Friday, June 27, 2008

Shabby Chic

Recently I heard that someone was surprised that I buy my kids clothes at garage sales. Apparently, this person can’t see anything WRONG with that, but can’t bring herself to dress her own child in such a fashion.

Poor girl.

She’ll never know the joy of finding a cute outfit for a quarter of the new price, or better yet, a quarter. Her kids will have to settle for the 3 toys that come in a package at the store those few times a year, rather than getting something new every week, like my kids. (Seriously, they think garage sales are like Christmas…in fact, last year, most of their Christmas gifts were FROM garage sales.)

She’ll also have lots of tears as she watches her kid eat or play in that outfit off of which she just took the tags. It will never look as pristine again.

I LOVE to go to garage sales. Maybe not as much as my friend Crystal, but more than the average mom, I’m sure. I love the rush of getting an item for next to nothing, and I love hauling into the house bags of stuff after spending so little.

Also, I really love being able to give my kids new toys and books for no reason and not worry about the cost. Last weekend, I got Leah 4 new puzzles (24 pieces each – the perfect size for her) for $1 each. She also got a fantastic ABC puzzle/game, which has only piece missing out of at least 78. That’s a pretty good track record for any puzzle, new or otherwise, after it’s been in the house for a week.

In addition, the kids got a stack of cool books, a swimsuit & hat for Leah, and a couple outfits, winter outfit and pjs for Ben. Aaron thought the winter outfit (one piece fleece) and pjs (3 piece set) looked worn, but I assured him that those fabrics would look that way after having been washed twice anyway.

Another benefit of second-hand clothes, no matter the source, is that you are less likely to be emotionally attached to them (unless, of course, it was a SUPER good deal) so you are then less likely to hold onto them forever. Kick those suckers out at YOUR next sale!

Speaking of, it’s become my habit to have, or contribute to, a garage sale right away in the spring. Then, the cash I make there (between $80-$200) goes in a baggie as my funds for buying “more useless junk” as Aaron says when he’s trying to get me worked up. He doesn’t argue too much, though – he knows how much I’m saving on the kids clothes alone.

Of course, we’re still debating over whether or not they really NEED all the clothes I find for them.

Since the kids were with me last weekend, most of my “shopping” revolved around them. When I’m with adults only, I like to look through the random piles of miscellany. You never know what you’re going to find, and that’s almost all of the fun. I am also the one who buys crayons & markers at garage sales. I’m a little type A (as I may have mentioned before) and it really bothered me to see Leah breaking her crayons. Not anymore! Go ahead, honey, drop them on the floor as much as you like – that whole bag was 50 cents!


JJ and EJ said...

heehee... yay garage sales... or for me - getting the same great deals without having to leave my computer -- yay tbay!

Yes, I did get your bday message - thank you! We'll see you next weekend! : )

Suzi said...

You go girl!!!

Last week I went to about 6-8 garage sales looking for kids clothes and found nothing. And most of them had kids clothes, it just wasn't the sizes I needed. So I ended up going to Savers because Lincoln really needed jeans. They were more than a garage sale, but still a lot cheaper than the retail stores.

I'm all for garage sale clothes for kids (I myself of course need to try clothes on before buying them). You might as well save money now because once they get older they may refuse to wear garage sale stuff - it isn't cool.

I did feel a bit cheap giving Lincoln a garage sale toy for his birthday. But he doesn't know the difference and it was something I knew he'd love. Plus I save a bit of money, so I don't feel that guilty.

Aaron said...

Using crayons from a bag of 200 mixed and broken crayons really makes you appreciate the fresh box of 64 when they finally do get it. Remember that tupperware thing filled with broken crayons? We were constantly searching for the two black crayons in there. Many a picture was ruined by accidentally giving something an unintentional dark blue filling.

Noel said...

A couple other benefits...

* One doesn't feel as bad when the child refuses to wear the outfit for an unarticulated reason becuase it was purchased at garage sale prices and will be sold for about the same on the next garage sale.

* In the event a family member actually enjoys shopping for clothes (as opposed to going into a stong phobic reaction within 15 minutes of entering a clothing store), garage sales keep them out of higher priced venues for satisfying the shopping obsession.

-- Noel from Fargo