KEEPING YOUR KIDS in nice clothing can be tough on the budget. Our boys will wear anything, as long as they have something on - Split from zipper to knee? Who cares if it fits! Elbows blown out? WHATEVER! When I clothe my kids I want sturdy, dependable, brand-free and I want to be able to respect myself when I'm done shopping. No buyer's remorse. My kids simply want clothes to put on and wear until they fall off. We are working to align our goals.
1. Think Ahead. I keep an eye out for things my kids will wear next year and purchase those items whenever I find them. The clothes can easily be kept in the side of a closet or slipped under a bed in a box for later use. It's nice to open a box and have all new clothes for them as needed.
2. Get Thrifty. I hit up a thrift shop every week. I keep a list of things we can always use and buy them as needed. Once I found the motherlode of kids' jeans and didn't need to buy any for several years. Other trips have been a complete wash, but you never know until you try it.
3. Trade Party. Host a clothing swap. Invite friends with kids a little older and younger than your own. Tell them to bring nice clean items to trade. Serve a snack and get to swapping!
4. Consign It. There are consignment stores and there are consignment sales. One is a fixed location with nice used clothing. The other is a bi-yearly sale where anyone can sign up to sell their used clothes. If you sign up and volunteer you get first shopping rights and a better cut on your consigned items. I just participated in one and bought winter coats for my kids and made 100 dollars selling our old clothes. It was well worth the 1-2 hours getting my items ready to sell. There are two local consignment businesses in south central Alaska Bella49 and Hand Me Ups.
Last weekend's consignment hosted by Bella Kids in Palmer
5. Creative Patching. My kids are tough on clothes, oy! We pre-patch the back side of the knees to prevent holes and then patch when they eventually blow them out. Check out this post on Patching with a POW! for fun ideas in the realm of patching.
6. Bargain Hunt. Sales are always happening and if you time it right you can clean up on reduced price items. Again think ahead to next year and buy accordingly, your checkbook will thank you for it.
Check out Laura's new radio show "Local Eats" on Radio Free Palmer - 89.5 KVRF at 5:30 on Mondays. She'll be eating her way around the Mat-Su and sharing tips on food prep and preserving, too.