I think we can all agree that children grow very quickly. Take it from me, I should know… along with all of the other mothers in the world. Being a big fan of fashion, as much for myself as for my little (two-year-old) man, I can attest that dressing a child is expensive. And when you’re a fan like I am, spending time in children’s clothing stores can be hard on your budget. Sometimes, we can get a little carried away in our enthusiasm. When you’re a mother, buying stuff for your child becomes a sort of sinful pleasure. (You know it’s true!). I recently had to shop for a pair of pants (for myself) because I was in dire need of them. I came home that evening with four sweaters for Alexis, along with three pairs of pants and one pair of boots. Nothing for me, obviously. And that’s when it hit me… I had to stop impulse buying!

As fate would have it, I met an extraordinary woman; a woman who would change many aspects of my life. For today however, let’s stick to the topic at hand – namely, shopping. From her I learned the value of QUALITY OVER QUANTITY; a concept that was quite foreign to me but one that I am slowly adopting. Does the idea of shopping for quality over quantity resonate with you? The woman I’m referring to didn’t teach me how to stop shopping; she taught me how to shop wisely. Thus began my love for thrift stores! I’ve heard a lot of negative comments about such stores; comments like “Those places are smelly, their stuff is old, the clothes stink, it’s degrading, etc.” I’ve heard it all and as far as I’m concerned, those people simply don’t know what they’re talking about.

I like to spend a little downtime every week shopping in thrift stores. I like to start in the children’s section, taking my time to go through everything. I look at the selection of shoes, toys and books. You wouldn’t believe how many beautiful books I’ve found for my son in thrift stores! Contrary to popular belief, you can find gorgeous clothing in second hand shops. In fact, some of the clothing is brand new. They might be items that someone forgot about until it was too late and they no longer fit their child. For those of you who might not know, children’s pants cost about the same as adult-sized pants. Unlike adults however, children are likely to outgrow their clothing in under four months time. Therefore, and I’m not passing judgement on anyone, there’s no benefit in buying everything new; especially when you can find beautiful brand name clothing at 1/10th of the original price if you’re willing to do a little rummaging in a thrift store.

All that to say that there’s a lot to be gained by shopping in thrift stores. You get to spend time with someone you love without it costing you an arm and a leg, your child is always dressed beautifully, your wallet loves you, and you can often find “buried” treasure! As for me, I continue to enjoy doing a little shopping every week except now I do it at a fraction of the price and I like to think that it’s a nice way to give clothing and other items a second life. Of course, there will always be items we’ll buy in other stores; items we’ve fallen in love with and items that we buy on impulse or because they’re on sale. You know it’s true! Then again, one thought will lurk at the back of our minds… the knowledge that we could have bought an entire outfit at the thrift store for the price of this one item.

Open your mind and become a pro thrift store shopper like me  :)

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