When it comes to secondhand shopping, patience is key. I’ve found over the years that I can get just about anything secondhand, if I’m not in a hurry. So I try to make sure that no shopping trip is ever an emergency. For the most part, this is pretty easy to do with a combination of knowing that most of what we buy is a want rather than a need, along with lots of planning ahead for things that I know we’ll need in the future, particularly for clothing, shoes, and outerwear for our boys.
Other than the dress shoes I bought last month, I hadn’t bought myself any shoes for a long time. I had my running shoes and flip flops, along with a couple of pairs of casual shoes, and I hadn’t seen anything else that caught my eye. But this past weekend, my garage sale and Goodwill adventures netted me some great new shoes.
A few years ago, I was with a good friend when she bought a pair of red Keen Mary Janes. I loved those shoes! I thought they looked great on her, but they weren’t worth $89 to me, so I didn’t get a pair for myself. But I did file them away in my mental shopping list of things to buy if I ever see them secondhand. And last weekend at Goodwill, I found them in my size, in great condition, for eight dollars. So now I have these:
They have almost no wear on them, and they’re just as cute and comfy as I knew they would be. And $8 is a lot easier on my budget than $89 would have been.
I also got a great pair of Nike sandals at a garage sale last weekend for a dollar. Yep, just one dollar for these:
The hot pink insoles (love them!) are removable, so I took them out and washed them once I got them home. Good as new, perfect fit, light as a feather, and a great alternative to flip flops during the summer.
So now my shoe wardrobe is all set for another few years with some good quality additions, and I only spent nine dollars. You never know what you’re going to find at garage sales and thrift stores, but as long as I remind myself that I don’t really need much of anything, I can just wait until I find things secondhand.
The main reason I was at the garage sales and thrift stores in the first place was to find school clothes for our son, who will be starting kindergarten in August. Again, I’m not waiting until the last minute here: I’ve been slowly procuring clothing for him for the last few months, spending very little money in the process. Since I started early, I’m able to be very choosey about what I buy for him. If you have kiddos who are going to need school clothes in the fall, start looking now at yard sales and thrift stores so that you’ve got time to find what you need without feeling pressured to run to the mall the week before school starts. It definitely pays off in the long run.
Anyway, I knew we would be needing some good shoes for school. Our son loves Crocs and wears them everywhere, but I don’t think they’ll work so well for school. I don’t know for sure, but I’m assuming that he’ll probably have to wear something other than Crocs at least on days when he has PE class. And once the snow flies, it would probably be frowned upon if I sent him to school in foam shoes with holes in them. So I’ve been on the lookout for shoes for him too. And last weekend I found these at Goodwill for three dollars:
He wears a size 12 and these are a 13, so they’ll be perfect for this coming school year. They’re from the Gap, and have basically no wear at all on them. They look brand new inside and out, and the velcro makes them easy to get on and off. Exactly what I was looking for, and the price was right too.
So it was a good shoe shopping weekend around here!
And just for a little extra fun, I also found a new wallet for a dollar. I’ll be taking my old wallet (which was also a thrift store find) to the local consignment store on Friday when I drop off some other things and it will probably net me more than I paid for it. Buying cute accessories secondhand makes it a lot easier to switch things up when you find something you like better. I couldn’t pass up this Clarks wallet (it was a dollar!), and I was ready for a change after having a grey wallet for the last year:
Look how cute the inside is!
By going to Goodwill (and garage sales during the summer) about once or twice a month, I’m able to get pretty much everything our family needs – and a lot of stuff that’s just nice to have – and it all fits into an almost negligible line item on our budget. Just the way I like it!
I also have a book to give away to one of you. This was a thrift store purchase a while ago, and I enjoyed reading it. But for the most part, I prefer to pass books along to other people after I’ve read them (and we mostly read library books, which is a perfect revolving door of new books all the time!). So if you’re interested in The Tightwad Gazette III, leave a comment on this post to be entered to win it.
It was fun to browse through this book. It’s from the mid 90’s, so some of the stuff is a funny walk down memory lane (like reader ideas about giving your AOL address to friends and family in your Christmas card so that they can start communicating with you via this new-fangled internet thing instead of pricey phone calls). But most of the info is just as valid now as it was in 1996. So if you want some frugal inspiration, this book is a great read. The giveaway is open to anyone with a US address. Get your comment in before noon EST on Monday, June 24th, and I’ll draw a winner that afternoon. Good luck!