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Bargain shopping is a family tradition

I’ve never cared very much about owning specific brand names.  Even as a kid, I chose comfort and personal style over the latest fad.  I can only remember 2 times that I asked my parents for something brand-name specific.  Once I really wanted a pair of Guess Jeans (remember that little triangle on the back?), and another time I really wanted a pair of Z. Cavaricci pants. 

Remember these?

pants

Looking back, that was a time my parents should have said “NO!”.  Really, what was I thinking? That I could FLY with those wings?  At the time, I’m sure I thought I was cool. 

As an adult, I pay a little bit more attention to brand names.  I have come to learn that certain brands can be trusted for quality or customer service, while others are known for the opposite – especially when it comes to electronics or appliances.  However, I will still always choose comfort and personal preference over trying to follow the latest fads. 

No matter what I’m buying, I want a good deal. 

I credit my mom for instilling in me a love for bargains.  I grew up going to thrift stores and garage sales.  When we went shopping, we always looked for the clearance rack.  Mom and I still joke that for years I didn’t even know that stores had anything but sales racks because when she took me shopping, we went straight to the back of the store in search of the big red SALE signs.  I think she feels bad about not being able to buy more things “straight off the rack”, but I am thankful that she raised me to appreciate a good deal.  In fact, if you talk to people that have lots of money – millionaires even – you will find that they are big fans of finding the bargain, shopping yard sales, and taking home “doggy bags” from restaurants.  That’s HOW they hold on to so much money!

I figure why pay retail if I can get it on sale?  If I have a coupon good only for a certain day – that is when I will make the purchase.  If I can get it as a hand-me-down from a friend or second-hand from a thrift store, I get excited!  Between the grandparents and hand-me-downs from friends, I don’t think we bought more than a handful of outfits for Emily before she was 2 years old.  We loved it!  To this day she always prefers the hand-me-down clothes from friends that are already soft and broken in over the brand new, store bought clothes.

Emily is also a huge fan of yard sales, and it has become quite the weekend tradition for us to see what treasures we can find.  She gets excited when she can buy a toy for 50 cents or a dollar instead of paying full price at the store.  She also knows the benefit of selling the things she no longer wants or needs.  

As a wife and a mom who does not work outside the home, this is a small way that I can help our family be better stewards of our money.  After all, all that we have belongs to God and we are merely caretakers.  If I can make a few bucks holding a yard sale then I can contribute to our family income.  Sometimes I can even buy something at such a bargain that I can turn around and resell it for a profit!  If I can save a few dollars at a time buying things we need second-hand or on sale – that helps our family. 

Recently, I found 2 sets of sheets in perfect condition at a garage sale for $3.00 each.  We really needed sheets for our bed, and queen size sheets can run $50-100 easily so I’d been holding off making the purchase and was waiting to spot a good sale.  I’m so glad I waited!  $6 for 2 sets – what a deal!  I’ve also found several picture frames for 50 cents that needed nothing but a little paint to make them go with our décor – a great way to liven up our home inexpensively.

Today was another great bargain day!

This morning I went shopping for some t-shirts, tank tops and shorts.  I found the shirts easily enough (on sale!), but I was having a hard time finding the shorts I wanted.  They were either the wrong kind, the wrong size, too short, or too expensive.

By the way, what IS it with all the SHORT-SHORTS these days?  You would think that as a society, we are all shrinking in height at the way these shorts are shrinking.  I would really like some things left to the imagination (or to my husband), thank you very much!  Yikes!  This is a huge problem in the children’s department too – but that’s a pet peeve for another post.

Anyway, as I was leaving the store without purchasing any shorts, I remembered the thrift store near our house that I had been meaning to check out.  I’ve always loved going to Goodwill Stores, so I was interested to see what goodies I would find and just maybe I could find a pair of jeans that I could turn into shorts with my trusty sewing machine. 

5 minutes later – SUCCESS!

Almost immediately I had 3 pair of jeans picked out, tried on, and ready to purchase.   I ended up only getting 2 pair this time because I found a couple other things I wanted and had a limited amount of cash on hand.  The jeans were only $3.39 each and in like-new condition – what a bargain!

After a little cutting & hemming, I’ll have my cute denim summer shorts – and I get to choose the length!

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