March 3, 2014
I grew up in a family that started out with two teenagers, in love but with no money, tons of support and a little one on the way. That was me! Yup, a true "love child" of the 60's. Hippies until they grew older, my parents learned to live on little but had big dreams. We moved to this province and the tides changed. From nothing to wealthy, they cherished the life they carved and never forgot the tough times.
When we got married, there was no baby on the way (thankfully), we had already bought our first house and we owned our one and only tiny car. A bit of money in the bank for emergencies, we lived a frugal but fun existence. When it was time to have our first little one, we planned that I would take the maternity leave I was entitled too but once it was over, I'd return to work. We truly needed 2 incomes to live a comfortable life. However, C was born, gently, quietly and completely naturally, and we all fell in love. I couldn't, from that moment, fathom putting her in daycare or handing her over to another mother to care for her each day. I agonized for months about leaving her and then one day couldn't stand it any more. At that point, I only had a few weeks left (mat leaves in Canada at that time were about 6 months long) and I was getting frantic. Every child care place we checked out was fine but I knew in my aching heart that I really couldn't do it. That night, we had dinner, bathed our precious baby, played with her, sang to her, read her a story and rocked her to sleep. Then we talked all evening, trying to come up with a magical solution. Outside of robbing a bank (I worked for one so not the best idea) or winning the lottery, we could not make our budget work on one income. Our expenses weren't high, pretty frugal in fact but the issue was my husband's income at that time was not high. Decent but not enough for 2 adults and 1 baby to live on. Our mortgage payment was lower than what our friends were paying in rent, we didn't have a car payment or any loans, just the basics of food, utilities, taxes and clothing were all we spent money on. In the end, we decided that I would stay home, open up a dayhome and care for children, giving us some great tax breaks, income higher than my bank pay and the opportunity to provide playmates for our daughter. It worked so well, we ended up having a dayhome for 25 years. Loved the families we met and the children we cared for. It's so much fun now when we run into them in our community, all grown up and doing well. I love that we had a hand in shaping not just our kids but other children as well.
During that time, we learned that we didn't need to buy everything new. And thrift store shopping and garage saling became a life style for us. Our kids were raised knowing that at Christmas and on their birthdays and other special days, they would receive new items but the rest of the year, we'd always try the thrift store first. Now as they raise their kids, they have embraced the thrill of finding treasures to create their homes.
We still frequent the thrift store as well as the Antique Mall for items to enhance our lives. I love finding treasures, as we call them, at a fraction of the cost, especially when the original price tag is still on them. On the weekend, we had a bit of time in between activities and decided to thrift store shop. I was looking for a book to read and a basket for my art studio. Although the store was a bit low on items, we managed to find a few great things, for the very meager cost of $5.75.
The perfect basket for my studio for .50 cents.
Love the light lavender color. Perfect for spring.
An author I've enjoyed. Perfect new copy,
not even "cracked" open yet.
Original price: $24.95.
My price: $1.00.
Another brand new copy.
Original price: $9.95.
My price: .50 cents.
Two new tins for art supplies.
My price: 1.00 for both.
A Partylite Candle stand, new.
Original Price: $38.00.
My price: $1.00.
And it's very heavy!
The candle I already had fits perfectly.
Yes, it was thrifted too!
Tiny china bunny for my
spring display ~ coming soon.
My price: .25 cents.
A little shelf that I'll paint a lighter color.
My price: $1.50.
And that's how to spend $5.75 on a cold, winter's afternoon. My dh is away on a business trip this week, so I am looking forward to curling up in our empty bed at night to read a good book, or two! Our little library continues to grow.