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I lost all sense of control at some thrift stores…

I went on a bit of a thrift store shopping spree a couple of days ago. It`s been ages since I have just said yes to the kids when they have asked for some toys and it did feel really nice. The good news is that we found some really cool things second-hand items for really great prices. The bad news is I wasn`t prepared so we ended up with three plastic bags. Two of them were given from Sally-Ann`s but were Value Village bags so they were reused. That made me feel a little better. Salvation Army also wrapped some items in bubble wrap and newspaper. Lots of the items we bought at Value Village came in little plastic bags. We recycled all of those bags.

I don`t even know what possessed me to go shopping in the first place. Once I got started I couldn`t seem to stop. I did refrain from buying any clothes for myself.The first place I took the kids was Value Village. I let my oldest son buy this large Batman. He was only $4.99 and as tall as my sons large Woody doll. Mmm. Action Figure.We also picked up Pop-up Pirate for $2.99. He used to play it with his Speech Therapist. I figured why not. It couldn`t hurt his speech progression.I was amazed when we found Doc from Cars. He is the same size as the Finn McMissile we already have so now they can race. It was $4.99 and, luckily, the lights and siren still work. Or unluckily. The white stuff on the hood is leftover price sticker.The kids are now set for shorts this summer. Three are for my youngest and one pair for my oldest. As a true Canucks fan I couldn`t pass up this size 6 jersey for my oldest. Only $7.99. Now he has two for next season. I won`t mind if he wears this one to school.We chose two pairs of pj`s. One for this year and one for the fall. He wanted the Power Rangers ones. Even when I tried to talk him out of it.
For some reason I bought some cards. My reasoning was something like the environmental damage was already done. Or something like that.I`m the sucker for wooden cars. Half are plastic, half are wooden. We will definitely keep the wooden ones. One is from a BC toy company.And wooden toys. And Scooby Doo.And Silicone cupcake liners. I am on the fence about silicone. I was happy to find these cups. I wouldn`t have bought them new but was pleased by the second-hand find. The bag also came with a load of other great things like a mini wooden rolling-pin and little cookie sheet. Perfect for playdough playing.I even found some small Mason jars for 24 cents each. I now have a few half cup and one cup jars. We left Value Village a bit poorer. In reality all of our purchases would have cost a small fortune new. Good thing a have a new sense to buy smarter.

After VV Boutique, we went to the Salvation Army. I did slow down on the buying. I let my kindergartener buy one toy. He chose this cool Spiderman Universal Studio snow globe. $4.99. I found a Purica Steel stainless steel container for $1.99, 100% wool yarn and a soup can coin bank. I also bought the kids three vhs tapes. Who framed Roger Rabbit., Elmopalooza and Pokemon (not my choice).Then I think I really lost it. Buying for the sake of buying. I picked up these really small, narrow cups and saucers for $3.98. I plan to display them in our new tv cabinet when we buy it.
And finally, a little trinket box that was too cute to resist. It can hold a few rings etc… but looks pretty on my dresser. Totally unnecessary purchase.
This is almost all of the waste from the spree. It was recycled.
Hopefully this was a one-off. I would rather shop with a plan. One good thing was none of this was put on credit. Another was the happiness of my children as they played with their `new` toys.

This little spree made me feel like a recovering addict going back to their drug of choice. Mine was shopping.

Am I alone…


I like to walk about among the beautiful things that adorn the world; but private wealth I should decline, or any sort of personal possessions, because they would take away my liberty. ~George Santayana, “The Irony of Liberalism”




About stephanieough

Wife, mom, concerned citizen of the earth. Striving towards intentional living rather than blindly following. Former Education Specialist for a corporation, I have now taken a step back to spend time with my family and work closer to home. Hoping to reduce our waste through refusing, reducing and reusing so that we will not have to recycle as much. Also, I love to explore zero-waste fast food and take pictures of my sucesses. I'm a fan of British comedies like Red Dwarf and Black Adder, Kevin Smith and his movies, Asian food, documentaries, biographies and going to Las Vegas on vacation. If someone told me I could only listen to the Beatles for the rest of my life I would die happy.


5 thoughts on “I lost all sense of control at some thrift stores…

  1. Look where you’re shopping! Second hand is fine! No packaging, nothing new, the kids are happy! I always allow myself a break when I go to the thrift shop. And it’s easy to go a bit overboard because everything is so cheap. But as my mother always says, “Keep it for a while and then get rid of it.” Not much guilt if you only spent $5 on a product. And those cups and plates were SO darling!!
    I used to work at Value Village when I lived in Alaska!! I have never found a better store. I LOVED their clothes and their books! I started an entire children’s library for my niece when she was two by working in the book department. Let go of that gulit. Buying 2nd hand is SO allowed! It’s zero waste. You recycled your bags, and you can always redonate the toys when the kids get tired of them! 🙂

    Posted by Jennifer | June 1, 2012, 6:24 am
  2. Thanks, Stephanie, for your shout-out to my blog post (“Being a Thrifty Humanitarian”)! I can’t agree with you more. When my kids were little we used to go garage-saling every weekend and come home with trunk-loads of used toys. We were going broke saving money! But the good news was we spent so little on each toy we didn’t feel bad about donating them, or selling them in our own garage sales, when the kids were done with them. Now that my kids are teenagers I make them buy their own stuff (they have jobs) and I spend all my thrift-store money on ME! Usually for clothes or stuff for the house. I justify it by telling everyone I’m recycling. How noble, right? 😉

    Posted by Stacy Dymalski | June 1, 2012, 7:15 am
  3. What a fun day. We all need a day to just let loose once in a while. When my boys were little I did some interior decorating work for people with very little money, weekends I would scour the yard sales for pieces I could fix up to use in what ever home I was working on at the time. It never failed each sale usually had a box of small toys for free. My kids loved picking one item they could have. It made their day to get a “new” toy.

    Posted by livingsimplyfree | June 1, 2012, 9:07 am

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