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Monday, August 20, 2012

Dressing on a Shoestring Budget

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Good morning lovelies! I hope this wonderful Monday you are all doing well. Anyone try out  my new menu plan this week? I am glad you are all downloading them and using them for your families. Great job! I am excited for today's post. It is inspired by all you lovelies. I often get asked what I do when it comes to clothes. Do I budget and if I do how do I budget for those wonderful clothes all of us ladies love to wear? Well today I am answering your question and giving you a post chock full of great ideas on how to dress on a shoestring budget. I have to give you a bit of a back story first. I grew up never knowing a thrift store. Thrift stores were only where umm.....poor people went....insert shocking gasp.....I know right! I was horrible, but that is exactly what I thought. I couldn't believe that people actually shopped at thrift stores. You donated to them, but you never shopped there. Insert me telling my younger self I was such a snob. I was...seriously folks! My nose looked up at all of the thrifting mumbo jumbo. If only my 16 year old self could see me now. We would totally be duking it out. Well about 6 years ago I entered my first thrift store. We were living in Washington and my motherinlaw had come for a visit. She was an avid thrift store supporter. She convinced me to go to one. I put on my big girl pants, brought along my anti-bacterial soap, and I was ready for an experience of a life time. I honestly thought I would hate it. What I had pictured was not what was before me. I saw row after row of clothes, with so much potential. Toys that had once been loved, but now waited for new little owners. I fell in love. I couldn't believe at what my 16 year old self had been missing out on. Man thrift stores were pretty darn awesome! I purchased a few new toys and clothes for my family. That is where the thrift store obsession began. I eventually moved back to Nevada and my motherinlaw showed me all of her favorite thrift stores. After that, my local thrift store and I became besties. I didn't shop there for everything, but I definitely liked to browse and see all the possibilities that were there.

Now flash forward 2 more years. I was living with my mom in law. Hubby was in that Desert I hate Iraq. He told me to read America's Cheapest Family. Remember I told you about that here? Well in that book, the Economides talk about how they only shop at thrift stores. They buy all of their clothes, household items, etc there. I was amazed. Why had I not thought of that before? Man I needed to get it together. Well after that, I started committing myself to thrift stores more fully. We were going steady and it was a great relationship. I still shopped Target Clearance, when I couldn't find what I was looking for at a thrift store. I shopped ahead for my kids clothes (meaning I bought a size/season ahead, when I could. It helped a ton!) Things were great. Hubby got home from Iraq and our income changed dramatically. The job we thought he would get, fell through. No one was hiring. The economy went to pooh here in Vegas. We needed to save....well actually we needed to just get by....so things had to be cut. I decided to go homemade even more. I started learning to refashion and sew. It was a challenge, but a welcomed one. I stopped shopping Target Clearance, in fact this year I have given up department stores all together. I either make my clothes or thrift them. 

So this is how my love for thrifting was born. I never thought I would be where I am today. I never thought I would be typing a post for thousands to read. Never thought anyone would actually want to read or use anything I wrote. My life may not be the way the Hubbs and I planned 10 years ago, but man I wouldn't change it for the world! I love that I had to learn how to go homemade. I would do anything for that sweet family of mine. For those sweet read heads, I will give up anything for them to have more. Thrifting allows me to do that. I still get to have cute clothes for my family, but pay the bills, feed the nuggets, and sometimes have a little extra left over at the end of the month. I love it when that happens.

Today I am going to share with you a few tips and tricks I use. All of these tips will help you build and grow your closet on a shoestring budget. I am going to focus mostly on how us Moms/Women can build our closets, but the same tips apply to our littles and our husbands. So are you ready to find out what my tips and tricks are?

Let's get to it.....

