Sale-a-holic

   So… I have a confession. I am a sale-a-holic. A functioning one. I do cut coupons. I also love to stock up on sale groceries. But my madness goes so much deeper. My brain is literally hardwired with knowledge of shopping. Where to do it, how to do it and what to pick out for others. When I have to shop for something, I plan it out. I make lists and compare prices. I think of what I have already that would match or go with whatever new thing I want.

   I do not wing shopping. It must be well thought out and saved for. I dig and delve through racks. I like to even go back and circle the same spots in stores like Home Goods, Marshalls and Target. I know if I look hard enough I will find awesome things. So this year,  for my daughter, I went kindergarten clothing hunting. When I say hunting I so do not joke. My friends are always blown away with my finds. And I’m proud of them because I know it took deep thought and plotting to achieve sale shopping.
  
   I love to go to stores like H&M and Gymboree for my belle. I also find awesome things in the racks of JcPennys kids section. I raid the clearance first. I shovel through sizes and sections, grabbing things I like or love. I grab anywhere from a 6x to a 10. I have learned that different materials stretch or shrink on my child. I have also learned what is worth splurging for as well as what is a complete rip off. For instance, elastic waisted, adjustable pants are a total keeper. Those spandex leggings however are a complete waste because they fall throughout the day and give a lovely view of my five year olds ass crack. I also look for cuffable jeans and leggings that scrunch because she can wear them much longer without her ankles having to dangle out from her crazy growth spurts. All this stuff below was from children’s place, H&M and gymboree. Leggings were $4 each. Skirts all on clearance for less than $6 each. Socks five for five.

image

image

   I have remembered and/or noted what colors stain easy. For instance, as lovely as white lace is for my daughter, I always avoid stark white tops. I avoid shirts that have attached necklaces or beading because they always break in the wash. Patches however are awesome. I wish I had a whole bucket of patches for when she rips a hole in her favorite pants or sweater. That’s what my grandmother used to do. I ask my daughter what she likes and she just shrugs, continuing to run around like a nut. So I have gotten to know her quirks. She does not mind tags like some kids. However she hates those pants with the weird little slip cuff button and zipper. Loathes them. So we do not do those. 

   I have come to adore handmedowns. My aunt has given me many bags of clothing, which always spruce up our clothing selection. What I do not like just goes into donation for someone else. And anything too stained or worn— do not throw out people. I have asked my digital spouse what to do and I learned how to make headbands from old shirts! That’s right. There is a use for them after all. Here is proof:

image

image

image

I made all of the above headbands from old shirts and beads. By hand too. I will post about that another time!

   I have bought clearance shirts from various shirts and then spruced them up at home. Its a good way to save but also unique. I can assure that half of what my daughter has, no one else will. Sure a bunch of six year olds won’t care. I am thrilled because my inner fashion designer is getting to live a little.
  

image

image

    I couponed for Gymboree and children’s place recently. The clothing is always priced pretty good but I know if I go on certain weeks, the clothing is on sale. I’ll buy a bathing suit or jacket for my daughter to wear the following year. I go as far as grabbing things a whole year ahead because it is that dang cheap to do!

  

image

image

image

  Sweater shopping for kindergarten was the best. I hunted like crazy for comfortable sweaters in a size 7 or bigger so she can wear them a good two solid years. The butterfly sweater was $6 at GAP clearance. The bottom two were from marshalls for $9 each. Still great even though that was their full prices. Adorable. Versatile. Able to be washed and worn a million times.

    My greatest find of all had to be saved for last. Mostly just to see if everyone is still reading. My drum roll find from searching over an hour-no joke and going through every shoe box in the damn kids section were two pairs of Sperry’s. Both were on sale and in awesome colors that match everything. In the mall a pair is about $65 for kids and adults its well into the $90s. Gross right? What the hell are shoes made of that they cost so much? I have always wondered. At marshalls I was able to find these adorable babies for $20 each. That’s $40 for two pairs of shoes….whaaaa???? Unimaginable.

image

image

      All because I am a sale-a-holic.

