There are photos of my twins hanging over the fireplace in our family room taken when they were just 1 and modeling for an article on consignment shopping. The outfits they are wearing are from area consignment shops and remind me of the days when everything I bought for them was less than $5.
Soon after my oldest was born, I was lured into a consignment shop not to far from my house because of the cute Fisher Price toys displayed out front. I was amazed at the deals I found inside. Soon after, I went to a consignment sale at the Howard County Fair Grounds where I found a Little Tykes play ring for a fraction of the cost new. After that, I was hooked. There is nothing better than finding a great deal, and consignment is the best way to get bang for your buck. This is especially necessary when you have three kids within two years.
For years, I hit a huge twice-a-year consignment sale at Greater Baltimore Medical Center in Towson and bought bags and bags of clothes not only for my kids, but my husband and myself as well. I’d do the majority of the seasonal shopping at that sale, often finding boots, coats and even snow pants. If something cost more than a dollar, I’d have to seriously think about buying it — that’s how amazing the sale was. I came home with brand names like Ralph Lauren, Gap, Gymboree and Tommy Hilfiger. One year, I even bought inline skates for the whole family for just a couple of dollars a pair.
When the girls got older, they liked to come with me to the sale and rummage around for their own great deals. Unfortunately, we haven’t been able to go in recent years because of our crazy sports schedule. We’ve had to resort to sale racks at Target for our deals and hand-me-downs from cousins for our designer stuff.
Recently I edited a story about consignment shops in the area, and it totally motivated me to start my bargain hunting again. Apparently there are stores out there known to carry things my kids crave like North Face and Sperry at deep discounts. Time for me to pack the girls in the minivan and head out for a little consignment treasure hunting. I might just hit everyone on the list. I’ll let you know what we find.
FranklyStein is a blog by Chesapeake Family Magazine editor Betsy Stein who lives in Catonsville with her husband, Chris, and four children, Maggie, 14, Lilly, 12, Adam, 12, and Jonah, 8.