I love thrift shopping. I used to shop at second-hand stores because it was really all we could afford, but now it's more for the thrill of the "hunt". There's something amazingly satisfying about coming out of a store with a "find" that you've paid a fraction of retail price for, and my "finds" have gotten better and better with practice!
It all started with my Dad's cheapskate gene. I got it. I did NOT inherit my mother's retail bone; I get sweaty palms in Macy's and I can't fathom paying designer prices because I just can't see any vast difference between designer and off-brand stuff. When given the opportunity, I'd gladly shop at Wal-Mart or Target, and a trip to Sam's Club was a treat! I love to go to the mall like any other girl, but more for window shopping and people watching! My "heart" is on the sale rack! My kids have never been poorly dressed; the only time any of them has resembled trailer trash is when they did it on purpose! In fact, my thrift shopping has landed my kids some rather pricey clothing at next-to-nothing prices! Jon still wears the Hurley hoodie I got for him at a Goodwill store for $3; he'd have never owned one if I'd have had to pay full price--I just can't see paying more than $30 for a sweatshirt. The little girls have had lots of nice stuff--Carter's, OshKosh, Arizona, GapKids, and Old Navy tags are all over the place in their rooms. Kelsey has had more than her fair share of designer jeans, but I've not paid more than $10 for any of them. And the TOYS!? Wow.
This past weekend, I came home with quite a haul of books, and I'm quite proud of myself! I found a $25 algebra textbook (coincidentally, the one I'd planned on using this school year!) for $3, and a shelf full of books for Pete--Bible study staples like a Matthew Henry commentary, the works of Josephus, The New Evidence That Demands a Verdict, Figures of Speech of the Bible, plus a few others...for TWO DOLLARS, total! I was a very happy camper! I also got some "schoolbooks" for Morgan--brand new handwriting practice tablets, alphabet coloring books, and even a couple of easy reader books.
It's not even the slightest bit ironic to me (I don't believe in coincidence, but I wholeheartedly believe in God's providence!) that we've had some amazingly abundant "finds" over the years. To me, it's a matter of stewardship. God has blessed us far above what we ever imagined at times we've been the tightest with our pennies! Sure, we probably could have skimped on essentials if we wanted "the best", but we had secondhand versions of "the best" at better prices. I may be cheap, but I'm not deprived! Shoot, my hubby even has a brand-new pair of $120 Oakley sunglasses with an extra lens AND the case...and I paid a ridiculous price for it...one dollar!