I’ve always liked a bargain. We didn’t have much money growing up so I started earning my own as soon as I was old enough. I started babysitting when I was twelve. When I had saved enough cash I would make the trek to Kensington Market to buy my wares. Gone were the days of back to school shopping at The Biway or Willy Wonderfuls. I could get unique vintage finds at a fraction of the cost of the chain stores. It is possible that my outfits resembled those worn by a homeless hippie instead of a teenage, but I thought I looked cool.
I soon lost all my babysitting gigs, as it seemed like the perfect opportunity to have friends over. Word got out around my neighbourhood that I wasn’t the ideal candidate to watch their children. I was resourceful. I spent a few years tagging laundry at Sketchley Cleaners , before I started my long career working in restaurants. All my extra earnings went to second hand goods. Rarely did I buy new. To this day, my favorite thing to do is to rummage through a quality thrift store, or a yard sale.
Online bargain shopping has served me quite well as of late. I found our current home on Kijiji, and that seems to be working out so far. I have also been shopping for a kitchen. I honestly did not realize how expensive kitchens are to buy new at the big box stores. Even when I opted for little to no perks in my kitchen, the price tag was enormous. We were dreaming of a giant kitchen in our gym. When “giant” in is the description, it simply costs more.
So I started looking for a bargain. I spent weeks trying to figure out how we could pay less. Hours were invested trolling Kijiji for the perfect kitchen that wasn’t broken, ugly, or from the 1980’s. My time was well used as I found the above photo in a very simple ad “18 feet of kitchen cabinets. High end German kitchen.” We were certain it was a scam but needed to investigate. We texted and called the number in the ad. I fretted that the seller wasn’t responding in a timely manner. Jess drove to Toronto to check it out. The kitchen was disassembled in a Russian guy’s garage. Jess took his word that all the parts were there and left a deposit. Two days later our kitchen was crammed in a U Haul trailer and at our door.
It now sits in our gym. There are some second hand issues we must overcome. There is a large hole in our island where a cooktop use to live. There are a few scratches, and some wear. It used to be a showroom kitchen. I am not in love with the countertops but for 1/10th of the cost of a new kitchen I can be easily swayed with some sweet talk and a well cooked meal in my affordable kitchen.
Our contractor and plumber are scheduled to arrive on Monday, and I can’t wait. The temperature has dropped. Last night, I wore a scarf and thick sweatshirt over my sweater to cook dinner. Memories of a very cold kitchen are already haunting me. Our gym is toasty warm, and I’d much rather cook in there.
Buying used is good for our earth, and our bank books. It takes a little more time than buying new, but you can always find a little treasure in another person’s trash.