BUDGET
Yep the B word ladies and gents. Oh how that word use to sound like a curse word to me. No longer. I love it. It means freedom and knowing exactly where my family is at financially. In your monthly budget, include a little bit of cash for clothes. When you have littles, you need a clothes budget. Shopping at thrift stores allows you to get a lot more bang for your buck. Man those nuggets never stop growing! Having a little bit of dinero set aside for shopping helps to keep them constantly clothed in items that actually fit. This also allows Mom and Dad to get a few new things now and then also. Each month we budget about $40 for our family. 
We don't always use this, but we know it is there if we need to.

SHOP THE SALES
Oh my..... you didn't know thrift stores have sales? They do! Pretty sweet right? Check out where your local thrift stores are. Some more popular ones are Deseret Industries, Salvation Army, and Savers. There are loads of local thrift stores though. Check the yellow pages. You never know what little gems will be located near you. A local thrift store I love sends me weekly e-mails. They let me know what their tag sales are that week. This particular store has different colored tags, which go on sale each week. Sometimes they are half off or only $1. Last week they had a purple tag, 50 cent sale. I was beyond excited! I snagged my pictured black pencil skirt for 50 cents and my top for $2.00. A complete outfit for $2.50! Oh no I didn't! Oh that's right, I did! It was so sweet...insert my happy face... This thrift store also has a frequent buyer punch card. They punch your card for every $10 you spend. Once you receive 8 punches, you get $20 store credit. How freakin awesome is that? I took advantage of this perk during the 50 cent sale. I got $40 worth of clothes for my family, but I only spent $20. Can we all say SWEET! Check out your local thrift stores. Some give military discounts and some have certain sale days. Ask around and try to go one of those days. Why not save when you can? This is my motto. Oh and if you have a Savers near you, check out their exchange program. You donate clothes and get credit towards a new purchase. They use to do this a year ago. Call to see if they still do this.

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INVEST
Have some standards ladies... Don't just buy something because it catches your eye. Be smart. Every item you purchase, needs to have a place in your wardrobe. This means it should be versatile. Although having a statement piece is fantastic and Stacey and Clinton (What Not to Wear) would be proud, it is not always practical. Having one statement piece is all good, but 10 is crazy. Especially if these item do not pair well with anything else in your closet. Be conscious of what you buy and what you spend. So many people buy clothing because they see it in an ad,on the mannequin, or because it is just plain popular. They don't think about how much they will actually wear it. Make sure the fit is right. Just because something is on sale, does not mean you need it. Also, all thrift stores sell accessorizes. Sometimes they even sell them by the bag full. Literally. It is pretty cool. You buy a bag of jewelry for just a few dollars. I have gotten a lot of great statement jewlery this way. Remember a great pair of earrings or a necklace and really take an outfit to the next level. This is a great thing to invest in, when thrifting.

REFASHION
Remember the old saying, "don't judge a book by its cover?" Well it still applies. Don't take clothing items at face value. Remember one mans trash is another's treasure. At first you may see an old frumpy, denim jumper, but a little bit of tweaking and you may end up with a new addition to your wardrobe. Think outside the box. I know for some this is more difficult. It is literally rewiring your brain. When I look at clothes I ask myself a few questions. First, Can I wear it as is? Second, Do I have something in my closet right now that will work with it? Third, If it is not ok as is, what can I make it into? Remember too short dresses can become skirts and vice versa. Shirts can become cardi's and pants can become capri's. This goes for kid clothes as well. The options are endless! I also find fabric and sheets at thrift stores. I use both to create clothes for my daughter and I. A sheet can become a maxi skirt real quick. I also love to look for inspirtaion, so when I am at a thrift store I can remember projects I have seen on Pinterest or from some of my favorite Refashion blogs. My go to Refashion blogs are Sewing Room Screaming, A Skirt a Day, and A New Dress a Day. When you have refashion ideas in your back pocket, it is much easier to think outside of that dreadful box we put ourselves in. Be creative and one of a kind!
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HAVE A WISH LIST
Just like when you were little and you circled the toys in the Christmas Catalog, have a list of things you are looking to incorporate into your wardrobe. Weather it is a mental list or a paper and pen list, keep one. I learned this technique from Kendi. I thought it was just brilliant. It gave my thrifting more of a purpose. Now I keep an eye out for those items on my wish list. I know some of you right now are thinking, "well isn't it just easier to run to Target and get it right now?" Well sure it would be easier, but do we always have to have immediate gratification? I have had a simple button down white shirt on my wish list for a long time. I finally found one last week. I found it at the 50 cent sale I told you about. I saw that beauty and cheered to the heavens. Sweet victory was finally mine. The fit was perfect and so was the price. I would never have been able to get my shirt for that price at a Department store. I was glad I waited. You can't buy that feeling when you finally snag the item you've been searching for. Sometimes the best things take a wee bit of time. Be patient. If it saves you money, it is worth it.

