Prepare to shop
I popped into town today, to go to the library and the 99p shop, nothing too wild obviously! I had to walk though the shopping centre and couldn't help but notice a sports clothing shop with the windows painted out & an ad saying ‘all stock must go’. Well obviously I am not expecting this to necessarily be the bargain hunters dream that it first appears but I was pleasantly surprised, to say the least.
Both my boys needed new trainers. I would very often buy these from a car boot sale when they were younger but not much comes up in sizes 8.5 and 10, so I am having to broaden my horizons a little. I wouldn’t want you to think that my boys were label addicts or that they are especially impressed with new clothes. However the do have favourite labels that they ask me to look out for a car boot sales, which we augment with some plainer stuff from Matalan & Primark type stores.
I bought a pair of No Fear skate shoes reduced from £64.99 to £19.99 and a pair of Lonsdale Trainers reduced from £56.99 to £15.99.
Now obviously I don’t think that £19 and £15 are overly cheap but I do think that these trainers last longer than the less expensive versions. I have found it quite hard to create an experiment along these lines because there are too many variables. However my husband once paid £75 for some Puma Trainers (and let me tell you, he heard about it for some time afterwards) and they lasted for three years of almost daily wear. I tried to find him some replacements on the Internet when they finally gave up the ghost, but have sought ‘Black Puma Trainers’ I found a man in the Southern USA who trained black pumas. Not exactly what I had in mind but nice to know its available if you are in the market. Anyway I couldn't’t find anything at a reasonable price so his replacements had to be something cheaper. Unfortunately it wasn’t a great success & they lasted little more than 2 months.
Anyway I was able to take advantage of this sale because I knew what size shoes they both needed and what style they liked. I only have two children and a husband to remember, as well as my own, but nonetheless I do get mixed up so it’s worth making a note of preferences & sizes in a notebook or organiser.
As well as sizes for clothing & shoes, label & style preferences I also keep a note of CD’s, DVDs and computer games as these very often go for next to nothing in car boot sales & charity shops and for absolutely nothing on freecycle, of course. Adapt your lists to suit your needs, for example, library books you have read (saves carrying them home even its not a direct financial saving) china sets with missing pieces, makes & models of domestic appliances and cars (if you are confident & competent enough to embark on serious home repairs)
I am updating this to say that it might be better as the kids get older and maybe more picky to record which games, Cd's and DVDs they are on the look out for rather than all that they have unless you want to end up with a house full of boxed disks that no-one wants. Although of course you can always start selling them again on eBay or Amazon