The Go-Getter’s Quick Guide to Thrift Shopping

Hey, Mama, I figured I would drop in here today and talk with you for a few minutes about shopping. Not just hop in your car and run to Wal-Mart credit cards waving sort of shopping but something a bit more frugal, more fun a challenge if you will. Thrift shopping.  Personally, thrift shopping for me is a game, a personal high, my way to be and rule to live by. I mean when all those other people are out there paying full price I am waving around my thrifty finds like I can buy five of those for what you just paid and guess what? I am going to let you in on a few of my personal secrets so you can do it too!

Personally, thrift shopping for me is a game, a personal high, my way to be and rule to live by. I mean when all those other people are out there paying full price I am waving around my thrifty finds and I am all like I can buy five of those for what you just paid and guess what? I am going to let you in on a few of my personal secrets so you can do it too!


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Thrift shopping secret tips www.simplymoms.net

Be so nosey about their sales.

Knowing about sales is key knowledge about the thrift stores you frequent. Ask them when are your sales? Is an end of season bag sale held at any point? Are there times of the month or week certain Items are price dropped? Stores like Goodwill and Salvation army tend to have scheduled sales. Small shops often do as well but they are not always as well planned.

Remember seasonal things in many stores are higher so they do not run out of those items and they can make the most money on them. For example, Halloween is around the corner.  All their Halloween things are at their high price point from now until Halloween. Yet when you plan to walk in there the day after and you can score dress up items for a small fraction of what they were asking the day before and even buy next years costume bigger for your little one to grow into you are saving even more. Knowing the sales is going to help you maximize your savings.

Girl, what are you even looking for?

Be a man with a plan…err a woman with a plan.  Every few months I go through the kid’s clothes. You do that too right? I keep an inventory of what is going to be needed, what is wanted, Ideas I have to decorate my home. So when I have my little list and I am dragging around those millions…Okay, yeah, my ten measly bucks; I know if Little Miss needs pants because she is out growing them or has ruined them in one of the million ways she finds to ruin clothing… That her pants are a high priority on my list. So go in there with an idea of where to start first.

How to send you kids to school in trendy clothing with out breaking the bank. A guide to Thrift Shopping www.simplymoms.net

The hunt is half the fun, right?

I am going, to be honest. When you walk in and see a mixture of this and that it can be over whelming. I tend to stick with thrift stores where things are categorized by size and item. Other wise for me personally it all just blends in together.

When looking for clothing for your self or anyone I want you to start at one end of the rack of let’s say pants and item by item work your way through. Pull any thing you think you might like off the rack, shelf, bin and put it in your cart and continue to look and pull. You are NOT making choices you are simply selecting what you might like.

When you are looking for hard items be prepared to shift through and move things around. In, under, tucked in dark corners and again any thing you find to place it in your cart to inspect and make a final choice. If you leave it sitting, it is likely someone else may need it too. You’ll blink and it will be gone.

Be your own quality control.

Once you have found a stack of possibilities you are going to go through each item putting back anything that is too worn, ripped, stained, don’t work, missing parts and so forth.Don’t be afraid to look for or ask about a plug. For some things, I even carry commonly sized batteries and a small screwdriver. I hate to get home and find out a toy does not work.

They say not to handle items because it creates a sense of ownership. I will tell you, in this case, it really helps to weed out the bad from the good. You do not want to get home and discover those designer jeans have a broken zipper and a nasty hole right where your women parts are. Or the game you picked for the family game night is missing so many parts it is never going to be played unless you count throwing each part in the trash as game night basket ball. Take your time to look things over. Many thrift stores have pretty strict return rules.

Too dirty, popped seam? Can YOU fix it? Yes, you can! Ask them for a deal!

Let me tell you if you’ve got some skills like sewing and can simply fix a popped seam, or have an awesome stain remover that you are sure will work on that tiny stain or perhaps you don’t mind the small chip in that beautiful vase that will sit on your mantle untouched. Could be that doll with the horrible hair can be brushed down and braided to make her beautiful and loved again. Walk right on up, point out what they missed and ask if they are willing to mark the item down. Some places will practically give you the item. I will tell you it does not hurt to ask and you should by all means ask.

