Thrifting Fun Savings

“Industry, thrift and self control are not sought because they create wealth but because they create character.

-Calvin Coolidge


Thrifting fun savings!

I have grown up picking up random things from thrift stores, flea markets and swap meets.

Once I had kids, that abruptly stopped.

There was two reasons for that…

A. I couldn’t conceive of not having brand new for this precious baby.

B. It is not enjoyable to tote 4 kids 5 and under to a place that requires you to pay close attention to what you are doing.

Nope. Not happening.

REALITY set in… kids are expensive!

I started LOVING hand-me-downs!!!

Like all parents, I’d rather go without something so that the kids have the best and everything needed. 

Oh behold- You have found her highness, Queen of the Mommy Guilt!

There are so many members, I hardly recognised you! 😉

I feel bad and worry about EVERYTHING.

I believe I do it so much that I have simply sucked all the worry out of the air around here leaving everyone else free to enjoy relatively stress free lives.

W-E-L-L, that is, until I loose it and then the ship starts to sink as the brave Captain Handsome Prince is trying to bail the water out with a soup ladle and an air compressor.

With the holidays looming, we continue the quest to keep our budget as tight as we can go.

The Handsome Prince and I communicate constantly about the budget so we stay right on the mark and encourage each other.

Every dollar we can shave off can be applied to fun activities with the kids over their school breaks so it’s really worth the extra bit of work to make it happen.

Then yet another unexpected costly problem cropped up.

Min grew out of her jeans and tore the pocket of the only comfy pair.

K then announced, when it sounded like we may be heading to the store, that she would like to look for a something she needed too.

Of course Kenzie and Luc chimed in with their needs.

The stuff Blown Budgets are made of!

Foolishly, I wasn’t even thinking of thrifting fun savings.

I thought for a bit about how to save money but also get exactly what we needed. I wanted everyone to be happy. I didn’t want to dip into the “Fun Fund” and this wasn’t emergency enough to warrant the whipping out of the plastic card.

This was giving me heartburn.

Then K asked why I hadn’t taken her thrifting yet.

We had planned to but then she had her accident and it became no longer important.

She really wanted to go stroll around and hunt for neat stuff! I asked the other kids and they were THRILLED!

Not far from our house, a brand new Goodwill just opened. Less than a month old!

The kids and I set off to go Thrifting Fun Savings!

I must confess. I felt guilty walking up to the door.

Like I was going to get a giant tattoo on my forehead that says “Goodwill Cheapskate”.

For a second I thought, what am I doing?? I donate, not purchase!

Who do I think my poor butt is?!

Like everyone else in this economy, we’re rich in MANY ways… just none of those ways happen to be monetary at the moment. 😉

I was shocked to find the store was exceptionally clean and was packed with rack after rack of things!

Every color of the rainbow, every size, shape, cut represented!

There as even a rack of wedding dresses for $6.49!

I grabbed a cart and started strolling.

Racks are sorted according to what it is not size.

EVERYTHING IS A HUNT… but it really is fun and worth it.

Hello!? Anyone know how much real True Religion Brand Jeans go for?

I was going to buy them to resell if they didn’t fit anyone but it turns out they fit K perfectly!


(I looked them up when we got home and they were $289 when they first came out. You can buy them new online at Neiman Marcus for $89!


I’m feeling a little Lucky! 🙂

I told the kids that the keys to thrifting are:

1. Wear spandex shorts under a skirt to go thrifting.

Often there is no dressing room, so that way you can make do.

2. Look for the colors you desire, and then at the size.

There is 400+ shirts on a rack according to colors not sizes so you have to hunt a bit but it’s a waste of time to look through colors you wont wear or don’t want.

3. Inspect, Inspect, Inspect!!!!

Buyer Beware- check out the seams, hem, scanning for tears, rips, stains, front and back. If you sew you’ll know what you are willing to repair. If you don’t sew, pass on the fix it pieces. You know it’ll hang out in the back of the closet, never get fixed and end up back at the Goodwill in a few years.

4. What we DON’T desire Thrifting Fun Savings second hand.

That is a personal line. Right now there are a few of you creeped out at the prospect of purchasing anything second hand. That’s okay too. We need people to pay retail for us so we get the deal later. 🙂  I personally would not purchase a great many things second hand but the point is, there is an excellent deal to be had buying second hand. Most of the time the store supports local charities, foundations and people in your own community while keeping cash in your pocket. Win Win!

The kids were all having a fantastic time!

We don’t have cable (on purpose) but many DVD/VCR players that we are using less and less of.

I may be one of the only people left on earth that still gets stupidly excited about a selection of VHS on the cheap. Myself,The Handsome Prince and the kids, we all get happy about VHS.

We’re our own Heard Of Nerds. 🙂

How much does this Thrifting Fun Savings cost you?

Good Question!