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MAKE IT A HOBBY
For reals! Make it a hobby. I know all of you ladies out there are busy. Whether you are a busy mom, wife, worker, insert the noun, you deserve a little "me time". Have thrifting be your "me time". When I go to a thrift store by myself, it is like going to Disneyland. I get a little bit of time with me and oh man is that sacred. I love to find the best deal and see how much I can get for my monthly $40. I am even on a first name bases at some of my favorite thrift stores. Once you do that, it is amazing the doors that open. I went in the other day, looking for glass mason jars. I have a project in mind. I explained what I was looking for. The ladies at this store know I am a sewer, refashionista, and blogger. They always want to know what my current project is. It makes it a fun environment to shop in. Anywho... they wrote down what I was looking for and are going to call if someone donates what I am looking for. Super Sweet right?

So there are my six basic tips to becoming a Thrifting diva. It is in all of us. I know it! I also wanted to include my basic closet staple list. I not only have a pantry staple list, but one for my closet too. Having these items in your closet will give you a well rounded wardrobe.

WARDROBE BASICS


 1 Pair of Black Heels

1 Pair of Fun Heels.
A fun color or pattern. For me it is my Snakeskin heels
I snagged these at a thirft store for around $6.

1 Pair of Sandals in a Neutral.
Like these ones I found on Amazon.com

Basic Button Down Shirt

1 Pair of Tennis Shoes

I just got a pair similar to these Floral Sneakers
 for $4. SCORE! 

1 Pair of Workout sneakers

A Few Statement Necklaces and Earrings

A Fun Maxi Skirt 

A Simple Pencil Skirt.
I have a tutorial here and here.

2 Pairs of Great Jeans

Make the most of all you got. I love to ask for clothing items, gift cards, etc for Christmas and Birthdays. It is a great way to grab some lovely items for my wardrobe. Be a smart shopper..... no matter what. Also don't turn down donations. Once people know you refashion, you will get donations. I swear. My mom is always donating sheets, bed skirts, clothes, etc to me. She just puts stuff in a trash bag and tells me to do what I wish. I love the challenge. She just recently gave me a bed skirt. Guess what I made with it? A ruffled skirt for myself. I plan to share the tutorial, once the weather gets cooler. It is a super fun ruffle pencil skirt for fall. Can't wait to see her face when I wear it. They get a kick out of seeing how I can work the fabric and make it into something fantastic. 

I know we all have a refashion diva in all of us, just begging to get out. Let's all think outside the box and inspire one another. I hope now you feel better equipped with how to save, when it comes to clothing. You can still be fabulous, fashionable, and all on a budget. There's that B word again. You can do it lovelies! I know you can.

I love fashion and refashion blogs so much, I decided to add a linky page to Blissful and Domestic. If you have a blog and you post at least 2 fashion posts or 2 refashions a month, then link up. Grab a button and join the fun. 

You can find the Refashion Blogger Page here.
I even created a new button for our Refashion Page!


