Clothes Swaps Are Worth It

 photo IMG_1507Medium_zps2c067913.jpgI must admit, I've been going out at night an awful lot lately. In some weeks, I've left all the kids at home but Rose and gone out for hours, at least 3-4 times in one week.
Last night I told Mike that I was going to a clothes swap- he looks at me and says "Do you really need to be going out every night? Relax, take it easy... And anyhow, we have too many things already at home- do we need to be filling up the house with more stuff?"
But of course, you know me- I can't resist a deal... and since the cost of this swap was only the $2 that was collected from everyone and donated to charity, plus the transportation there and back, I decided it was worth it.
I made a deal with Mike though- I donated a backpack full worth of clothes (mostly things that weren't fitting me anymore) and promised that I wouldn't bring back more than I could fit in the backpack, so I wasn't filling the house with clutter, but getting rid of stuff and replacing it with other things.

I had a great time at the swap, and came home with quite a haul. But true to my word, I managed to fit everything into my backpack and didn't take a stitch more.

Here's what I brought home- for me: 1 fancy skirt, one bathing suit, 4 long sleeved shirts and 1 tank top.

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3 beautiful/fancy dresses for Rose, 1 dress for Anneliese, 1 pair of sandals for Anneliese, and one pair of swim trunks for Ike.

 photo IMG_1504Medium_zps82cc8418.jpgA whole bunch of costume jewelry, including 4 necklaces, 2 bracelets, 4 pairs of earrings, one hair clip, and one headband for Rose.

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Plus 5 gorgeous scarves...

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And then there was also a story book for kids, an all natural, essential oil based organic perfume, a set of markers, Huckleberry Fin (abridged) on CD, and (not shown) a bead keychain crafting kit.

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When I got home and showed my husband my haul, he couldn't believe that it was all free, and how amazing the things I got were.

He conceded. Swaps are definitely worth it.
Even buying all these stuff at our dirt cheap second hand store would cost much more than this did.
Definitely worth it.

If you've never heard of clothes swaps before, find out all about what clothes swaps are, how to arrange them, etc... here.

Have you ever been to a swap before, clothes or otherwise? Does it seem like something you'd be interested in attending or arranging? 
If you've been to swaps before, what were your best/favorite acquisitions there?

Penniless Parenting

Mommy, wife, writer, baker, chef, crafter, sewer, teacher, babysitter, cleaning lady, penny pincher, frugal gal


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  1. How do you prep a swimming suit worn by someone else before starting to use it? I am very interested in thrifting and swapping clothes but have never gotten over the "ick" factor in reusing someone else's swimming suit.

    1. A hot laundry cycle is the most I'd do to prep.

    2. I think with a swap you also know who has worn the items before - and you can ask questions (how much was it worn? how was it washed?) that you can't ask at a thrift store. Not sure if that helps with the "ick" factor of not for you. I guess for me, I'd be much more likely to swap for a suit worn once or twice rather than buying a thrifted one that I have no idea how much it's been worn.

      Remember, even new clothes have been handled by those that have sewn them, packaged in something for shipping, and then tried on by others. I guess I see an "ick" factor there too! :)

      Great haul Penny! I'm a wee bit jealous!


  2. you scored! Way to go, you! Our ministry (where almost 800 people work in the office headquarters) holds an "exchange" each year. Last spring, we got 4 shirts for me, 2 pairs of shoes for me (essential since I was right at the end of a no-buy year for myself), socks for my 2 the past, we've also gotten notebook paper, belts, a dress, books, and more. I agree that these are awesome ways to reduce, reuse, recycle and meet a lot of needs.

  3. I love, love clothing swaps. Have held many in the past and am about to organise my next one in October. Some of the best finds I have made have been at swaps. Good haul BTW :)
    I wrote a guest post at the Minimalist Mom a few years ago talking about my experience with clothing exchanges.

  4. Wow, that's really impressive! Nobody does clothing swaps here, but maybe I can find one after we move.

  5. I'm off topic here, but I didn't know where/how to ask:
    I read about how you are cloth diapering... maybe you've already written about this but I couldn't find the post. could you give us a comparaison of the brands of cloth diapers you've used? there are so many brands and I'm looking to buy some, but I can't decide on wich one to choose.

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