 2005 (I'd lived in the area for years before.) I am now ashamed to admit that he realised its potential well before I did - he rarely buys his clothes anywhere else.

You will often find us at the markets both days (there are different stall holders) on nearly every weekend (unless we are in Newcastle) - we have also worked hard to convert my 10yr old step daughter to the cause... its working - she knows that if she buys stuff there she will get heaps more and really individual things - the other day she got a incredible huge pink flower ring (with diamantes) for 3 bucks! from London.

For example, today I bought...
- 3 second hand books - Atonement; A Oliver Sacks book on Music and the mind; & The unbearable lightness of being ($15) - I have a extensive library that I have been building for years - nearly all secondhand.
- 3 wooden trucks - one farm truck (incl 3 wooden animals), one fire truck and one digger (for a complete bargain of $12)
- Two fantastic Australian art books (for $8)
- and lots of plants - succulents, tarragon, jasmine, and curry leaf plant.(for about $20)

As you can tell was unsupervised by Michael today (he was at a work conference) so lots of cool things - otherwise would have had to buy him shirts and Lizzy dresses - like yesterday). I also find it great for real materials relating to a interest of a child.

In addition to the markets, I also subscribe to lots of sale sites, I LIVE on etsy.com (if you haven't been there go now....), and have signed up to I think nearly every loyalty card/email list in the known universe - Michael doesn't get it.

I love resource recycling centres such as Reverse garbage in Sydney http://www.reversegarbage.org.au/ and the recent gem from Sherry and Donna - Resource Rescue Craft Supplies .... http://www.facebook.com/home.php#!/resourcerescuecraftsupplies

The Internet is fantastic for finding the best deals. I must admit my sister in law is even better than me at this....she is a fantastic bargain hunter who even on sale sites will check out the prices all over the Internet before buying - she is also a great bargain traveller.

I am also trying to learn how to do things myself e.g. knit, felt, sew and so on. One of my goals is making knitted toys by the end of the year and the Knitters Guild are wonderful and provide free learn to knit lessons each month

I also hoard and borrow from family... simple things like used wrapping paper, scarves, buttons and so on all have a role ....

What do you do to snare a bargain?

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