Blissful and Domestic

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51 comments:

  1. I just found this blog a few weeks ago and I love it! I am an avid thrifter. My local Goodwills know me by name, and know when I check out that I dont use a plastic bag. (Im a reusable bag lady lol) Its great finding deals on everything. I love reading your blog and getting great ideas :)

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  2. I am also an avid thrifter. If we needed new clothes growing up, my parents would take us to Salvation Army and help us find clothes. My husband was exactly like you, though. He had never been to a thrift store until he started dating me, and now we ONLY buy our clothes from Salvation Army or Goodwill. It's amazing what you can find! Great post. :)

    http://secondhandcouture.blogspot.com/

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  3. I LOVE THIS POST! When my hubs and I first got married, we were paying for my school with cash. He deployed when I finally got a job. We had so much debt to pay off while he was gone. I had a friend teach me the art of thrifting and it is truely and lifestyle change. I love your tips. I still need a list of your favorites in Vegas...now that I have officially relocated :)

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  4. Great new post! I started doing 100% thrifting of our whole family's wardrobe when my hubby went back to school, and it's funny, now that he's done, I just can't bring myself to pay full price - even at Target or Walmart...

    Buy a "walmart quality" outfit for $20 for the kid, or buy Gap or Gymboree clothes at the kids resale shop and get 4 or 5 outfits for $20? Plus, you already know if/how much things will shrink, so there is a better knowledge of the fit the item will always have.

    Anyway, yeah, I'm a total clothes thrifter too!

    Bobi
    http://westernwarmth.blogspot.com

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  5. I love love this, we have 4 kids and only my hubbys income (hes a farmer) 90% of my kids clothes come from the 1-2$ clearance racks at walmart ( i just dont get good deals at target) or a resale shop in our small town (espically on the 2 $1.00 sales they do a year) and their random half off color tags (thats when i find myself some deals, usually with the original price tags still on it.) or at savers where i have a card that takes 2)% off on thursday and fridays after 5 and all day saturdays. When I only had 2 kids we were Childrens Place and Carters fanatics (not so much now) they littlest gets a few randoms at CP if its a good good price but they all scored on some $4.00 clearance at crazy 8 doing back to school shopping as well as Old Navy Clearance. We dont buy used shoes (well there is that random time that we do find a nice pair of boots, or dress shoes, or for my littlest shoes in his size arent all groddy and dingy yet cause their so small yet) I chose to (have to) buy season ahead as well (as we speak the boys have a closet full of flannel shirts bough in June that were .50 n $1) (I know flannel, but remember were farmers) As for repourpising, I am at best a terrible sewer, but thats not to say that even I can occasionally come up with something. Like: Have you seen on pinterest using a mans L.S. shirt to make little girl skirts or dresses? super cute. I can also make the pillowcase dresses/tunics, turn an oversized tank into a their size tank, I do up an awesome tutu, AND so my kids (girls at least) look completly put together I make ALL their hair bows/accessories. their kinda known as the hairbow girls. I know kinda long for a comment but it is what it is. So Go You, your doing GREAT! (insert cheerleading rah rah motinon here)

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  6. I'm in Arizona and the Goodwill locations here have 50% off Saturday the 1st and 3rd Saturday of every month. Also, every Sunday is student day and you can get a discount with your student ID( can't remember if its 10 or 20%), and every Thursday is $1 day where they choose a different color tag every week to be only $1. Saver's has customer appreciation days on Mondays and I believe its 20% off on those days plus on government holidays like memorial day and labor day its 50% off. I usually go to the goodwill/savers in the nicer areas of phoenix/scottsdale/paradise valley. You can find designer brands that still have the original tags on them from the department store. It's so much fun. Great post!

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  7. For sure!!! Most of my clothes come from Salvation Army and the majority of those are on 50% off days. My entire bed from sheets to handmade quilt were all thrifted. That quilt would have retailed new for around $1400 and I picked it up for $3.50! I stalk the SA for more quilts after finding that one. My entire house, minus actual mattresses, are either thrifted or hand-me-downs. I agree, nothing like it. In fact, I have 5 hand-me-down dresses that just came into my closet last night, I cannot wait to refashion them :-) Oh, and the SA is also my go to for books.....

