Tag Archives: budget

Calvin’s Birthday Present

Tim and I are not huge gift givers. We didn’t get Calvin a Christmas present, and were thinking that we wouldn’t get him a birthday present either because really, how does a one year old know what a gift is and miss it if he doesn’t get one? Money saved!

But I was at our local Goodwill thrift store and came across a bunch of bags and boxes of Mega Blocks and thought that would be a great toy for Calvin. So for $11, a grabbed a large box and a medium sized bag and took them home.

Of course I had to clean them, and originally thought I would just throw them in the dishwasher, but I didn’t have any mesh bags to keep them contained. So after a quick Google search, I discovered that the washing machine works just as well! So I divided up the pieces into four pillow cases, and then into the washer they went, on a hot cycle.



When it was completed, I just laid the pieces all out on some towels to air dry.


I didn’t have a basket big enough to fit all of the roughly 160 pieces, so I picked out the best ones, and now they are ready for play!


And that is how gifts work in the Sevenhuysen house. What might be a random, everyday toy purchase by one family is a gift in ours.

Oh, and his birthday isn’t for another two weeks, but I’m sure he doesn’t care that he is getting it now and not later. I don’t want to have to keep them somewhere else just to “surprise” him on his actual birthday. I’ll save the surprising for when he actually knows what a birthday is.





So this afternoon I went out to get a handful of items crossed off my Christmas lists. Naturally I went to the thrift store first. No, I didn’t find any gifts there, but I did find some clothes for Calvin!

GAP jeans
H&M trousers
warm socks for myself

Grand Total : $1.50

Tim and I have a fairly strict budget. We allow ourselves $50 a month for things for myself, Calvin and Tim, as well as anything for our home. If I can find clothes for us adults like I can for Calvin, maybe we will need more than 2 feet of our closet rod!

The thrift store I went to was MCC. Much cheaper than Value Village, and the “proceeds are used locally and globally to meet basic human needs and work for peace and justice through Mennonite Central Committee”. Although Victoria is not lacking in second hand stores, it does not have an MCC. The one here in Edmonton is quite small, but it has good stuff. I stopped myself from buying $1 pieces of Tupperware. Maybe next time.