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Fun With Thrifting

9. That is the number of people for whom I am in some way responsible to clothe and feed. Granted, several of my children are earning money, but now that we realize how expensive college is, we are asking them to sock away any extra money toward those expenses while we pay for day to day life. 

This large number in our home means that we need to be creative about how we provide for household needs. The list at times seems very long. Food, clothes, shoes, housewares and toiletries are all constantly being worn out, used up and otherwise consumed. 

Although consumption is a fact of life, since we care about living within our means and helping the poor, we don't want consumption to become our life. In order to live for more than just consuming more and new products, it is important that we make two principles a priority for how we meet our needs for stuff.

One principle is to evaluate every need. Do I need more home decor? Do I need more clothes? Do I need more dishes? Keeping my home and my people looking nice is important to me, but it is also important to do justice. 

With that in mind, we try to make do with what we have, whenever possible. Making my house pretty might involve cutting down some greenery from outside, or moving furniture around, or using paint on hand to refresh a room or a piece of furniture. 


Thrifted cups
My library table is one example of this. It was in a shed when we bought our property and I simply cut the legs down and repainted it with paint from a previous project, in order to dress up my library a bit.

Sometimes though, what you need will not be already in some random shed on your property. 

This brings us to the second principle, buy used. When what I need is not at hand, my next step is usually hitting up a thrift store. Although the smell of a thrift store can sometimes turn my stomach a bit, the treasures that are available are such fun to discover. 

Take my new boots for example. I had been wanting a pair of low heeled booties, and sadly, the man made material on my four year old Target specials had begun to peel. True, I could have just stuck with my other boots, but I really enjoy being creative with my wardrobe. 

Doing justice doesn't have to look dowdy


Enter a nice big thrift store in a neighboring town. I ran in there one afternoon with my younger children and discovered exactly the boots I had been looking for, in leather, no less. Along with the boots, I found a couple of good books and a beautiful cotton sweater to replace a worn and pilled acrylic sweater.


The new boots and sweater, but sheesh my head looks small for my body!
The other great find on that particular day were several soup bowls which matched the ones that my mother had handed down to me several years ago. My family is hard on dishes, it seems we break something at least once a week. This is just one more reason that I am thrilled to replace them for .59 each at a thrift store, instead of buying easily broken Ikea dishes or whatever Target is selling.


Thrifted, everything but the darling girl.

Whether your goal is to get out of debt, give more money to the poor, or avoid supporting unethically produced clothing; buying less and shopping at thrift stores are a few savvy strategies for accomplishing your goals.

For more ideas on living on a budget, check out my book, Bountiful Homeschooling on a Budget.
Bountiful Homeschooling on a Budget


For another great post on thrifted clothes, check out the lovely, Flower Patch Farmgirl

15 comments:

  1. I love posts like this. Our nest is empty but I'm a huge thrifter! Kills me to spend full price for something and thrifting is such an adventure! My daughter homeschools her ONLY son, but like me, she too is a thrifter. Great post and ideas.

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    1. Thrifting is an adventure! Thanks for reading Susan.

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  2. Good for you! My mom has purchased over 4000 books at thrift stores in the past two years for our school library! And she's spent maybe $2000 of her library budget. I also buy dishes for photographing food for my blog at thrift stores :).

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    1. You must have an amazing library! I love your idea of buying dishes for photography purposes, thanks for sharing!

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  3. I, too, am an empty nester but oh how I enjoy the hunt in searching out a good thrift store!

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    1. It is fun, isn't it? My conflict is making sure I don't buy things I don't need. I hate clutter as much as I hate being in debt but clutter sometimes gets the better of me.

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  4. Very helpful post! I found a brand new business suit with the tags still on it at a thrift store.

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  5. We are a family of 8 with 6 children ages 7 and under. We go through clothes like nobody's business :) I love shopping at thrift stores for the items we need. Thankfully, we also get a good deal of hand-me-downs for the kids.

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    1. Hand me downs are even better! Complete time saver and I usually can share some with friends or the orphanage we support in Mexico.

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  6. Great post. By sharing your finds you brought this idea of thrifting into all our homes... and I love the comment above about looking for fun dishes to showcase recipes on her blog.

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    1. I was so excited to see Flower Patch Farmgirl highlighting thrifting in a few places. It is a great way of fighting injustice and having more money to give.

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  7. And those are excellent reasons - some I had not thought of - imagine what would happen to world evangelism if we lived thriftily and gave the rest to missions! Wow!

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  8. You are speaking my language. I am wearing a thrifted sweater (original from Express) right now. We by used more often than not!

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    1. I think we speak the same language, Natalie! I only wish you lived closer.

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