Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Why my mom can't quit her job - Part II

As I discussed in a previous post, one of the perks of my mother's job working at the local Salvation Army Thrift Store (aka Sally's by those who love to shop there) is all the treasures she finds for me. However, another perk is all the clothes she's stocked my kids' drawers with over the years. While my second daughter is all set with hand-me-downs, my oldest needs new clothes as each season rolls around. I refuse to pay a lot for kids clothes. They wear them for such a short time and ruin them so easily, and I can think of 1,000 things I'd rather spend money on. A few weeks ago my mom switched departments at work from linens to children's clothing. So of course I knew this would benefit me directly and I asked her to be on the lookout for the sizes my oldest daughter is in now and will be in next year. Since then she has had me to come to look at quite a few stashes she's collected.
This is just one stash - 13 bottoms for $17. Boo yeah!
I don't care if my kids wear brand name clothing but if I can find quality used pieces for so cheap, then so be it!
Lot 1 of adorable summer dresses from Sally's, including one of my favorites, an April Cornell dress that probably cost about $50 new.

Lot 2 of summer dresses, including my least favorite, a My Little Pony sundress. I'm not a fan of most character clothing but I knew she'd love it so what the heck.
I was in Gap the other day picking up some maternity tanks for myself and found myself oogling over the adorable infant boy clothes (this was the morning before my ultrasound when I still had hope of dressing a boy and decorating a nursery like this.) I resisted tempation to buy this ADORABLE little giraffe one-piece "just in case" I found out I was having a boy:
Giraffes are my all-time favorite animal and this is SO CUTE! But $25 for ONE item of baby clothing???? Even with the 40% discount I would have enjoyed that day, $15 for something so easily stainable that would only be worn a few times would have been a big splurge for me. I'm sure I can pick up tons of gently used & beautiful infant girl clothes at yardsales for 25 cents to $1 a piece.
It just boggles my mind the amount of money people dole out on new brand name kids clothes (I'm not judging anyone, I just can't understand it). It's money that could be used to bless others in need, boost a retirement/savings account, pay down a loan or put towards a hobby. I love the feeling I get when I pay under $2/piece for gently used brand name clothes at consignment shops, thrift shops and yard sales. I can usually almost complete my kids' wardrobes this way (along with occasional hand-me-downs from friends) and what I don't find used I fill in the gaps with at WalMart or Old Navy sale rack. And then I only pay $3-5 an item. Between a few yard sales this year and last, a few trips to Sally's, and one trip to The Blessing Barn, I'm pretty much all set with clothes for my oldest to last her through till Christmas (when the grandparents buy them adorable new outfits) and even into next summer.

On one recent visit into Sally's I had my kids with me and after much begging I agreed to let them go look at the toys and books. I'm so glad we did! I came home with a big lot of mostly educational books...including a few about the human body, random trivia/facts, ideas for things to do on rainy days, one about grandparents with Alzheimers, even one about the legend of The Old Man in the Mountain (so when we take the kids up to NH and show them where he used to be...sniff...sniff... they'll understand what we are talking about).

We also scored a few new games and activities including Jenga, an electricity lab kit, and a Ravensburger game called Hip-Hop Hooray (includes charades, funny stories and silly drawings). Oh yeah and two VHS tapes - The Never Ending Story (my hubby's all-time childhood favorite) and Beauty and the Beast cuz our old one broke. I didn't pay more than a couple bucks for any one item.

Of course I spied with my eagle eye another small green glass jar I can use as a bud vase and scooped it up, because I never have enough of was a big splurge at 40 cents. :)

So while continuing to work at Salvation Army Thrift Store, my mom has been seriously hunting for a job in medical coding for a while now. She recently went back to school for coding and is officially certified, but coding is a very competitive industry with hardly any job openings right now, especially for people without previous experience. I joke with her that God isn't ready for her to quit Sally's just yet. I'm half convinced he wanted her to get transferred to the kids clothing department to help stock up our kids closets first and then he'll provide her with a new job. :) 

I'll be very happy for my mom when she can finally start her new dream career. I'll still shop on the cheap at Sally's but instead of reaping the benefit of my mom's 1/2 off discount every day, I'll just have to plan to go on Wednesdays when the whole store is on sale 1/2 off for regular customers. When my kids aren't in tow and I actually have time to browse, I can score some pretty amazing deals on brand name and unique clothes for myself as well.


Anonymous said...

I LOVE that you find deals on such great clothes for the kids! I am TRYING to do better at this and you inspire me : ) Thanks for all the advice.

After I wrote you last week, I went to like 6 yard sales on Sat and was able to fill our backyard with outdoor toys for Dylan (mostly Little Tykes stuff) for around $60 total! We also were "recycling" a Little Tykes picnic table someone threw on the curb (just needed a little TLC) and the woman came out of her house and asked us if we also wanted a Little Tykes slide that was just like new! So we scored 2 things for free that Dylan absolutely loves on top! Now he can have hours of fun in our own backyard and I don't care if the stuff gets rained on, etc.

Feels great to know we saved so much $$ - esp with another one on the way!

Mktg Agency Mom said...

This is Lisa S by the way...not sure why my name didn't come up

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