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  8. you look great! i don't shop for clothes at thrift stores, but my absolute favorite is clearance. usually kohls. i buy everything in the wrong season, and then have great deals and look cute. this fall i'm gonna rock it, and i already have tons of new stuff that hardly cost me anything!

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  9. Awesome, Danielle! You're a machine, lady!!

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  10. We have a Name Brand Clothing here....its returned or slightly damaged clothing, shoes, purses etc. A great place to shop especially if you can sew and fix a broken zipper,etc. And I'm like you, if I could go back and slap my younger self for all the money I have wasted paying full price!

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  11. If you're after cheap accessories go to www.aliexpress.com. They offer wholesale prices from China. My favourite seller on aliexpress.com has rings and necklaces from 49 cents; there is a minimum of $10 per order to qualify for free shipping; but if you have to buy Christmas or birthday presents for a bunch of girls or women, you're set. The last time I ordered from this particular seller they threw in a free ring, with the tag from Claire's still attached - the retail price was $5. I've found necklaces there for 90 cents that I've seen in shops for $20. I'm never buying jewelry from the shops again!

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  12. Great post, very informative, thank you for mentioning me in your post that was very kind of you. =)

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  13. You're an inspiration :). Great post! You should see the bag I got at Salvation Army today. You'd be proud, and I only paid $2.50!

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  14. Great post! You should see the bag I got at Salvation Army today. You'd be proud, and I only spend $2.50!

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  15. I discovered thrift shops when I started university.... Before that I was unaware they even existed, only because I lived in Fiji and there were hardly any back then. By the time I started uni, they popped up everywhere and my oh my, did I get addicted!

    I'd take $50 with me and come back with 10 dresses.... With a uni budget it was perfect, I always found gorgeous clothes, bags, shoes etc

    Now I'm out of uni and living in Australia, still addicted to thrift stores, I buy 90% of my clothes from there, I can afford to shop at other stores, but I'd be crazy if I did... You get great quality stuff at thrift stores, I can buy a top for $1 that would have originally cost $100 when new, so I know the quality is great and it's a much much better deal than buying a new top from target, Kmart, diva etc for $10, because I would only get something made of low quality fabrics etc

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  16. Hi! I found your blog via Pinterest over the weekend, and I love it. :) Great ideas - hoping they can inspire me to save a little more money. My boyfriend, of all people, got me hooked on Goodwill three years ago. I, like you, had been a snob about thrift stores and hated to touch anything my first couple of trips with him. Then something just clicked. I bought a like-new Calvin Klein denim jacket for $8 (that's a pricy item at Goodwill). I find some of the best brands (Ann Taylor, J. Crew, Gap, etc.) for cheap, and I'm not even a label-shopper - if it doesn't look fab on, it doesn't come home with me. I have a difficult time finding pants I like at thrift stores. I did find a pair of Gap Long & Lean jeans that I loved - so, after that, I got on eBay to buy another pair (different color). Have you ever purchased clothes from eBay?? You have to be very sure of your size/measurements, but you can find fantastic buys! I buy work slacks and even shoes (which are easy). Just bought a gently used pair of 7 for All Mankind jeans on eBay for $12.99! RIDICULOUSLY expensive new - I would never own otherwise. Anyway - just had to share. :)

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  17. I agree - I NEVER went in thrift shops when I was growing up except maybe for a costume or something. But I'm a pretty frequent thrifter these days and it all started when I was out of work two years ago and also suddenly 2 sizes smaller than I had been - I needed new stuff but cheap!I would say that 40% of my day to day wardrobe is second hand now and closer to 90% of the kids stuff is thrifted or handmedowns. I haven't been comfortable enough to do too much shopping for gifts but I am going to try this year. I am making several people a set of 'etched' glasses or an etched glass pyrex casserole dish with their name or initials on it. I know that's something I can randomly hunt for at the store that will be a special gift and not cost me more than $5. Plus, since I'm making these for several people - the etching creme from JoAnns won't go to waste on only one project.

