I do so many little things on a day to day basis, to try to save every little penny that I can, or to earn any little penny that I can. I have to, or else we run out of money by month’s end. Some people don’t have to, but they’d like to be able to give more to needy people (this is what we plan to do when we’re finally financially free). But until then, here’s one simple way that I save money, and you can do it too!
Yard Sales, Consignment sales/stores, Ebay, Craigslist, Thrift Stores, and Goodwill
I shop at these places often.  I also sell or give away my used things at these places often. Hardly ever do I go to the mall anymore. Most of my and my children’s clothing that I’ve purchased myself (not gifts from others) comes from these places, believe it or not.  If not, it’s from Walmart or Target, or the clearance racks at the end-of-season sales at clothing stores.
95% of the clothes hanging in my closet
were free (given to me) or less than $5 a piece.
I’ll admit, I’m not a fashion queen, but it’s ok for now. And, actually, even when I used to buy expensive clothes, I still didn’t have an eye for fashion anyway, so oh well!  But still, one of these days, when we’re out of debt, I’ll be able to loosen up and spend a little more money on better-quality clothing, but even then I probably won’t frequent the most expensive stores – doing so would just seem irresponsible and silly to me now.
I do secretly long for one day when a newly purchased shirt holds its shape in the wash because it’s well-made.  But I certainly don’t envy others who dress their kids in brand new Stride Rite shoes and Gymboree clothing, and who wear Anne Taylor Loft and have shoes and jewelry to match each of their outfits.  I don’t envy those with $400,000 homes (ours was only $105,000 when we purchased it) with high mortgages.  That’s because I realize that these folks have a lifestyle where both the husband and the wife have to work full-time jobs to pay for it.
I’m simply happy that I don’t have to go to work, and I can stay at home with my children. That’s what makes me happy, and I’m being completely honest – That’s just where my heart is, at home. Other things just don’t matter to me.  The blessings  of spending my days watching my children grow and learn outweigh those other things (such as slightly embarrassing mismatched styles and frumpiness of my worn out clothing, or a house in dire need of repairs).  In the end, once it’s all said and done, and the kids are off to college, who really cares what my clothes or my house looked like anyway?
Anyway, the trick to visiting yard sales, consignment sales, Ebay, Craigslist, is to grab things that are super-cheap AND that you know you’ll need and use.  Don’t just collect a bunch of junky pieces- that’s just clutter that you may end up despising.  If you don’t *need* it, then don’t buy it!  But if it’s something you can truly use, then by all means, purchase it, and wear it proudly!  You can combine a nice find from Goodwill with a Walmart buy, as I’ve done on numerous occasions.  Maybe not an outfit made for a fashion magazine, but it’s good enough!

This series of posts was originally published in 2010, and I am just recently editing and updating them, just for the fun of it.