Our second grader (my how time has flown!) is in choir this year. He absolutely loves it, and looks forward to Tuesday mornings despite the fact that he has to be at school 50 minutes early for choir practice. We love seeing him have so much fun with it, and we’re glad he decided to join.
Joining choir was only $3 for the whole semester (hard to beat that deal!) but the kids also need a plain white shirt, black pants, and black shoes for their choir performance in December. Our son’s regular school shoes are an awesome pair of black Keens that we found in a thrift store in new condition last spring, so we’ve got the shoes covered. But he didn’t have any black pants other than sweats, and he doesn’t have any plain white shirts.
But that’s ok, because I knew I’d easily find those things in my normal shopping trips to the local thrift stores. I go to the thrift stores once or twice a month, with a list of things that we currently need. We keep the list updated regularly, and I’m always planning ahead with my list – don’t want to get stuck looking for mittens in November. I’ve been to the thrift store twice since school started. The first time, I struck out on the choir outfit. But last week, I found a great pair of black Children’s Place pants, exactly his size and with cinchers at the waist to make them fit just right. They were $1.50, and looked like they’d never been worn (maybe they were some other little boy’s choir pants?)
I didn’t find a shirt I liked yet, but we don’t need it until December. And I know I’ll find exactly the right shirt another day, almost certainly for less than $3.
My husband also needed new belts. His dress belt was started to get a bit worn out, as was his casual belt. I found him one of each, for $2 apiece, both in great shape (I took a tape measure with me, so I could make sure the belts I found would fit him). Later that day, I spotted the dress belt at Costco for $18. That $16 savings went to much better use buying delicious food at Costco instead of a belt.
I know I sound like a broken record with my “buy everything used” motto, but it really is one of the main reasons we’ve been able to grow our net worth so much over the years. If we had spent our money on new clothes and belts, those things would be worth very little now… about the same as the used-when-we-bought-them clothes that are currently in our closets. But because we bought stocks and a house with that money instead, our money has been growing instead of depreciating. And every time we’ve purchased something used, we’ve been a little kinder to our planet, since new resources didn’t have to be used to make whatever it was we were buying.
Happy Fall! And here’s to garage sales, thrift stores, and Craigslist!
just some fun ideas that I wonder about…
Does your family frugal vacation? e.i. state parks, cheap hotels near attractions, van camp… what do you do for food with vacations?
clutter/paperwork/businesses…. how do you prevent and keep it accessible it frugally?
do you know how to paint effectively? easy ways to remodel?
gardening/ tree care for frugal dummies?
just some ideas from the cheap seats…Keep up the great work!!!
I would love to hear your thoughts on a Costco membership. I am thinking of getting one now that one just opened in our town. What do you buy? Is it worth the cost of membership?
Frugal Babe says
We love Costco! When we moved out of the city in 2009, we kept our Costco membership and drove 45 minutes each way to get there – so we only went about three times per year, and really stocked up.
But a year ago, a Costco opened that’s less than 15 minutes away, so we go at least once a month now. Nearly all of the food we buy is organic, and Costco stocks tons of organics. We get large quantities of frozen veggies and berries there (we have a freezer in the basement), and we also buy things like butter, cheese, and some of our meat at Costco. Food is by far the largest item in our budget each month (other than savings), and I’m really careful to make sure that just about everything we eat is high quality, nutritious stuff – there’s no processed junk in our cart, and Costco has plenty of what we need!
We also get dog food, cat food, recycled toilet paper, and tooth brush heads at Costco, Along with occasional purchases like gardening gloves and LED lights for the porch.
We have the executive membership at Costco, which is double the price of a regular membership but gives us a rebate on everything we buy. At the end of the year, the rebate check just about cancels out the cost of the membership (it probably will this year, since it’s our first full year with the nearby Costco and more frequent shopping). So we’re paying very little to have a membership, and we get a lot out of it, for sure.
Frugalbabe!How I’ve missed your posts. Keep sharing details on your frugal, well thought purchases. It really helps.
Do post more often if your life situation allows. I love reading about your frugally mindful lifestyle.
The thrift stores we have here (very crowded big city) are well picked out and charge an eye and tooth for junk. So, I don’t frequent those stores much these days. But we are giving much thought to our purchases from regular stores as well.
How was your gardening this year? I remember that you had a huge garden and then reduced the size a bit. Your fruit trees must be producing well these days. Write a post on it, if its possible please.
Great! Have you calculated how much you are saving?
Adventures with Poopsie says
What’s happening in the Frugal Babe household? Missing your writing
Ya what happened?
Frugal Babe says
I posted an update a couple weeks ago… still here, just working a lot :-)
Jean Lowe says
Hi Frugal Babe
It is me again. Jean Lowe. I miss your comments along with the people who wrote above. I know it is selfish of us but we do miss your writings and your experiences. Maybe you have moved onto better and busier things and that is understandable but we do kinda miss you. If you miss us sometimes too then let us know with an occasional writing.
Your appreciative learners and subscribers