Saturday, February 21, 2009

Spend Less Saturday {2}

I'd like to first thank you, my readers, for not shunning me for the controversial subject matter in this week's ThriftyThursday post. (Except you, Meri. You are dead to me. Kidding!)

My friend, Meri, reminded me that sometimes it is better to buy quality items when they are on sale so that they'll last longer. I totally agree with you on that point, Mer. But if I'm just looking for some play clothes or something cute for them to wear out, I'm okay with hitting the kids' section at Target. With four boys, Meri definitely has a time of trying to coordinate those holiday photos, and I know she's a little apprehensive about Easter.
{She wrote that sometimes The Children's Place in our mall is the only place she can outfit all the boys in coordinating ensembles (is it okay to say "ensemble" if it's for a boy??!) without spending an arm and a leg, or auctioning one of the kids off.}

I found this simply fabulous Rothschild wool coat with a matching hat for Natalie at a local consignment sale. In perfect condition. I chalk that one up as a score for not only buying quality, but buying at rock-bottom prices! Are you proud, Meri?

The amazingly crafty Kelly, of SinfullyDeliciousBrownie fame, agreed that it is a challenge "to dress [your kids] for less" these days. She owned up to having shopped at WM a time or two so that I would not feel like a complete loser.
{Her tip was that if you really want to see your dollar stretch at WM, shop the clearance rack at the end of the season and do your best to estimate your kids' sizes.}
I'll admit that that's hard for me to do because I see all the other racks brimming with the upcoming season's new and adorable fashions. It's hard to bypass those for the sweaters you've already seen 45 times. On the upside, you might luck out and get an unbelievable deal on an item you've been eyeing all winter.

I don't know how you managed to escape the "matchy-matchy" gene, Tracy , because the legend goes that it's hard-wired into your DNA. Are you sure Boagie didn't adopt you? My grandmother used to send matching dresses for my sister and I, but she allowed the tradition to persist for much longer than it should have. Wearing a smocked dress identical to your kid sister is okay when you are five, but by fifth grade I was ready to drop the sister act. Our poor brother, Jamie, was usually forced into some sort of coordinating little man outfit. The picture below is the only one I have on the computer of Alison and I in something matching. I am guessing that my dad drew the line at pink and white striped swim trunks for his only son.

I love how I had to wear the stupid tee-shirt under my bathing suit because of my albino-like skin. Oh well, at least I won't look like my Great-Aunt Vera when I am 40.
Boagie unwittingly confirmed what was probably a subconscious theory of mine that buying matching outfits for your kids can actually save you money because the younger ones will have the *joy* of wearing the older child's hand-me-down in a year or two. "Hey, these capri pants look familiar!"

This, of course, leads me to my sister's tip:
{"when I have kids, I'm just going to use your kids' hand-me-downs."}
This is problematic. Growing up, Alison never got through a meal without some food item plastered to her face, clothes, or diaper. Alison, I know you're reading this. You lose stuff: clothes, shoes, jewelry, Cabbage Patch kids, walkmans on planes to Luxembourg (the jury's still out on that one-Jamie needs to be cross-examined)....Tim has off-handedly mentioned before that he would very much like to have a son someday so that he doesn't feel like a freak-show in his own home. Once I stop laughing, I might consider his thoughts on the matter. But if Fortuna doesn't spin her wheel in the right direction, we could wind up with a third girl. In which case I'd be calling you asking for my boxes of stuff back. And receiving a shoe box containing a onesie, two mismatched jumper sets, and an Easter bonnet with chocolate stains on it (because Mimi will give your baby chocolate when you are not looking).

So, to sum up, bargains are good and sharing is great, but be on the lookout for quality! Know what you're buying and why, and be sure to inspect items upon their return from sisters whose track record on borrowing is sub-par.


  1. Manda, if you have Kohl's check their end of the season clearance. I was there last week, and they had cute Carters, Chaps, and other good brands at 60 to 80% off! They were so cute, I'd have spent a fortune if I was a grammy already!

    LOVE the teal coat on Natalie!


  2. Hi lady! I actually just use Microsoft Paint to do my watermark. It's really simple. Just open the photo you want to work with, then scroll to the bottom (or wherever you want the writing). Click on the text tool. At the bottom of the tool bar will be two boxes. One shows a solid white square and one shows a dotted line with the background showing through. You want to choose the one with the background showing through (otherwise the part of your photo where you put the text will be covered by a large white rectangle.) Then just choose your font and size on the little pop up bar, create a rectangle where you want the text to appear and type. When your done click outside of the text box. That's it. Hope this helps.

  3. Maybe I jinxed Tracy always dressing her and her sister alike...they used to be best friends and play together all the time when they were young. The reason might be...we lived on a farm with no close neighbors with children so they had to play with each other. I still remember all their make believing and finding old items on the farm and turning them into something to play with. The older they got and school friends came available their friendship turned sour. My two girls have totally opposite peronalities ( I love them both) but they do not have a loving sisterly relationship now. The old saying "opposites attract" must be for the opposite sex. Cause my husband and I are opposties and we get along marvelous. We'll be married 35 years this summer.

    Love Natatlie's new coat.

    How do I write back to you if I want to tell you of an idea for T.T.?


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