Wednesday Wow!: What Not To Donate To Charities

shirtI am a thrift store shopper. I am also a thrift store donator. Sometimes, I return an item to a thrift store with their own tags still on it because I never wore it. It’s my way of justifying purchasing at a thrift store when I could buy my clothing and items new, and also a great way to get rid of good items we no longer need around my house. We have 6 children in the house. To keep everyone clothed, fed and have gas money to ride, we shop thrift stores. After all, their bodies are growing and changing so fast, it would be a waste of money for us not to take advantage of the savings. Well one day, I discovered the Free Store,a clothing and small appliance shop. I was very surprised to see such a interesting collection of FREE goods there. I was able to create a costume with a few of the things there as well as grab up a few rods for our windows. When I learned about the volunteer opportunities  I jumped on it. After all, if they thought enough about “me” to ensure I had decent pickens, why not return the favor-right?

“It’s not how much we give but how much love we put into giving.” ― Mother Teresa

I grabbed up a mom from my Stay At Home Mom Tribe ……..
qcaOn last Tuesday,during our Service Day at Crisis Assistance Ministry Free Store. We were given 5 simple rules 1. If it has huge stains, rips,worn out patches- Toss it. Same thing goes for company printed attire. 2. No kids under 5 years old are allowed in the area. 3. The water and bathroom stations are behind you, and 4. “Grab this and hang it here!” and 5. Thank you for coming in spite of the bad rain. Simple enough. I think we did a great job helping that day. So to answer the question, what not to donate-

dress

 

Recycle your stuff if…

  • They’re full of holes, torn or are just too trashed to wear.
  • The sneakers soles are worn out or the tread is gone.
  • If the stain is visible, pit-stained. Jeans without zippers, blouses missing buttons.

Donate your stuff if…

  • Your clothes still have plenty of life in them.
  • They just don’t fit or feel right.
  • They’re still in good shape, but are out of style.

Bottom line,if you’re too embarrassed to wear them due to their condition,trash them.

Acceptable donations for Crisis Assistance

jacket

Ministry Free Store include furniture, clothing, and household items. Your donations should be tax-deductible and you will receive a tax-deduction receipt for your donations.

“There is no exercise better for the heart than reaching down and lifting people up.” 
― John Holmes

Till my next return, QC Supermom

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Wednesday Wow!:Being mindful about your tax refund.

irsMoms aren’t easy! We aren’t. Recent polling finds mothers are making careful spending a part of their long-term routine as they shun inessential purchases. With the IRS official opening tax filing season yesterday, now is not the time to stop.

If you’re expecting a tax refund this year, you need a good plan for your money. Maybe you already have the funds earmarked for some spending, but before you let your tax refund burn a hole in your purse, remember that as mindful spending moms our money has to work harder and longer. There are many ways to do this. I’m sure that you have a couple of ideas, here’s mine.

  • Not get one at all – The money you loan the government interest-free, could be earning you interest somewhere else.
  • Build your emergency fund – Hint: Imagine you had 6 months of expenses saved up. Now imagine the economy tanking even more.
  • Grow your nest egg for retirement – Taking your retirement in your own hands instead of relying on social insecurity will make you look like a genius!
  • Use it to pay 100% down on a reliable used car…if you need one – Buying a good used car can save you lots of money in terms of depreciation and interest. Even more if you are fortunate enough to have mechanical skills.
  • Give it to someone in need – If your financial situation is solid, why not give it to someone who is struggling? After all, you didn’t miss it all year long.
  • Use it to help fund your kids college – Soon yours kids will be going to college before you know it. Wouldn’t it be nice to bless them with a nice education without the debt that usually comes with it? I’m STILL paying Johnson and Wales University. 😦
  • Use it to pay down your mortgage – If you have no debt, except for your mortgage, imagine how nice it would be to owe NO ONE!! Your income is COMPLETELY yours! What a feeling!
  • Donate a portion of it to Queen City Sahm’s :D– Okay so maybe this isn’t the smartest, per se, but changing lives a dollar at a time is definitely a lot of fun! We support motherhood with progressive events, educational opportunities and supportive resources. I can’t think of any other mom support group that offer more support to moms that want to breast feed, holistically educate their children, learn how to eat to live, budget, job training (creation and sharing) provide emotional support and so much more! For most stay at home moms Queen City Stay At Home Mom’s is their motherhood stabilizer. Use this link!
  • Last but not least  DON’T DO WHAT Krystle Marie Reyes did.

moneyThis year, there are some purchases that we must make. First up is a new mattress for my room- our last one lasted 10 years. A laptop, for my home schooled children, a family gym membership- we need it badly! And yeah, we’ll take a mini vacation. We haven’t had one in two years. The rest of it will go into savings.How will you spend your tax refund? What did I leave off up there? Be sure to click he links above, leave a message below or tweet me on it! mp Click here!

