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BellaOnline's LDS Families Editor

Get the Most From Kid's Resale

It’s Saturday, and not just your normal Saturday-to-lay-around-ten-minutes-before-getting-ready-for-Sunday, but Saturday following Payday. In fact, it’s a Saturday-following-payday-hotly-anticipating-the-immanent-deposit-of-our-tax-refund type of weekend day. So, of course, while visions of paying off credit cards dance in my head, I’m also easily sucked in the direction of the kid’s resale store. In fact, while I mind my own business, fully intending to dash into the drugstore to pick up one teensy prescription, I am bodily pulled into the slurping vortex that is the “gently used and oh-so-loved ‘upscale’ merchandise” beckoning from the sidewalk outside the next store down. Yes, it’s true that a book is just as delightful whether you spend $20 on it in a slick bookstore with a café or find it with a slightly torn jacket and a faint crayon mark on the title page begging to be taken home from one of these consignment shops for a desperately reasonable $3.99. The problem is that it only takes a few $3.99’s to equal one $20, and if ya don’t got twenty to throw after a book, ya also don’t got twenty to throw after a book, a baggie full of hotwheels, a pair of shoes, and a slightly faded BabyGap tee shirt. We people of the beehive, ever valuing thrift, frugality, and self-sufficiency benefit from using wisdom and moderation in all things bargain, and in so doing may avoid being led carefully down the path of poverty, fists full of bags “filled-for-a-buck” notwithstanding.

Floundering economy or no, LDS moms have long been denizens of the thrift-store jungle, and we moms, particularly newbies, share with one another sale dates and bargain-grabbing tips in the same way we impart our deepest beliefs on the “Cry it out method” and breast vs formula feeding. In fact, I was contemplating a moderately-scuffed Melissa & Doug puzzle when I overheard a grandmother asking a friend if her grandson would really be capable of pushing the Fisher Price walker/riding-thingie while standing up, and if it’s really worth plunking down $19.99 for it since he’ll only be staying four days. Unasked, I piped up, “yes, assuming he’s somewhere around 18 months to 2.5 years he can push it, and no, they have a few on the back shelf that would do just as well and are only $9.99.” Oh yeah, she looked a little shocked at my intrusion, and if not skeptical, at least politely uncertain, until I dragged out my credentials. “I have five boys. Including triplets.” At this she wisely sprinted to the back shelf for the gadget before someone else with sharp ears could snatch it.

I make no claims to be a savings queen. In truth, I become dreary of hours-long penny hunts, because the time often doesn’t seem worth the money, and tense when approaching bargains and bargain-filled locales, because I am all too aware of the temptation and my weakness. I have, however, learned to follow some loosely-formed guidelines (read "laws of the jungle") that help me actually derive value and savings on items my family truly needs or benefits from. And, yes, gentle readers, just as I imparted my wisdom on the stranger in the store, I’m ready to slap some enlightenment on ya’ll as well.

And so, dear friends, I wish you well in your adventures. Use these jungle-laws wisely and share them with fellow-traversers of the second-hand wilderness. I’ll see ya at the back of the store, and God-willing, we’ll wrestle for the good stuff!

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