Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Thomas on a Budget

Z's favorite stores are those with train tables. He would spend all day playing with the different trains if I let him. I remember when Z first found the train table at TRU, he was probably 12 months old and at that point he just liked picking up trains and carrying them around the table. I remember looking around at the different train merchandise and whenever I first saw the price of one Thomas the Tank jaw dropped! $10 for a little toy train! And that was a small train...the prices range from $10-22 and that does not include the accessories and track :) I remember saying to myself at that moment..."we will have generic trains in our home, who cares about Thomas anyway?!?".

Well let's fast forward to a year later....after reading a lot about the quality of the different kids of wooden tracks...I decided to go with either Brio or Thomas. Z plays with the Brio trains that I grew up with at my parents house. The quality is great and I knew that whatever we bought for Z, we would save for our grandchildren. Brio is hard to come by these we opted for the commercial Thomas the Train.

After deciding to go with the wooden Thomas trains, I decided to do my best to hunt for the best bargains and sales. So far we have saved so much money! I have hit craigslist, ebay, sales at TRU, sales at AC Moore and then this great website. We have not paid full price for one item and this makes me feel a little bit better. The yard sales and craigslist are the best bet. You can find some high quality stuff for very little money.

So far Z has an imitation train mat and a few Thomas pieces...this weekend, for his birthday, he will get a few sets of track and one simple destination. We then decided to take all of the stuff we bought for him at the yard sales and on ebay and spread it out over the next year. Rather than getting everything on his birthday and Christmas (too overwhelming for a little guy)...he will be enrolled in the "Train of Month Club". Each month, he will get either a train or an accessory. This will spread out the fun all year long :)

So yes, these trains are ridiculously expensive....but if you know where to can do it on a budget :) And BTW I am doing pretty good with out my credit card ;)


Lisa said...

Train of the month? That is such a cool idea! Yeay you for being a great bargain hunter!

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