Consignment Shopping

Consignment stores can be really crappy – they can be disorganized and the clothes can be dirty. I know. I’ve been to a lot of bad ones. After shopping around I have found an amazing consignment store. It is the only one I go to now. Most of Audrey’s clothes are from the store.

Normally for a Christmas dress I go to Gymboree or Baby Gap instead of the consignment shop. I like to splurge on special occasions. This year I skipped the splurge because I was shopping with a cranky three-year old. I didn’t want to be stuck at the mall with a three year old on the verge of a temper tantrum.

I’m glad I skipped the mall. I spent $45 and brought home a lot of great stuff.

I found Audrey a Christmas dress. It’s a navy sweater dress from Gymboree. It looks comfortable. It was probably worn once by the prior owner. I am thrilled that I was able to get her a dress for much less than I was planning to pay at the mall.
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I found a Christmas skirt. Audrey loves skirts, so this holiday number will be worn a lot this month. She’ll be able to wear this for a couple of years. 20171202_160420.jpg

Audrey loves giraffes. She sleeps with three stuffed giraffes every night. She saw this shirt in the store and told me “Auddie needs a giraffe shirt”. She took it and carried it around the store please as punch that she was going to bring it home. 20171202_160504.jpg

One of the best things about the Christmas skirt and giraffe t-shirt is that they can be worn together. They look stunning when you add in Cubs sweatpants and a hot pink Adidas jacket.

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I found Toms in a popsicle print. She just moved into this size of shoe, so she should be able to wear them for a long time. These are super cute, and something I would never pay full price for. Shoes are one of my favorite things to buy used. I buy Keens and dress shoes in every size I find. I just pull out the next size as she grows into them. 20171202_160522.jpg

Speaking of buying things when you find them. I found this gorgeous Janie and Jack dress in a size 5. I bought it and put it in the closet. I really hope we have a summer wedding or fancy party to go to in 2 years when it will fit her. I think it is so pretty I don’t even care that I’m going to have to iron it.
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As adorable as the dress is, my favorite thing I found was for Elliot. This guy gets so many hand me downs I rarely buy him clothes, but when I found this Dude sweater I had to buy it. Could he be any cuter?
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As you can see, your money goes far at a consignment shop. If you find the right one the clothes are as good as new. It’s one of my favorite ways to save money.

Do you ever shop at consignment shops? What are your favorite ways to save money?

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Stash Explosion

My resolution for the past two years has been to end the year with less yarn in my stash than I started with. I was successful last year, and this year looked OK. Until this week. This week things went a little crazy and I added too much to my stash.

It all started innocently enough. My older sister requested a slouchy hat for next winter. She was drawn to sparkly yarn, so I found some at Webs that she liked and ordered it. It is soft and lovely. Now that it is here I’m a little worried that it won’t work for the hat, so I’m going to do a gauge swatch. I usually just wing hats and don’t worry about gauge. They are so fast you can just tear it back and start over if something is off. The yarn is 60% baby fine mohair – beautiful to work with, yet impossible to re-knit.

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The second time I bought yarn this week it was also totally justified. My younger sister took pictures of our kids, so I told her I would make her socks. I was smart and did not put a time frame on when she would receive the socks. Lucky for her, the pictures she took were beautiful, so I’m excited to make her some thank you socks. It’s hard to take pictures of a 2 1/2-year-old who hates the camera and a cranky 1-year-old, but she did a wonderful job.
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I sent her to Knit Picks to look at the sock yarn, because I had a gift certificate that I wanted to use. She found three yarns for me to pick from. I couldn’t decide between the three, so I narrowed it down to two. I think I’ll use the sparkly blue yarn to make her socks as a thank you and stash the other yarn for when I feel like surprising her with socks (probably around 2047).

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I still had some money left on the gift card, so I picked up some yarn to make an Elwood cardigan for Elliot. Now that the yarn is here I’m not sure I like the colors together. I think a gray would have been better with the blue, but not of the grays struck my fancy when I was perusing them.

