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March 13, 2013

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Okay, so that title might be a bit misleading.  I just want to let you all in on where/how I buy most of my kids’ clothes for almost nothing.  It does require a little (or a lot if you are Lisa Lord) time and some hard work but it is all worth it for a year’s worth of clothes for little or nothing.

Here is the down-low.  My kids have all gone to preschool at the St. Philip Early Learning Center.  First of all, amazing program, teachers, staff, everything.  We have been so happy there.  The ONLY (yes, no selling cookie dough or wrapping paper) fundraiser that they do is a yearly consignment sale.  It. Is. Awesome.  It is so much fun to be a part of.  They have over 350 sellers, selling over 60,000 items in 4 days.  They take the church where they hold preschool and turn it into a HUGE, very high quality consignment sale.  People bring in their gently used (usually Brand name) clothes, toys, baby items (almost anything baby and kid related) and sell it.  The seller gets 70% of the profit and the preschool gets 30% (which you get to write off on your taxes since they are a non-profit).  Everyone wins.  Everyone goes home happy.  Usually the preschool makes between $20,000 and $30,000.  That means they sell over $75-100,000 worth of kids items.  Which means there are some great deals to be made!  I sell all the things my kids have grown out of.

This is my car fully loaded to drop off to sell.  So freeing to get rid of all that “stuff”!

I have sold items the last 4 or 5 years.  Each year I get a little better at it and each year I make a little more money (let me know if you want to know my tricks of the trade).  Usually the goal is to make as much money as I spend.  The last 2 years I have made MORE money than I spent (last year with over $100 in my pocket)!  That means I got all of my stuff for FREE!!!!!!!  I buy everything there: bikes, Legos, clothes, Keen shoes (as long as I beat Eryn Hodges to the shoe room), costumes and on and on and on.  My kids LOVE when the sale comes.  They can’t wait to see what treasures I bring home.

Tanner’s Favorite “buy” from last year.  See the white tag still on it?  This ninja suit has seriously paid for itself.  He LOVES it and still wears it all the time.

 2 years ago I brought home this sweet swivel chair that looks like a hand (seen here in JJ’s 3 year old photo shoot).

It still resides in the basement and 2 years later… the kids still fight over who gets to sit in it.  It got it for $10.  So worth it.

So have I convinced you?  If you are interested in selling, it is SUPER easy this year.  They have gone electronic!  You do everything online, print your tickets and pin them on.  I have already done most of mine and it took me half the time!  Then as the sale is in process (hour by hour updates), you can see what you have sold (and therefore know how much you can spend)!

If you want to shop, shop early.  Trust me, it is the only way to go!  The girls at church heard me say it for years, but last year one of them actually volunteered and was able to shop early.  She told me how amazed she was at how much better the selection was.  All you have to do is volunteer (or have your husband volunteer) for 3 hours.  That is it!  And you get to shop on Wednesday night before the public on Thursday morning.  If you really want to get the good stuff, then you volunteer for 12 hours (or more-or 6 hours in childcare) and you get to leisurely stroll through the amazing deals with about 40 people instead of several hundred.  It is worth it.  If you are really crazy (and devoted to the school and love spending time with your friends) then you can be a committee chair (we are still in need of a Cashiering Committee Chair).  You have to attend 4 meetings in the months leading up to the sale and put in 15+ hours the week of the sale, but you get to shop on Tuesday night (and get the really, really good stuff).  Not only do you get the best stuff, but you get the best prices.  For example, there might be three identical exersaucers.  If you shop on Tuesday night, you get the nicest one and the cheapest one.  Is there still one available on Thursday morning?  Yes, but it costs $20 instead of $12.  One year I got a brand new double jogging stroller/bike trailer for $75.  Of course, I was the 2nd one in the door and I sped walked to get it.  Still use it.  Worth every hour I volunteered.  And then there are the crazies.  Like me.  I am the head honcho of the whole sale this year.  Which means I get to shop whenever the heck I want to (but won’t actually have time to do it!).  Plus I get to shop on Tuesday night for the rest of my life.

Anyway….I am not saying you need to be amazingly dedicated.  All you have to do it show up for 3 hours and have a great time sorting clothes, or helping people, or taking tickets, or bagging purchases, or working the bake sale cart.  It is all easy, and FUN!  Do I sound like a commercial?

The best part about volunteering….signup is all online.  You can get on the website and sign up for your volunteer hours without ever having to talk to a person.  A huge advantage for me.  I avoid talking on the phone at all cost (especially with strangers).  You can sign up for what time you want to work and what area you want to help with.  There are weekend and evening shifts too if you need to work when your hubby can be home to watch the kids (or if you work over 15 hours, they have childcare that you can sign up for).

I always have fun at the sale and look forward to it each year.  Can’t wait for the last week in April to come this year!

Please, please, please sign up to sell and/or volunteer.  I guarantee you won’t regret it!  And if you do end up selling, volunteering or shopping come find me and say hi.  I will be there every minute of every day!  And don’t forget to get a famous chicken salad sandwich.  They are legendary and to. die. for.

See you April 21-27th.

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  1. Ant says:

    Lisa, is it just "kid" stuff? Or other people/household stuff too?

    Needless to say, my curiosity is definitely piqued!

  2. Lisa Lord says:

    Just Kid Stuff. But great for Nieces and Nephews! I always bring my kids to the sale after school and let them pick out a new toy. They love it and I get a sweet deal!

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