Friday, August 29, 2008

Consignment Sale on Cash

I've decided to start blogging about some of my money-saving finds both to share them with others as well as to keep myself going on our adventure of "living like no one else so that later we can live like no one else" (a la Dave Ramsey).

For a long time now, Sr. Smith has the habit of taking out cash every payday, giving it me to sort into my envelope system, and keeping some pad in the checking account "in case I end up short and need to put something on the debit card". Well, no more. I am determined not to need that padding!

This morning my friend & her daughter & my 3 headed to a consignment sale where I thought I was going to find "smashing deals". Well, not quite as smashing as I'd hoped, I still found great deals after some hunting around. I started looking through clothes for Hermosa, then made it over to jeans for the "King of Holes in the Knees" (jirafa) & found him a few tops also. We sat down near the Thomas train bed (the girls thought they were riding a choo-choo) & started going through our piles looking for holes & tears, and I pulled out a pen & an old receipt to write on. I started with the jeans for Jirafa, because that's where I was getting the biggest savings ($7 vs. $20 or more per pair), and wrote down each price. Then I sorted through Hermosa's & picked my favorite things. I kinda had $50 on each of them in my mind depending on what I found (my budget was $100). (btw, Paco hasn't outgrown what he has, so that's why I didn't shop for him - he isn't going around without clothes! He also gets whatever is passed from his brother) Well, when I wrote it all down it came to $99.50. I was so proud to stay in my budget!

Then when I got up to the register I told the guy working it that if I'd added right I had just what I wanted & .50 to spare - "Did you figure in tax?" He said. Oops. I didn't know they were charging tax. I quickly did the math in my head, and pulled out a pair of khaki's for Jirafa that were $8.50 to remove from my pile. "We take credit cards, you don't have to stick to cash," said the man very nicely. "Nope, cash only," I replied. He grinned when my total was $99.05.

But I grinned bigger :o)

Here's what I came home with:

4 pair size 14 jeans (3 Levi, 1 Wrangler)
1 pair size 14 camo pants
1 sweater (Gap)
2 long-sleeved cotton tops (Old Navy & Cherokee)

6 complete fall/winter outfits (pants and tops) for Hermosa. Some of these had an extra top for versatility, and one of the pants is cream colored corduroy which can go with other tops as well.
The brands of these are also good, high quality (Gap, Gymboree, Old Navy, Carter, and some boutique things I didn't recognize). And they are all super cute, modest, and comfie.

The kids will wear these hardly-worn items just as long as they would have worn them had I bought them brand new, and I paid less than half of what I would have paid in the store, even if they were on sale. The girls working the sale were wearing shirts that said, "Retail is for suckers," to which I'd add, "So are credit cards!"

Some may think I didn't get as great a deal as I could have gotten at a garage sale, for instance, which may be true. But I got a deal I'm happy with, and I stayed within budget, which right now is the goal.

Now if I could just get Jirafa to take better care of his jeans...

Monday, August 25, 2008

Jirafa is a Pretty Cool Kid

I just have to post this conversation Jirafa and I had whilst working on Paco's Term 1 assignment list. I had asked Jirafa if he had finished the last few chapters of Our Island Story, or if he had stopped at the chapter about how Canada was won. (mind you, he read this book year before last)

Jirafa: Can I look at it? Oh, no, I don't remember reading this. This chapter is about America. Was it not on my schedule?

Me: I don't guess so. (I'm not looking at the book at this point, he is) Maybe since that's where American history picks up, we just switched books for American history. Not much point in doubling up.

Jirafa: Will you put it on my free reading list for this year? I want to read it. It will be interesting because I bet it will have a different perspective. Cause, you know, how This Country of Ours was written by an American, and Our Island Story was written by someone from Britain? I've noticed that sometimes, that people from different countries think differently about the world. They have their way of thinking, and we have ours.

Last year I started this blog soon after the start of the school year. God had given me some much needed encouragement that day, and it was just what I needed as we started our new year. I don't think I realized I needed a little shot in the arm just yet (we start our official school year next Monday), I'm still finishing up my planning. But to hear Jirafa make a statement like this, completely unsolicited, just gives me more gas for my tank.

I can't help but wonder what people are thinking when they ask about how our children will know about the "real world" if we don't put them in public school? I guess part of what really jazzes me about what he said is not just that he realizes that there are lots of possibilities for how to view the world, but also that he actually intimated that he has his own way of looking at the world. So he sees himself as having a perspective, yet he wants to hear what others have to say.

And what's my perspective? I think Jirafa is a pretty cool kid.