In my day job, I work with a lot of low income families who, by golly, have this thrifty thing down to a science! I am constantly learning from them tips on how they keep their family afloat and happy. Their ingenuity in times of struggle never ceases to amaze me.
One tip I got today was from a gentleman, who, when asked if his children needed to sign up for a new backpack for back to school (yep, we’re already workin’ on that), said that none of his kids will need new backpacks this year, or next, or next…
See, he was smart. He bought his kids more expensive backpacks at the get-go – but ones with a LIFETIME WARRANTY. EastPAK, JanSport, North Face – they all have these warranty’s – just read the tag. He said that once their bags start to get worn down and things like zippers break, he sends them back in and they send him a new or fixed pack. No joke!
It reminded me of one year in high school I took advantage of the JanSport Warranty and while my beloved pack was gone, I got a postcard in the mail saying that my backpack was enjoying his stay at JanSport Summer Camp. Bueno.
Now, I did a little online searching to see the truth of the matter. I ran into a few disgruntled purchasers who said that they sent their packs in with some holes and other wear and tear type issues, and they had their packs sent back all disheveled with a note that said that “normal wear and tear not covered under warranty.” Huh?
So, I’m leaving this one to you readers – does anyone have any experience with said Lifetime Warranty? It seems like an awesome trick – one making the extra money for the pack well worth it.
For the OCD Mom, you can take thrift hunting one step further.
If you want to be really prepared you can create a ziplock or envelope for Thrift/Resale shopping. I have created this a few years ago after having a second child and realizing the jumping in an out of the car to check out sales was not as quick and easy as it used to be when I was shopping solo. In the ziplock (which I keep in the glove compartment) I keep my list and a pen, an envelope stocked with $20 in one dollar bills and $20 in 5’s, and a snack (something with a lot of peices that will preoccupy them for a while- my latest favorite is candy necklaces).
Keep in mind that it doesn’t hurt to buy ahead for things that will cost you a lot to buy new and you are sure to need in the next few years.
Examples of this for me are soccer shoes, ice skates, blue jeans, dress shoes(urghhh), life-preservers, rain boots and jackets.
Also, talk to your mom-friends about things that you are in need of. A lot of times moms are out and about see an item that the wish they “knew someone who could use it” because it is such a good find. Your needed item might be right at the tip of a friends fingers, saving you even more time and money.