    I also shop with a wish list like you talk about and I only shop for the next year's sizes for the kids that way I'm not in a rush with something I 'need'. Since I don't sew well I have stopped buying things (and wasting money) on things that need fixing in order for me to wear or use it. Good post!

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  18. I've been on a roll with revamping some of my clothes and trying to fix other pieces so I like them again. I just hate to go out and buy something I 'like' at the moment when I have so much in my closet I don't even wear =/

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  19. Great post! Growing up we didn't have a lot, but thrift stores?? Never heard of them. I don't remember seeing any, but my father would never in a million years have let us go into one. Dating myself here but Bradlees, Grants, Woolworth, Woolco, we shopped there, the most inexpensive stores. Predated Walmart and Target by a couple decades. You look awesome in the pics in this post--maybe I love it because it's not a skinny model in the clothes, lol. Love getting these email posts! Janet

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  20. Great tips! I'm a big thrift shopper and I love to refashion and always go to the thrift store with a wish list in mind!

    Lindsey
    http://thriftandshout.blogspot.com

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  21. Thank you for the encouragement to make thrifting a hobby! Now would you go tell my husband that it's a GOOD thing...??
    hahahaha!
    Thanks for the tips! You look fabulous!

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  22. This is a wonderful post with lots of great tips! Thanks!

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  23. Thank you so much for this blog. I do mean your whole blog, not just the clothing part. Hubby and I have been married for 24 years and now circumstances have drastically changed. I had a major heart attack and open heart surgery a little over a year ago. Haven't been able to work since. Hubby is the money maker now and we have three daughters still at home(one is going to a local college, one is living at college and one will be in high school next year). I have learned so much in the last few days since I found your blog. We are fixing to lose our house (after 11 years) and will be moving in the next 3 weeks. To me this is a chance at a new start for our family and a chance to make saving money and still providing for our family my new job. Once again, thank you and Blessing to your family.

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  24. Thanks for the info! I wish I had shopped more at thrift stores when I was a teen, too!

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  25. Thank you for participating in Sofia's Ideas {Magic of the Mundane}.

    I grew up going to thrift stores, and I was really proud of it. My peers would turn their noses, and when they would ask about my unique pieces, I would beam with pride saying things like "I got it for a buck!!!".

    Actually, I have a post here, if you are interested... http://sofiasideas.com/2011/09/13/the-road-to-frugality-is-an-intentional-one-2/

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  26. Great post Danielle - you find so many fabulous bargains! I grew up with my mum making most of my clothes, so still can't bring myself to buy much at the prices they are in the shops. Often the quality is better in thrift stores too as they are older clothes, made at a time when things were made to last!!


    Thanks for linking to a Round Tuit!
    Hope you have a fabulous weekend!
    Jill @ Creating my way to Success
    http://www.jembellish.blogspot.com/

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  27. Love this post Danielle. My hubby and I are starting to crack down on spending. I was just telling him about thrift stores.. I have never been to one before. I will check that out! Thanks so much!!

    Thanks so much for sharing this at The DIY Dreamer.. From Dream To Reality!

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  28. I just love your tips! I went to Goodwill the other day and found the PERFECT pair of flats to go with my lime green cardigan! And if you go to the Goodwill in the fancy part of town you can score some amazing things! I found a complete SILVER tea set for $15. I had no need for it but another person's trash is another person's treasure! Thanks so much for sharing at the Pomp Party! Pinning!

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  29. Such great advise no matter how much discretionary income you may have. Thanks for sharing on BeColorful this week.
    pr

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  30. Wonderful post and awesome tips!! My motto is to "get the Nordstrom look at the Ross price" so you are my kind of gal! :-) Thanks so much for sharing this with us last weekend at Inspiration Friday~
    Vanessa

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  31. I love your great tips! I always buy my clothes at the thrift store. It's definitely my favorite place to shop.

