I am a mom to three growing children and as such I am constantly on the hunt for cheaper ways to upsize their clothing when needed. Frugal is the word I would use for my methods, and it has been that frugality that has helped me keep my children from having to run around naked because we have a lack of pants or shirts in the house in their size.
I have five go to ways to save money that I use when it is time for me to acquire new, or new to us, clothing. I have not listed these in any particular order, it is always a hunt and peck operation when one of them suddenly sprouts up and we need to replace shoes, shirts and pants.
1. Facebook Buy and Sell Groups – This is an absolute go to. I have been lucky enough to find some fantastic deals for all my kids and even been fortunate enough to connect with other moms who contact me for a first look before even posting their items. Almost every town will have local Facebook groups similar to the ones I have found. A simple search on Facebook and you are sure to find lots of options.
2. Second Hand Stores – I am a fan of used clothing stores such as Value Village, Salvation Army, Bibles for Missions and a few other Consignment/Second hand stores that are local to my area. I will admit that Value Village is first on my list when I am thinking of stocking up on seasonal items, I have a membership card for that store and they will periodically have one day sales for members only up to 50% off. Let’s be honest, 50% off items that are frequently between $.99 – $5.99 for what I am looking for is a great deal.
3. Hand Me Downs – When I had my first baby I was fortunate enough to have lots of family members who had little girls that were just a tad bit older then mine. It was like a windfall. I was inundated with garbage bags full of clothing. This is still a great way for me to acquire clothing, however as the kids get older they get a little harder on their clothing so not as much makes it to the hand me down phase. Since then I have managed to establish a great network of friends and family and we all trade up our hand me downs
4. Gifts – I have implemented a plan that has been working for us for years. All the Grandparents, Aunts and Uncles know that I will be asking them to get clothing for the kids when it is time for Birthdays and Christmas. I know, I know, kids hate getting socks and underwear as presents, but they also get them a little something extra to go with it, and since it is all my kids have known they actually look forward to seeing what new clothing they will be getting, especially the girls.
5. And last but certainly no least is Shopping the Stores – For this I use a method of Coupons, In-Store Deals, Points Programs and Outlet Malls. I have even been known to find items in the store that might have a slight flaw, nothing that would make it unwearable, but enough that I can usually get it discounted. This takes planning, I usually spend the day before planning shop, searching all the stores to see if they have any coupons to print or in-store deal I should be aware of.
I treat my clothing shopping the same way as my grocery shopping. A budget is a must and a plan is the only way to get it done within your budget.