Living in a small town is a retail challenge.
That is, you can't always buy what you what or need when you want to.
Sometimes you have to plan a purchase based on your schedule.
For example, the nearest mall is 35 of miles away. We can't just pop over when we feel like shopping. We literally have to find a time in our busy schedule to go.
Personally this is not a problem for me as shopping is not one of my favorite things to do. However, with the advent of a new school year underway and 5 growing kids, you can imagine that new socks, longer jeans and other items needed to be acquired.
Shopping during a financially tight season is stressful enough but doing it with 5 kids in tow ... stick a needle in my eye.
Thank goodness for
-Grandmas who like to shop
-my kids' birthdays (which are a rouse for getting new clothes) and
-for my teenage daughter who works to feed her own shopping habit.
Nonetheless, with an afternoon to ourselves recently, my darling hubby suggested we "head to town". Content to spend time with the family (and, I'm not gonna lie, hoping to make a little stop at the Ice Cream Shack) I was up for some errands. Yes, even shopping.
One of our stops, at my husband's request, was the Salvation Army.
Did I mention he loves the challenge of finding a good deal?
When we pulled into the parking lot we immediately noticed there was liertally NOwhere to park. That seemed totally weird but after we finally maneuvered the van into a spot did we realize they were having a one-day-only half off sale.
We were intrigued.
Instantly we all broke up and went our separate ways hunting through the racks and shelves for bargains. The twins asked to adopt every sad looking stuffed animal. My son begged for his favorite movies on VHS tapes but it was hubby who managed to fill up a cart.
4 Hollister shirts for the boys
3 other favorite logo t shirts
2 collar shirts for his upcoming internship
1 pair of shorts
1 pair of corduroys
1 pair of Khakis (for Tent making)
and each twin choose
1 sweatshirt each
1 blouse each
and we found adorable pattern knee high socks
All of this was a grand total of $36.00
I may not have time to go shopping. I may even avoid it because I hate doing it. But I will make the time and energy to save a hundred dollars. That was one of the best errands we made that day!
Listen until you are in a financial position where every penny of income is earmarked for necessities you can't understand how frustrating it is to not be able to buy anything. We live in a culture where we're told to buy new shoes/clothes/purses/anything just because "Orange is the hot new color!" this season. While I'm an adult, perfectly capable of wearing my shoes out before I get a new pair, it's not so easy on my kids. And thus it's not so easy on me.
I don't care about name brands. Seagulls on t-shirts today are no different than the alligators I begged my parents for 20 years ago. It's all an insignificant fad that will pass. Nonetheless we need clothes to cover ourselves and what we scored at the Salvation Army that day was unheard of prices. I still don't love shopping. It will probably continue to stress me out. But I'm happy to report I had a positive experience.
It's Finance Friday on my blog. The day I dedicate to writing about our family's journey into the world of free & reduced lunches, second hand store shopping and cutting the cable bill all in effort to create a better future. Thanks for visiting today. I know there are a gazillion blogs to read. I'm honored you would read mine. Blessings!
p.s. as you can see The Salvation Army is so much more than a store where I buy my kids name brand clothes that I would never otherwise purchase. Consider donating or shopping there yourself.