feministingmama

Advertisements

Lunch art – healthy and adorable

image

   As part of my countdown to kindergarten, I have been tirelessly researching lunch ideas for my five year old. Knowing she isn’t very fond of vegetables or meats unless they are craftily mixed into meals, I have found the best solutions online. Pinterest has come to my rescue again. I feel if anything like I have a digital spouse. I can find anything on pinterest. House ideas, DIY projects, affordable solutions and my favorite- recipes!!
   One awesome thing I discovered was multiple ideas on how to create snack drawers! By bagging and sealing many snacks ahead of time, I could just grab something each day for my child’s lunch box. Why is that so simple and yet I never thought of it? Thank you digital spouse. Simply purchase a dollar store (dollar tree is our favorite) container bin in a cool color and label it with an index card as “snacks” if your super crafty like me! Sure we can identify the bucket by looking at it. But what about your little kindergartener who is very observant and very obsessed with opening the fridge? Its educational.
   Next, get some super cheap and awesome zip lock bags (Target makes bright colored ones) and a sharpie. If you feel up to it, do what I do and stock your kitchen junk drawer (come on, we all have one) with post its, tape, index cards, markers and cute stickers. The dollar store has all that stuff so you wont be spending a lot and you will spruce up the lunches with labels. Your learning child can get used to the items along with their words.
    Make sure you get a variety of snacks for them. Kids go through so many fazes with food. One week they love strawberries. The next week they think they are the scum of the earth. Get some dips like cottage cheese, peanut butter and even wowbutter (made with sunflower seed oil). Its great to provide dips when packing celery, cheese sticks, pretzels, biscuits, fruits chopped and finger foods. Raisins are great but can get boring too. Try some dried fruit or craisins to mix it up a bit.
    My daughter loves grilled cheese and quesadillas so I have looked up things I can add to them. I loved the idea of grilled peanut butter and banana sandwiches. Also. Adding spinach and mozzarella cheese fried on bread. I have slipped many vegetables into wraps and quesadillas. Sour cream or home made dressings on the side are good for kids who love to dip.
   

image

  Wrap roll ups seem like the best invention in the world. I have wrapped up spreads, pbj, deli meats and veggies for her then cut it like sushi. One thing I saw was rolling up pbj in wheat wraps and freezing them. You can thaw it anytime or pack it frozen so it’ll be thawed by the time lunch comes around at school.
   

image

On the subject of frozen foods, i saw these fruit cups on a woman’s blog and fell in love. My child hates applesauce by itself. I want to buy frozen fruit bag varieties and sort them into each cup. Then every cup is covered and froze again. Pack it in a small ziplock container to be thawed by lunch time. It keeps fruit fresh and saves you money since fruit won’t go bad so fast if frozen!!
    My last favorite that I will be trying are the muffin recipes I have been finding. Any can be googled but a good suggestion of mine is weelicious and allrecipes.com. I have both mini muffin and regular sized tins which I use at least once a week. We use paper cups to avoid having to spray butter ( I end up inhaling it and feeling gross). The recipes call for ingredients like baby food, meat, spaghetti and even bacon!
One fun idea is to make mini corn muffins with chopped hotdog slices in each muffin. Another recipe was for delicious zucchini and cheddar muffins. Many required just flour, baking soda, chopped fruits and baby food puree. How cool and useful huh?
   

image

Well I am way too busy to sit around all day during the semesters and cook/bake for my little one. I am not a stay at home mom and am the only bread winner. So I have decided to make efficient grocery lists based on these recipes. I also use small accordion recipe folders for ideas and coupons. You don’t have to tackle it all at once. Spread ideas out and see what items are on sale during each season. I also think that setting an hour on the weekend to prepare this stuff and then freeze it is awesome!!! If you lay out a chunk of time on the weekend, you van pack lunches super fast during the week. I know this weekend I’ll be hitting up dollar tree and trader joes for most of the ingredients and supplies. So worth it in the end. I also am ordering rubber cupcake baking cups on amazon( sets of 12 for less than $15.00) which are reusable for baking and great for dividing foods in a container.

image

Well that’s it for now! Can’t wait to post when I try it all out!!!!

feministingmama