Thrift shopping means you can be a brand name snob.

I can tell you certain brand names we are talking about clothing mostly here out last the cheaper brands. When thrift shopping I am sifting through items of clothing  I am not looking for something I can purchase at that big discount store off their ten-dollar rack and personally you shouldn’t be either. You will mostly end up with clothing that pills, falls apart, or once stained will hold that stain in until it sad little death in the trash bin. Think of all those brands you love to shop for or wish you could. Those right there are your target items.

Know what it is worth.

Once you have shopped around it is important to know the thrift shop values of items in your area and also what you feel is a fair second-hand deal. ladies I’m going to tell you my husband likes to tell me that these numbers are clearly made up, but I assure you for me in my area and for my personal,  budget they are not. Your price point may be different. It is a learned skill over time. I fully expect to hit my price point or under no matter how much I love an item I know I can put it down because I will find a better deal later. I can assure you, you will too.

  • Children’s clothing $1-$2
  • Children’s Winter Coats $2-$3
  • Children’s shoes $1-$2
  • Toys $1 – $4  the higher end for larger or highly coveted toys
  • Adult clothing  $2 – $6 the lower being for T-shirts and the higher for brand names
  • Small kitchen appliances $2- $7
  • Decors such as wall hangings, curtains, and knick-knacks $1-$4
  • DVDs $1-$2
  • Books $1 and under
  • Purses $5 and under
  • Belts, ties, hats, gloves, new socks, gently used bras $2 and under.
  • Small electronics such as alarm clocks & radios $2-$3
  • End tables and small furniture $5 and under unless the piece is special such as mahogany
  • Couches, chairs, and table set $10 – $35 my price point is low here because often you can get these things free on giving away sites.

***Many time larger toys like the ride on toys and out door toys will be marked low due to lack of storage space at the store those things they want to move quickly.

Let me tell you, there is nothing like the feeling you get walking out of a thrift store knowing you just ripped them off. Oh, My Gosh! KIDDING. Sometimes though, I really feel that way. So walk in there with an open mind armed with these tips and thrift shop like the pro you now are.

Are you a thrift shopping Mama?  Tell me your own tips in the comments below or shoot me your questions I would be happy to answer them.

I Created an Area Rug On a Budget

I love projects that I can build upon a bit at a time such as this area rug made from Dollar Tree carpet tiles.

How we created an area rug for a childs play space on a tight budget. www.simplymoms.net

We are apartment dwellers and the home we live in is older and has hard wood floors. Hard wood is wonderful but not very forgiving to a child who spends a lot of time playing on them or my feet.

Carpet Tiles

While browsing the Dollar Tree I came across these “rug remnants” they caught my eye because of the thick rubber backing. I originally purchased just one for a door mat in from of my entryway door. I also looked them up online and found out they are carpet tiles. You can do wall to wall with them or area rugs like I have. They do not need padding because it is built in. Some say you can use adhesive to hold them down. But I find on a clean floor they do not move unless little miss moves them intentionally. The rubber holds them still. So I decided that they would make a great area rug for Little Miss’s bed room.

Create and area rug with carpet tile on a budget www.simplymoms.net

Creating The Area Rug

If like myself you grab these from the Dollar Tree have an open mind. They do not carry all one pattern sometimes there is one of this and six of that. Mix and match. I was more than okay with that as I figured for a child’s play space the mix and match would look fun. Creating the rug is as simple as buying your tiles and plopping them down on a clean floor edge to edge in a way that looks pleasing to you.

With carpet tile you can add to your area rug as you like.

We started out smaller just to see if they would slide around. Each tile is 19′ x 19″ So the rug we started out with would have been a good bit over 4X4 feet. 4.75 X 4.75 to be exact. As you can see with little Miss standing there it is a nice size to sit and play on. The original cost us  $12.00.

We ended up because of her large amount of toys and her need for a bigger bed moving her in the largest room in the place. So we expanded her rug area. With my plan to add around it until most of the room is covered in carpet.