 

Till, next time, QC Supermom

Wednesday Wow: Swag!! The Re-Used Edition

Swag is great! I love to see lil Wee’s ripping the pathways. But does swag HAVE to rip my purse too?

I say heck’s to N-O!

One area of our budget we have really been able to save on is clothing. Thrift stores  (and even yard sales) are great places to find kids’ clothes for less. I love that I can get name brand, good quality clothing that last through several children for a fraction of the cost. Someone once told me that, although my children didn’t mind wearing second hand clothing when they were little that would all change when they reached the teen years. I disagree, so far I have three lil boys and  two teenage girls that love shopping at the thrift store.

I asked my kids what they thought of shopping at the thrift store and here are some of their responses. I did not prep them at all. I just took out the camera and asked who wanted to talk about thrift stores, these are honest opinions from my kids.

 I have nothing in my closet but Abercrombie, American Eagle, and Hollister. I’m beginning to get a little tired of me dressing the almost EXACT same way everyday just with different colors. I dont dress to impress other people, I dress to impress myself. Lately most of these outfits i get come from second hand stores. I love them. 13 Deanna

 

Having ‘swag’ is your own personal style and personality.Not following behind trends.You have to have a confidence to yourself, like you’re the hottest thing when you walk in a room. 12 Cassie

I have loads of fun dressing my younger 2 boys, but the 2 older ones, and daughters, I can call it a wrap. Because they do appreciate great finds at “Make mamma happy prices!” i think more moms would shop if they saw great things from the racks, as well as hearing someone say”Heay, it’s okay to shop here!” So, that’s just what we’ve (my Queen City Stay At Home Moms & I) have been doing for 3 years now.  We  help moms by bringing that same message on home with a Re-Fashion Show at The Total Children’s Wellness Fair 2012.

by proving that you inevitably don’t have to spend $80 for a t-shirt for your son.

Look at these cute pics I grabbed off line. Would your lil one rock it?  

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Here are just a few of my most favorite places to shop for my children

in town-

and online-

Watch this swag video. Bill Cosby is in it! 🙂
Fitted:
http://images.google.ca/images?hl=en&cli…

Fitted Jeans: http://i250.photobucket.com/albums/gg250…

Hoodies: http://www.jungle-life.com/media/1/cmonw…

And fresh shoes:

http://images.google.ca/images?hl=en&cli…

if you prefer skateboarding shoes: http://www.kicksonfire.com/wp-content/up…

Printed T’s: http://www.bonhonest.com/uppic/Ed%20Hard…

these kind of vests: http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41…

Put together outfits with these types of clothes using neon colors or Pastel colours, etc, you cant go wrong.

Notes:

I avoid the over priced thrift stores and try to shop on the special sale days. You do have to know your prices to make sure you are getting the best deal.

(thrift shopping tips here!)

and here!

Children With Swag-  QC SuperMom

Nobody has everything, but everybody has something. Use what you have right now! Use it wisely, freely, with love. Wherever you are, use your time, energy and talents to do the best you can right now.

Thrift Store Loving Family

ImageI love thrift store shopping. I feel like I helped the environment and my purse by buying gently used toys and clothing for my family. they love going to the thrift store and have developed a love for treasure-hunting. I feel good about buying a cart full of named brand items to fill their closets at a fraction of the price it would have cost me brand new. I just got 4 pairs of Baby Gap pants, toddler size 6 Nike Air Jordans, a Northface hoodie and Gymboree snowboots for $8 total. Got to love it!!

“Thrift is not an affair of the pocket, but an affair of character.” S.W. Straus

It’s my goal to get our kids into the same habit. Here’s how we got our kids to love thrift shopping:

1. Give them an allowance
We give our children a small weekly allowance so that they can learn the value of a dollar. That way, if they still want to buy those expensive pair of Nike shoes or Calvin Klein jeans, they can save up their hard earned money for months and buy it on their own. They’ll soon realize that they could have bought a couple of pair of shoes or 20 pairs of jeans at a thrift store for the price of what they paid for brand new stuff!

“Whatever thrift is, it is not avarice. Avarice is not generous; and, after all, it is the thrifty people who are generous.” Lord Rosebery

Image

2. Show them the importance of quality and elegance in their purchase.
Some people think that there’s nothing but junk at thrift stores, but that’s definitely not the case! When you take your children to thrift stores you should point out the awesome quality of products that you can find just by doing a bit of digging. You can point out designer brands, the value of hand-sewed seams and superior material, and show them just how elegant “vintage” can be. Teach them to choose items that are in good shape and don’t look like they’ve been purchased at a thrift store, so when people ask them about it they can say, “I bought it for $2 at a thrift store!”

