Tuesday, March 27, 2012


*The A Beka readers are all sold. Thanks!*

Okay.  Let's talk about addictions, shall we??

Some are addicted to shoes. Some are addicted to Coke.  Some are addicted to chocolate.  I'm not.....but I do REALLY like chocolate....but that isn't what this post is about.....

What are YOU addicted to?

For me, it's shopping for clothes for my kids.  I'm so glad we don't have huge walk-in closets for any of the kids because the girls would definitely have way, way, WAAAAAY too many clothes!

All these years, I've been able to indulge in cute girl clothes, because after all, I DO have 7 GIRLS and it has been soooo fun to shop for them, starting at the newborn stage!

Yes I do love to shop.  But I have a few secrets to how I am able to keep my girls looking well put together and cute....without spending a mint! Without breaking the bank!

I'll let you in on what I love and what works for us, okay?

Let me say that when it comes to my son, I do buy his clothes, but it is no longer easy to find second-hand things for him because he is extraordinarily tall and very skinny and he needs specially ordered jeans these days. I mean, the kid's jean measurement is 33/36!  And his shirts have to be a special fit.  I've found that Land's End is awesome for weird measurements and they have amazing customer service people.  I plan on spending some money on clothes for him for his birthday, and Land's End is the first place I'm shopping.  I can do it all online and the staff is wonderful if I need to call for any reason. Land's End clothes literally last for years because they are so well made and sturdy. Yes they are a bit pricey, but it's worth it to us since his clothes are really the only ones we buy brand new, and we have a friend who has a son that we pass Russell's stuff on to when Russell grows out of it.  And no, I did not get paid in any fashion for endorsing Land's End on my blog.....unfortunately!!

First off, I hardly ever buy NEW stuff.  The only things we buy new for our kids are undergarments (second-hand panties? GROSSSSSS) and typically, we do have to buy new shoes most of the time, because there are not that great of selections at my favorite places for the size of feet my girls have.  Typically the size of shoes my girls wear are too worn out at the places I frequent.  However, there are lots of times when we've been able to find beautiful shoes that are second-hand, but not usually. So, shoes and underthings are the only things we buy new.

Secondly, I'm a resale queen! There are a couple of really fabulous resale shops in our town.  One of them just opened about 6 months ago.  These shops are exlusive to our area, so they're small and there aren't that many employees.  One of my favorite shops is a place that I've been shopping for at least 15 years.  I actually worked there for a short time too. That was fun! I've made relationships with the gals at my favorite shops.  They've become friends.  They'll save something for me that they think I'll love, and they'll keep an eye out for something I need or that I'm looking for.  Plus, I can take things in and get credit for them! Then I can spend that credit just like cash, typically 50% cash to 50% trade, so, for example, if I spend $50.00, it really only costs me $25.00 because I used some of my credit.

Next, I'm very, very picky.  I'm fastidious and very careful about the clothing I put on my girls.  And, one of the many bonuses of shopping resale is that I can AFFORD to be picky.  I look for the exclusive brands.  I can purchase top-of-the-line brands that I otherwise can't afford.  I always buy good brands.  I usually stay away from chain-store brands, such as Faded Glory, which is Wal-Mart's brand, because the items are typically not well made with attention to details and good fabrics.  You could say I'm snooty.  But hey, when you are addicted to resale shopping like I am, you can afford to be!

One of the things that is very, very important to me is that the clothing I purchase is in good shape.  The two shops that I love in my town launder their items before putting them out on the racks. But sometimes I'll wash things again, just because. I never buy things that are stained or ripped or have missing buttons or holes.  My shops hardly ever put anything out that is damaged or stained anyway.  I do not like to have my girls walking around in junky looking clothes. So I avoid buying damaged things.

I also love to shop at Goodwill! We have a Goodwill in our town and I've gotten to know some of the employees there too.  I have to admit that it is getting harder to find good deals at the Goodwill because their prices are a bit too high for me.  And I traditionally don't find a lot of good clothes for my kids there since I do shop at resale shops for them.  But I do love a good Goodwill store and I like to go to Goodwill stores in different towns. 

I also hand down my girls' clothing to each sister.  This goes hand in hand with my next point, and that is that I take very good care of our clothes.  I never buy cheap detergents.  I always spray any stain with stain remover, and my favorite stain remover is OxyClean spray.  I use Kirkland brand Environmentally Friendly detergent.  This is a relatively new thing for me, because forEVER I used Tide.  I know that some of you make your own detergent and some of you use the cheapest brand you can get, but I'm satisfied with my detergent.  I love it.  But I will tell you that I have tried many, many detergents in the past.  Since I am passing clothes down from sister to sister, it is vitally important for those clothes to be as clean as possible and to stay bright and colorful and not look worn out or pilled up.  And this is why I choose to spend a bit more on my laundry needs.  We have traditionally been able to hand clothes down for about 5 or 6 years before they really start looking too worn.  We keep them in big plastic storage boxes on our garage shelves or up in our small attic.

I take the job of clothing my children very seriously! I love to dress my younger girls and buy things I think reflect their personalities and look good on them. 

Something new that has happened lately is that my two teenage girls, Hannah and Samantha, actually LIKE to go shopping with me and pick out their own clothes. It's so fun to go shopping with my two teenage girls. They have excellent taste and we have such a good time together picking things out and filling up our cart for next to nothing!!

I should say that in our family, all the ladies wear skirts, but that doesn't mean we wear ugly, frumpy skirts down to the floor....nor does it mean we wear miniskirts or skirts with slits up to the belly-button! There's a healthy balance between modesty and frumpiness, as there is between stylish and inappropriate.

So, these are a few things that we do to keep our family looking beautiful, stylish and put together each day.  I hope you've enjoyed a glimpse into what makes our family work well!

Now, leave me a comment and tell me what works for YOU!


Tesha said...

Hi Leanne, I love 2nd hand stores...however for boys the stuff is pretty worn out. I love little girls clothes, it is so much fun to dress my Shayla! The boys have lived on hand me downs for years and now my oldest son gets hand me down s from dad. I agree it is better to buy the best quality you an afford. Thanks for all of the love you have sent my way...prayers for you being said now!

Renata said...

Hi Leanne
Loved this post & I hope you are going well :)
It's only in the last few years that I found I enjoy op shopping & I love the fact that now I can afford clothes that I like :) I find that some op shops are discusting, but generally they try to keep the clothes clean & neat. If you go regularly you will often get what you want, but if you only go in for one thing it may or may not be there because they change their stock around fairly often. The other day I went into one & found some pants for Zai, a jacket for Ellie & a skirt & jumper for me all in about 5 minutes ( love those shopping trips where you just find nice things) other times you can spend half an hour in there & find nothing.
I agree about the detergent. I don't buy the cheapest because it just doesn't do the cleaning job the more expensive ones do. I tried making my own & found it worked for a while ~ I should do it again.
Have fun ~ need to go & help Ellie with maths
Love to you