Frugal, easy to change and move area rug from carpet tiles.

What was your latest frugal do it your self project? Please share in the comments below.

Walmart Clearance Small Haul Clothes and Shoes

Okay,

I admit to three things.

One) Shopping is a huge love of mine.

Two) A money tree I do not have.

Three) Bargains are something I adore!

How she saved money on clothing and shoes!

My Guess is a few of you are in the same boat right along with me.  I still buy stuff, but I shop clearance, thrift shops, discount stores like the Dollar Tree and so forth. I almost never pay full price.

Every time I walk into Walmart the first thing I check is shoes.  Much of the time I can find the cutest toddler shoes for three dollars and under. Sometimes even just for a dollar like the other day.

The other day when I was in Wal-mart I looked at shoes and also quickly through the womens clothing. I found some awesome deals!

Everything I purchased was just a dollar each!

Silver glitter baby shoes Garanimals brand

The original price was $9.98 they were on clearance at $1.00

The photo does not show but they are sparkly glitter like silver. They are a size two, purchased for my newest grandchild to grow into.

faded Glory Mint colored canvas Mary Janes shoes with white polka dots.

This style shoe has been Little Miss’s summer go to. They are perfect for shorts and even fancier dresses. Originally priced at $5.96 I paid $1.00.  She has two other pairs I paid $3.00 for earlier in the season.

Capri Length Leggings

I also found my adult daughter these capri length leggings. She takes an extra-small and yesterday that is all they had. The best news is they were also all $1.00 each. So while they were not for me, it was still nice to be able to gift her with something she could use. They were regular  $3.98.

 

Clearance Deals From Walmart

So without tax, my total would have been  $27.88 my total was $5.00.

A savings of $22.88 !!!

So tell me, have you shopped any recent Wal-mart clearance? What did you find? Please share in the comments below.

 

Love Jennifer

Review of My Pets Friend Pet Stain and Odor Remover

If you have pets that pee on the floor you are going to want to read about this pet stain and odor remover from the Dollar Tree.

We have these Poodles. Two of them and they are demon spawns naughty, crazy and sweet all in one. Lucky and Levi. They are from the same litter and have the same issue and they have had this little issue for all the eight years we have owned them.

Poodle wall of shame

Yes, they like to pee inside. On my chair, on the floor, on my trash can. We have scolded, attempted to retrain, ignored, taken them out more and more piled on praise for outside potty time and just cleaned and cleaned and cleaned. Still, they continue to do their business as they please inside.

 

I was talking to my someday daughter in law about the issue. We both just thought that even though I scrub, steam clean and scrub some more their little poodle noses can still smell their pee. I mentioned that I saw a cheap version of enzyme cleaner at the Dollar Tree. Well, her sweet Zoey had an accident the other night so she stopped at the Dollar Tree and grabbed two bottles. One for her and one for little  me. Bless her heart! Little did I know this stuff was going to instantly change my life! Well, not really but, at the very least stop me from asking company if they can smell dog pee odors. LOL

Pet Stain Remover From The Dollar Tree

No, of course I didn’t spray the doggie. 😉

I went right to his favorite spot that had been steam cleaned but, still had faint traces of dog urine and I let that chair have it. Then I went around and sprayed every other favorite pee spot. I let it sit and dry. This morning, I got down and smelled that chair and the smell is gone! Not even a trace of the nasty dog urine smell. Get this… it smells pleasant now!

Something else I noticed the dog has stopped sniffing around it like he did before.  So far today no accidents. I am not holding my breath on being so Lucky it cured the issue but personally I think it is helping.

My Pets Friend Pet Stain and Oder Remover

This product is sold at the Dollar Tree. I am not affiliated with the Dollar Tree nor this product. I am simply reviewing it because it works.

 

The Directions on the bottle are simple.

  1. You need to soak up all the pee.
  2. Then you must spray the cleaner very generously on the stain insuring if it is on a carpet it gets well into the pad.
  3. You need to rub the product into any stains on your carpet or upholstery.
  4. Then let everything  air dry.

