One of the favorite pieces of advice I hear from people who are trying to save money is "Buy your clothes at thrift stores." This is excellent advice if you A. Have an easy-to-fit body and B. Live near a thrift store that has quality clothing.
My size 14-"petite" (short and dumpy) body doesn't fit a whole lot at most thrift stores. Even if I'm lucky enough to find a pair of pants that I can button at the waist, they're generally dragging at the feet. Yes, I can take up a hem, but sometimes I'm just lazy.
There are a couple of good thrift stores in my neighborhood and I swing by once in awhile. They were great for the kids when they were young, but used boys' clothes in sizes that fit my pre-teen and teenager are usually pretty thrashed. We don't find much for them.
My usual stores have been pretty picked over lately; I guess everyone is in the same boat of trying to save money where they can. I decided to venture out of area to see what a new venue might provide. While up in Lake Arrowhead last weekend I stopped by a thrift store in Blue Jay and nosed around. I was delighted to find two pairs of jean capris that fit me perfectly. They're good labels, too, something that makes my vain little heart very happy. I don't mind used, but I do mind CHEAP used.
Even better, they had a sale on children's books, and I was able to pick up a huge bagful for only 15 cents each. These are being shipped off to an acquaintance of mine who is on the mission field in Indonesia. A flood came through last month and spoiled all her young son's books.
I love that I was able to get a couple of pairs of pants inexpensively ($5/each!) which will vastly improve my wardrobe. I'm also happy that I can help out someone else -- that my own financial issues aren't preventing me from assisting another family. Sometimes it's hard to remember that other people are hurting far more than I am. We've taken a financial hit this year, but at least we're still in our home, eating at each meal and able to buy a few new-to-us things to keep life going. The people I'm helping don't care what anything costs -- they're delighted to have it. I'm trying to keep that type of positive outlook, too.