Yesterday we got a small haul from the local Goodwill. I remember when I was too good to shop at the Goodwill. It doesn't matter that some of my fondest memories from childhood was recieving a big bag of hand-me-downs from one of Mom's friends and spending an hour sorting through clothes that were often nicer and definitely more unique than "cheap shirt and pants from Walmart".
That all changed one late winter when we lived in North Carolina. Now when we lived in Florida, Mark made a relatively decent hourly wage, then made almost double that in commissions from all the special orders he made. It was FL, it was that busy and ppl had money to spare. But the cost of living was just ridiculous. It was also smoggy, crowded, high crime rate, and we longed to be able to breathe again. So we moved to NC, with him keeping the same job and just transferring stores. When we got there, we were in for a shock: NC was much slower, and he lost almost all his commission money. But they still thought they were fancy, and the cost of living was EXACTLY the same. So now we were stuck, with ridiculously high bills, and literally half the income. We started out doing fairly well for ourselves for the first time, and left the next year with our tails between our legs running back to Oklahoma. But I digress.
I couldn't even afford to buy the kids clothes to wear that year. We made do in the winter with buying one sweatshirt and one pair of pants each, then donations from friends. In the spring I sucked it up and hit the Goodwill. Thanks to them, I clothed three kids for a season for under $30, plus buying my first Boppy pillow (same one I still have :) ).
When we moved back to OK it took me awhile to get friendly with the Goodwill again. But the past couple of years we have found some real treasures: a brand new wool coat for Mark for $8 (at least $100 new), 3 piece suits, fancy dresses, tons of stuff for pennies on the dollar. I have no problem carting my legion of kids into the Goodwill now and leaving with clothes nicer than we could usually afford. I can't get everything there: pants or clothes for kids younger than 5 are usually a lost cause. Shoes are hit and miss (mostly miss becuase I don't like getting used shoes for little feet). But we do pretty good there. Last night we ended up with 3 girls' shirts, one dress, and two adult-sized skirts that I'm going to size down for the girls. Both of these skirts are in excellent condition but are way too small for me. And both fullfill my "repurpose" goal for the month. I just need to get elastic and the girls will have two brand new skirts for about $3 each and very little work on my part. (Lilith's will be the rainbow paisley and Ivy's the white with navy flowers)
Next month's repurpose goal is going to involve a lot of using old sheets. I am going to get some new sheets for our bed, and i'm going to take all the jersey sheets and all the sheets that haave holes and are ragged, and I'm going to either repurpose them into nightgowns and sleep pants for the kids, or if they are still in relatively good shape, I'm going to try my hand at making raglan knit shirts for the boys. The pattern I'm going to get is http://www.artfire.com/ext/shop/product_view/wisesewingsupplies/2867923/tee_for_two_pattern_by_patterns_by_figgys_8-14/supplies/craft_supplies/patterns/children_s in both the smaller and bigger sizes. It's always bothered me that I don't do near as much sewing for the boys as i do the girls, and this way I can make things that they can wear every day instead of just pajama pants. And jersey knit sheets are PERFECT for these shirts. So hopefully I will soon have a whole pile of repurposed sheets into something useful, and nice new sheets on our bed :).