Thursday, August 27, 2009

Thrifty Thursday: It's Chic to Be Cheap {25}

*I apologize for the irregular fonts in this post. It seems that blogger truly hates me.

{Hooked On: Dressing 'Em in the Best for Less!}

To see what everyone else is "Hooked On" this week, please visit Julia
at Hooked on Houses. Julia is kind enough to allow other bloggers to link up and share what's making them smile each week. Thank you, Julia!

I've mentioned before that I love to dress my girls. I get lots of compliments on their cute outfits, and it's no secret that I am not afraid of shopping consignment sales. I don't have the money anymore to blow $45 on a size 18m sweater set that may or may not have grilled cheese mashed into it after only ten minutes on Michaela Byrd's body.

Never been to a consignment sale before? Don't be scared. It won't hurt. You can join me on this little tour today!

I should preface this post by saying that you could come by my house on any given day and see one of them dressed like this:

When she's not wearing Bob Mackie-inspired gowns, Natalie wears a wardrobe that comes from primarily one place, and that would be the greatest kids' consignment sale man (or mom) has ever seen!

Y'all know I don't reveal my hometown here on the blog for my family's sake, but if you are anywhere in the area from DC to Richmond, please email me and I will give you the details about this sale's site! For now, I'll refer to it as the WW sale, which is run by two fabulous ladies, V and P.

Because I am brilliant, I volunteer so that I can shop one hour earlier than all of the suckers consignors. In an even larger display of my brilliance, I coerced my mother-in-law to keep both girls so I could shop without hearing whiny, high-pitched voices begging me for toys and crackers.

This is what the line in front of me looked like when I arrived to wait for the doors to open for the "pre-sale." Not bad! It was held in an indoor athletic center this time. V and P put on the WW sale twice a year, in two locations each time. They must be exhausted. I'm exhausted, and all I did was shop!

Note: you know it's a good consignment sale when people bring wagons and rolling carts to store their loot in!

This is what the line behind me looked like. You can't see that it went all the way to the end of the building.

The WW sale is a big deal around here. I overheard people discussing their shopping "strategies" with others in line. The woman who #1 in line arrived two hours early so that she could get in first, run to the toy area and snag a castle play set. She knew that a couple a few feet away was also planning on purchasing the set, and there was no way she was going to let them have it.

This is hard core shopping, people! You could lose an arm or leg, so be prepared to be tough!

V and P came out to greet the public and give us some details on the sale before we would be allowed inside. There are video cameras and a bouncer this year to keep shoplifters at bay!

There were 3 indoor soccer fields FULL of merchandise! This is a shot of JUST the toy/shoe/book area. I've never seen so many light-up/spinning/noise-making baby toys all in one place. It made me feel a little twitchy just imagining all the noise that could be made.

Here's a view of all the strollers, high chairs, and bouncy seats. Reminds me of a Harley convention.

More strollers and all the outdoor toys.

This is my Mecca:

Since I don't look cute in anything anymore, I can just drool over the thousands of kids' clothes on this field!

Racks of clothes stretched on and on as far as the eye could see.

WW does an excellent job of organizing by sex and sizes. They make it very easy to spend money in there. T will thank them later, I am sure.

Zac Efron was there to greet me as I rounded the corner. He wanted to know if I wanted to star in High School Musical 7 with him. I turned him down because of my busy blogging schedule. I know he'll make some 12 year old girl very happy.
I wisely unpacked the double stroller from my car so I didn't have to drag my laundry basket around all over the field. This is what it looked like before I started sorting my purchases.

Let's talk prices and sorting. I always have a list of things I am looking for (winter dress coat for Natalie, some skirts for preschool, 18 m Fall clothes for Michaela Byrd), but I tend to wander aimlessly and just happen upon things. I bet this drives the frantic shopping ladies mad.

If I see something that I think is cute, I put it in my basket. There seemed to be a pretty high percentage of over-priced Gymboree outfits this time. I adore Gymboree clothes, but I am not willing to pay $25 for someone's used jeans and turtleneck. I didn't even bother picking those up.

It pained me, pained me to put a $25 dollar red wool Rothschild dress coat back on the rack. It was such a steal, but I couldn't justify the price because I knew it would be way too big for Natalie this year (and maybe next!).

Check-out was as simple and easy as it gets. Many people were still shopping when I was finished, so I had ZERO wait time. WW is as good as it gets when it comes to organization. They have benches for people who have to wait, and a maze of roped off lines to meander through to get to check out.

Some beautiful sponsors' tables to check out:
I would have liked to get better shots, but the lady behind me didn't seem too pleased that I stopped to get this one. Guess she's never heard of anyone blogging a consignment sale before, huh?

Here's my loot on the sorting table. A worker removes each tag and then counts to make sure the number of items and tags match up. Simple and fast.

On to check out! The neat thing about volunteering is recognizing other workers at each sale. This lovely lady was behind me in line at the Spring sale, and we recognized each other. She made my check-out a breeze!

What did I get???

~A bag full of Fisher Price Sweet Streets toys. It contained the school, the dance studio, and a few other things. It's very small, and the people are Polly-Pocket sized. I might clean it up and put it under the Christmas tree for Natalie. At 4, I highly doubt she will look at it and deem in unworthy because it came from a consignment sale.