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While looking around on Knit Picks I discovered that they now have yarn grab bags. For $10 you get at least $20 worth of yarn. I’m not a fan of gambling, unless it is yarn related, so I went for it. I am pretty happy with half of what I got. I ended up with some bulky yarn I’m throwing in my stash to ignore. It would work for boot toppers, if I ever get around to them. I love the chroma fingering weight yarn, and will be making socks for myself out of it. There is only one skein of Felici, so it looks like Audrey is getting more socks, as I would need two skeins to make them for myself. The last item I got was crochet thread, which I will never use. If you crochet and would like it, please let me know. I’ll happily mail it to you.

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Today I justified buying yarn because one of my local yarn shops, Hill Vintage & Knits, is closing and yarn was 50% off. It is always sad to see a LYS close its doors, especially after a week of binge buying yarn on-line. I worked through my sadness by buying yarn. I picked up some yarn for yet another striped sweater for the kids and some Regia for socks for John.

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Now I’m on a yarn diet until I get a few projects completed. I keep telling myself that once the dishcloths are done I’ll fly through projects. Hopefully that happens.

Have a great weekend! Now go buy a bunch of yarn so I don’t feel like the only binge yarn shopper.

 

5 on Friday: Costco

We buy a lot at Costco, so 5 items barely scratches the surface of the great things you can buy there. There are some things I immediately took out of the list, because formula and diapers aren’t something that most people are looking to try from Costco.  I haven’t included the black bean burgers we can’t get enough of, the cheap beer, the agave syrup, the maple syrup (we are a syrup loving family), or even the V8 we buy by the case.

This list is 5 great things at Costco that we buy at least monthly that I wanted to share with you. Maybe you buy them too.

Eggo Waffles. We have big breakfasts every day. Often Audrey naps trough lunch and only has two meals. Mornings for her start with fruit, eggs, and a peanut butter waffle. John will eat them with butter and syrup. Elliot likes anything on them. I have been known to use them for the bread in egg in the hole when we are out of bread. Are they great? No. Are they good? Yeah. Do I like not having to buy boxes of waffles at the store every week? Yes.

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Half and Half. We have a 2 year old and a 9 month old. We drink a lot of coffee.

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Tillamook Cheese. This is our house cheddar. We use it in eggs at breakfast, on sandwiches at lunch, and in casseroles at dinner. We will eat it as a snack too. It’s good cheese. Good enough to buy by the brick. dsc_0037

Berries (you know what they look like): Costco has good berries at a decent price year round. We buy them every trip. I often lie to Audrey and tell her we are out of raspberries because I want to eat them.

Toilet Paper. We buy Kirkland toilet paper. It’s fine. I think it is no better and no worse than average toilet paper. It’s cheap, I’m cheap, it works. I should clarify that the other items on this list we buy at least monthly, but toilet paper is more of a once every six months or a year item.

What do you buy at Costco? Are there any gems that I’m missing?

Every Friday I share 5 things I think you should know about. Are there any 5 on Friday topics you would like to hear about? Comment to share your ideas.

5 on Friday: Bass Pro Shop

I love Bass Pro Shop. It is a huge store decorated with dead animals (they must have a full time taxidermist). They sell lots of guns. Their website greets you with “Welcome, Outdoorsmen” (dude…what about the ladies?). It isn’t what you would think of when you think liberal shopping destination, but I love it.

5 things I love about Bass Pro:

Santa

Not only do they have a nice Santa, you get a free 5X7 photo. This week they were even giving away free frames. Their photo packages and digital packages are much cheaper than the mall. As a stay at home mom I don’t get to spend money on Christmas the way I would if I was working, and Bass Pro makes Santa photos affordable.

We got to Bass Pro around 2:30 and there was not a line at that time. Santa came out to talk to Audrey, and kept his distance to get her comfortable. An elf encouraged her to see if she could sit in Santa’s chair. She was hesitant, but she crawled up into the chair and we got a picture of her in the chair and Santa standing next to her holding Elliot. Maybe next year she will be up for sitting in his lap, but this year I was thrilled to get a picture of them both in the frame without her screaming.

After we took the picture Santa continued to talk to Audrey about his elves. It was so nice that he took the time to talk to her and make her comfortable instead of just taking a picture and moving along.

