During my teenage years and into my parenting years, I’ve found thrift stores to be a wonderful way to save money on household items, kids clothes and unique gifts. If you look hard enough, you can find great bargains on things that are in good shape. When my niece was a baby, I found a Holly-Hobby-looking baby bonnet that my sister-in-law loved! Be on the lookout for things like brass candle sticks, Tupperware and luggage. They can be in great shape and only cost a few dollars. Some collectable items are most likely in display cases and with a little online homework before you go, you can find something that is worth more than they are selling it for.
I have an aunt who lives in a beautiful home and who saves money by going to garage sales. Everybody thinks she is rich! I like to go bargain hunting in thrift stores or used clothing “consignment” shops. They are shops, which will sell used clothing, shoes or accessories that are in good condition and spilt the profits with the seller. (Another good idea for making money!) I have found some really nice things.
Make New Clothes From Old Ones Or Sheets.
My mom made a dress for a play at my daughter’s school from a pink flat sheet. Also, I used to cut off her pants and sew on lace to shorts for summer when she wore out the knees.
Always Be On The Lookout For Freebies!
I find many online from sites that advertise free samples or coupons. It saves money and you can try some new things. It’s always a good idea to save money on baby items like diapers and wipes. The only thing you have to watch is the extra email or junk snail mail that can come from giving out your address. I strongly recommend a post office box. It does cost a bit each year to have a small one and the post office has trash bins in the building. Some online carriers have spam controls to help cut down on unwanted email. Oh, and don’t give out important personal information!
When I was home schooling my daughter, we learned of an art project from our friends at church that made doormats and floor mats to paint designs on with fabric paint from samples of carpet from carpet stores. You may find a carpet store, which will give you old sample mats they may be throwing out anyway. You can also ask to purchase them for 50 cents if they seem stubborn. I learned this at my church from the program Mothers of PreShoolers, or MOPS. Check out this program at your church (or it can help you check out one) and what crafts you can find. The program is excellent and a way for you to get out of the house and provides babysitting at the church for a small fee or there are scholarships.
Medicine samples can be found at the local pharmacy for headache medicine and cold remedies for kids, just keep an eye out! Ask your primary care physician if he or she has any for the medicine they are prescribing. At stores, always look for tempered packages or sneaky schemes from websites.
You can go to your local library to get online. One of the most popular websites is Craigslist.com. Look under your city then under the title “shopping,” there is a link to free or almost free stuff like furniture, baby clothes, even electronics! Always take another adult with you if you can. When I got some things from that website, I went to the person’s home and found my new “Morticia Addams Chair” on his porch. I’ve found those online for $230! The mirrored top of my dresser was very heavy and in a garage with a chained dog watching us as we drove up. The people were friendly when they saw we didn’t pose a threat and helped us put it into my truck.
I’ve recently found a great author, Joey Green, who writes interesting books about how everyday brand-name products can be used for more than what they were intended for, including ideas for science experiments to teach the kids! He has written books titled: “Paint Your House With Powdered Milk,” “Potato Radio, Dizzy Dice and More Wacky, Weird Experiments from the Mad Scientist,” (a sequel to his “The Mad Scientist Handbook”), and “Wash Your Hair With Whipped Cream.” Fun books with interesting ideas and tested ideas that work! Check it out! www.wackyuses.com
Sheryl Knapp is a freelance writer and has been a single mom for over twenty-five years.