My grandmother is the queen of secondhand. From a depression-era upbringing, frugality is simply second nature to her. I have rarely known her to purchase items new. She's a wonderful seamstress, and has always made clothes for herself, me, and my mom. She frequents yard sales and thrift stores. She reuses everything possible. Paper plates and napkins, plastic cups, or anything disposable are rare in her home. She doesn't believe in waste. To me, that has always been who she is. I didn't fully understand the value in her way of living until much more recently. Now I see it as such a blessing to have grown up with an example of truly earth-friendly, simple living. There was a phase in my tween and teen years during which I scoffed at the idea of purchasing second-hand. I didn't want "old clothes", and I'm sure I rolled my eyes more than once at my mom's suggestion to go thrift shopping rather than to the mall. It wasn't until later, when I was in college, that I began to see the beauty in all things secondhand, in re-purposing and reusing and giving new life to old things. Now that I have a home of my own, it's my ongoing goal to make it beautiful and unique. I see myself as a curator of the items in our home, and over time I have become more and more discerning about what I bring in. Thrifting is so perfect for finding one-of-kind items that can add so much character to a space. I love the process, too- the search. It is truly my kind of shopping. I feel pretty lucky that I happen to have married a guy who also enjoys all these things. On his days off from work we like to browse thrift and antique shops, and I absolutely love that this is something we can share.
This week, my haul was mostly practical everyday things. I've been wanting for a while to switch to only cloth napkins, as I just hate all the waste from paper ones. The only way to make this work is to have enough of them for cleans ones to always be available, so I've been on the lookout, and yesterday I found a bunch of aqua and blue that look great together and are cotton (because I also dislike synthetic napkins that don't absorb anything). Another things I've been looking for, and was pretty excited to find, was these little jelly jar glasses. My grandma has always had a few of these. They're very small, but so perfect for kids. They are really difficult to break even though they're glass, and I love giving things made from "real" materials to Seth. Besides avoiding potentially harmful chemicals in plastic, I think allowing him to handle glass under our supervision can somehow teach him something, or at least make him feel capable and "big". I also found two books that have been on my to-read list for a while, four nearly-new clothing items for Isaac, and a slinky gray t-shirt for myself.
The total for all of the above was $21.65.