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Have you heard the one about the homeschooling family that lives on less than $22K a year in an area that costs above 100% (116%) of the National CoL Index?

I haven't quite figured out why so many people still persist in perpetuating the myth that living on a single income and homeschooling on a dime aren't possible. I can only suppose these are people who can't imagine life without a daily trip to Starbucks and dinner out several times a week. The people who actually shop at malls (*shudder*) and think "Brand Name = Best". The people who really live by the "Keeping up with the Joneses" mentality.

That? Would not be us!

Welcome to our world. We cook from scratch. Buy from thrift stores. Find 95% of our homeschool materials for free. This is my blog and this is how we do it.

Saturday, June 9, 2007

Oh, those garage sales.

I have seen some wacky things on "sale" at garage sales - things that make me wonder not just what the original purchaser was thinking when he/she bought them, but what on earth the creators or manufactures of said items had going on in their heads as well. :)

Shopping at a garage sale is pretty much a treasure hunt. You can go to seventeen different sales and come up empty handed, but then, on the 18th, you find something that truly makes your efforts worthwhile.

This morning we only went to 2 garage sales, before doing our grocery shopping, because my daughter had a party to attend this afternoon and we needed to get home with enough time for her to change clothes and get to her friend's house.

At the first garage sale we found nothing we needed, though the family was selling some very nice baby items that I'm sure were snapped up quickly. At the second, we hit a mini-bonanza in that we were able to buy a brown bag full of summer clothes for my son - t-shirts and shorts - all for $3. I've already got them in the wash.

My daughter went upstairs to change for the party and when she returned, she was dressed in white denim capri pants which have a small floral design on one leg, embroidered in gold tones; a white spaghetti-strap top, and a gold lace over-shirt. (Hard to explain, exactly - but it looks like a short sleeve jacket that ties with a single bow in front; made from a lace material.) She'd pulled her hair back with a tan and gold crocheted head-scarf I made her some time ago and added two bracelets and a necklace we made together from small wooden beads and tiny shells. She finished the outfit with a pair of white flip-flops and white sunglasses.

She looked adorable.

I do have a point. I think people might believe children who are dressed exclusively in garage sale and occasional thrift store finds must look "poor" and "deprived." This is simply not the case. If you are willing to hunt and hunt and hunt, you will come up with nice things for your children. (And yourself.) It just takes longer than making one stop at the local Limited Too or Old Navy.

My daughter's outfit cost:

$1.00 for the pants. More than I wanted to spend, but they are spotless and of good quality. I didn't pay for the white shirt. I got it for free from a woman in our homeschool support group who has a daughter older than mine. The lacy blouse was .50 cents at the same garage sale as the pants. The materials to make her head bandanna and jewelry are a little hard to estimate, but I would say around $3. Her flip-flops I did buy new - out of the Dollar Spot at Target. Her sunglasses were a gift last summer.

For less than $6, my daughter walked out of here looking like a movie star on her way to the beach.

So brave the garage sales if you don't already. Yes, people really do sell velvet Elvis paintings and avocado green floor lamps. It's the nature of the beast. But the more sales you hit (and, naturally, the earlier in the day the better), the more fabulous "treasures" you will find.



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