Tag Archives: retail therapy

Baby Clothes

Baby clothes. They are so stinking cute. Just perusing through them can make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside. People cannot seem to help themselves, and our friends and family were very generous in gifting us with lots of precious ensembles for our little punkin. The only thing we’ve actually needed to add to our collection thus far were baby mitts, socks and pajamas. I tried to hold tight to my less is more fun principles, but alas I could not help myself entirely from the temptation of buying teeny tiny pieces of sweetness.

I first fell victim at my friends’ yard sale. We had yet to receive confirmation one way or the other, but I figured it couldn’t hurt to buy a few neutral(ish) onsies.

Yard Sale (Carters)

Yard Sale total: I can’t remember. It was not much. Our friends actually offered to just give us the clothes, but they were putting the proceeds towards a charity so I figured I could cough up a buck or two.

This will probably be the 1st and last time I hunt down baby gear at a yard sale. I like the idea of it, just not enough to get up before the sun rises and forfeit all the time and gas driving around town.

Then I did not buy anything for a long time. If I’m honest it was less about simplicity or frugality and more about my fear of jinxing it. I caved just once before Leila arrived and bought two dresses.

Zulily (Violet + Moss)

Zulily total: $30.93

I first learned of Zulily via a friends FB post. There are tons of great brands, including lots of organically grown and fairly traded items such as these adorable dresses. The S & H is a bit much if you’re only buying a couple of items (which significantly brings down the overall savings), though it is a one and done fee for the day or weekend – good news if you see several items you’d like to purchase. It’s been my observation that even with the great discounts, like restaurant.com or other deal sites, it is important to remember that I am still spending money and I constantly need to ask myself whether it is something we really truly need.

My friend actually wrote a post about Zulily – check it out!

A month or two after Leila was born I made a run to Marshall’s and T.J. Maxx in hopes of adding one or two nursing friendly items from my wardrobe. I walked out with these.

T.J. Maxx (Savannah & Carters)

T.J. Maxx total: $16.23 ($11.91 + $4.32)

Not bad. Not great. I find places like this a bit overwhelming and tend to only venture in when I’m looking for a specific type of item. I don’t think that will change.

Then I used a coupon as an excuse to wander into Old Navy.

Old Navy

Old Navy total: $14.53

Cute stuff and pretty decent prices, especially if you only shop clearance.

Finally, an afternoon on South Congress led me to the best possible place to get my baby clothes fix.

Charitable Resale Store (Carters, Old Navy & more)

Charitable resale store total: $6.24 + $35.30 to buy the following…

9 outerwear/sweaters (Ralph Lauren, Gap, etc)

6 pajamas (including a Janie & Jack piece, which I didn’t realize was such a steal until a friend commented about the brand on FB)

3 tops

3 dresses (there’s even a smocked one in the bunch)

1 onesie

That’s a grand total of $41.54 for 30 pieces. By far the best deal. Every once and awhile I pop into a store and pick up a few items (almost always 50% off their already ridiculously cheap price tag) for the near future when Leila outgrows her current bounty. Maybe it’s flawed logic, but on top of the frugal factor, this also seems to be the best option when considering the other stuff that matters to me.

What about you? Where’s your favorite place to build your baby’s wardrobe?

January Challenge: But Nothing

This month’s challenge is a subset of keeping to our previously mentioned budget. Ideally we will naturally stick to our money goals without any significant backsliding. Realistically, it’s probably wise to tend to the more trying areas until we get our bearings. Yes, this is kind of lame and I hope to tackle more significant challenges down the proverbial road. Until then, I have found that being successful on the larger stuff is dependent on getting down some basics.

Our focus: fashion and home stuff. By “our” I mean “my” because I am the only one who struggles with the temptation to purchase the eclectic hardware from Anthropologie that would look perfect in our small bathroom and is discounted to $2.95, which is practically giving it away. I am also the only one that insists on swinging by the clearance rack at Target and falling prey to the cardigan that is a whopping 75% off and convinces myself that putting it back would just be stupid – when else am I going to find such an all purpose essential for under ten dollars? Here is where the “but nothing” comes into play. You see, when I develop these flawless arguments for what I will surely deem purchases that are financially insignificant, I will tell myself “but nothing.” That goes for the ridiculous post-Christmas sales at Pier 1 too. Damn a good deal. I wish simply reminding myself that consuming a lot of cheaply produced goods is probably not too great for the environment or the hands that made them, but a ridiculously cheap price frequently distracts me from that reality.

In truth, we do not need or want for anything. Hence cutting our home décor/upgrade category by 80% and our clothing budget (which includes dry cleaning) by 85%. We pared down the latter to cover laundering Ben’s shirts and leaving a smidge of room for a little something. You never know. As for the home, we knew that growing our garden was important and everything else was more than good enough. Now it is a matter of putting it into practice.

retail therapy

I do not like shopping in the sense that I do not like to purposelessly walk into a store, browse, and walk out with lots of bags. However, I do enjoy a quirky version of retail therapy. I like to walk into a store I love, browse, sift through, pick up, try on and walk out without anything. I used to feel bad about my interactive window-shopping and the excess work I was creating for the salespeople. I had a friend who worked in retail who bemoaned fitting room duty. I think that is why I enter the store truly believing I might just buy something. I don’t try on front-of-the-store mannequin items I would never purchase. I head back to the sale corner, sort through sizes and check the price. Usually I put it down, but inevitably my casual sifting leaves me with half a dozen items I feel compelled to try. Things I could really see myself buying. Then I don’t. Occasionally I do find something that is worth it but even then it rarely makes it to the cash register, and my little retail escapade remains financially viable.

One of my favorite therapeutic endeavors is a trip to Target. Large stores with an excess of selection give me anxiety – the exception being this particular retailer. I love when those automatic doors open and the air conditioning cools the Houston heat. I grab a big red cart and weave my way through almost every aisle in the store, carefully choosing items to place in my cart. With every step I second-guess my previous selection until I’ve returned almost everything and leave with only the single tube of toothpaste I originally intended to buy.

I noticed myself seeking some retail therapy the past couple of days. I did not need anything in particular. I think I just sometimes need to confirm that by perusing a few stores and leaving empty-handed.

Am I the only one who does this?