My Aunt Kathy always comes with me to help with Audrey. She is such a good help, holding Audrey’s hand and talking to her about Santa while I deal with Elliot. The staff acknowledged her help by giving me 2 frames and 2 photos so she could have one too.

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Santa makes Audrey feel comfortable.

The Play Area

This is the first year that Audrey was big enough to play in the kids area. She liked playing in the ball pit. Next year she should be able to work the diggers in the ball pit. They also have a shooting game, Lincoln Log table, train table, and a remote control car to play with. It’s a bit of a drive over to Altoona to get to Bass Pro, so it’s nice that Audrey can run around and play while we are there.

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She is serious about her love of the ball pit.

The Clothes

Bass Pro has a really nice clothing selection. Every time we are there Kathy and I spend a good half hour checking out their clothes. This time they had several drapey cardigans (part of my winter uniform) and cozy sweaters. They are not expensive, and I kicked myself for not looking there when I was looking for a new sweater.

In addition to nice clothes they sell rhinestone covered pink camouflage Bible covers. Kathy and I tease each other about needing those. We also muse about who we would like to give the Bible cover too (We usually settle on Claire). Making fun of those Bible covers never gets old.

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The Fish

They have a huge fish tank. We stopped and looked at the fish for a long time. For the rest of our time at the store Audrey kept asking to go back and see the fish.

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Not the best photo, but you can see Kathy smiling in the reflection, which makes me happy.

FUDGE!

Aunt Kathy always buys me a piece of fudge when we are at Bass Pro. I should be buying it for her for all of her help, but she won’t let me. This time I got amaretto fudge. It was amazing. I shared some with John, even though he thinks fudge is “just OK.” I then got mad at John, because if you think something is “just OK” you really should leave it for me.

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I don’t like to share.

Bass Pro is a fun way to spend an afternoon. They also have a bowling alley and restaurant. We didn’t stay to eat this time, but if we had, we could have used the coupon for a free kids meal that they include with the free Santa photo.

Have you been to Bass Pro? What do you love about it?

5 things on Friday: Aldi

Every Friday I’m going to share five things I think you should know about. I’m going to start with 5 things from one of my favorite stores – Aldi.

I love a bargain. Clothes, shoes, you name it, I love a good deal. One place I love to go to score a great deal is Aldi. I make a trip monthly to stock up on my favorite products. They are high quality and much cheaper than the grocery store, Target, or even Costco.

Applesauce Pouches

My absolute favorite thing to buy at Aldi is applesauce pouches. They are less than $2 for a box of 4. They go in my diaper bag for an easy snack stash and are added to meals as a treat. I love the apple strawberry pouches, so I get more of those than any other flavor. These are delicious, and a great way to get some fruit on the go.

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Mini Bear Grahams

I have a toddler, so these are a must buy.  These generic Teddy Grahams are just as good as the real deal, but are much cheaper. I like that they come in individual packs. These are a special treat, so if I had to open a big box they would go stale before we finished them. These go into my diaper bag and are really good at preventing meltdowns when Audrey is tired.

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Little Journey Fruit and Veggie Pouches

This fall Aldi came out with a line of baby and toddler products. My favorite items are the Little Journeys fruit and veggie pouches. It is hard to get Audrey to eat vegetables, but she has never turned down a pouch. At around $.80 for an organic pouch it is a steal. I rarely see fruit and veggie pouches for less than $1.

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She loves the pouches so much she started picking one for lunch as soon as she discovered the stash. I would prefer that she eat her vegetables, but for now pouches work for us.

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Raisin Cinnamon Bread

I love this stuff. Audrey loves this stuff. It is great toasted with butter. It’s even better made into french toast. I only buy one loaf each trip, but if Elliot ends up liking is as much as Audrey and I do we will be buying two loaves each trip soon.

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Dubliner Cheese

Audrey isn’t the only one that gets snacks when I go to Aldi. I also get a treat for me. I love Dubliner cheese, and Aldi has it for under $4. I like to keep this stocked for snacking. It’s also a great addition to a cheese plate when friends come over (yes, I always have cheese plate supplies).

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What are your must buy Aldi items? Are there any Friday Fives you would like to hear about? Please share your ideas with me.