Retail Therapy

I don’t like shopping.

Unless, of course, it’s Target, & I happen to have lots of money to burn (which is um, never).

The one caveat to this is thrift store shopping.  I don’t go often because I can’t stand having cheap, extra junk in my house.  But, oh how I love a good deal.  On things that I will actually use.

In this little community I grew up in & now am currently stationed for the next 2.5 months, there’s very little by way of any shopping.  We do have a JCPenney’s & a Wal-mart.  And, a Goodwill.  We’ve been living here for over almost 4 months & today was my first day entering it’s doors.

{Here’s me rationalizing.}

Kinda of a good thing.  Because I got a lot of “necessary” things–toys, books, & a few winter items.

All things that we didn’t bring with us & are stuck in a storage unit in Utah until we move to Texas in December.

And now that the weather is turning colder, I realized I needed to have a few toys for Salem & the books for indoor play, well, you never can have too many of those (if they’re good ones).

Also, kinda a bad thing because I spent money & we’re on a super tight budget which will hopefully put us on our speedy way to debt-free living soon.

Here’s our loot:

I felt like Salem needs more small motor skill, sensory play experiences.

 So I got a few things that will hopefully keep her fingers & mind, engaged.

First thing Salem did when we got home was find the books.  She sat on the driveway & “read.”

I love the old-school Fisher-Price toys.

They don’t make ’em like they used to, do they?

Not exactly Dickens, but hey, if it get’s him super excited about reading (which it does), I’ll support it.

Most books were $.99, or $1.99 if they were hardcover.

Can’t beat an almost brand-new book for that price.

And my favorite part:  4 pairs of jeans for $25.


Do you ever thrift store shop?
What are your fave things to get at thrift stores?


  1. Rachel @ My Naturally Frugal Family
    on September 28, 2012 at 9:58 am said:

    We have a book at home called “The Mommy Book” by Todd Parr. In it is says “Some mom’s like to shop.” My 3 year old daughter will look up at me EVERY time and say “Mommy you like to shop don’t you!” It isn’t a question she has me figured out and yes I do love to shop.
    I have to be getting a bargain though because paying full retail hurts (my wallet and my body..I just can’t do it).
    We aren’t very lucky in my area to have good thrift stores, which is unfortunate, but we do have a second hand book store which you can find awesome deals in.
    Congrats on your finds and I have to say Salem looks like a mini-you in that pic where she is reading in the driveway.

  2. Julie G
    on September 28, 2012 at 8:19 am said:

    Love that clock! I think that was around when I was a kid, or babysitting. I love old fisher Price…I wanted the Little People children’s hospital a few years ago (we had it as kids and now I work for our Children’s). Apparently it was only made 1-2 years and it was very sought after on eBay. I settled for a nice but well-played with one…I have some other pieces but have to keep it in check:) I think you made excellent choices for the kids. Good finds!

    • Janae Wise
      on September 28, 2012 at 11:18 am said:

      Oh the Little People play set. I played with those for hours as a kid. Wish we had more of that sort of thing nowadays. I’m sure if they came out with a vintage set, it would sell like hotcakes. There’s an underground market for the Little People sets from the 70’s & 80’s amongst moms, I’ve observed at least!

  3. lfwfv
    on September 27, 2012 at 10:44 am said:

    I’m the same as you….usually hate shopping and I also hate having things I don’t need (i’m a constant closet-purger….).

    But, I recently discovered our local goodwill. It’s awesome!! I bought all of my maternity clothes there, save for a few items i bought on ebay. Every item was under $3.99.

    I also bought basically all of our baby clothes for 0-6 months there and asked for nobody to buy me clothes at our baby shower (they bought cloth diapers and a load of awesome books instead). The clothes i found at goodwill were all $1.99 per piece and many of them were expensive brand names, some still with tags on! BabyGap jean overalls for $1.99 in two different sizes? Yes please! We bought a baby snowsuit there as well, and I also bought tons of board books for 50 cents each! (I just lysol-wiped each page…). Absolutely awesome.

    We live near several affluent neighborhoods so our Goodwill seems particularly well-stocked, and i think we will be using it almost exclusively to buy our kid’s clothes as they grow, and even for my own wardrobe needs.

    • Janae Wise
      on September 27, 2012 at 10:59 am said:

      Awesome! You are doing it right way, for sure. Baby clothes are so quickly outgrown, it’s really difficult to justify the price tag. Also, as you might have already discovered–baby clothes are often AS MUCH as adult clothes, price-wise. It’s crazy.

      I love that you lysol wipe each page. You are so meticulous, it’s admirable. I think I should probably do that with my new stash, but that might take me all day, since I got a bajillion books.

