Suburbanites: Buy Your Tree in the City

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Last year I made a shocking discovery:  our fake tree had a lead content.  I actually read the guide that came with it and there was an advisory to not put presents under the tree until the night before.  With small children, I couldn’t legitimize doing anything other than buying a real one.

I was expecting to spend $60-100 on the tree, which was a real bummer.  But the boyfriend took me to a place in the city that sells them.  He couldn’t understand why I was so stressed out about the budgeting.  When we got there, they had all the same beautiful varieties I was used to seeing in the suburbs (where I lived the last time I bought real.)  The trees were brought in from farms in the boonies, just like the ones I was used to.  The only difference?  The price.  $30.  For any tree.  Any tree.

We talked after and he told me that price was pretty normal.  Some places in the city sell for less.  Some sell for a little bit more.  I have no idea if this is a phenomenon unique to the city of Pittsburgh or if it’s a widespread thing that I simply never knew about.  Either way, check out your tree places in the city.  At least in Pittsburgh, you’ll save a ridiculous amount of money without sacrificing any quality.

*Part of Frugal Friday at Life As Mom*

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32 thoughts on “Suburbanites: Buy Your Tree in the City

    1. femmefrugality

      I had little fake ones for a while when I lived in tiny spaces. The smell of fresh is amazing, but they’re so messy! I’d take the convenience of a fake tree anyday, EXCEPT for the fact that it might kill me or my family members, apparently…

      Reply
    2. Maggie

      Fresh trees are beautiful, but they can harbor preying mantis eggs that can hatch in the house. Fresh trees with no bugs have usually been sprayed with pesticides. My grandson had baby mantids all over his bedroom!!!

      Reply
  1. CF @ OutlierModel

    I’m a bit anal about cleanliness so I’ve had a fake tree in the past. However, the new condo is small enough that there isn’t really room to store a fake tree year-round. We might actually get a real one this year. At ikea, they have them for $20.

    Reply
  2. nicoleandmaggie

    DC1 was born during the big Lead from China scare. We have baby toys from Germany and I couldn’t buy a fake tree.

    Every year we get a small live rosemary bush in the shape of a tree. And every year we plant it in the yard after Christmas. Some years it even survives!

    Reply
  3. Janine Huldie

    Never actually had a real tree and I am 35 years old. god only knows the amount of lead exposure I have had every Christmas because of this. Thanks for sharing and am also sharing.

    Reply
    1. femmefrugality

      No prob! I was so disturbed when I found out. If anyone’s using the fake one, most of the directions say to leave the presents under the tree the night before at most! Thanks for sharing!

      Reply
    1. femmefrugality

      Oh! I may have been misleading. I don’t cut my own down, so I dodge any crying that may or may not happen. :p But with the lead thing in fake trees, I buy ones that other people have already cut down. Scary as heck.

      Reply
  4. Meredith

    We just bought ours on Friday! It was so expensive. But yes, I wonder if they do jack up the prices at tree farms since people will pay more for the whole “cutting down a tree” experience? Mmmhh…now I’m wondering how much I would pay if we didn’t buy them this way!

    Reply
    1. femmefrugality

      I do, too. We don’t cut our own, but I’d be pretty p.o.ed if they charged me more so that I could do my own manual labor. Yay for the new tree! I can’t believe it’s that time of year already.

      Reply
  5. Miss Caitlin S.

    Saweeet! That’s a good tip. I’m hoping to be able to go to an XMas tree farm but I don’t know if we’ll have time to do it so if that doesn’t work- I’ll definitely hit up this tip! Easy enough too since I live downtown 🙂

    Reply
  6. jefferson @SeeDebtRun

    we have always gone the fake tree route, and this is the first i have heard of lead issues.. but i will absolutely look into it.. i think we bought ours at wally world about 5 years ago.. so if any of them have lead– ours probably will..

    maybe this will be the first year the we go get a real one..

    Reply

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