Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Thrifting with Children

Thrifting is thrilling right? Finding something you've been hunting down for quite some time or stumbling across an unexpected beauty. But add children to the mix? Is it still thrilling, or terrifying? I know that when I have attempted an op-shopping session with my little bundle of energy in tow, stress levels have been high and purchases have been low.

Alison from Dress Me Retro (Winter Loves June sponsor) is here to give you 10 simple tips to thrifting with children... how to keep the experience enjoyable and survive the trip!
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1.Find children's treasures too. I haven't found an op shop yet that doesn’t have kids toys and books. Katie is quite happy to play while I search for treasures.

2. I normally give Katie $2.00 to spend. She can find a book for .50 cents and a soft toy or doll for $1.00. Sometimes she picks out clothes for her dolls or ornaments for her bedroom. She picked out a skipping rope for $1.50 on our last visit. I don’t buy Katie something from every shop either. I explain to her that she can buy something now or look for something better at the next shop. If she doesn’t buy anything her money goes into her piggy bank for the next thrifting day.

3. Search out thrift stores other than Vinnies and Salvos. They have increased their prices so much that they are more like a retail store now. And unfortunately I have noticed some of the staff aren’t as friendly as they used to be. I find great quality kids gear at my local 'Save the Children' op shop and the 'City Mission Shop' is normally great for bargains.

4. Most of the time I set aside a whole day for thrifting. So I always pack some fruit and snacks and a water bottle. Obviously Katie isn’t allowed to eat and drink in the store but stopping at a park for a break is always a great option.

5. I give Katie a five minute warning before I'm preparing to leave a store. That way she doesn’t throw a tantrum when I tell her its time to go.

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6. Include your child in the check out process. I allow Katie to hand over the cash or press the buttons on the eftpos machine.

7. Try to make it fun. Katie pesters me to go to the op shops now. Whether its because she knows she will be rewarded with something? I don’t know. I like to think its because she loves trying on silly clothes and hats with her mama!

8. Take your own shopping bags. Not only is it greener but there aren’t too many places that offer you a plastic bag these days so it pays to have a couple handy.

9. Search through auctions, markets and garage sales as well. I tend to pick up lots more goodies at flea markets than I do at op shops. At our local market there is a jumping castle which is great for convincing young children to behave! At an auction, I constantly see kids cubby houses or bikes go for less than $10.00.

10. When thrifting, use an open mind. Look at things from a different perspective. What you would normally overlook as a daggy pink or blue dress, can be cut up and made into some adorable bunting. Or an old jar can look amazing with a little twine and some pretty flowers.

* And remember * we all have those days where children just don’t want to co-operate. This has happened to me a couple of times, and sometimes you just have to abandon ship, head home and try again another day.

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Happy Hunting!
Dress Me Retro 
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