From thrift hunting tips

The 14th Annual Half-Pint Resale is here! Shopping tips inside-

The 14th annual Half-Pint Resale is here!  

Get your resuable bags ready and your cheat sheets complete.  Fall and winter are right around the corner – and my guess is that there are littles (and school-aged bigs) who could use some new-to-you clothing, some toys, and how about a few birthday gifts stashed away – all on a budget?

14th Semi-Annual Fall/Winter Half-Pint Resale
Madison Curling Club

FREE ENTRANCE AND PARKING
Saturday, September 13, 2014- 8am-7pm
Sunday, September 14, 2014- 8am-1pm (when everything is half off!)

Here are a couple of  things that might help you prepare for the season’s biggest 
shopping extravaganza:

1) Volunteers will be wearing black and will be wearing nametags.  They are here to help you!  There are a couple of volunteers with special duties that will really help you out:  Volunteers in the GEAR/LARGE ITEM AREA will help you purchase large items so you can easily purchase them without hindering the rest of your shopping experience (look for the signs on the wall).  Volunteers with a ASK ME ABOUT BABY CARRIERS sign on their backs are ladies who know a TON about baby carriers and will be hanging around in that area during a few hours of the sale to help you try carriers on and learn about what will be best for you and your baby.    We hope that these folks will help make your shopping experience better.  Read more about the types of baby carriers you might find at Half-Pint Resale on our website, with a guest post by Cynthia Bachhuber, Wraps & Slings South Central Wisconsin.

2) There are two main areas at the Madison Curling Club.  In the lobby area, there are tables, seats, and places to just take a load off!  Feel free to come in and take a seat, nurse your baby, dig into some food from Slide Food Cart (which will be onsite during lunch and dinner hours Friday during the presales).  You are more than welcome to come and hang out – we only ask that you leave all yet-to-be-purchased items on the sales floor.

New this year, early in the sale you’ll also find our new area, BIG EXPRESS, which will feature large items that might not otherwise fit on the sales floor, and that you purchase separately from the items on the main sales floor.  And good news, you can use your credit card to purchase these items.  We’ll hold them there or you can take them right out to the car!

The main sale area is in the arena part of the building.   We will have hold tables where you could bag your items, if you say, need to go sit and nurse your babe or use the restroom.    NOTE:  The temperature in the arena area is similar in temperature to the temperature outside, due to the nature of the space.   Dress in layers!

3) Spend some time reading through our Shopping Tips.   There are a few things to highlight…

4)  Strollers are NOT allowed during peak shopping times (anytime before Noon on Saturday).   It gets crowded and it would be unsafe for everyone.   We also highly recommend you not bring children.  We know – sometimes you have no choice!  But we’ve had several kids get lost (think kids shorter than the racks and at some peak shopping times, several hundred people packing the space).    Finally, Children of any size that are WORN in a carrier are ALWAYS welcome, anytime!  If you do bring kids, please make sure that they do not play with the toys or sit in the gear.  We’ve had kids break things (and then the item is unsellable) or have had people pass over things they want to buy because they think that they are accounted for, only to find out later that the person using the item wasn’t intending to buy it, and then a consignor lost the sale.

5) Check out all of our tips about holding items on our shopping tips page.  PLEASE!  Don’t abandon items on this table!  Shoppers and consignors alike miss out.

6) Don’t forget to come on Sunday during the Half-Price sale!  Everything (excluding rare green-tagged items over $75 that a consignor asked to be excluded from the sale) is half-off!

Fullscreen capture 8252014 105038 PM7)  Do you tweet?  Post on facebook?  Instagram?  Post your #hpscore after the sale and maybe you’ll win some Half-Pint goods!   Also share the event on facebook!

8) Did you know that you can recycle all of your plastic bags after Half-Pint?  If you can’t use them again, check out these tips!

8)  And last, but not least, We only take cash and check!  Keeping consignor checks as high as possible and keeping as much money  in the community as possible.

