Thifty Thrills, take 2

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I’m back for more fun talking about thrifty finds, thrifty ways of living, whatever it is you and I do that save some money. The link-up will be live for a week, so you have lots of time to join, and get your friends to join, too!

I don’t know about you, but lately, there is rarely an opportunity to shop for myself. Sure, I’m out running errands at least once a week, but the things on my list never include new black boots, jeans that fit, a dress or skirt for Easter and First Communion celebrations… Nope. My lists always include peanut butter, eggs, snacks, bandaids, socks for the boys (who get holes in everything)…etc. If you’re a mom, you probably have similar shopping lists, am I right?

So, I’ll get out to run errands, and I’m either with 3-5 kids in tow, or alone. With kids, it is darn near impossible to even think for myself, much less look for things for myself. Raise your hand of you can relate. A typical shopping trip might include any or all of these things:

“I neeeeed the bathroom!!!!”  (even though everyone was instructed to go before leaving home)

“I’m hungryyyyyyyyyyyy and need to eeeeeeeeeeeeeat!” (even though we had snacks or a full lunch before leaving)

“Mom, don’t forget we need to look at Easter dresses.”

“Can we look at toys?”

“Hey, Mom, did you see that toy gun that shoots rainbows and kills all the dragons?” (ok, ok, I made that up…but you get the idea)

“Ow!!! He hit me!!”

“I think the baby stinks!! Peee-eeeewwww!”

“Where’s your brother? G, why aren’t you staying by the cart? Stop following other families.”

“Get out of the clothes racks.”

“Put the toy back. Yes, we’ll put it on your wish-list for Christmas, and yes we’ll actually mail them to Santa this year…you know, in December, 9 months from now.’

“No, we’re not buying Lucky Charms.”

Etc.

And, if I shop alone, I am usually speed-walking through Costco to get all the things on my list, and make it to the check-out before everyone else, then I’m racing home because I’m hungry and want lunch, and would rather go for a run on a nice day or sew something than go try on pairs of jeans that won’t fit in stores with bad lighting.

In other words, I need different ways to outfit my wardrobe. Being almost 9 months post-partum, my body is finally getting to a “normal” and consistent size, so I feel better now about buying clothes than I did in the last several months, when I’d not be able to wear the jeans very long before they were too big. After our little Firecracker was born, I was just picking up a few pieces here and there at Goodwill. Now I’ve discovered a few awesome sites where they sell brand names for great deals, sometimes 75% off! I’m going to share sign-up links, and if you sign up, you’ll have $10 towards your first purchase!! (I will also earn $10, for which I will always be crazy grateful.)

First up, is Twice. I super-super love this site. So many options, so many deals. I get an email each day with some “personalized picks”, and if I choose one or more of those specific things to buy that day, I can use a code for 10% off. They offer free shipping over $49. Even best? They offer free return shipping if something doesn’t work out when you get it.

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My first purchase from Twice. Gap jeans, practically new. They were all of *gasp* $10.

I actually bought 4 total items, but the other two pairs of pants and the top weren’t the right fit. The return was easy, free, and painless. There is tracking on your return, so you can watch (if you do that–I sometimes do) your package actually get to the destination. It was slow returning, but it did return!

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Jeans: Gap from Twice.

Shirt: clearance from Kohl’s

Belt: thrifted

Shoes: thrifted

Baby: made by me and Fence, dressed in Carter’s 😉

The next fun site is very similar to Twice, with the added fun of children’s clothes! I don’t know about you, but I dread shopping for/with my kids very much. They either want all the clothes, or hate all the clothes. Trying the clothes on is a lesson in patience which hopefully eliminates some time from Purgatory (ie, assuming I maintain my composure and remain calm with my children, my time before reaching Heaven is shortened.).

So, what is this great place on the web? It is thredUp. You can buy and sell gently used clothing, shoes, and handbags!! What fun!! Seriously. Get thee to these sites and check them out for yourself. Save some $ on gas, on clothes, save some time, save some stress! Have fun!