Jeans $5.49

Sleeve less shirts $1.99

Blouse $3

Shirt $2.49

Jackets $6.49

Dresses $6.49

Books $1

DVD $1

VHS $.50

Ready for THE VERY BEST PART??????

We strolled up to the counter with a whole cart FULL!

Everyone found several things that they needed and/or wanted.

They all were chattering amongst themselves about the things they found and what they were getting. It was really cute!

The cool shirt Luc scored!

We purchased 10 VHS Tapes, 5 Pair of Jeans, 4 Pair of Pants, 16 Shirts, 1 Blouse, 4 Tank Tops, 5 Books, 2 Maxi Dresses (tags still on!!), 1 sun dress, 1 locker Magnet White Board (New).

That haul at our coveted Target would have cost us $400+.

I got the choice of cash or credit.


“Great! I can give you a discount.” the Cashier says.

Oh how I L-O-V-E the beautiful magic word to roll off the tongue of any cashier that is about to ask me to cough up our hard earned cash.

“Do you need a recipt for returns OR if you know you wont be returning anything I can give you another discount.” this magic cashier man questions.

I looked at the kids, ” Are you all sure?”

I was met with four adamant nods of approval.

“Discount me again my friend!

Kenzie’s shiny find!

The kids started whispering their bets on how much the total would be.

This was rather exciting!

Then we played lets make a deal.

He made an offer.

I countered with $6 less.

He accepted.

I wanted to hug him!

Our Grand Total…

Wait For It…

49 items for the LOW Price of $52!

Not Kidding!!!

Everyone scored something they are excited about.

I was THRILLED to spend so little for so much.

Thrifting Fun Savings got K’s cute behind into $200 jeans for less than $5!

As we pulled out of the parking lot I told them that I’d be washing it all and they’d have it the next day. Luc asked if we could go back again soon.

This, the kid you hates to shop, just asked to go shopping?!

All three of the girls echoed his desire to go back soon.

When asked why he liked Thrifting Fun Savings he said, ” It’s like a game. You have to hunt it down like following a map on a quest but sort of a mystery too because you never know what might be there.”

I LOVE the way this boy thinks.

Cute new top and jeans for Min!

Mini got her much needed jeans and they were exactly what she wanted.

Kenzie shopped the shirts and books this time.

We had an excellent time Thrifting Fun Savings together!

It was like a game. We laughed so much together at some crazy outfits. I watched siblings point out neat things together, ask opinions and help each other.

They are really proud of their finds.

We’re plotting to go again next week, but this time there are quite a few friends that are clamoring to join us. 🙂

Thrifing Fun Savings is a great family activity that has proven to bring us closer while filling our closets with wonderful things!

Next time we go, I have several bags of stuff to donate…

I can’t wait to see if I can haggle out a discount for donating too!

As I tossed everything into the wash for a good scrubbing, I can’t help but feel grateful and happy.

I am very grateful to have been able to provide some expensive, nice and wished for items for our children and NOT have to break the budget or go into debt for them.

I am grateful for 3 beautiful new dresses that the girls and I plan to share when the weather is nice again.

I’m grateful that K found such incredible jeans… and that I almost fit in them. 😉

I am grateful that these sweet children have learned how to be frugal, humble and work hard.

 I am happy that we had such a wonderful time Thrifting Fun Savings together.

We can’t wait to make many more memories having fun on a dime together.

Just because it’s second hand doesn’t mean it’s not good!

Cheap is just as good as full price but BETTER because you still have money left in the bank at the end of the transaction!

K’s Fox t-shirt and new jeans

I saw tons of Ann Taylor, Fox, Nordstrom brands, high end jeans, London Fog kids jackets with tags still on them, Land’s End, a crazy amount of Abercrombie down to the much cheaper brands as well.

It’s a buffet of awesome Thrifting Fun Savings!!

Get out there and SAVE!

Bless My Cheap Little Heart,


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  1. What a fun post and an excellent shopping trip. Thanks for sharing the story.

    • Heidi on November 14, 2012 at 8:39 am

    It is NOT good to give too much to your kids. How do you think we got to this point in our countries history? Parents gave in to everything their kids wanted regardless of the cost. They will do fine with used, less and /or less expensive.

    • Heidi on November 14, 2012 at 8:40 am

    So, no more guilt!

  2. Don’t feel guilty!! I didn’t grow up poor, but I sure did shop at second hand stores! I still love it (like your little guy said, it’s like a treasure hunt 😉 and my new favorite hobby is upcycling things I find, like tops that are beautiful fabric/colour but don’t fit right. I just pull out my scissors and have my way with them!

    Also, a wonderful way to shop is on consignment, some consignment stores only take brand name clothes in excellent condition, so the uber wealthy folks who don’t like last season’s stuff trade in their clothes for a bit of cash. I have to confess most of my wardrobe is stuff I bought on consignment!

    You might be interested in my blog’s link -up, Waste Not Want Not, for frugal tips and recipes 🙂

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