 

-Ellen and Lisa

PS – Half-Pint is only possible because of the tremendous community we are a part of.  Say thank to these folks next time you see them

PPS – Save a couple of bucks for some super awesome Half-Pint goods such as our awesome Midwest Clay Project handmade mugs (tees and reusable bags still available as wellYou can carry the Half-Pint love with you year round.

Donate or Consign?

photo (79)

A friend of Half-Pint sent us a great podcast  (7/25/12) on what happens to all of those clothes you donate to Goodwill.  Did you know:

  • Non-profit Thrift Stores get so much clothing in donations that they only keep, on average – according to the podcast, 10% of the clothing that is donated to them.  The remaining 90% is sold to textile recycling firms at 5-7 cents per pound.
  • Of that 90%, only 15% is bought by the textile recycling industry (used to make recycled products).  The Council for Textiles says that they recycle 3.8 million pounds of clothing a year.
  • What happens to the rest?  It’s shipped oversees.  Some people estimate that America’s #1 export is used clothing.  And almost everyone agrees that it’s destroying African economies (see here here and here).

And what about all of that new clothing?

  • Americans buy, and then throw away, 70 pounds (or more, depending on your source) of clothing and textiles annually.  Some say that textile waste is 5% of landfill waste.  Some fabrics, like polyester, can’t be composted and don’t decompose well.
  • The WWF says that 5,200 gallons of water are needed to raise 2.2 pounds of cotton – about the amount needed for one pair of adult jeans.

So what to do?  

I mean, Goodwill is a good non-profit organization, doing good things.  As is SVDP.  And I’m a big fan of buying beautiful new things for my kids (and myself, let’s not lie).  I’m not suggesting that we stop buying things at thrift stores, or even making donations, necessarily.  It’s about being smart about HOW MUCH we do it – and where we buy what we need.  The podcast host suggests that the best thing you can do is to share clothing in your community as much as possible, such as at clothing swaps and consignment sales.

Being a responsible consumer is such a complicated thing.  We love finding thrifty deals, new and used, at thrift stores and elsewhere.   New is sometimes necessary, and often good.   And someone needs to shop all of that thrift because otherwise it DOES end up oversees or in a landfill.  But it’s a good reminder and a great reason to consign or share with local non-profits the items that we buy (new or used!)

Want to read more?  Check out this great Slate.com article, as well as Elizabeth Cline’s book, “Overdressed: The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion“.

-EC and LS

Shop BACK TO SCHOOL at Half-Pint!

 

If you are like me, you start panicking the moment the first back-to-school ads come out.  Not because you are anxious about school starting – alas, it’s about the clothes.  He needs pants!  He needs sweatshirts!  He needs new tees, and underwear!

And yet today is the first day of school, and it feels like 90 degrees, and probably 100 in his classroom.  The pants and sweatshirts frantically purchased at the store?  Still in a bag.  Not needed for at least a week or two.

So, save yourself some time and some money – and shop Back-To-School at Half-Pint Resale FIRST.  After the sale this weekend, you can take better stock of what you still need, AND get a lot more out of your budget.   You’ve got time!  

Shopping Tips for Fall 2011 Half-Pint Resale

Let’s do it!

This coming weekend is the 8th annual Half-Pint Resale, the area’s largest (and entirely local) children’s consignment sale.  With only a few days left before the sale, we hope you’ve got your resuable bags ready and your cheat sheets complete.

Here are a couple of other things that might help you with your shopping extravaganza:

1) Volunteers will be wearing black and will be wearing nametags.  They are here to help you!  There are a couple of volunteers with special duties that will really help you out:  Volunteers with a GEAR VOLUNTEER sign on their backs will help you purchase large items in the gear room/area so you can easily purchase them without hindering the rest of your shopping experience.    (For at least Friday, Gear will have it’s own special room off of the front lobby, so watch for it!)  Volunteers with a ASK ME ABOUT BABY CARRIERS sign on their backs are ladies who know a TON about baby carriers and will be hanging around in that area during a few hours of the sale to help you try carriers on and learn about what will be best for you and your baby.    We hope that these folks will help make your shopping experience better.  As always, we’d love to hear if it was a help!

