Yes, yes, dear. Of course, you are right. But it's the thrill of the thing... a gal aught to have a little bit of thrill once in a while. (You can see here that I am really rather easy to please... he aught to be very grateful.)
So today, I took the kids in search of garage sales and we had a great time and SAVED a bunch of money. If my husband wants to focus on how much we SPENT... well, I guess he can just be that glass-is-half-empty kind of guy if that makes him happy.
The biggest find was a "new" bike for Crash. The kid has been without wheels for many weeks. First, his hand-me-down rollerblades broke and then his bike bit the dust. An 11-year old boy without wheels is like a fish without water.
I've been looking for bike deals for a while and have passed on rusty, worn jobs that are regularly featured in yards. But today, I found the the perfect sized bike with working breaks and tires that still have the treads. They were asking $40, we got it for $25. The boy is happy, happy, happy. And I saved at least $15.
I can't wait to tell the Chief that I saved him hundreds today. I saved $200 on one dress alone. It's true! Someone, somewhere spent way too much money on a handmade boutique dress and gave it to a child who never wore it. Then they gave it to the Salvation Army who sold it to the woman I bought it from. I paid $2 for a little girl's dress that still has the original price tag of $200.
The kids found some Christmas presents today as well. One is a lovely used item and the other is still in it's packaging. The total for two Christmas gifts = $1.50. Even my penniless kids can handle that (by December anyway).
They do like to haggle. One of my youngsters today set a personal goal for his trip: "I would like to find something for 50 cents and only pay 40." He was successful. He thought he saved 10 cents but I was quick to inform him (on behalf of the Chief) that he has simply spent 40.
In spite of the fact that I never buy anything I don't need at garage sales *ahem*, my kids are terrible at this. Truly terrible. It is a great blessing, in fact, that they have so little spending money. They would buy the junkiest, most useless stuff ever. Actually, they manage to do that anyway but not in tremendous quantities. I could put a stop to the insanity every time but at some point, a mom's got to let a kid learn those hard lessons. You don't have enough money for the new fill-in-the-blank you want to buy? Ah. Well, I guess you shouldn't have spent all your cash on:
a used racquetball.
a broken ipod.
a mug with the handle on the inside (it's a "Polish" mug, folks)
And no, I'm not joking. My kids actually bought those things and I actually didn't stop them.
I, on the other hand, found another adorable dress for Jellybean. Gymboree in perfect condition with little embroidered giraffes and cute things... $1
Yes, yes, dear... it adds up. But it would add up significantly faster if I actually shopped at Gymboree.
Shoes are always a great thrifting victory. While the idea of wearing other people's old shoes does not appeal to the Chief (something about foot fungus scares him off) I think that kids' shoes are not usually as gross; first, because they grow out of them so quickly; and second, because kids don't have foot fungus nearly as often as adults.
My successes today:
Suede boots for next Winter for Jellybean. $1
Mass shoes for Little Cub when he's a bit bigger. $1
Free Stuff. Because my kids are so well-behaved when we go to yard sales, they inevitably score free stuff from people who would rather give stuff to us than have to pack it up again. I can't say that most of the free items have been nice. Most of it hits the trash within 24-hours. But it certainly makes the trip more entertaining for the littles. Today was no exception.
I should have said no. I don't know why I didn't. I don't even like new Barbie dolls and have never purchased any... and now, my daughters are in possession of 3 ratty, creepy looking fashion dolls in outfits right out of an Abercrombie catalog. When the woman offered the dolls, Button looked at me with her best puppy dog eyes and I (hungry, tired, and confused) said yes.
Once we got in the car, I got hold of myself and told them to enjoy the moment because they were not keeping them, nor were those things entering my house. They played with them for an hour on the driveway and now... the dolls are mine *evil laugh*.
No offense to those of you who allow Barbies in your house. I simply can't tolerate them.
Some people mistakenly think I'm a nice mother. But they have no idea that I throw out Barbie dolls. :)
Joining Jen at Conversion Diary for 7 Quick Takes Friday