Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Steals & Deals. And a dilemma.

I just love it when I happen upon great deals! On Friday Kroger had several carts full of clearanced items, many of which we often use. I snagged this loot--which originally retailed for $28.97--for about a third of the price! Wahoo!

I also took Meredith's advice and took inventory of the girls' clothing. That is, the clothing that Olivia has yet to grow into. I was surprised to find that she had very few items for the future! We took a trip to our local Salvation Army yesterday, where we took advantage of the current sale--5 red-tagged clothing items for $5. I also picked up a set of pillowcases for $1.99, as we have only heavy fleece ones.

{Aside: Nate won't let me buy sheets secondhand. He gags violently at the mere thought. Am I the only one who thinks a good hot washing would make them not gross? Seriously! I saw sets for $4-$6. For both sheets! But it makes his skin crawl, so I drooled and then walked away.}

Anyway. Moving on to my dilemma. This is a matter of national security, so I know you'll help me out.

As I paid my $12 for those 11 items yesterday, I thought, "Boy, it's just too bad I can't get my act together and just prowl around garage sales all summer long for this stuff!" Around here, $1 is generally more you'll pay for kid clothes at a garage sale. I guess there must be some secret for garage sale-ing on your own with 2 small kiddos...3 if you count the unborn... because I simply can not do it unless I'm willing to accept exhaustion, a headache, and a backache as well. It's just too much for me!

I've tried, mind you. And it looks something like this: scour advertisements the night before, mapping out a route to the ones that look most promising, load up kids, stop by the ATM & get cash, drive to numerous destinations, unload & load kids (repeat, repeat, repeat...), keep kids corralled & happy, all the while knowing you might get to cross 2 items off your list.... ugh. Don't get me wrong--I love me a good garage sale! But if I'm looking specifically for 3T blue jeans (without weird designs & stuff on them, please!), 4T winter dresses, and 4T khaki shorts??? No thanks. I'll pay a dollar apiece and get it all at one location, where I can safely strap Baby Dracula into a cart.

Thankyouverymuch. This is the end.

I await your response.


jennifer said...

I agree. I've tried garage sales with 5 kids before and I end up miserable. Last year before fall I went to a consignment sale at a local church and found some great deals.

TwoMuths said...

LOL, yes. I hear you. And my dilemma is also that Evan will sometimes fall asleep, so getting him out wakes him up, etc. etc.

So here are my "solutions"
1. Park in the driveway at the garage sale and leave the kids in the van listening to a book on tape

2. Take a person with me to stay in the van with the kids


4. Swap babysitting with another mom and go without kids. Or call grandma (but not everyone has that option)

Disclaimer - I do not leave the kids in the van at EVERY sale. I have criteria. And I've wrestled with the appropriateness of this plan, and I'm sure there are some moms who have their mouths open in horror, but I live in a very, VERY safe town!

I lock the van and the windows are slightly open, the van is out of traffic, within my direct eyesight, etc. And I never leave them for more than 5-6 minutes. So QUICK yard sale shopping. I am sure I miss things!

nate, christina, and connor said...

yep. i have the same problem. once i got my bike trailer life was easier for garage sales though. i can quickly zip through my entire neighborhood stopping quickly and leaving the kiddies safely strapped in their trailer as i glance for a good find. but for the most part, i rarely hit the garage sales b/c of the loading/unloading/falling asleep/no-don't-touch issues. :)

Stacey said...

I have no solution...I have a problem even going to the grocery store with both girls, by the time I get out of the car, strap one in the cart, hang onto the 4 year for dear life, make sure I have my keys, purse, list and cell phone, I feel like I'm ready to just get back in the car and go home.....do we really need milk, bread, orange juice and toilet paper or could we just live without it all for just one more day:-)

Going shopping be it garage sales, salvation army, grocery shopping ect. can not, I repeat CAN NOT be done in record time, safely or sanely with children.

I'm just proud of ya that you got such a great deal on all the things you bought today.

Wild Ghese said...

in Germany, they don't really have yard sales at all. they DO have flea markets and one time, at John's work they had a baby flea market, but everything was expensive. there is no concept of lowering the price. they want to make a killing on used stuff. it's ridiculous. such is life. I miss good will!

Alicia said...

I hear ya. I don't usually attempt garage-saling when it's just me and I have both kids in tow. BUT if you must, I suggest . . .

1. Heading to neighborhood or block yard sales. That way you only have to park and unload the kids ONCE and they'll get to move their legs walking to and from sale locales.
2. Scope out the sale well from the street to see if it's worth unloading the kids. Obviously sales with big plastic toys are good -- the kids can play while you shop and you can keep an eye on them as you shop.
3. Leave just one kid at home with a sitter or dad. Managing only one kid at a garage sale is so easy compared to two!
4. Strap the kids in a double stroller and walk to garage sales in the neighborhood.

Hope that helps!

By the way, I have LOTS of Chloe-hand-me-downs I'd be willing to mail you if you're in a bind. What size are you looking at and what particular items do you need?