~A Melissa and Doug Responsibility Chart for Natalie's birthday. She's actually been asking me for a sticker chart. This one has magnets!

Check out all the neat magnets!

A large, hard cover volume of Beatrix Pottery (my favorite!) stories. The girls will love this.

~Preschool dresses.

Love the detail of the squirrel and the school house on the smocking. Looks very Autumnish to me.

~More preschool dresses

~Scottie dog jumper and Christmas sweater/skirt set.

Isn't it the sweetest?

~Three 18 m sized outfits for Michaela Byrd. Most of the hand-me-downs from Natalie are 24 m, so she needs a few smaller things

Don't you love it?

How can I resist stuff with birds on it for a child whose middle name is Byrd?!

~Carter's rain boots for Natalie, who promptly tried them on as soon as I took them out of the basket at home.
Wasn't that fun? Hope I eased your fears about consignment sales!

Repeat: I do not have to spend $98 on a dress at Janie and Jack for my child to look presentable!

Hit the nearest consignment sale (WW for me!) and find that dress for a fraction of the price.

Hope you're hooked like me!
{Happy Shopping!}

Note: I did not receive any financial or material compensation from the WW sale for this post. I wanted to show how much fun these sales can be.


  1. I bow to your greatness! I get overwhelmed in TJMAX, I'd probably have a coronary in this place!!

    Can you email me the "name" of this place or host names? hurry!


  2. That sale looks amazing! I wish I was on the East Coast just to go there. Great finds and I love Beatrix Potter too!

  3. scored! I don't think we have anything like that around here.

    Love all the little outfits! Little girl clothes are so much fun!

    Umm, but why weren't you hooked on SYTYCD today? Hmmmm? I'm in such suspense to see your line up!

  4. This sounds more serious than Boxing Day shopping!! Very strategic maneuvering and planning required!!

    Looks like you made a lot of great finds :-) Very cute pre-school dresses, and love the pink rubber boots :-)

    Kelly @ DesignTies

  5. That's a lot of stuff, Amanda. Goodness. I bet you had a blast though.

  6. great job , manda.....those girls will look so cute!!


  7. Wow, hard core shopping! That's my kind of sale!! I'm seriously in love with that scotty dog jumper!

  8. You go girl :) Awesome finds I would say! Looks like a good time too hehe

  9. Those little girl dresses are so sweet and good bargins too!

  10. That is crazy! I don't know if I would be able to focus though. You got some awesome buys. Way to shop!

  11. WOW!!! I sooo want to go there! That looks amazing and wonderful. I am in awe and sooo jealous!!!

  12. WOW!!!!!!!! What a great place to shop! I'd be all over that if we had one here. You got some great bargains for sure!

  13. WOW! I've never seen so many strollers in my life! It sounds like a wicked fun day and congrats to you for leaving the kids at home. I love their cute clothes :D

  14. Sounds like fun, I hope you continue to have great success!

  15. Awww, the girl's new outfits are so adorable! I love the Christmas outfits you got for Natalie, too cute! Well, you know I live in the same area you do, so I'll definately be asking you where this place is when I have some kiddos of my own. *way, waaaaaaaaaaayyyy into the future* Haha!

  16. WW sounds like a great shopping experience! Love your finds. My sister has 5 children and also shops garage sales, consignment etc. for clothing, and her kids always look well dressed.

  17. Makes my heart quicken just looking at that huge place! You found some great treasures.
    Fun post and lovely blog.

  18. That is amazing! I want to go to something like that... for myself! haha :) What a greedy little woman, I am!

    Aww I LOVE YOU TOO! You're one of my favies :) & Of course you can post your outfit! I absolutely love it as well! If you try to recreate this outfit or buy some of the items and are uncomfortable with the skinnies, switch 'em to a sexy cropped jean.(I say sexy, because capris can go so wrong so quickly, you know?) I paired skinnies with it b/c those shoes are to die for & need to be seen!!(& I have a top like that that I wear when I'm feeling poochy... it's perfection!)

  19. You are just like me. My friend does a consignment sale twice a year and I help her and get the benefits of shopping early too! Great, isn't it? You found some great items!!!

  20. I could not agree with you more. I love to shop consignment for my 10 month old! She grows too fast to spend a pile of money on one outfit that WILL end up stained. I am going to my first BIG consignment sale in the morning and I am beside myself excited! (:

  21. That is amazing! There's nothing like that around my neck of the woods. What a blessing. Lisa~

  22. Happy for you...jealous, that's me. Love it!

  23. so...i averaged my purchases out and i spent a grand total of $4.36 per piece, some of which were for baby J which will be reimbursed by SS.

  24. I've been doing this sale for almost 4 years and saves me a TON of money and the clothes/toys are GREAT!!!


I love to hear your feedback! Please feel free to leave comments...just don't send me spam asking me to buy stuff off your website! I've got three kids and no money to purchase your magic weight-loss pill or bust enhancement, or whatever else you might be selling. Thanks, and I look forward to hearing from you! :)

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