Friday, October 03, 2008

Runny noses and deep thoughts.

I have a cold. It is a real cold this time, and not allergies with me thinking it is a cold. My bones ache. My nose is runny, but not painful, and my eyes don't itch. So I have a cold. This makes me want to sit. Sitting makes me want to write. So here I am... when I should be going to bed, writing. lol... Please bare with my rambling thoughts.

I have been thinking about new things lately. How much they are really worth. It is a revamp of the thoughts I had right after watching this video The Story of Stuff. It is amazing how this theme can come up again and again in your life.

I have never bought much new stuff. I try to buy used, not just because it is cheaper (sometimes it isn't... Goodwill rivals Old Navy for prices) but because it has way more character. No one is going to have the outfits I find for Cyan at Goodwill. Nor the old, Transformer sweat shirt that I found for Alex. But mostly, I have always done it because it is the ultimate in recycling. I have found AMAZING things at Goodwill. Sometimes I will search for long enough, and really need something enough, to go to a store like Target (never Walmart). But for the most part, I find everything I need... from furniture to clothing (aside from underclothes) at Goodwill and Value Village.


The birth order, and years I had my children made it impossible to do the hand-me-down thing. They are 12, 7, and 20 mos and boy, girl, boy. lol... Want to keep those gender neutral things for 5 or more years at a time? No thank you. No clutter for me. So Goodwill is my hand-me-down place. I have been lucky with my younger two, that I had a close friend, both times, with a girl, and then a boy, just a smidge older to pass down those gems that survive toddler hood when they are growing the very fastest. But for the most part, I have had to buy everything 'new to us' for my kiddos. It doesn't take time for me. I spend about an hour there a month right now.

Just this week, I have found Cyan two jean skirts, long enough for me to be comfortable with her wearing them, two long sleeved white shirts to go under those short sleeved shirts we got to wear for so little a time this year, and a sweatshirt. All pre-shrunk, so I knew they would still fit after I washed them. I also, in that same trip, found three tiny vases for flowers (I collect tiny vases, and serving platters, but I am picky), six salad plates with tiny red flowers on them, and found Logan a pair of jeans, and a blue down vest from GAP. New, that sucker would have cost me $40. At Goodwill, it cost me $3.99. The entire trip cost me $25.72 (with tax). Two pairs of toddler jeans I was looking at in Old Navy next door were $16.50 a peice/ $35.45(with tax)... that is more than my Goodwill total for three outfits (and more) by $8! lol!

Some places don't have good thrift shops. Ours are not great. You do have to work some magic to get anything out of them and often it is a hunt anyway... but sometimes, you are able to just pick up some gems you never thought you could. The last time I was there, I picked up Cyan's ball gown. I had to take it in... because I bought it size 12 and my daughter is only size 7... but it was long and beautiful and no one knew the difference.

I enjoy living like this. It is built in to me, though. That is the way my parents did everything. The shelves I bought were used, the table we got was used (and the one it replaced was used too). The desk my computer sits on, our bed... in every room in our home, there is stuff, that used to be other peoples stuff.

Some people call that poverty, I call it smart character.

1 comment:

Beth said...

I can respect what you wrote entirely and would be a liar if I said I didnt live similarly but there are differences too. I buy my boys clothing new because I dont buy at regular store prices. I shop clearance and sales racks ONLY always. I also buy when its off-season for the following year. I get namebrand clothing for my boys sometimes for pennies on the dollar because of the clearance sales! We dont have a thrift store here locally so my thrift store shopping is done in Reno and I love love love to find wonderful things for our home there (and more recently, for my daycare)! I am guilty of buying most of our living room and dining room furniture new just for the simple fact that I want it to last longer than I do and I cant seem to say that for alot of the thrift store furniture - atleast not at the ones I go to. So new it is and if I put the money out for the "good stuff", it'll last like I need it to.

Frugal. Poverty. Call it what you will. Smart.