Did you know you can save money by purchasing your growing children’s clothing up to two years in advance? In 2015, during an Abiding in Christ Bible study the leader Richard Case admitted he taught his adult children to always have two years of clothing ready for his grandchildren.
I glanced down at my not-quite-one-year-old, and decided I’d give it a try. That year, we weren’t the most financially stable family because we’d just built our farmhouse (you can read that story here https://tammycarteradams.com/2020/08/21/my-preparation-started-with-a-farmhouse/), but I learned by utilizing this practice I actually saved money in the long run.
How I Did It:
I purchased two plastic totes, one for Bella’s size 2s and the other for her 3s. Inside, I had everything I’d need for that year: summer, winter, outer wear, underwear socks shoes, etc. Once she grew into size 2, I passed down her 1s to her little niece to be used for her tote. After filling Bella’s closet with the 2s, I filled the now empty tote with size 4s.
If you find your child’s size less predictable you can utilize a great tool to help you determine which size to purchase for their tote at this link: https://www.sizecast.com/
You may think your financial situation doesn’t allow you the freedom to store clothing this way because you may already be under a financial crunch, but if you utilize the following ideas, you will actually save money on your children’s clothing overall.
How to Save Money:
- Look for seasonal sales. I purchase Bella’s clothing at the end of every season. Currently, I’m buying summer clothing for her size 8 stash, and at the beginning of spring I will purchase her winter clothing for that size. Purchasing out of season allows me to take advantage of clearance sales. The downside of this, is the need to steer clear of trends, for example, unicorns. Unicorns may not be so popular when she is 8 years old. I don’t particularly like graphics on clothing anyway, and Bella still wears what I put in front of her, but if your child loves trends, you may consider still buying a few trendy pieces during the season.
- Swap clothing with other mothers. As I stated before we hand down the clothing Bella’s outgrown to my niece, but apparel swapping can happen outside of family as well. Consider the Mommy groups you’re involved in…like MOPS. Have all the Mommies bring their gently used clothing and set up tables with signs designating the size. Have them take turns picking clothing from the tables.
- Purchase gently used clothing from consignment shops or used clothing stores. When we didn’t have a lot of extra money (well, to be honest, even when we did have money), I shopped Once Upon a Child. I have found the most beautiful boutique clothing there for Bella and normally walk out with a large garbage bag full while spending very little. If you don’t have a Once Upon a Child store, Google your area for used children’s clothing.
- Purchase from online sources such as E-bay, Thredup, or Poshmark. The downside is the cost of shipping, but it may be worth it if you are purchasing designer labels or a bulk set from E-bay.
- Scour your local Goodwill and Salvation Army. I still have paintings in my house I found on the floor of Goodwill. Yes, I’m a scavenger. Today it’s difficult to find household treasures at these places because they’ve become popular hunt spots, but they have massive inventory of clothing. There are deals to be had. Not a fan of the smells in these places? Neither am I unless I’m saving money…(Ha!), but I have a solution for you. You can now shop Goodwill online, at www.shopgoodwill.com. You will still be charged for shipping.
- Shop garage sales. When my two eldest boys attended preschool, a group of moms told me my boys were the best dressed at the school. “Just curious, where do you get their clothing?” one of them asked.
I smiled and stated, “Well, lately at garage sales.” They laughed because they thought I was kidding. “No, seriously, I buy their clothes at garage sales.” They didn’t know how to respond to my confession. Back then, we didn’t have the money to buy my little ones brand names like Ralph Lauren, Tommy Hilfiger, and J. Crew—which were popular during that time—but in my area, you could find them piled on garage sale tables. So let that be a lesson if you want the best dressed kids in town.
Now I have another confession to make, I never buy used bathing suits, under garments, or shoes for my children. I had to get that out there. I believe bathing suits and undergarments are self-explanatory…(gross!), but regarding shoes every child’s feet are different and I want Bella to break in her own shoes to her feet. I’ve read it’s not good for growing feet to wear shoes broken in by someone else. (But I could be wrong here.)
In preparing your home for a financial hardship it’s important to remember your growing children and anticipate their needs. I hope you will try out some of these money-saving ideas to fill your children’s totes. You’ll not only have peace of mind because you’re prepared but also save money for your family, in the long run.
Till next time…