And, thrifty gals (and guys?) if you use the links in this blog, you’ll get $10 towards your first purchase. More awesome thrifty goodness! Please join me for the link-up, open 3/20-3/26.

An InLinkz Link-up

Thrifty Thrills: Quilts

There was a time when I swore I’d never sew, that the sewing machine and I just weren’t friends.

Then I got married, and had babies. Our first machine was a $100 purchase so my hubby could sew patches on uniforms. Then I thought I’d give a baby quilt a try…which was a very expensive endeavor. The supplies for that quilt cost over $60, and it was a small quilt, without designer fabrics.

I was so glad to be done with it, and didn’t sew again for a few years. I then attempted some kitchen curtains, and another baby quilt (smaller this time)…but still had a love-hate (mostly hate) relationship with my sewing machine.

And then, some weird thing happened, and I decided it was a goal of mine to learn to quilt. Crazy, I know.

My hubs, amazing guy he is, ended up buying me a sweet new machine for Mother’s Day nearly 3 years ago, and since then, sewing and I are buddies. I really enjoy it!

If you know anything about sewing, fabric can be pricey! And oh, so lovely. So. Lovely.

Find me, lost in the amazing fabrics, at the craft store...

I saw all these delightful patterns just this weekend at the craft store…and it was so hard to not spend another two hours filling my arms and cart with the 50% fabrics… but I had neither the time, nor the money to just buy all the brilliant fabrics I wanted. So I bought the 1/2 yard I was wanting for bibs, and called it good.

But I do love to quilt (says the girl who has completed one baby quilt, one picnic quilt, and is working on another now). I love putting fabrics together in unexpected ways, and seeing how alive and fresh and fun the patterns and colors look together.

My favorite way? It’s thrifty.

So, how do I quilt on the thrifty side of life?

Wait for it, wait for it…

I use second-hand fabrics passed on to me from friends, and friends of friends. I also browse through the local thrift shops for donated piles of yardage and scraps from people’s leftover stashes! You would be AMAZED at what you find when you look closely through your thrift store. And, here’s another secret to my thrifty quilting:

I use sheets with patterns I adore.

Since I’m not quilting for fairs or winning awards, I don’t have to have (or desire) the absolute best quilting fabric. Sure, those designer fat quarter bundles are drool-worthy…but when you’re on a budget (or even not on a budget but like to be frugal), there are so many possibilities when you think outside the box!

Organizing scraps

For example: the above stacks of fabric are from other projects or from thrift store finds.

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And more! Most of these are from a bag of fabric given to me by a friend, who got them from a friend who was moving. Aren’t they fun? When most of my stash is cheap or free, I don’t mind spending full price on some cuts that I just adore and think I can’t live without. 😉

quilt as you go block

Most of the fabric in this quilt square was cheap or free. The orange and white is thrifted, the denim is from my husband’s old jeans, the yellow is thrifted, the dark blue is thrifted. The batting was purchased on sale or with a coupon. When it comes to backing this quilt, I’ll be using a flat sheet, which I have done before and it is BRILLIANT and easy.

{This post is the *first* in a link-up, “Thrifty Thrills”. If you want to join, go ahead and add your link!}

Get Ready for It: Thrifty Thrills Link-Up!

Starting next week (Feb. 27), I’ll be hosting a “Thrifty Thrills” link-up! Get your crafty, thrifty, deal-loving selves ready. We’ll be talking our fab finds, our sweet up-cycles, our clever uses of things found in the closet, Mom’s attic, the thrift store, or even the dumpster if that’s your thing. I have a neighbor who found a SWEET table for her small kitchen area while driving past a dumpster.

Don’t worry if you’re not a thrifter. If you find an amazing deal at any store, I consider that thrifty. If you, like me, stock up on holiday things the day after the holiday, you’re thrifty. Join us!! It will be FUN!

I’ve created a fun little graphic, which I plan to turn into a true blog button soon. In the meantime, feel free to add it to your blog and be ready for a link-up next week!thrifythrillsbutton1