Saturday, August 30, 2008


When you go through significant financial downsizing like we did three years ago, the purchasing of new clothes becomes a thing of the past. That was hard to swallow at first, since it's important to me that my children be tastefully and neatly dressed, so that they grow up knowing how to present themselves for courtship, job interviews and the professional world. It's a material value, yes, but one that I think makes living in this world a bit easier.

I have to purchase clothes each season for Daniel and Emily, since they are the oldest of each gender. Timothy and the baby girl I'm carrying will have to deal with years of hand-me-downs, with occasional surprise outfits from relatives.

I needn't have panicked. The fact is, I've learned that I'm a hunter-gatherer. That is an actual skill! And I love it! I get excited about any upcoming hunting-gathering expeditions. I have learned the art of thrift store and consignment shopping, and the kids are in better clothes than we could ever hope to afford new.

Although we are in a heatwave this week, fall temps will arrive very soon here, so I've been hustling to outfit Daniel and Emily, and the baby for her first three months. I gave away all the 0-3 month things for Emily, thinking we were certainly done with childbearing. Luckily, all her other things just went into storage boxes; I never had time to sort through them. Looking back, that was probably a God thing.

If we had a digital camera, I would publish pictures of the items I found today at a consignment shop, located not far away in a mini-Amish town. Beautiful, expertly made clothes, all of them. My hunter-gatherer self is feeling all warm and happy right now.

Even if you aren't a hunter-gatherer, I still urge you to locate the nearest consignment shop. They don't take any items that are faded, stained, or torn. Everything has to be in mint condition, or it's a waste of their time. I've found that most children's items at Goodwill are $2 to $5 dollars, and children's consignment clothing and shoes are usually $2 to $6. It's so worth your time! You might just have a blast.

Just don't make the mistake I made today, and come home with nothing at all for the hand-me-down kids. Daniel currently has no pajamas at all for fall, so I was fortunate today to find him a sleeper and a pajama set. However, my heart broke when Timothy's face fell because he had nothing to try on, so I had to say that the pajamas were for him. He was a happy little lark, but now I'm nearly back to square one with night things for Daniel. So, get at least a shirt for your hand-me-down kiddos. At $2 a piece, it's a painless way to remember them.

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