I have always been a sucker for bargains. As a child one of my very favorite things to do was to go to flea-markets with my parents and poke through other people's moldy, dusty old rejects. My area of specialty was Millie the Model comic books. Millie lived in a hip, beautiful world with hip, beautiful people all dressed in hip, beautiful clothes...so different from my whole-grain, hippy, comune lifestyle! And who could pass by a yard sale without stopping? Who knew what great albums or old books the sellers might have!
In the '80s, I was a big fan of vintage clothes. In those days, you could find amazing stuff at low prices in thrift shops or at the Goodwill: 1950s sequined sweaters, tight-fitting beaded dresses, calfskin gloves, odd little hats. I had a lot of fun dressing quirkily for very little investment.
Well, I haven't done much of that kind of shopping since living in provincial southern Italy. The concept of dollar or secondhand shops is new down here. In fact, when I first arrived here in the early '90s the emphasis was on demonstrating affluence at all costs. Not only did everyone wear designer brands, but they bragged about them, pointed them out to their friends, discussed comparative costs and quality of brands.
I thought they had their priorities skewed; they thought I was weird! But, trying to fit in to new places has been my thing for forever (I had never lived longer than 2 years in any one house in my whole life before moving here: assimilation became an essential life skill for me early on!), so my vintage clothes quickly disappeared. Imagine my irritation a couple of years ago when vintage came back into style...even here in the deep, dark south!
But, recently bargain shopping has taken on a new meaning for me and my family. It's called: necessity. The global economic crisis has crept into every corner of the world and, unfortunately, that includes me and my pocketbook! My salary has remained its pitiful self for years (I am even getting less free-lance translation work than usual), while prices and the cost of living in general are skyrocketing.
Hence, my joy at stumbling onto a bunch of bargain bins at the local Coop superstore. Check out what I got...Great summer sandals for my son for only €1!
I also got a periwinkle blue t-shirt, good for either myself or my older son, for €1 and a flannel sheet for €3.
Now if only I could get a raise...