We Did It…Again

By that I mean found a magnificent bargain at our local charity shops. My oldest son stopped by today, because he is going to be attending a dinner and conference at his university. The Lord Mayor of London and other dignitaries will even be in attendance. It is a wonderful opportunity for him as he enters his final year at uni. The problem is that he did not have a suit and only the budget of a starving student. Frugal Fam to the rescue.

When he first told me his dilemma, I immediately thought of the four wonderful charity stores up the hill in Crouch End. Less than a month ago, I found my younger son a nice pair of trousers, shirt, tie and shoes there for less than twenty quid. He was not sure when or if he would have time for shopping, but then called me suddenly today. I was happy to help out.

So he, Emily and I took the bus up the hill. The one on the high street is a bit pricey. It is also associated with a large household name charity. But down the side street are three others that are smaller, local charities. I always try them first. And they did not disappoint today either.

Turns out my son had forgotten an errand so instead of having three hours for a leisurely shop and lunch, he had to rush back home to do something before work. We had less than an hour to find something appropriate to meet the Lord Mayor. We rushed from store to store.

The last store we checked was the smallest, but in it we hit gold. We found not one, but two suits that fit. As he tried them on, we debated, which to choose: the grey wool pin-stripped or the black polyester. In the end, a quick check of the price revealed that each one was only fifteen pounds. Since the budget for the day was fifty pounds and since he would likely be needing suits several times in the coming months, he decided to purchase both.

In that same shop, we also found a shirt, which was quite a challenge considering his neck is size 17 ½. We also found a basic black belt and tie. The total bill was thirty-eight pounds. But we were still missing black shoes. We went back to the other shops and finally found a pair of serviceable black shoes and another tie for nine pounds fifty pence. In the end, we purchased two suits, a shirt, shoes, belt and two ties for forty-seven pounds and fifty pence.

And we kept our Frugal Fam core values:

Family first. Our family had a great time on our treasure hunt, including a new game for Emily. My adorable three year old thinks that the local Mind shop is Hamley’s.

Saving money. Forty-seven fifty…need I say more?

Environmentally friendly. We re-used these items thus keeping them out of the dump and lowering the demand for new ones.

Healthier. Well, this one might be a stretch…but if we had the time to walk it instead of the bus, then I could make that argument.

It was a pretty good Friday for shopping for this Frugal Fam. Oh and I bought a skirt, sarong and gardening book for five quid for me too.

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