I love to dress my kids in name brand things and still be able to afford my food and housing! One way I do this is to shop a year ahead. It is a little tough when they are small and you're not sure how they are going to grow. However, I usually am pretty on target for the most part. I figure that even if I miss some things because I guessed wrong, I still am spending less than retail overall. Plus, I do a lot of clearance shopping, especially for bigger boy clothes, which are very hard to find. I keep the tags on them and if I'm wrong, the resale shop will ALWAYS buy them from me with tags. I can't tell you what a rush it is to open up my Rubbermaid bin for the next size up and see it stocked with clothes for my kids. I do fill in the gaps with things on sale in the current season. However, I don't feel bad spending more on matching Christmas or Easter outfits when I've been so careful on the rest of their wardrobe.
I love to decorate my home with Pottery Barn-ish type things, but can't afford it! So I look at the catalogs to get ideas and then I garage sale to find adorable things that I can refinish, recover, paint, or just use how they are. I was inspired by my college friend, Angela, who has the most beautiful home and half of it is decorated from her resale shopping. She once told me that she garage sales so that her family can have a higher standard of living than they could normally have on one income. That really stuck with me and inspired me to search for treasures! I watch blogs, too, and get ideas on how to make things beautiful for not a lot of money. They have so many tutorials on these unbelievably easy projects that look like a million bucks!
I used to stay away from the Mom-to-Mom type sales because I like to barter. At those, they usually have everyone give their stuff and they group it all together by size and such. I feel like they can be really overpriced. I found out they have the same types of consignment sales, but each person has their own table and you can barter! What an exciting find! It's like a massive kiddie subdivision garage sale, but it's indoors and has a bathroom! I went to two of these today with my friend, Sarah. We got all the way through the 80 tables at the first and through a portion of the second one before it closed down.
I was a little shocked when I added up what I had spent. I thought Ryan would kill me for sure when he found out I spent $189!! So I had to come home and really catalog my finds to see if it really was as great of a deal as I thought. This is what I bought:
1 Leapster Game
2 sets of flashcards
1 brand new pair of ballet slippers
1 pair shin guards
18 pair pajamas
2 pair flip flops
1 swim shirt
13 pair shorts
3 pair socks
13 pair pants
2 baby one piece outfits
I felt so much better when I realized that I had purchased 150 items for $189!!!! I hope that, as my friends have inspired me, I can inspire you! Garage Sale shopping is not only great for your bank account, but it's great for the environment, too. Reduce, reuse, recycle, right?! Now go hunt for your bargains!! Happy shopping!