Monday, 26 March 2012

train them young- thrifting weekend

Picture this : Saturday morning at about a quarter to eight.  I got dressed and then said to the children "Come on we are going out.  Get dressed now".  "What??" Indignantly from T who likes his pyjama time at weekends. "Where are we going?"
Me:  Oh, it's really exciting... we are going to a table top sale in a village hall"
"Wha-a-tttt? What's a table top sale?"  I then filled in with an explanation, he was unimpressed. Me:(in excited and probably highly patronising voice) "You can bring your pocket money from Grandma.  It is a bit like a treasure hunt"  Him (in weary tones): "But without any clues" 
So they got dressed, got their pocket money and we got there at about ten past nine.
As the village hall was quite small and the sale was not too busy,  I let them wander and choose.  They did keep checking with me before buying. 
Want to see their loot?
1 lizard, 50p
notebook,25p sticky labels, 20p
mini highlighters 20p (all brand new, a lady was selling new stationary)
 a Mario dvd 25p, a china frog, 50p.

The beautiful frog with a paper mache space alien

I love that he showed me the frog at home and said "I chose it because it is so beautiful".  It may not be beautiful to me, but I am happy that he is developing his own aesthetic sense.  He then went to put it on his display shelf.  (His display shelf is a special place to put treasures out of the reach of his sister.  You need that if you have a little sister like his!)

 I may be hopelessly misguided, but I think I am teaching T and Little I not only to thrift, but also to think about the value of things, the possibilities of buying second hand and how to decide how to spend and manage their own money in little baby steps.  Like it or not, they are growing up in a consumer-driven world and they will have to learn how to make choices.  T sometimes finds it hard to talk to new people and after the intial shyness, he relaxed and was able to ask stallholders on his own for prices.  Little I is also learning about money at school and she was very keen to use her new knowledge.  She does need a bit of help as she confuses pounds and pence.  Here is her loot:

A purse she can open and close on her own (always a bonus), 25p

Sticky labels (because her brother had some) 20p
Fireman Sam and fire engine 50p
Small plastic house 25p
A stall holder gave her a bracelet
And me?

3 necklaces for £1
2 glue sticks and some handmade paper for collages - 20p each
A crotcheted blanket £1
A hanging pink thing for Little I's new bedroom 50p
An ikea picture frame with plastic not glass,  destined to be painted pink and for Little I's bedroom  50p (not photographed)
a pink tee shirt for me and a pink polo shirt to make into a polo shirt dress for Little I - 50p each


Pink hanging "rocket"
Both children wanted the colourful blanket so are supposed to be sharing it.  Little I claimed it last night and slept wrapped up in it.  After orange squash and biscuits at the sale we went to a nearby village to collect T's new school shoes from the shoe shop.  One thing I buy new for my children is shoes.  They both have narrow feet and can be hard to fit.  I try and go to an independent small shop for our shoes and have found a very good one in a village near to us.  Their prices are not higher than those of Clarks who are probably the main children's shoe brand in the UK. Having had a few visits to Clarks where they have been unable to fit Little I, and unable to order in for me, I gave up on them.  In the small shoe shop the owner ordered T's school shoes and they came in two days later.  I sound like an old lady here but I realise how great it is to have good service like that. 

Anyway, shoe-based rant over, we went in the charity shop opposite the shoe shop and I found this perfect cardigan for Little I.  It is handknitted and fits her exactly.  I love it, the colour and the shape, the double breasted-ness and the buttons and the pattern.  Can you tell that I was really wishing this cardigan was in my size?  I also found a notice board for T's bedroom. 

Finally to finish off our thrifting weekend I got this green stool for T.  I am in the middle of trying to organise  his room.  A few weeks ago my friend helped me move an old desk of Mr Minnado's into T's bedroom and he needed a stool or chair that will go under the desk when not in use.  I found one this morning at a second hand shop near school for a couple of pounds. 

Shouldn't we all have a display shelf?


  1. I think it's pretty sweet when the little ones can make their own choices on purchases like these. One thing I like about thrifting in general is that you have to look at the actual item and tend to be a bit less influenced by advertising and store display. I think this is especially important for kids who tend to get sucked into terrible marketing ploys.
    The colorful blanket is great and huge. I wonder if you could pick it apart and make two separate blankies.

    1. I agree about the influence of marketing and adverts on kids and nice for them to just shop without all that. Good idea about the blanket - I may do that - it has an even number of squares so could be divided. I doubt I will find another so cheap so soon.

  2. Great finds...I love the blanket! xx

  3. I have a display shelf and a dresser, I'm rather spoiled! I think T has the right idea!

  4. Brilliant training, the Minnado thrifting school! I'm seriously impressed by all of your loots, & yes, a special shelf is a great idea- beats the kitchen shelf where you have to squeeze in amongst the jars of lentils ....

  5. Bargains, and fabulous bargains at that! I think you can do far worse than teach them the value of secondhand and thrifting from a young age. I adore T's frog, such an ugly thing that's strangely cute!

  6. Wow what a great haul! And that crochet blanket is fantastic - am jealous. I think it's adorable that your little boy has a treasure shelf. So does mine (he is 8) - I love what they choose to love for their own reasons, expressing little bits of themselves.So Sweet. BTW I can't believe you are getting up at eight on a Saturday though!!!! :)

    1. Thank you. I have early rising children! They tend to get up at 6am,so I am used to being up even on saturdays, My eldest is capable of getting cereal and drink and being quiet but not my four year old. She also isn't quite safe enough to be left without aq grown up. I want to see your son's treasure shelf. x

  7. Sounds like a really fun day! :)

  8. :) Great finds, I love the pink cardigan and hanging rocket! It's great that your little ones are already getting into thrifting. I also love the treasure shelf!