2) Who are those folks selling delicious food/coffee of hot coffee outside our sale doors and in the Cafe on the other side of the Goodman Center building?  Why, it’s the ever delicious and socially conscious Ironworks Cafe. Trying to decide to buy or not to buy?  Just remember that every purchase helps teens learn important skills regarding running a business – or perhaps is even making a future chef!

3) Parking! We talk about alot about parking because it isn’t plentiful at the Goodman Community Center.  However, the staff there are truly fabulous and have worked with other businesses around the area to have overflow parking.   You’ll want to take a look at this post and map, but also be watchful for signs as you get to the center, as there may be signs out leading you to the jewel of the parking world.    And please, we are begging you NOT to park in anything labeled “fire lane”, “seniors only”, or  “no parking”, and in the Madison Kipp lot that is right across the railroad tracks from the GCC lot. (Danke!)

4) Spend some time reading through our Shopping Tips.   There are a few things to highlight…

5)  Strollers are NOT allowed during peak shopping times (anything before 5pm on Friday).   It gets so crowded and it would be unsafe for everyone.   We also highly recommend you not bring children.  We know – sometimes you have no choice!  But we’ve had several kids get lost (think kids shorter than the racks and at some peak shopping times, several hundred people packing the space).    Finally, Children of any size that are WORN in a carrier are ALWAYS welcome, anytime!  If you do bring kids, please make sure that they aren’t playing with the toys or sitting in the gear.  We’ve had kids break things which they become unsellable.  Thanks for understanding!

6) Like the last sale, there will not be an Express Lane at this sale...  I don’t imagine there are too many people saying boohoo because for those of you who have waited in that Express Lane earlier in the sale when the lines are longer, you know that it didn’t actually get you through any faster and was hard to manage.   We will continue to manage lines as best as possible and think you’ll find our new bagging system swift and our hard-working volunteers fabulous.

7) Check out all of our tips about holding items on our shopping tips page.  Remember that items can stay on the Hold table for one hour maximum.  PLEASE!  Don’t abandon items on this table!  Shoppers and consignors alike miss out!

8) Finally, don’t forget to bring a donation for the Goodman Community Center’s Fritz Food Pantry.  Thanks again to the Chocolate Shoppe Ice Cream, everyone who donates will be entered to win ICE CREAM FOR A YEAR.    You will find the donation box in the Lobby of the Gymnasium (the location of the sale) Thursday – Saturday.

And last, but not least, We only take cash and check!  Keeping consignor checks as high as possible and keeping as much money  in the community as possible.  Thanks for understanding!

Looking forward to seeing you:
Friday, September 8- 2pm-9pm (new longer hours!), and Saturday, September 9- 9-Noon, and 1pm-5pm (when everything is half off!)

-Ellen and Lisa

PS If you haven’t seen it yet – make sure you check out the VIDEO of the last fall/winters sale in action!


Shopping Tips for Spring 2011 Half-Pint Resale

Trying to work on Half-Pint on an election night is a lesson in focus.  I’m not sure I’ve succeeded…  However….

Something we can ALL get excited about is THRIFTINESS!

Let’s do it!

This coming weekend is the 7th annual Half-Pint Resale, the area’s largest (not to mention local) children’s consignment sale.  With only a few days left before the sale, we hope you’ve got your resuable bags ready and your cheat sheets complete.

