Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Amazing Deals and Steals That I Got Today

I left my house today with an empty stroller, and came home with one packed to the gills. Since everything that I came home with was frugally obtained, and purchased with thought, I figured I'd share a little about what I got, and why.

The reason I went out today was to go to the thrift store- I have a great thrift store a short walk away, with terrific prices and a decently large selection. I needed some outfits for Rose, and at 28 cents per article of baby clothing, I figured it was the first place I should look.

 photo IMG_0167Medium_zps69243988.jpg

I ended up getting a matching pants and shirt outfit for her, a cute little pink dress, four pairs of pants for Rose, and a shirt. While I was there, I looked for some clothes for myself- adult clothing cost 57 cents each- and I got 1 shirt and 2 skirts for myself, as well as 5 beautiful pashminas.

 photo IMG_0169Medium_zps6ab9c423.jpg

I also got two cute headbands and a bow, for 28 cents altogether.

After going to the second hand store, I stopped at the post office to pick up my mail, and there were a few packages waiting for me, of things I'd ordered from overseas.

I'm all about supporting the local economy, but too many times you're able to get things for the same quality or much better quality for cheaper than you can buy them locally, even once you factor in overseas shipping.

Take shirts for my boys, for example.

Formal shirts, ideally white shirts.

We go through them quickly.

My boys wear them at least twice a week, and they, unfortunately, get ruined relatively quickly.


Which is why I am simply unable to find these for them second hand. I guess every other boy around here goes through their shirts as fast as my boys do. And not just shirts- pants as well. I can't find second hand clothes for my boys anymore. Boys this age are rough on clothes. But buying new all the time gets expensive, so I like to keep the price as low as possible.

In the cheap stores near me, you can generally get very low quality, thin white button shirts for about $8.50 each or more.
However, NextDirect.com sells clothing with free international shipping, and I was able to get my boys shirts from the uniform shop, in sets of 5, and sets of 2. These 5 shirts cost 28 dollars, working out to $5.60 each for good quality, thick, nice button down shirts. And the blue shirts- a drop more expensive than the white shirts- $11.70 for a two pack, and $5.85 a piece. I figured it's worth it to pay a bit more for these, since they'll get stained less quickly than white. (And before anyone says bleach... I've tried. Haven't had much luck in stain fighting, to be honest.)
Best part- I didn't have to pay for transportation to and from the city that I'd have to pay if I'd go shopping for my kids at the local cheap stores. So that is a time saver as well as a money saver.

For the record- NextDirect charges less for things being sold to my country than it costs in the US. So price compare before you buy from NextDirect.com- not everything is a good deal. But some stuff are.

 photo IMG_0168Medium_zps8cd55441.jpg

I also bought harmonicas. One arrived so far, but I have three more on the way.

I grew up taking music lessons. Piano, recorder, harmonica, and guitar. Yes, there are such things as harmonica lessons. Living in a small house and on a small budget, music lessons is something I feel is something my kids are lacking, but we don't have the money or space to put a piano into my house, etc... I started taking piano lessons at age 6- and my two oldest are 7 and 5- so a great time to start music lessons.

So I was thinking- harmonica is something that would be perfect- also for myself to play and also for me to teach my kids. I bought myself a D scale harmonica for $5.22 from ebay- including international shipping- and 3 C scale harmonicas for $5 each- again including international shipping. The reason for this being that C is a good basic harmonica to learn to play- I bought three so that I can teach two kids at a time- and a D scale because that is best for playing blues, something that is really awesome with a harmonica. So far only my D scale harmonica arrived- I haven't really touched a harmonica since I was 15- and I only took lessons for 6 months- but harmonica is one of the easiest instruments to learn how to play- I had 6 year olds in my class when I took (group) harmonica lessons (part of the homeschooling co-op I was a part of in 9th grade)- and it's like riding a bike- you never forget. I've been having such fun playing some blues and experimenting with my harmonica. I'm a relative beginner, but harmonica is one of those awesome instruments that sound good no matter how "bad" you are at it.
I am really excited to start making music in my home with my kids. Music simply makes me happy.
Music is such a part of me, and playing music especially. I felt like it was something I wouldn't be able to teach my kids because of our space and time constraints, but fortunately these harmonicas are making it possible.

Lastly in that picture is something that didn't arrive today, but a few days ago. Its a portable hanging scale, so that I can take it with me to the grocery store, so I can weigh my produce before heading to the register, so I can know how much it'll be costing me before I go to pay. Also very cheap from ebay- $2.60- so hopefully it'll help me keep my grocery costs down.

The last thing to arrive was my iherb order. I've been really looking forward to this!

 photo IMG_0170Medium_zps37432c7f.jpg

I bought my kids all natural kids toothpaste. My kids have been alternating between the garbage filled local kids' toothpaste and xylitol, but I wanted better stuff for them, so found the cheapest stuff that looked decent on iherb- cost $4. I also got a package of nutritional yeast- which I use for my vegan cheese sauces- for $13.30 per pound (roughly the same amount per pound as I pay locally), and $5.71 for a 4 oz bottle of all natural almond extract (not even available locally that I've seen, let alone for this price). So total it cost $23.01, which isn't bad at all... But... better yet- my entire order was free because of my iherb reward points! So I only paid the $5.34 for international shipping, for this whole order. So exciting!

I'm really looking forward to using all these amazing deals and steals I got!

Have you got any amazing deals lately? What types of things did you get, and how much did you pay for them? How did you get those great deals?


  1. People here put together "clothing packets", where everything is one size and it all goes for one lump sum. I think I offered to pay a bit too much for kidlet's next set of clothes--32 euros, including shipping--but there were a few nice name brand items included in this packet, and the clothes were pretty much untouched, so it'll still be cheaper than buying new. But we're approaching the size limit where this kind of shopping is practical, which actually frightens me a bit, because I HATE shopping for clothes.

    Other deals and steals that I've gotten recently: an enameled roasting tray--a very nice enameled roasting tray--and a pair of jeans that fit me perfectly, for one euro each. I love our local thrift store even though you do have to sift through a LOT of crap to get nice stuff. But if you can find nice things, it's REALLY cheap.

    I was also immensely pleased to discover that our local supermarket started carrying whole wheat flour. It's half the price of the artisanal stuff, so price-wise bagels are worthwhile again.

  2. I live in western Sydney and our charity shops are pretty pricey about 3.00 is a bout the cheapest any clothing item might be.. and then on upward to often retail type prices.. especially if I look in one of the "cool or "trendy" neighbourhoods..still if jeans cost 100.00 ( very possible but I would never buy) getting some of 8.00 is better ..still I am from ALASKA and before that Washington state and I am used to getting thrift store stuff much cheaper.. oh and small appliances are rare in the thrift shops as they must have then checked by a electrician before they can sell them... thus expensive..I paid almost retail price for a microwave ( which in reality I seldom use) sally

  3. For fighting those awful stains on white boys' shirts (I've got 6 boys and they do a good job getting their collars and cuffs all filthy!) I use Clorox Clean-up spray. It really does a good job- much better than just putting bleach into a spray bottle! A store near us was just going out of business, and they were selling all their cleaning supplies at half off- so I stocked up on 4 bottles (all they had left).

  4. Penny can you teach us how to play the harmonica on youtube please? I'd love to learn how!

  5. I started my son on piano lessons for free online https://www.hoffmanacademy.com/ with a $20 keyboard we got at a thrift store...I do hope to one day get him a better keyboard and real lessons, but this works for now. And he really likes his teacher:)


Share This