Sometimes I think, "Wow, I am so cheap. Is it even possible for me to be any cheaper?"

Then something like this comes along.

Thomas Tank Engine Roundhouse Train Set
Retail Price $599.00

My version (are you ready for this!?):

Thomas Tank Engine Set, Special Cheap-o Edition
Retail Price: $2.00

I went to K-mart and they had these doodle things inside Thomas Tank Engines for $1.00 a piece, so I splurged and bought 2. I cut the boxes apart and taped together pictures of the track and glued the background of each box onto the paper. (I got "crazy" and added another sheet of track for him.) He likes to color on it, which he probably would have done on the $600 real set too. I am not kidding when I say that this thing has been occupying him for days.

2 year olds are so easy to please... sometimes.


  1. We've been wanting a train set, but they are just too expensive. Maybe we will have to try your version.

  2. I'm all for being cheap, but this is embarrassing! and sad. You could've use some milk cartons or small boxes and made houses! and you couldn't spend $0.50 on a piece of cardboard for the base? Cristin, I think you need to make a new one to redeem yourself.

  3. I don't think even a fake blog (previous post) could get much better than this! :)

  4. Kelley is right... (that version belongs in the trash!) I mean when I saw the "tracks" you made with marker, I thought, that is pathetic! Atleast you could have drawn some straight lines!

  5. haha, that is awesome. The tracks COULD use a ruler though... :) My bad cheap habit is that I find toys at DI...sounds gross and I do my best to really sanitize my finds, but I've found all SORTS of treasures there! And I'm laughing because JUST today I was thinking about punching some holes in the lid of a just finished container of cottage cheese to give to Leyna for use as a bath toy.

  6. Awesome! When times are tough, you make due with what you have.

  7. Do you think you could splurge on a few more pieces of paper so that my grandson could make his train engines choo-choo around a complete loop?

  8. if it keeps them occupied, job well done. my boys are obsessed with trains and my husband is outside right now building his own make shift train table they've been working on over the weekend. it's going to get destroyed anyway and they're having more fun putting it together.

  9. I'm talking about garage sales and craigslist! Very creative Cristin!

  10. I will come out lurkdom to tell you that I absolutely love your train set up! I'm a big believer in play that is creativity based and not expensive toy based. Yeah!!! This is awesome. Another cheap idea - contact local newspaper printing places to see if they'll give you the end of their rolls - then you could make him a whole loop or go to the dollar store and get a paper tablecloth - you could add bushes, trees, rivers - whatever - I'm seriously stealing this idea for my preschool!

    I don't remember how I originally came across your great blog - but I'm not a total stranger to your extended family - your husband's Aunt Jackie is an old friend - our dads served in a stake presidency together. You are so fun to read!



Related Posts with Thumbnails