Sunday, March 30, 2014

Stretching the Clothing Budget: Consignment Sales

As a working home keeper, earning two incomes does not mean spending two incomes!  We have a small, monthly cash allowance established to keep three growing children clothed.  One of my tools for stretching that allowance is consignment sales.  Recently, I shopped a new to me consignment sale in the area.  I always save my shopping for the last day of the sale, when most items are typically 50-75% off.  I also have the advantage of shopping for older children while most of the other shoppers are competing over infant/toddler clothing and accessories.

My game plan:  stick with the basics.  For the boys, I look for solid colors, simple patterns or plaids.  I avoid jeans and go for khakis (in navy blue, black or tan) and cords.  Polo shirts are always a good buy for a casual or semi-dressy look depending on the occasion. 

I love scoring uniform pants and shorts as they are durable.  But, look quite polished when ironed and creased. 

I keep my eyes out for bigger name brands (like my gone but not forgotten favorite, Talbots Kids), but also adore brands like Old Navy and Cherokee.  No character clothing -  unless it's an absolute favorite and $1 or less.  But, favorite sports teams are a buy (especially at a good price!).

 For girl's clothing:  pretty, sweet, feminine, age-appropriate and modest in length and neckline.  Nothing too dark in nature or too flashy.  No characters (though Ashleigh is beyond that age now).  But, always room for a little fun (like leopard print pajamas with pink trim and sparkly buttons!).  Plus, Daddy is always there to offer a discerning eye.  Giving the veto to anything he doesn't feel is appropriate or a good value.

I'm already excited for the Fall sale!

Mary Ellen          

Monday, February 17, 2014

A Different Kind of Floral Valentine's Day Gift

No roses this year.  But, there were flowers :)

A pretty set of floral dinnerware with a coordinating set in my favorite shade of blue. 

Threshold, Haylee, Wellsbridge Aqua, Target, dinnerware
Threshold Haylee & Wellsbridge Aqua
Mary Ellen

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Snow Day!

Given the option to come into training late and review materials or stay at home and enjoy a snow day, I choose the latter - and better - option!

 The snow was too powdery for a snowman, but still fun nonetheless

My angels making snow angels

Reedy's gigantic snowball

Even Sheba Kitty braved the elements (briefly!)

The boys made snow pies

After fun in the snow, it was back inside for popcorn (our traditional snow day snack) and homemade hot chocolate

Snowflake decorated cupcakes {sort of - Ashleigh & I are still getting the hang of our new decorating pen!}

Cheers to snow day!

Mary Ellen

Monday, January 13, 2014

Coupon Organization for the Working Home Keeper

Quick coupon organization tip for busy working home keepers:  instead of clipping, date coupon inserts and file away in plastic sleeves.  When creating your shopping list, just clip coupons as needed!  After years of couponing (with varying intensity), when I'm looking at the new sales for the week, I pretty much know which items may have corresponding coupons {max savings = store sales + coupons + double/triple promotion (if available in your area)}.  If you don't have time to create your own match-ups, there are tons of resources available.  All the work is done for you; just clip and shop!  A few of my favorites are Money Saving Mom, Southern Savers and local blogs like SmartShopper and  Centsible Saver.  And remember, couponing is not just about food.  I cook mostly from scratch, with a focus on local and/or organic/organically-grown.  I find couponing helpful for saving on non-food items like pet food, cleaning and health & beauty products.
Mary Ellen