My husband and I spend a lot of time in thrift stores. If you knew us BEFORE we had children, you wouldn’t believe that statement at all. Kids have definitely changed us. Before our kids, we were probably the worst money managers ever and believe me, we paid dearly for it! We made a lot of sacrifices so that I could stay home with our son and I have to say, I feel like our lives are all the better for it. One of those big changes was thrift store shopping.
I had only been into a thrift store a handful of times before I became pregnant with my oldest son. I did go there for some baby things and maternity clothes. At first, those stores can be overwhelming. There is just so much stuff – you have to have the patience to dig through it all. I’ve noticed this is especially true with children’s clothes because they seem to just chuck them all together from newborn to toddler sizes. It can be a bit tedious at first, but the more you do it, the more fun it can become. My son is 16 months old right now and I would say it’s safe to say 90% of his clothes are gifts, hand-me-downs, or thrift store finds. And he does not walk around with holey, dirty clothes. He’s a well dressed child. He also has some really nice toys we paid next to nothing for. So I don’t fret when he breaks something – he normally gets his use and then some out of it.
So this morning my husband, son, and my big growing pregnant belly set out for the Goodwill. We had a giant trash bag of clothes, toys, and shoes to donate before we went in to do our shopping. I try to ‘give back’ in any way I can and since our finances pretty much never allow a monetary donation, I feel like taking some gently used clothes or toys helps out another family just like ours. I also like to throw in some of my brand new handmade bibs or toys from time to time because I know I love finding boutique-y type things there myself.
This morning I started with the three huge bins of children’s clothes and it was a good day. Lots of size 18 months pants which my son is currently wearing and he was in need of a couple more pairs. I found a pair of jeans that looked brand new, some very gently used sweat pants (two pair we took), and a cute pair of shorts for him (each for $1.50 a piece). I actually found more than he needed so I left the rest. I also found two gently used receiving blankets for $1 each that I will use to line some diapers and make wipes. Next I made my way to the towels and blankets.
Today was a great day for diaper making finds! I found a yard of Finding Nemo fleece that will be good for pocket or AI2 diapers and regular diaper covers (paid $3) as well as a yard (possibly more, didn’t measure it before I threw it in the wash) of adorable blue bear fleece that’ll be great for the same. I found a giant fannel baby blanket for $2, a medium size minky blanket for $2, and a huge queen size sheet for $3. All of these work fantastic for my diapers and wipes. I possibly found enough today to finish out my stash when added with the other materials I have purchased or traded for. No towels today to make inserts from, but that’s ok, we can always go check again!
I finished off my shopping with a pair of Motherhood maternity jeans for $4.50. Not too bad since they’re my favorite maternity jeans and we simply can’t afford to pay retail for them. We were only there for about half an hour today too. I like to go early before it’s crowded and/or picked through 🙂 We don’t always find what we’re looking for when we go, but when we do, it makes me happy. There’s no way I could’ve purchased all that for what I did retail – even on clearance. And, it just makes me feel good to repurpose something.
So if you have an afternoon, an early morning, browse around your local thrift shop and see what you come up with. You won’t always find something you need, but it can still be fun to dig through other people’s old things 🙂