The Real First Sign of Summer

And that sign says “Tag Sale”.

I love this time of year. Not because of the beaches or water parks, I hate being out in the sun because the sun hates me. Sunscreen wasn’t really made for the pale complexion of the Irish. I hate the heat, and admittedly am a baby when the temperature hits higher than 75 degrees. Okay, maybe the baby in me complains if it’s over 70. My allergies make this time of year miserable for me, and I’d rather stay locked in the air-conditioned house. I do enjoy my son’s little league baseball games, and more with the portable fan my husband bought me because I’m more of a baby about the heat now that I’m 7 months pregnant. BBQ and bonfires may make this time for me, except I dislike most BBQ food.

So with the long list of things I hate about Summer, you’re probably wondering why I started off by saying “I love this time of year”. Really, I only like that this seems to be tag sale season. I’m notoriously cheap, and that’s being nice about it. I love shopping at thrift stores and tag sales, and this love has increased with my pregnancy. I remember how expensive all those diapers and bottles are, and how expensive necessities like onesies are for how easily they get ruined and the baby grows out of them. This is exactly why I like tag sales.

My neighbor from across the street gave me notice that over the weekend, there was going to be a tag sale, and her friend was bringing by a ton of baby boy stuff. Score, this was asking for me to wake up early and go crazy stalker and eye her house from my front window for me to pounce out and get dibs on the good stuff. I ran across the street, with a $40 budget in mind, and was disheartened that the person with the boy’s stuff hadn’t arrived yet. I did get a gorgeous and warm knit blue blanket and a couple of white onesies for $3. I looked for a blanket just like the one I had bought and found one very similar for $25. I was told to spot a specific car for the baby boy stuff, so I proceeded to go back into ninja stalking mode. Right after my start, the car appeared with boxes upon boxes of stuff. Soon, I noticed a brand new vibrating and music bouncing chair and a nice infant car seat. I struggled with being too “creepy stalker” and rushing over to stake claim on these items. Unfortunately, I’m notoriously cheap and that won the battle. Fortunately, the brand new bouncy chair was only $20 and the car seat was $10. The bouncy chair at the mall was about $150 and the infant seat at about $120, and neither item looked like they had been used. Add in a giant bagful of assorted sizes onesies and footy pajamas, and I had used my $40 budget. The approximate mall price for the items? My guess was $300 worth of new items, as most of the clothes still had tags on it and the bouncy chair I had gotten had no sign of use at all unlike the other one she had put out.

My point? Embrace tag sales. Sure, I wouldn’t buy things like teethers or cribs at one. If you’re smart and know what is safe to buy at a tag sale, they are a fantastic place to go to get great things. Rules like most cribs should be bought new, as safety rules for cribs are constantly changing and infant car seats shouldn’t be more than 3 years old and never have been in an accident. Also, keep note of certain areas of the town with tag sales. My neighborhood has a lot of hit or miss sales, but my mother-in-law lives in a fancy neighborhood where you can always find nice things. I also find the richer areas have more brand new stuff they tag sale, so new the tags are on and aren’t damaged. Plus, look at another benefit other than saving money: the exercise you get walking around the sales and carrying the stuff home. I’m not saying go hoarder and buy everything, but if it’s tag sale season and there’s something you need, I say go for it.

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