    We'd love for you to link up at our Finished Friday blog party.

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  32. Oh my gosh you live in Vegas like I do! I'm a young wife/mom of 2 and I have a very hard time budgeting. Every time I read about how people save money I always thought its almost impossible to live in that amount of money here in Vegas. It's an expensive city. So when I read that you lived here it literally brought tears to my eyes thinking to myself I have so naïve. I want to be a stay at home mom for the next yr and a half or so with your tips I think I'm going to be able. You have no idea how much reading this has inspired me.

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  33. I recently discovered the Goodwill outlet store. Clothes and housewares are $.79/lb. I got a cart full of stuff for $14. They bring out new stuff every few hours. I could stay there all day!

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  34. I am suprises no one talked about yard sales. Garage sales and estate sales account for a lot of my families budget friendly shopping. I often get the "oh my goodness where did you get that adorable dress" comment from church friends and blog readers and usually when I say yardsales they are shocked. Yard sales and garage sales are just as cheap as the thrift store but because the owner is getting rid of the item you can bargain. My oldest daughter had a growth spurt just days before her 5th birthday and I managed to replace her whole wardrobe in one Saturday morning for less than $30. Also the perk to yard sales is that if you live in the area you shop you will stumble across school logo clothing, and things seasonally appropriate to your climate, etc.

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  35. I am expecting my first grandson in January. The other day I went to GW and found a brand new pair of OshKoshBGosh red overalls with the tags still on for 99 cents!! I just can't see spending retail prices for children's clothing when they grow so fast. It is cool today here in the Pacific Northwest and I am wearing a very nice grey cashmere sweater that fits perfectly. I got it for $5 at GW. I could not afford such luxury at retail prices. I furnished my son's entire college apartment from thrift stores- everything from furniture to pots and pans. I might mention he has far better quality pots and pans than I do! This is the only way he was able to afford living away from home while working on his masters degree. He walks to/from campus each day because gas is so expensive and a parking permit is $200. He views it as his fitness program. I have taught my 2 grown children that where there is a will there is always a way to make it happen if you are willing to put forth the effort.

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  36. Great post and great comments! I thought I would share my thrift store conversion story. I too grew up as a thrift store snob. A few years ago, I got a great job offer as the assistant to the CEO of a new company. I was thrilled because things had gotten tight financially and I needed a good job. However, when I went in my first day and saw that all the other women (and men too) were dressed in all the most fashionable clothes, I knew I was in trouble. My wardrobe consisted of a few basics, jeans, simple shirts, a couple of skirts, etc. I didn't have the accessories either. There was no way I could afford to go out and buy a new wardrobe, but being the CEO's assistant, I was going to be front and center alongside of him. I panicked! My DIL suggested that she and I go to the thrift store and pick out a few things and do some mix and match with my current wardrobe. To sum it up, I spent $30 and got enough items to mix and match to have a different outfit almost everyday for a month!! I often got compliments from others in the office on my outfits. It felt so good to solve a major problem for so little money!

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  37. One way I have cut my grocery budget is just by eating less. It's a good diet tip -- both physically and budget-wise.

    If I need to lose 20 pounds, I realize I could cut my grocery budget by about $100 a month, and that's the food I have. Not to starve, but it helps me somehow to know I have to budget this food out to stay to a healthy diet.

    Someone once pointed out to me that there's a grocery budget -- to stay healthy and energy to live, and there's entertainment food -- snacks, overeating to feel happy-full, desserts.

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    1. Most people have forgotten the cost-saving benefits of leftovers.

      I am part of a working couple and I make a point of packing two Tupperware lunch containers with part of that night's dinner for us to lunch on the next day. We don't throw away good money on fast food at work during the week and during the weekend, we have a good lunch that keeps us from impulse buying at the grocery store OR hitting a burger joint on the weekend.