“Life can be beautiful. It doesn’t have to be expensive.” Christine Louise Hohlbaum

3. Be nice!
One of the most importance aspects of raising a child to love thrift store shopping is teaching them to be nice. This means not shouting out loud, “Gross! Who would ever wear this?” or “Three of me could fit into this outfit!” in the middle of the store. Everyone has different taste, and children should learn to respect individual styles and opinions. Remind them about how they would feel if someone said those things about what they were wearing.Image

Even people who never worried much about saving money before are now feeling the pinch and cutting back. In this uncertain economy—when people are shopping cautiously and focused on getting more value for their money—resale is the natural choice. The industry offers the best of both worlds… the chance to SHOP & SAVE! With the economy posing a challenge and the fact that many people have an overabundance of possessions, savvy shoppers and sellers are realizing a real need to recycle perfectly good merchandise.  Raising thrift-store loving kids can be a fun, easy and bonding experience for families. You can teach your children to be “smart and savvy” about thrift stores, while embedding in their values that they’re not “selling out” their life.

“Never spend money before you have it. The rule which I wish to see you governed by through your whole life, of never buying anything which you have not the money in your pocket to pay for. Be assured that it gives much more pain to the mind to be in debt, than to do without any article whatever which we may seem to want.” Thomas JeffersonImage

Friday 4: The holidays are coming

It’s that time of the year again folks!

 

Kwanzaa         New Years   

 

and then what  ?????

Everyone is getting ready. Lights, camera, gas and credit card!

Ok, I’ll give it to you, the lights, sounds and smells are lovely. Even the idea of someone else “hooking me up” while we sleep is dreamy. And they say it’s all done while them  crub grabbers are asleep?

Wake up folks! It’s Not gonna happen. (My girls a counting on it, and yet I can’t blame them because my parents christ-messed us -& honestly I enjoyed it)  I just wish it was celebrated for what it was meant to be. A celebration of  Jesus’s controversial birth. (do you know the story? If  not click this link and come visit my church PUMC 5600 the Plaza, this sunday for our holiday performance.)

Anyhoots, till then we’ll pass! (but we will watch the awesome tv specials this entire month.)

My girls are so eager to play catch up with the  christmas fans with our red green and black festive best.   They love

the everyday of the celebration, but that dog gone christmas still gets them worked up. Just in cases you’re wondering why we have excused that holiday altogether, I’ll explain.

  • Its not our kids birthday. (So why laced themas if it is? Our kids are princess and princes on their day. )
  • I refuse to help line the pockets of large corporations that won’t hire yet will cause kids to act in a sense of entitlement.(They are looking for the same thing I’m looking for. I’m gonna spend, and it ill be a conscious decision)
  • It’s just too much work for one little day. I clutter our living space enough with fragile trinkets. No need for the extra stuff, thank you very much!
  • There  real idea of the holiday is not even the enter of  most actions anymore. “John-John wants a mini electronic car this year?” Boy he’ll be mad if I don’t get it!!” -Really parents!?                                                                      I believe that everything that’s important on that one day, can be done in the spirit of which it originated. From love and respect for self and another.  Who should wait till December 20ish to smile at  someone else? Who should wait till then to volunteer, come together, advocate, build, etc? well I’l get off my soap box now. but if you wanna give kawanzaa a try this year, check these links out to find out how your family can participate.   http://officialkwanzaawebsite.org/symbols.shtml

http://theholidayspot.com/kwanzaa/lighting_kinara.htm

This year has been such a year. We’ve managed to stay afloat and realize how blessed and fortunate we’ve been. The uncertainty and misfortune which so many have suffered suggest an even stronger call and reason to celebrate Kwanzaa this year with others. Our goal as a family is that whatever prosperity or recovery we may attain will be predicated on and go through our “family”. So, as a celebration of family and culture, Kwanzaa gives us the framework to deepen our family bonds and attachments, strengthen our resolve to be better men and women, husbands and wives, friends and lovers, and parents and children.

I haven’t gotten my children’s resolutions for 2012 yet, but I’ll share mine with you all.  See below……..

  1. Stay fit spiritually, financially, socially, environmentally,educationally,  nutritionally and physically. See video below………
  2. Grow closer to my loved ones that are  not in the QC.   I do pretty well, I think but there is always room for improvement.
  3. Grow and give more! That could mean plenty of things. But I sum it up like this…little things DROPPING and big thing Popping!  hope that you will stick around to see /join in.

Kwanzaa is a week long celebration held in the United States honoring universal African-American heritage and culture, observed from December 26 to January 1.

New Year   It symbolizes a new start. Because it is a new year, and an opportunity to reflect on the previous year to determine what we will do differently. It is also common that people  try their best to mend their bad habits.

Then what?   Hopefully your growth from the previous 12 months,  will help guide you into a rewarding 2012! While you’re at it, help someone along the way……but don’t be anyone’s fool. Like my girl said on the big Screen “Don’t let anyone make you a cripple!” Have a productive 2012.  I will!