Monday, February 15, 2010

End of Sock-Hunting

Socks can be a real laundry nuisance, don't you think? It's way worse when you have small children because their socks are really small. I was constantly hunting for missing pairs that my kids jettison out of their crib! Since we had a girl first, I endured this constant battle. After all, a baby girl's outfit isn't complete without matching ruffled socks. For my husband and I, we decided to keep things simple. Following a reader's advice in one of the Tightwad Gazette books, we threw out the old socks and bought 2 packages of white socks. No need to pair them up if they're all the same. Slowly, I started giving up on matching socks for the kids. Now they have 2 packages of black and white socks that are all the same. Their feet are about the same size so they can share these.
The great part is... they can "match" them up and put them away themselves! When I bought these during back-to-school sales, the price was pretty cheap. For the sake of my sanity, I would still buy them irregardless of a sale. Now, when one sock goes missing... I have no clue that it's gone. So I don't need to look for it!

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This idea crossed over into the kitchen, too, where my primary irritation had always been disposable containers. If they're disposable, why do I keep them? I always had random pieces missing tops or bottoms. So one day, I bought a starter kit for Rubbermaid Take-Alongs at Wal-Mart (maybe priced at $8). These now proudly rest on top of the microwave. Two compartments hold the tops together. Then the bottoms stack-up together in the front.
Then one day, I started noticing that Publix regularly puts these containers on BOGO sale. At the time, I had coupons that let me buy the containers for about $1 each. The only problem was they redesigned the containers! And both kinds can't stack-up together. Ay! So one side now has the old, the other side new. But it's still better than the jumbled mess in the cabinet I was dealing with!

Although both instances, with the socks and containers, required an "investment" since we bought more than one set, I still consider this frugal. Socks missing their partners will only be good for sock puppets. But this method lets you use them up down to the last surviving pair. And having plentiful containers keeps me from using plastic baggies, which saves money too!


  1. Ohh I just love the sock idea. that's just perfect for a mom like me with five kids, who ALWAYS loses socks!! Thanks so much for posting this.

  2. We usually buy each kid a unique package or two of socks. I think next time I might try this instead.

  3. love your idea may just work for my teens

  4. I think the idea of only having 2 colors of socks is really smart! BTW, here's a riddle for you:

    A man has a butler named Jeeves, but Jeeves is blind. Still, Jeeves always manages to find a matching pair of socks for his employer. How does he do this?

    Oh, come on--you know! Jeeves' employer only uses two colors of socks (just like you). So if Jeeves takes out 3 socks each morning, he's always guaranteed that at least 2 will match!
    (Hope this makes you smile!)


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