Wednesday, January 21, 2009

I'm Kinda Glad It Happened...

Of course I am not glad that people are losing their homes. I am not thrilled AT ALL that I know SIX people who, in the past two months, have lost their jobs. I am not excited about the bail outs, to be quite honest with you. But when I see a preview for Oprah for a show that discusses "How to say no to your kids for the first time", (it is the FIRST TIME that rings in my ears) and I hear certain friends constantly say, "I can't afford it" when they are dining out all the time and buying expensive bags, shoes, etc. I am kind of glad that we are waking up. We, as a nation, need to STOP SPENDING so much money!! Parents who don't say no to their kids are raising children who are expecting to get what they want, and when they don't get what they want, what happens? When they graduate, what are they going to live on? Your money? Their credit cards? Credit card debt STINKS. It STINKS. And so many people are there. It is so hard to get out from underneath that weight. We did it though, and even though we owe my parents for adoption fees, we have no credit card debt. It is not always easy to do, but we pay it off every month.

Aside from the obvious regarding the state of our economy, here is how I know we are a country out of control. I ordered some clothes from a certain website for Patricia early on for another visiting family to take to Haiti. In my giddiness, I put her name on it, so when the package arrived it said "Patricia Shelton". Guess who just got her first credit card application? Patricia Shelton. From ONE order in her name.

Ok, I shall climb down from one soapbox and climb upon another. My thrift store soap box. I used to watch a child for free who had a single mom. Once when the mom came to pick up the child, she fell apart on my couch, crying about her financial situation. She clothed her child almost exclusively in Gap Kids (down to the socks and underwear). I challenged her to avoid the mall (this girl loves to shop!) I said that her going to the mall was like an alcoholic going to the bar. I challenged her to decide if her 4-year-old could have Target underwear instead of Gap underwear. And I said, have you gone to the thrift stores? She wrinkled her nose up at me. She was not interested. Well, for those of you who are, read on:

We need clothes for the kids for our trip to Haiti. Since we don't know exactly what sizes to get, we need to bring a few different things. In order to do that on a budget, I hit the thrift stores. This is my loot from Savers. Here is what I got for Patricia (ok, some of it is for when she comes home): two skirts; jean shorts; pink blouse; three sundresses; a denim jumper; and two pairs of pjs. For Philippe: two swimsuits (we get to take them to the pool at the hotel); two pairs of jean shorts; a pair of camo shorts, and a pair of slippers. I paid $33.00 for all of this. That averages out to about $2.00 per item. All items are in excellent shape, and some were brand new. Some of the brand names purchased: Old Navy; Children's Place; Osh Kosh B'Gosh; Carter's; Columbia Sportswear; Tommy Hilfiger and Kenneth Cole Reaction. The rest was Target brands.

Here is what I got at Salvation Army. For Patricia: six tops, a pair of capris, a skirt and a pair of slippers. For Philippe, three t-shirts. The total for these was about $37.00, which averages out to be about $3.15 per item. Eleven of these items were brand new from Target and one was a Gap polo.

Many thrift stores have brand new items. My favorite Salvation Army has what we affectionately call "Underground Target" because the downstairs is almost entirely merchandise from Target. I have found brand new toys, games, sporting goods for kids, cute jewelry, hand wipes, cleaning supplies, artwork (for Philippe's room!) and below you will see that I found brand new sleeping bags for the older two for $10 each.

You do have to be willing to look through things, but time at the thrift stores can be translated into great finds and extra dollar signs! Check it out!


Anonymous said...

I too am kind of happy we've been given a wake up call. I have 8 grandchildren and spend Thursdays from late April til mid October garage saling. I find the same name brands and have almost exclusively outfitted 6 of the grandchildren.

Anonymous from MI

Greg's Wife said...

Excellent. I love a good thrift store! Lots of great clothing- especially for children. My favorite thing to buy are cool, vintage aprons & sheets. You can get really nice ones (Wamsutta, Ralph Lauren, etc..) for like $3. Then I cut them up and sew clothing or curtains. You can make a big, huge prairie dress out of one king-sized sheet. I know because I cut one out and then decided I really didn't need a prairie dress. (What WAS I thinking?!) No big loss, though. The sheet was just $2. If it weren't pink I would have cut it up smaller and made clothes for the boys. Anyway- looks like you found some great deals, Dawn! And don't forget Craigslist! People regularly GIVE away huge bags of unwanted children's clothing on there... Thanks, Craig, for your list!

Jenny said...

Thanks for the Craigslist tip, Gregswife!

Yes, thrift stores are where I pretty much exclusively buy my kids clothes. And mine.

Good rant, dawn. Life is expensive enough on its own, and consumerism makes it unbearable.

Jinglebritches said...

Savers is one of my favorite places! I also LOVE to buy clothes for the kids "off season" but hand-me-downs are the best!!

Ruth and Alan said...

YOU GO GIRL!!!!! I love a good bargain! I have a closet full of brand name $1 bargains from Savers Dollar Monday. We'll be visiting there regularly before we go to China to get Jadon.

Tracy said...

Well, we don't have any money anyways - so I guess we can't worry about monetarily spoiling Charlotte - LOL!

Marla said...

Cute clothes and what great deals!! Good grief @ the credit card app. How sad is that.

Vivian M said...

Ebay is also a great place to shop for clothes. When we were getting ready to adopt Kerri, we bought a box FULL of clothes, most of them new with tags, for dirt cheap. Some of those clothes were donated to the orphanage, others to parents in our travel group, and when Kerri was done with the rest we passed them on to a friend.
To this day we hand down all of Kerri's clothes, shoes and toys to other families. I wish we had someone that would hand clothes down to us!
Another idea that I saw on TV was a clothing swap, where friends get together and bring clothes they no longer want (in good condition) and then everyone takes a turn "shopping" for free clothes.

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