This is just what I did on an OLD stain and it worked. I will tell you on the chairs I had steam cleaned before hand but those smells were well set in. The smell of urine is now completely gone..

 

If you have pets this is a must buy at the Dollar Tree.

 

And Lucky Ole boy we still love you even with all your imperfections you are still family.

 

 

Homemade Finger Paints

Little Miss Toddler loves anything messy. She loves anything artsy.  What I do not love is anything that is toxic or that I have no clue what it may contain. Yes, she is two and yes, she puts things in her mouth.  So I try to make sure her stuff is very safe. Lot’s of people add dish soap into the recipe. I just do not think that is wise and as long as you do not go over the top adding food coloring clean up should be a breeze. Just use the soap after to clean up if you like.

Homemade Finger PaintsHere is what you will need to make your finger paints

4 tablespoons sugar

1/2 cup corn starch

2 cups of cold water

Food colorings

Small containers

In a nonstick sauce pan add sugar and corn starch whisk together. Add cold water and stir. Turn the heat to medium and stir constantly until mixture thickens. Divide into containers add colors and stir then in well and be sure to cool them well.

Fingerpainting with homemade finger paintsAs you can see we have an easel . It is older and we were unconcerned about damage so we allowed her to paint directly on the white board. They do make finger paint paper and I am told you can use wax paper. I have even used white construction paper. As for the easel the finger paint just wiped right off and left no makes. However that was our experience it may not be yours.

Toddler finger paintingShe had so much fun. It was really nice because it was simple, cheap, safe and I had everything to make it on hand.

We work on mixing colors to make new ones, making shapes and pictures. It was a wonderful messy time, after all those are the best times.

My Frugal .69 Cent Closet Makeover

Not every little update in your home has to break your bank account. Nor does it have to be perfect. Just functional. Like this frugal closet makeover.

The one thing when we moved into this house that I never cared for was this horrible “linen closet” It may have even have been used as a pantry at one time prior to us living here. Personally, I Use it for towels and so forth because it is right out side the bathroom. The place we live in is a rental and to be truthful I am not investing too much into it time or money. So I sort of fixed it up quick and on the extreme cheap. I didn’t do any thing fancy, or impressive I am simply sharing so the next person can get ideas and yeah maybe even do better than I did so if you did a more impressive closet makeover be sure to share it in the comments below.

Closet makeover needed

As you can see it is a mess! I’m not trying to hide that.

The plastic shopping bags were out of control. I bagged them all in one big bag and put them on a shelf in the barn. I discovered dog food had been spilled, not that I can say I am surprised in this horrific mess. This also I am sure gives you a pretty good idea of why something needed to be done with this closet. Yuck! My towels are not pictured because they were all in the washer. My little closet makeover is way overdue.

I swept it out and quickly wiped it down. Not that it helped much but, that didn’t really matter because I just wanted it to be clean for painting.

I slapped a couple of layers of paint on that we had. So that cost to me was pretty much nothing.  You can still see it is not perfect but, that is really ok by me. It no longer looks like the Chokey on Matilda. I even painted the floor.  I may just but some stick on tiles since I would not need too many and they not too costly.

Not bad for quick and what was already laying around.

Tonight while I was at Kmart I saw that Christmas wrapping paper was 90% off. So I grabbed a roll that was screaming Merry Christmas! It was a whole .69 cents. Nice thick good quality paper. Yes, I could have gone to the Dollar Tree but, I was at Kmart when the idea hit me LOL. My idea was to do every shelf but, surprise… The upper two shelves do not remove. So I just painted those it was easier.

Yes, I know the pictures are not great quality but here is where the rest of the wrapping paper went with a bit left over for some more fun. She has a blast drawing on her huge paper. So, for .69 cents a couple of shelves got covered and Miss Toddler had fun and my closet looks way better.

Nothing overly extreme or fancy but, it certainly looks much fresher and all the clutter is gone and it is nice and tidy.

To be honest it looks nicer in person. Time to get a camera that is not on my cell phone. 🙂

Update: I even have enough paper left to do my drawers. This mom is getting things done.

Before… how utterly embarrassing.

And after.

Thanks for reading.

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