You probably know that I try hard to be thrifty in my buying choices. We are raising our family on one income, and the older the children get, the more I understand why many people say, “But that is impossible these days!” It isn’t, but it requires carefulness, especially if you have a desire to be debt-free.
Enter second-hand stores, yard sales, discount groceries, coupons, and clearance racks. The stereotype of tight-wad plain people may actually have something to do with the necessity to provide for larger than average families, although I know many of them are quite wealthy, yet quickly scarf up free stuff that others need much more than they do, so… Whoa. Major bunny trail there.
Yesterday I had to go to the city to order next year’s school books at an exhibit put on by ABeka publishers. I guess it is probably to their advantage to have early orders, but it always comes at a time when I would rather not think about next year’s school for, oh, maybe about a year. 🙂 They lure us in early with free shipping and discounts, and it works!
I took my Rita-girl along, since she is sturdy enough to skip nap time. We had some extra time to walk in the mall, checking out the clearance racks. I took five articles of clothing into a fitting room, left them all on the rack, and felt very disgruntled. I hate fitting rooms. But I did buy myself a pair of white Nordic-track leggings for next winter. We had checked them out and blanched at the prices this past ski season, so as tired as I am of snow and cold, if I see high-quality, 35-dollar, moisture-wicking, heat-retaining leggings reduced to 5 dollars, I will buy them. When you have a skiing kind of man, you need to be prepared to go along. 🙂
The bookstore was a lot more fun. In less than a month we hope to be celebrating the completion of this school term, which calls for gifts all around, traditionally books. I was so pleased with the ones I found for the little girls. Since Olivia learned to read, her gift will her very own Bible. The only one I found that had large print for small people was a pink Precious Moments one. I don’t even like P.M. stuff, but she would be so thrilled with the pinkness. So I got it. I just won’t look at the illustrations of Abraham and Sarah with large tear-drop eyes.
After I ordered our school books, we took a pass through Aldi’s, where the most thrilling purchase was pineapples, on sale for 1.49. I won’t sneeze at the Cadbury Mini Eggs, either, which is the only Easter candy I would truly miss if I were deprived of it. (Well, I have to admit, I like Peeps, too, but that is not a very adult thing to say.)
When we got home, I put away the groceries, smuggled the gift books into hiding, and proudly showed Gabe my leggings. Wait, they looked sort of big. I examined the package. “Hon, you will never guess… I just bought myself Men’s size large leggings. Maybe you can wear them.” He laughed. I took them out of the package and they looked really large. I examined the tag. “What? these are not large. These are XXlarge men’s leggings. But what were they doing in the ladies’ clearance section with the CuddlDuds and fuzzy socks? And why were they in this package?” I tried them on. It was not funny. Not even a little bit.
I felt quite cross and decided to go for a walk. What a washout of a shopping trip! Add to that the fact that I had hurried home to make a meal for friends who, for the second time, were not home when we wanted to take the food to their house. About 1/2 mile down the road it suddenly struck me funny that I (unwittingly) bought (men’s) leggings for myself on the extreme opposite end of the size scale from what my husband wears. Then I had an idea. I wonder how many people would want them if I had a giveaway? It was a deserted stretch of road, so I just laughed out loud for a while. It felt really good. Sometimes, no matter how hard you try, it just doesn’t quite…