Here are a couple of other things that might help you with your shopping extravaganza:

1) Volunteers will be wearing black and will be wearing nametags.  They are here to help you!  There are a couple of volunteers with special duties that will really help you out:  Volunteers with a QUESTION MARK sign on their backs are the volunteers assigned to helping you.  Wondering about cloth diapering?  Can’t figure out how to use that bizarre but interesting looking contraption?  Don’t understand how to check-out, need a bathroom, or can’t find the bags?  They are there to help!  Volunteers with a GEAR VOLUNTEER sign on their backs will help you purchase large items in the front gear area so you can easily purchase them without hindering the rest of your shopping experience.   Volunteers with a ASK ME ABOUT BABY CARRIERS sign on their backs are ladies who know a TON about baby carriers and will be hanging around in that area to help you try carriers on and learn about what will be best for you and your baby.    We hope that these folks will help make your shopping experience better.  As always, we’d love to hear if it was a help!

2) Who are those folks selling the delicious cookies and sandwiches with the ready supply of hot coffee right outside our sale doors?  Why, it’s the ever delicious and socially conscious Ironworks Cafe. Trying to decide to buy or not to buy?  Just remember that every purchase helps teens learn important skills regarding running a business – or perhaps is even making a future chef!  ‘Nuf Said.

3) Parking! We talk about alot about parking because it isn’t plentiful at the Goodman Community Center.  However, the staff there are truly fabulous and have worked with other businesses around the area to have overflow parking.   You’ll want to take a look at this post and map, but also be watchful for signs as you get to the center, as there may be signs out leading you to the jewel of the parking world.    And please, we are begging you NOT to park in anything labeled “fire lane” or “no parking”, and in the Madison Kipp lot that is right across the railroad tracks from the GCC lot. (Danke!)

4) Spend some time reading through our Shopping Tips.   There are a few things to highlight…

5)  Strollers are NOT allowed during peak shopping times (anything before 5pm on Friday).   It gets so crowded and it would be unsafe for everyone.   We also highly recommend you not bring children.  We know – sometimes you have no choice!  But we’ve had several kids get lost (think kids shorter than the racks and at some peak shopping times, several hundred people packing the space).    Finally, Children that are WORN in a carrier are ALWAYS welcome, anytime!  If you do bring kids, please make sure that they aren’t playing with the toys or sitting in the gear.  We’ve had kids break things which they become unsellable.  Thanks for understanding!

6) There will not be an Express Lane at this sale...  I don’t imagine there are too many people saying boohoo because for those of you who have waited in that Express Lane earlier in the sale when the lines are longer, you know that it didn’t actually get you through any faster and was hard to manage.   SO!  In light of that, we’ve added extra detagging stations at the checkout and faster ways to bag your items.  Here is crossing-my-fingers that the lines move swiftly!

7) Check out all of our tips about holding items on our shopping tips page.  Remember that items can stay on the Hold table for one hour maximum.  PLEASE!  Don’t abandon items on this table!  Shoppers and consignors alike miss out!

8) Finally, don’t forget to bring a donation for the Goodman Community Center’s Fritz Food Pantry.  Thanks to the Chocolate Shoppe Ice Cream, everyone who donates will be entered to win ICE CREAM FOR A YEAR.  (And no, it is NOT April Fools).  You will find the donation box in the Lobby of the Gymnasium (the location of the sale) Thursday – Saturday.

And last, but not least, We only take cash and check!  Keeping consignor checks as high as possible and keeping as much money  in the community as possible.  Thanks for understanding!

Looking forward to seeing you:
Friday 2pm-8pm, and Saturday 8-Noon, and 1pm-5pm (when everything is half off!)

-Ellen and Lisa


Get the Half-Pint special!

Ironworks Cafe is our home away from home while during Half-Pint weekend.  We are very fortunate that this home serves fantabulous baked goods, spectacularly creative, delicious, creative and affordable breakfasts and lunches – and oh, did we mention some of the coffee  in TOWN?  (Oh, and they are a non-profit, and help teens learn the ins and outs of a business, too – Icing on some Seriously Awesome Cake).

And what makes all of you extra lucky is that we are teaming up with them to give you the Half-Pint Special.  Half-off any  baked good with the purchase of coffee.  Offer good the Thursday, Friday and Saturday of Half-Pint!  Just mention that you’d like the Half-Pint Special.

