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Save Money by Shopping in Your Closet

Courtesy of www.Jan-Leasure.com

Trash or Treasure?

“The secret of a happy life isn’t buried in a treasure chest…it lies within your heart. (Or…in your closet!)”

Ok, I will admit to being a Baby Boomer so I consider myself a little “seasoned” as a woman, a consumer and an all around “educated by time” kinda girl.  If you are a Boomer Girl like me, then it’s time not to come out of the closet, but to go back in!  As I said in previous columns, I get a little attached to my “stuff.” 

Stuff is defined as jewelry, objet d’art (whether they came from Italy or my neighbor’s garage), and clothing.  Now, I get especially attached to clothing particularly when it was something that I thought I looked good in–in 1969? 1979? 1989? 1999?  (Note that what I am suggesting is not wearing old clothing, it is going “Vintage!” just ask Ashley or Mary Kate Olson! )

Like most Boomer Girls I save my favorites because I know either A.) They will come back in style, or B.)  I will be able to zip the jeans up at some point or C.) I am tall and I may not be able to find that item when I lose 10 more pounds and of course, D.) I am being wasteful if I get rid of the jeans, shoes, coats, socks.

However, having spent the last 24 months getting back in shape and becoming a Hula Hoop aficionado, I decided I needed some new clothes.  Where did I shop?  My closet(s) of course!

Every time I write something like this I am afraid that some reader will turn me into a “hoarder”–not making fun of a serious problem, but I do get attached to my “stuff”.  Hanging on to clothing however, isn’t just for the joy of saving or fear of discarding like it may be for some.  I am VERY tall, so finding things that I really like is difficult.  Therefore, when something goes slightly out of style or I gain a few pounds, or more than a few, I tend to keep my jeans, shirts, evening-wear in the hopes that I can revisit these items when I lose weight or it comes back into style. Well, last week I did just that! Here is just a sampling of what I found! ……….

Closet Treasures!

1.Ten pairs of JEANS, three different sizes. Four were salvageable; two of those still had the tags. Two were narrow at the ankle and perfect for wearing with boots! Average savings; $89-$125 per pair (remember I am tall–specialty size).  Of the six remaining pair, two went to my daughter–perfect, two went to a tall friend, and two went to Goodwill!

2. EVENING WEAR! At the back, in great condition, a number of outfits, slacks & glittery holiday/wedding wear tops. None of the pants fit, all pants given away to friends.  However, four of the six tops fit if I added a fancy-ish belt.  I had to add my own black dress pants but one pair went with all of the tops.  The remaining tops went to the recipients of the pants.

3. BELTS! This is my weakness when I am “feeling” in great shape so if they get too small for me I save them, hoping to wear them again.  I found some great ones in the closet. One hand beaded American Indian belt with a silver buckle from New Mexico that I had to even add a smaller hole to (bragging here). Three were evening narrow belts, all salvageable, and two wide belts that I can wear over longer shirts at hip length. Friends got the rest of the pickings.

4. JACKETS: If I am feeling more “puffy” than “thin” I tend to wear longer sweaters and jackets. On this recent treasure hunt I found three short, mid-hip jackets that all were PERFECT. One is a holiday jacket — this was a huge bonanza!

5. SCARVES: Like belts, I also like scarves–but my enjoyment of accessorizing ebbs and flows with my weight.  I am now all about accessories.  I actually found 15 scarves; three were fancy, one gold, one velvet, one silver. These are great for holiday parties. The others were a combo of bright stripes or solids and ALL usable.  I kept 10 of them and five were so lovely and new that I am using them as gifts. The above are just a small sampling of what delights I found when shopping in my closet.  I gained “new” outfits and accessories, several gifts, some charitable donations (AmVets, Salvation Army, Goodwill) and a TON of closet space!

Shopping in your closet (or your Mom’s or Grandmother’s) can not only give you a nostalgia fix, but it might reduce your clothing budget by $1,000 or more!  Try it, you’ll like it!

We are all in this together.  If you have money saving suggestions  (or problems to solve) please share them with me so I can share with others.  If you have something to report or want to share your money saving tips, drop me an email or leave a comment! Jan@jan-leasure.com

Stuart Rubenstein August 07, 2011 at 09:26 PM
I shopped from my grandmothers closet and came upwith some of the most unique and cute baby items and clothing for my little one. It is a great concept. Stuart www.babyoutfitstoday.com
Jan Leasure August 08, 2011 at 09:25 PM
Stuart I was actually thinking of shopping for yourself--but this is a great idea! (I did do a variation on your theme--when I lost weight I "shopped" for my cohorts who could use the beautiful larger items which gave me room in the closet and motivates me to stay on a healthy eating track! Thank you!

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