One of the largest expenses when it comes to raising a family can definitely be clothing them. Thankfully, I’ve found some ways to cut down on that expense, which has not only allowed us to dress ourselves in the clothes we actually want but has also afforded us the luxury to splurge when we fall in love with something that is brand new or handmade & even put our savings towards things we really want like, family trips. To be honest, if I didn’t live by these tips when I was a single mum, I know very well there are things we would’ve gone without… I hope many of you can find these useful too!
1. Buy “previously loved” clothes :
In this day & age, this is just too easy! There are so many ways to connect with local sellers through swap groups on Facebook, buy/sell/trade apps such as Kidizen & Varagesale, thrift stores, yard sales & even online retailers like ThredUp are getting in the game. Don’t forget to pop into your local thrift stores on “deal days”, as well as your community centers, birth houses & other family-centered businesses that often hold resale events to raise money for their causes. One of the things that brings me joy about shopping this way, is thinking about the kids or babies that already made memories, laughs or milestones in the items before we did!
2. Welcome hand-me-downs :
Got friends & family with kids older than yours? A girlfriend who’s purging to create her perfect “capsule wardrobe?” A co-worker who’s moving? Don’t be ashamed to let them know that you welcome their hand-me-downs! (I even suggested this at both my baby showers with a fabulous response) Some people don’t want to deal with the hassle of consigning or selling or you may just save them a trip to Goodwill. I have photos of my son wearing the same vintage overalls & sweater that his older cousin once wore which makes my heart so happy!
3. Attend or host a clothing swap :
Guys, I can’t tell you how much fun this is! My mom has been participating in clothing swaps for years… I finally attended one for the first time last night & have snagged some of my most favorite garbs this way! Here’s how it works; invite a group of friends with diverse sizes & styles to come over with at least one bag of unwanted clothes. Dump em’ out in one big pile, organize by size, however you want to make it work & everyone picks through to find some new-to-you jewels! At the end of the night, the host can pack away the leftover clothes for the next swap or drop them off at the local donation center.
4. Buy off-season items on sale :
Most stores start marking down prices at mid to end of season to get rid of whatever hasn’t sold. So, that means you can get what you need for the next season at 50-75% off & pack it away for when you need it or when the kids grow into it. What if you’re not sure what size the kids will be in next season? Check the return policy. Stores like Kohl’s, L.L. Bean & J.C. Penney, not only have stellar deals but super flexible return policies that rarely have a time limit! I’m not even a shopper. I get burnt out from it easily but there is nothing like coming home from a sale & riding the “savings high” while you show off how much you DID NOT SPEND to your partner!
5. Consign your outgrown/unwanted clothing :
I know not everyone has the time or patience for this but if you do, you can make a quick buck by re-selling any clothing still in good condition. If you’re always on top of stain removal & separating dress clothes from play clothes, you can get top dollar for your rags on swap groups. If you want to get it over with quick, you can drop off your bags at your favorite consignment shop & pick up your store credit when they’re done going through them. I also believe that, “what goes around comes around!” I use this opportunity to purge & often end up grouping our clothing into multi-item lots for super cheap to pass on a good deal and/or pass them on to another mama with kids younger than mine when I no longer have time to get rid of them. Maybe this is why the good deals & excellent hand-me-downs always find me?!
- Having clothes packed away for the next size up will save you so much hassle when you realize your kid has grown over night!
- Buying second hand means you’ll have unique, hard to find, treasures in your closet that others don’t!
- Keeping the clothing cycle going is just one way you can contribute to an eco-friendly economy!
- Challenge yourself to see how much you can save & go even further by putting it away for something special!