Tuesday, June 24, 2008


Andrea at A peek inside the fishbowl posted this last month on the subject of thrift shopping. I didn't get around to taking part in her challenge, but the post stayed with me, especially the part where she says (about thrift stores):

"Some folks wouldn’t be caught dead in a place like this because they think (a) the clothes have been stripped off bodies at the city morgue or (b) they’re going to catch cooties or something or (c) they’re caving to the stigma that second-hand shops are domain of the poor and no one else is allowed to shop there. Sadly, there are a lot of people who can’t afford to shop anywhere else, that’s true, but I look at it this way: I give tons of stuff away to second-hand shops to resell so my conscience is clear. Besides, this is the kind of shopping that’s actually good for the environment. By not buying new I’ve saved some cash AND saved something from going into the landfill. "

I love the second-hand stores and the garage sales. You never know what treasures you're going to find. We still have two working VCRs, and lots of people have got rid of theirs in favour of DVD and now Blueray disc players. My girls don't care what technology their movies are served up in, so long as they can watch them. You can pick up movies and books for a buck or two at the Sally Ann. My favourite dress that Rachel ever wore, periwinkle blue velvet, came from My Sister's Closet, a second hand/consignment store in Kanata. Here We Grow Again in Stittsville is a great second-hand/consignment shop too.

A couple of weeks ago after a periodontist appointment, I checked out the second-hand store across the street from his office. My score:

One pair of American Eagle Outfitter jeans (Long! Enough! For! Me!!!); a Cotton Ginny long-sleeved T; a Jessica Sport short-sleeved T; VHS copies of Scooby Doo 4 Creepy Capers (for the girls), Monty Python and the Holy Grail (for me), Lara Croft Tomb Raider (hey, don't judge me); The first book from the Lemony Snicket 'A Series of Unfortunate Events' series -- The Bad Beginning (but not the beaded bookmark, that was already Leah's [my mom made it, and if you click on the picture you can see it better, it's really cute]) and one of her favourite "A to Z Mysteries' books -- The Runaway Racehorse for Leah; Beverly Cleary's Beezus and Ramona for Rachel; and a pair of silver-toned candlesticks for me. Total cost: $23.45. I regretfully put back a quilted Columbia jacket, eggplant purple, with the original store sales tag still on it, seeing it was just a bit too snug.

I'm not about to stop buying things new, when I need them, but I'm trying to teach the girls about how advertising works, and how consumerism is not a good thing, and how, in our family we buy things when we need them and not just because we want something new. It's kind of nice to have a side of environmental responsibility along with the main course of living within our means.

And hey, I won a contest! I'm a long-time fan of MamaTulip, and I checked out a new celebrity gossip site that she writes for: Binkywood. I entered a caption contest, and I won! I'm very excited to read my prize, a copy of The Myth of You and Me, by Leah Stewart.


  1. cool on winning a prize ... congrats!

    We ADORE our consigment shop and local goodwill store. We give away a lot of things that WE no longer use, so I feel good about buying second hand (I also love yard sales).

    But I understand that it skeeves some people out. And I would never, for example, buy underwear used. There are just some lines you should never cross.

  2. I enjoy looking at consignment shops, thrift stores and garage sales.

    Nice haul! I love the two tablecloths I got a couple weeks ago for $1 TOTAL at a garage sale.

  3. Congratulations - that's quite the haul!

    I've always loved thrifting...and jumble sales.

    Lovely, lovely stuff.

  4. I've been supporting Grace's heavy, heavy addiction to velvet at Value Village for the past two years. AND i found a pair of normally $180 dollar Holt Renfrew-type brand-name jeans for myself there at the very reasonable price of....$7.99!
    love second hand stores!

  5. Anonymous3:45 PM

    Yay for winning a prize! Isn't that a great feeling?!

    I love consignment/ebay/garage sales for the boys clothes, and for books and music and such. Not that I wouldn't like it for my clothes, but I am apparently a VERY COMMON SIZE. There is never anything nice in my size. Sometimes the girls at work and I will go out at lunchtime to the local thrift and consignment stores, and the VERY SKINNY girl and the VERY HEAVY girl and the VERY TALL girl always come away with handfuls of great stuff. I'm lucky to find a pair of jeans in my size, much less a good top.

  6. Congrats on the prize and the huge score at the second hand store.

    We have a few in Burlington but the best are in Hamitlon and Toronto. I try to go a cpl times a year and scored WB a 50's bowling jacket that he wears constantly - $5:)

    And the Lemony Snicket books? BEST EVER!!! Movie did not do them justice.

  7. The boys and I love garage saling--and I've even taught them to bargain now. And I can't tell you how many "emergency" winter jackets I've bought at Value Village and Talize when their zippers break in the middle of the winter and you can't find jackets anymore in the stores.

  8. Consignment stores, garage sales, thrift stores - I LOVE 'EM.

    And thanks for the linky love! I'm mailing your book out tomorrow. :)

  9. Anonymous8:56 AM

    Hey, great finds! We love Lemony Snicket around here. Sooo funny.

  10. I’m a thrift shop fiend. I love buying second-hand stuff over mall stuff. You get better quality for way less cost and you get things that are unique, so you don’t end up looking like everyone else. Thrift shopping is one of the last things my teenager and I enjoy doing together – Value Village is apparantly cool now… which is why the prices keep going up probably.

  11. Congrats on your prize!

    I check out second hand stores too. But I guess the Dutch wear their clothes until you can look through them, because I never find something that looks nice enough to wear.

    Monkey's little table and chair are second hand, and I have to find some time to paint them.

    I think it is really cool you teach your kids. I do think because of the enormous amount of marketing, kids already are more aware of what's marketing and what's not.
    Do you know: http://www.storyofstuff.com/?

  12. I tee-totally feel you on the thrift store shopping. I LOVE Goodwill. LOVE. Congrats on the bargains--I absolutely covet those jeans!