      Not only that, but the health benefits are great, too. At night, we have just one helping of dinner (because we've packed the rest for lunch) with a salad and lots of water for filler. We don't end up as bloated and lethargic as we have in the past, and we have lost a little weight, too.

      So, using leftovers instead of letting them rot in the fridge until you throw them out will make you both physically and financially healthier.



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  38. We grew up thrift shopping! I choke at mall prices. ($50 for a t-shirt? So I can advertise for you? No, thanks!) But I've had to "suck it up" and start buying retail because I can no longer find anything in my size at the thrift stores, except on rare occasions. It's serious sticker shock!

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  39. Don't forget about yard/garage sales. People pratically give their clothes away!!

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  40. I have found that alot of times if you look hard you can get a new out fit at Ross or somewhere like that for the same price or cheaper as Goodwil.Or at least thats how the deals are in my town anyway

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  41. Well I don't want to be a hater.. but skirt out of a bed sheet? What's next? Wearing a reusable bag?
    You have a daughter. She is small now but she will grow up. How could she get a young man interested in her when she is dressed in a curtain? When competitors look like they stepped down from a Vogue cover?

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    1. I am so sorry you feel that way. All I can say is I would never want my daughter to be someone who cared more about what she was wearing then the true content of her character. I raise my daughter to be a beautiful, modest, young women (inside and out). I teach her to be creative and have a true heart. You can make clothes out of anything and rock it with style....she does that with ease:>

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    2. I love your strong but gracious response above.

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    3. I love your response--firmly rooted in your convictions but also quite gracious. I wish I could be as respectful when dealing with comments such as the one above. More power to you. Your daughter is lucky. :)

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    4. I wanted to mention that when your daughter gets older, you can step up a little from Salvation Army to Plato's Closet. I am able to buy my teen MissMe jeans (retail 100 dollars) for ten dollars, and VS Pink tshirts for seven dollars. Just a couple of these label items makes my daughter feel like a princess, and considering you can sell your gently used items, sometimes it is all free.

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  42. February 27th,2013,11:30P.M. It was such a pleasure to read your blog!The old skills of saving money,being resourceful and frugal, making do, making from scratch,sharing skills and talent all while patiently getting ahead with love,family and finances intact and secure.You inspire us to do better.Thankyou, for sharing and taking the time to do so.Warmest regards, from an avid Canadian thrifter and budgeter.

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  43. I shopped at a thrift store a week ago and purchased 2 sweaters (one new, the other great quality), pants, belt, spring coat and a blanket...total cost $15. I was so excited, my husband said (with a big smile on his face) it's so nice to see you so happy to buy used clothing. I just discovered your blog and I will definitely become a regular reader. Thank you for all your ideas. :)

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  44. I am a new B Blogger and may I congrat you on your page. I saw it on Pinterest and pinned a link. I also like the pages you like, the ones posted to the right. Thank you!!! -Annie

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  45. I'm so tired of being broke all the time. My husband as the opportunity to go to school, so we are taking advantage of his GI Bill w/ his disability right now. I am also a student and we have 3 kids, so a person can imagine how we struggle at times. But I just finished reading your tips a big change for me would be to shop at thrift stores. I am always concerned about the cooties, but that's silly considering I am broke ALL the time!! Thanks for your tips, God-willing I will be able to save up for house as you did.

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  46. I know this post is a few years old, but it has already changed me. My sister and I only used to go into thrift stores to see what we could re-purpose for home decorating (lamps, picture frames, etc). We never ever looked at the clothes. Well I just took a new job and they don't buy my suits/blouses for me. So I had to quickly create a work wardrobe at the most expensive time of the month for us. I went to the thrift stores twice and so far I've gotten 2 suits (nice double lined ones),4 blouses and a few kids clothes for a total of $25!!! Two blouses were even name brand (The Limited). Thank you for your blog and all the hard work you put into it. You have honestly taken me to a whole other level of saving.

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Thank you so much for all your sweet comments. I read every.single.one. They rock my socks! Thanks!

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