      Also, one other thing about thrift shopping. Maybe it’s just me, but don’t you feel like you’re doing something good for the world by re-using other people’s clothes? Kinda like recycling…I don’t do it just be green, but I do think it’s a nice perk.

      • lfwfv
        on September 27, 2012 at 4:43 pm said:

        Well, i only lysol-wiped every single page of the board books because the baby will probably chew on them, and they were kinda grimy looking….The soft books i found just got their covers wiped down 😀

  4. Joy
    on September 27, 2012 at 5:39 am said:

    (Full disclosure: I do love to shop. It’s in my blood. I just don’t do it that often.)

    My sister and I used to go to thrift stores a lot when we were younger. Once we found a designer top for $3 and sold it on eBay for $120!

    I think thrift and consignment shops are especially great for kids stuff, since it’s often so expensive and they outgrow everything so quickly. We have a small chain of consignment shops here called Second Time Around where I’ve found some great designer stuff (which I never would’ve paid full price for).

    And, Janae, what a score on those jeans!!! xo

  5. Leanne
    on September 26, 2012 at 4:46 pm said:

    Did you really buy all those books? I thought I was a book collecter, you may have me beat 🙂
    I have not been in a Goodwill in a while, I am *trying* to not collect more things (or spend any mone). But 4 pairs of jeans for $25, what a deal!

    • Janae Wise
      on September 26, 2012 at 10:58 pm said:

      Yes, I *really* did. My husband & I are both avid book collectors/addicts. We don’t spend our money on golf, sports, fancy anything. But books, oh my, oh my. We love books, especially when they’re for our kids, so watch out :). (Part of the reason I want a Nook so badly, actually.)

  6. Marsha
    on September 26, 2012 at 4:05 pm said:

    We have a place called Twice As Nice practically right next door. It’s a place to trade and/or buy clothes, shoes and kids equipment (beds, swings, strollers, etc). I love it because I can take all of J’s clothes over and sell them then buy “new” clothes for her ever growing little body. I will save all her summer clothes to sell next year as I saved from last year to sell this year. I love it! I’m over there as often as possible just to grab all the great finds for her. What I need to do more often is pick up a few things for myself. But, I hate that part. This is why I have one pair of jeans and one pair of shorts. I’m constantly doing laundry. *sigh*

    • Janae Wise
      on September 26, 2012 at 11:05 pm said:

      Oh Marsha, one pair! I urge you to go out & at least by another pair. You deserve at least two pair of pants, I’m confident of that :).

      I too, used to shop at a kid’s consignment shop. I loved it! I got great deals & the clothes were always cute & in good condition. Buying kids clothes brand new (at least for all of the kid’s clothes) doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to me–they wear through them so quickly, it’s hard to justify spending $30 for one kid sweater or $40 for pants. I like to buy a few new things now & then, but most of our stuff is hand-me-downs from cousins or thrift shop stuff. We’ve done it out of necessity, but I’d like to think even as our income increases, we’ll stick to our frugal ways.

      • Marsha
        on September 27, 2012 at 10:57 am said:

        Yes, I know. I need more pants! I just hate shopping for them. 🙂

        We too buy a free new things here and there. This past weekend the hubby and I went to his friends new consignment/resale/new shop. She makes beautiful dresses and outfits. I spent $40 on a skirt and shirt outfit. It’s handmade by a friend and it’s absolutely darling. Not my normal buy but worth it nonetheless. I’m a huge fan of sugar skulls, as is my daughter actually (something we pride ourselves on in Tucson I suppose) and the shirt had one embroidered on it. So beautiful.
        My income increased for a bit and I was still frugal. I just can’t go buy expensive clothes that aren’t great quality or that won’t last long. Most of her furniture is hand-me-down or from IKEA (I love that place). And we’ve decorated slowly (thanks for the tips by the way of how you decorated your house). I felt a bit uneasy not getting it all done right away but over these last 18 months decorating her room has been fun. And we’ve really brought her personality into the room.

  7. Sara
    on September 26, 2012 at 3:47 pm said:

    Why do I not visit our local thrift store?! Seems like a perfect thing to do with the kids one afternoon, where $5 will go a looooong way. You had me at 4 pairs of jeans for $25. 🙂 I love worn-in jeans, especially since it means no surprise shrinkage in the dryer. Thanks for the idea!

    • Janae Wise
      on September 26, 2012 at 11:07 pm said:

      Yes, holy cow. Every time I go shopping at a thrift store & come away with so many great finds for little $$$, I think, “sheesh, why do I ever buy anything new?” Also, I was surprised (delighted, actually) that all of my jean finds were hardly worn at all. They all look new–score, right?