Monday, August 3, 2009

Garage Sale Convert

I love to talk about how cheap I am. And how I love a good deal. And how I'd never pay full price for anything. But, I'm afraid, I may be turning a corner.

My very most favorite place to shop is a local resale store that has tons of clothes, toys, housewares, etc. all organized very well by size (and sometimes color too). The clothes are usually only current seasonal clothes. And all the profits benefit a local children's home. Shopping at this store fulfills my need to avoid paying full price while, at the same time, satisfies my burning desire to find that one "diamond in the rough" - the item that some person donated but is still in excellent condition and would be worth 10 times its resale price when purchased new.

Shopping at resale stores goes hand-in-hand with children. I have long believed that it is silly to outfit my children in the latest full-price fashions with name-brand labels when they could (and very likely will) get stains on it that include ketchup, chocolate, blood, boogers, vomit, and poop. And sometimes not even their own.

However, since my children have gotten older, the darndest thing has been happening.... they are growing more slowly. And their clothes are needing to last a little bit longer. Years ago, my children never wore out their clothes because their ankles started showing beneath the pants hems before they ever wore out the knees. And their little belly buttons were sticking out the bottom of the shirts before I could worry about mending a ripping seam. But now? The hand-me-down pants that have already had one owner just aren't holding up to the test of time like I need them to. It also seems that little boys (mine anyway) have a knack for finding the perfect terrain upon which to scrape their knees and elbows. Most of their jeans, khaki pants, and sweatpants are threadbare.

So, this year, I am going to dig deep and pay a little bit more for brand new school clothes for my kids. Plus, I hate to admit it, but many of those brand-name labels that I swore were not worth the bigger price tag have actually been the rare items of clothing that has survived an entire season at the Texan Household. It looks like I may need to cut back a little spending on the school supplies. Sorry, Mrs. Gonzalez, you're going to have to make due with only 2 boxes of tissues from each of my kids instead of the requested 4. (By the way, what's up with that? Does the school pay for ANYTHING anymore? Don't get me started...)

12 comments:

HaB said...

I love second hand kids cloths and hand me downs. Don't get me wrong, I buy a few new pieces here or there, but, not alot. The problem we have, is because Madaline is so tiny and is not growing very fast, I get sick of seeing the cloths before she out grows them.

Emily said...

I have found that buying on clearance at the end of the season (internet is usually the best deal) the higher end brands is actually more cost effective than buying cheaper. And it took me several years, but I finally realized that my children actually don't need nearly as many clothes as I thought they did! Happy Shopping!

lov said...

you know i'm thankful we have target and walmart these days....that have super duper cute clothes, that aren't all that expensive either!

stephanie (bad mom) said...

I actually had a momentarily fantasy in which I flew down there to take you to a GAP outlet - my best friend says I have a magic aura that allows me to find unreal prices on their clearance stuff in exactly the sizes we need. And GAP stuff rarely stains or wears out; it's the most amazing clothing at garage sales & thrift stores.

So I will just send you good bargain hunting juju instead. :D

Anna See said...

paper towels, wipes, kleenex, gallon bags-- i get sick of buying all this stuff for school.

Jennifer said...

I've had the same experience. The nicer clothes just hold up longer, AND they have the added advantage that I can resell them myself... but with you I guess you could just hand them down to the next little one, which would be awesome as well.

For daycare we don't have to buy supplies, we just pay a supply fee once or twice a year, which I think is awesome. They can buy in bulk and get stuff cheaper and I don't have to worry about it. It would be way easier if schools could do that too. Just give the teacher $30 and tell her to have fun.

Nanny Goats In Panties said...

I admire your ability to have shopped fro 2nd-hand clothes as long as you have.

And I'd heard you had to provide your own toilet paper and things, but I thought it was a myth. They've taken the "public" out of public schools - sheesh!

Stopping by from SITS!

Hope you have a great week!

- Margaret

Bridgett said...

Two things (because I can't be quiet)...

I'm with Emily--I got some super cheap end of season hanna andersson and childrens place summer stuff last fall that my girls wear all the time now and are lasting like new. That said, I do hunt our Value Village because they seem to be clueless about what a higher end brand is (things second hand from Target sell for the same price as things second hand from talbots or childrens place). All of Sophia's uniforms are from Value Village, but we have a very relaxed uniform code. I still buy very little new, but then again, my boy is only 6 mos old. Who knows...

The other thing: school supplies! My older daughter attends a public charter school (3rd grade) and their school supply list is a pair of slippers/crocs to wear in the classroom (change out of outdoor shoes and keep the dirt (lead) out). That's it! Everything else is part of the curriculum (montessori), includng paper and pencils. But the preschool my younger daughter goes to, attached to this school but not public, is requiring 8 rolls of toilet paper--as the ONLY supply we're supposed to bring. So weird.

Donna's Days said...

I'm lucky that I've got a friend who loves to spend full price on higher end clothes for her daughter, who quickly out grows them and passes them on to me.

I just got a list of requested items for my youngest daughter's class...some of the things on there are just mind boggling.

Bentley Boutique said...

School supplies for my 2 8th grade sons today at Staples were over $500! That did include 2 calculators at $125 each, and 2 backpacks at $40 each, but still!! And as of last year, Walmart won't do anymore... now it's Hollister and American Eagle. Thank goodness they are boys, girls clothing would probably be over the top!!

dianthe said...

if you're in the Dallas area, check out http://www.divineconsign.net/ - it's a kids consignment sale and it's awesome - last year was my first year to participate and i got a lot of great deals - i'm hoping to buy my daughter's entire winter wardrobe at the upcoming sale!

Kacie said...

True. Have you tried Once Upon a Child?