Yum.

Never fear, the SHOE graph is here.

I love European shoes. But as much as I try and keep up with what euro size my kids are wearing, I inevitably find myself trying to remember how it all matches up.   And my spacial reasoning ain’t good enough to take a look at the shoe and say “Hey!  That’s my kid’s size.”  And since my kid’s feet grow like weeds, there is a good chance I haven’t even Looked at whether their shoes fit since an entire size ago.

Can YOU keep track of these things?

So today, I put on my list for the evening “sort out shoes”.  With garage sale season in full swing and Half-Pint not that far away – not to mention a kid in school (eek!) for the first time and a now-two-year-old whose feet are not growing in sync with his older brother –  well, it needed to be done.

So here I am right now, with piles (and bags) of shoes on my table – I’d show you, but it’s too embarrassing.  Some in Euro sizes, some in US sizes, and some in sizes that don’t make sense at all.   New-to-me shoes in bags and boxes and current shoes laying out in their dirty stinky glory for comparison.    But even after all of that comparing, I needed more info.   So I went off to the good ole’ internets to find me a chart, and voila, wikipedia gave me the GOODS.

So awesome that I HAD to share it with you.  Just click here and you’ll see more than you Ever (i promise) wanted to know about sizing feet and shoes.   But keep scrolling down, and holy cats, you’ll hit the motherload of charts.  I’m printing one and putting in my purse T-O-D-A-Y.  Never again will I run across the Japanese shoes and think “these numbers look vaguely similar to Euro sizing, but it absolutely isn’t the same.”  Oh, this HAS happened to me (at Half-Pint, actually!).

Of course, the never fail way to do it is to just trace your kids foot on a piece of paper, which we talk about in our Bargain Cheet Sheets.  That’s our recommended fail-safe way, because you know how these shoe companies work.  They even change their OWN SIZING mid stream!   As if we didn’t already have enough information about our children’s growing patterns in our brain.

But alas, remember my kid’s have weeds for feet.  So, if you’re like me, Happy graph oogling-

Ellen

Being thrifty becomes enjoyable, doesn’t it?

Sometimes I wish I had more money.  I get the catalogs, I peer in the windows at Anthropologie, and dream of the day when we suddenly have a fortune so I can buy that new dish set I saw in the “summer section” at Target, or just make that house repair we need without the endless figuring out and calculating of when and how.

When I dream of that world,most of the time I soon will start to think about all of my trips to my favorite thrift stores, and the thrill of the hunt (and the find).  I start to list in my head all of the fabulous things that I’ve gotten that I couldn’t have even gotten in the store.  I think about the things I’ve made, the vintage goods, and the items that I’ve gotten so cheap I shouldn’t even mention it (ok, I will, my favorite ever was the Oink Baby terry cloth orange, blue and brown slim-fitting Romper that Lisa spent a small fortune on using eBay – thinking she was getting a good deal at half-off of retail – but me, oh me!  I got it basically free at the Dig and Save.  Yep, 50 cents a pound on Wednesdays.  Maybe it cost a Quarter?).

I digress.

The thrill of living thrifty – it’s like a game.  A giant treasure hunt.  An inside joke – you know – they all paid full price, but HA!  I’m thrifty.  I got it cheap.  I love it.  I might – just might – love it more than having the ability to buy whatever I need, or well, want.

So if you’re with me (and I’m guessing you are – you shop Half-Pint Resale, after all!) then you’ll really appreciate this article.  Yeah, yeah, she does it all so she can take a lavish vacation.  We’re probably doing it, in some cases, so we can pay for that car repair, or so our daughter can take gymnastics lessons.  But the way she describes the life she’s living, the kick she got out of the expensive boutique coat, well, it will resonate.

Take a read.   What do you think?  Does buying new (or, since some of us are so good at finding new Cheap, shall I say – full price) feel less energetic?  Less imaginative?  Why are you thrifty?

-Ellen