Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Cheap, Cheaper and Cheapest

Even before Mr. Big was born, I got hooked on used children's stores for clothes, books and toys. I found that the used boy's stuff was more likely to be 100% cotton, unique and simple. It has amazed me how hard it is to find plain toddler t's or t's with simple graphics that aren't incredibly expensive. I don't understand why they have to gunk up everything with graphics that mean nothing to these boys and usually aren't all that attractive for us parents to look at either. Check these T-shirt prices out:

Los Angeles is a treasure trove of used kids stores. There are only two that I know of in our area (there used to be two others but they have closed):

Children's Orchard in San Dimas, off the 57 freeway at Arrow Highway, go west and turn in the first driveway into the T.J. Maxx/Baby USA Shopping Center. I've found some great items at the Orchard, but you can't judge it off one visit. It's inexpensive, but not dirt cheap. They close early at 5:30 p.m.

The Baby Bin in Downtown Ontario. This is an older establishment that has recently been taken over by a young Latino couple. My sense is that this place will really take off. The owner is still geting the store together, but is already talking about having events at the roomy shop. Please stop in to let her know there are lots of people out there interested in future activities at the store, and to support this business. I'm sad the store isn't in Downtown Pomona, but I guess we'll have to add a used kid's store on our wish list. Perhaps it can go in next to that Trader's Joe's on Garey! The Baby Bin is cheaper than Children's Orchard. Toddler t-shirts, for instance, are $2.95 each. The Baby Bin is located one block west of Euclid and one block north of Holt in Downtown Ontario. They are closed Sundays.

The cheapest place of all for suprisingly cool kid's stuff is your local Goodwill, but I'm feeling selfish about the stylish $1 t-shirts I've been snatching up from a certain location, so I won't name specific locales. You're on your own for this one, ladies.

Oh and I was reminded by some new mothers yesterday about buying stuff at Target on clearance. They said they recently found $1 t-shirts for their babies there. Eventually, everything goes on clearance there, but to cash in you not only have to wait, but get there before the clearance item gets scooped up by someone whose hands are quicker than yours. I've gotten depressed many times after I buy Mr. Big a shirt there, go back for two more, only to find they are long gone -- and that's when it's not on sale.

In general, I try to limit my trips to Target, as their stores are filled with too much cool stuff. I don't know who their corporate buyers are, but it is as if they have studied my psyche in detail before deciding what to stock their store with. It's scarey, really. If you are in the mood for traveling to Target nirvana, check out their two-story Pasadena Target or their Fontana Target Greatland store (housed in a Frank Lloyd Wright type of building, which is btw the type of new architecture I would love to see in Pomona). The Fontana Target Greatland is located just south of the 10 freeway at Sierra (the same exit you take for Kaiser Fontana Hospital).

And just a reminder, Pomona's tri-monthly, Citywide yard sale is THIS weekend: June 2-4. Always a great way to get used baby stuff and mommy and daddy junk too. If you only go on one day, make it Saturday as that's the big day. The only baby stuff I'll be selling will be $5 strollers, since my son won't let me part with any of his other baby gear, including his *6* potty seats. Personal plug here that Mr. Big is finally OHHHHHficially potty trained. So much for cloth-diapered babies training earlier. Take my advice, do not wait until a child is into the theatrical threes to potty train. The upside is that it took us only 3 weeks, while the average is said to be 3 to 6 months! Recent surveys of cloth diaper companies have shown the current trend toward diapering until 4 years old. I honestly thought that was what we were looking at over here, so I am digging the $60 I am saving a month.

All these savings, without having to duck into a Walmart when no one is looking. For 10 reasons not to shop at Walmart, click here:

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