Save money where you can!

So its Monday again.   I had wanted to write a post over the weekend…I had many a thing I wanted to share but due to some unforeseen happenings, one did not get time and then when I did have a moment I just could not string two sentences together, so most of the things I thought were great topics for discussion in my blog, have flown out the window.  Just shows you how important writing them down is….I wander if I still have baby brain, not sure about that considering Jaden is almost 23 months old.   At what point do you cross over the line from baby brain forgetfulness to just plain old forgetfulness?

Over the last couple of weeks, our two older girls have reached milestones in working out how to ride bikes without training wheels.   I think I mentioned a while back that I had gotten a bike for Amy at the school fete for $10, but was still without a bike for Bethy.  Chanel has a couple of hand-me down bikes that she is completely and utterly happy with and a friend from school gave a bike the other day that she is extremely ‘in love’ with.   The Honey bike (its got the word honey on the bike) will be passed onto my brothers for their little girls as soon as we can – if they don’t want them, I will contact my cousin who has a little girl – but the preference for passing on things is to my nieces first.

So Bethy didn’t have a bike, and now that she had learnt to ride without training wheels, we felt that we needed to rush and get her a bike. So we decided that it wasn’t fair that Amy and Chanel had bikes, but Bethy did not. but I didn’t have the money to buy a brand new one in the store.  Kmart has some lovely bikes, and although they are very reasonably priced, $60 at this moment for a bike isn’t in our budget.   So what does any money saving tight budgeted mother do.    She goes op shopping.    I was determined to find a bike for Bethy.  I had searched the for sale ads on ebay, gumtree, and the trading post, and I had visited a couple of op shops in Maroochydore, and there standing under a tarpoline at the Salvation Army store in Caloundra was ‘The Bike’.   It was perfect – Bethy’s comment was that it was heaven sent, which thrilled me as she wasn’t throwing a wobbly because I was making her get a second hand bike.   In fact, my kids are accustomed to the charity shops and garage sales.

Amy’s fete bike

Bethy’s new to us Bike

Chanel’s bike courtesy of a wonderful friend.

I personally grew up op shopping and garage sales.  I love the fact that I am buying things that we need at literal bargain basement prices, but at the same time our hard earned money is going towards community programs to help the poor and or the needy.   When you don’t have a lot of money to spare you have to make ends meet and this is one way I make our money go further.  I know many would say ‘oh that poor family has to shop at those charity shops!’, but I am incredibly happy with my choices and finds, that I really don’t care what others say.     Sure it would be great to have the cash to go out and buy Myer and David Jones, but if you can’t you can’t!  Its simple.    I love to window shop, but the reality is that even if I did have the cash – I don’t think I could bring myself to buy the Myer or David Jones price tag.        I will say this though with Op shopping and garage sales –   You are only getting a good deal, if you are buying things that you actually need.

I am going to let you in on a little secret.   I have noticed while shopping over the years that many of the clothes in the op shops, have come from (cough cough) stores like Myer and David Jones.    I have many a brand name label in my wardrobe (I know your probably shaking your head if you know me, to know this). A while back, I got a Collette Dinigan dress for Chanel for $4.  Obviously the little old lady out the back of one said store is completely unaware of the who’s who with regard to name brands.    The dress is one of Chanel’s favourites.

So on Saturday morning Bethy and I had some ‘Bethy and mum time’, and we picked up her ‘new to us’ bike, and then ran to Stockland to grab some groceries.  While we were at Stockland we also picked up a new helmet because Bethy’s old helmet is now apparently inappropriate.   Jaden is still a while away from fitting it – but Bethy now says she is far too old to wear a Wiggles helmet!

I believe it is incredibly important to teach kids how to make their money work for them, and sometimes they may not have any choice about whether or not they shop at a charity shop to make their budget work for them.   However, in saying this, if we win the $100 million on Tuesday nights Gold Lotto, we may go a little silly for a while with our money, but know this for sure….I see myself always shopping at op shops and garage sales.    Its just my thing to do!

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