For the other parts in this series:
Shopping for kids clothing is HARD, y’all. It just is. Okay, so maybe just for me. Maybe your kids all fall in the right size range for their age, don’t have fat feet, and like to wear their pants where they should be instead of 6 inches below their belly button (Mooooooooooooom, the band is too close to my belly button!). Or maybe your kids don’t ruin almost everything they wear in 5 seconds flat because wearing food is all the rage right now. Maybe…but I seriously doubt it.
Because kids are hard on clothes. And because clothes are so expensive new. And because they only wear them a short time. And because I’m
cheap frugal. And because I like bacon. I choose to purchase used clothing for my kids. Period.
That doesn’t mean my poor, poor deprived children never have new clothes (birthdays and Christmas!) and it doesn’t mean they parade around the neighborhood looking like raggamuffins…unless muffins smeared all of their face/clothing counts. In fact, my kids are complimented regularly for their cute attire (saying attire makes me feel fancy). It just means we don’t spend large amounts of money on clothes – for us or for them.
Saving a Buck (Doe a deer, a female dear)
I have lots of friends who chose to buy new clothing for their kids. I think that’s awesome! They are always looking for sales and clearance – online and in-store. They follow sites like Deal Seeking Mom and Southern Savers so they know when there is a great deal online for clothes. Way to save a buck, mommies! I know from hearing from them that they can get clothes for great prices!!!
I’ve heard that after season clearance at Target and Belk is the bomb diggity. (Yes, a country girl just said that.)
Or maybe they shop used, but do so online. Because like I told you on the Thred Up post, Thred Up offers used children’s clothing. It’s a lot cheaper than buying new off the rack.
Those are both really great options!
That just doesn’t work for me.
I think online thrift stores charge too much for children’s clothes. Yes, it’s a better deal than new, but it’s still a lot…unless you’re used to always buying brand new in-season, then it’s a GREAT idea for you!
I can’t rely on YaddaYadda Kids and More to have a sale on exactly what I need for my kids. I can’t count on those random sales. I just can’t. I’m not a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants girl. Yes, they are good deals, but they aren’t for certain. And it certainly won’t cover everything I need for a whole season. It’s too random and it makes the planner in me get the shakes.
Brick and mortar thrift stores are a great option for kids clothes…but like I told you, it’s hard for us all to get out on a whim. And nudity sounds really appealing when I think about trying to take my kids to the thrift store to shop. If you like adventure, maybe a thrift store in town is exactly what you need!
That just doesn’t work for me.
How I Shop for My Kids
I shop a bi-yearly children’s consignment sale for my kids. Wee-Cycle It in Abingdon, Virginia. Twice a year, I’m able to get exactly what we need. All in one place. ONE PLACE! It’s not something I have to cross my fingers and hope it happens. I know it’s going to happen. I can count on clothing my children at this sale.
I usually have help from my Mama and Barry and we get down to business. I keep a list of things we need going throughout the year. I go to the sale with a game plan – and I shop like a bacon eating ninja.
Having help and knowing this is only twice a year makes it very doable with the kids. I usually let Annie and Andy play with other kids who are there, or they peruse the toys and I let them choose one item. I wear Eli (baby) for ease of shopping.
I get all my NECESSARY items first…and then I come back to the 1/2 price sale and get a majority of their clothing. This means I very rarely pay over $5 for anything for them (I know this will increase as they age). I usually pay around $3 for items – including church dresses. Sure, there are more expensive items available, but I have a price range and I stick to it. 🙂 NOTE – I have learned that boys clothing goes first, so I don’t count on their items at 1/2 off…but when I find stuff, I consider it a bonus…like a piece of bacon that was hiding under your eggs.
Why This Works
There are many reasons why I recommend this option.
- It’s only twice a year, so that limits your shopping needs throughout the year
- Prices are excellent and there is almost always a 1/2 off sale at consignment sales
- It’s something you can count on.
- Shoes are worn in already…can I get a witness?!
- You support other local mommies trying to make money back on their clothing
- It’s fun
Tips for You
This is how I do shopping…and it might work for you too! If you’ve never considered this option, maybe you should. It’s been a lifesaver for us. Wee-Cycle has changed how I shop…and I know from talking with other mommies, these types of sales are all around the country!
Ask around – see if there is a high quality sale in your area. Emphasis on HIGH QUALITY. Not all sales are created equal. And I’ve been to some that are…well…how can I say this nicely? THEY STINK.
Once you find a good sale, try it out. You’ll be overwhelmed…but that’s okay. You’ll be in the swing of things before you know it! Visit that sale a few times to understand how it works and were things are located.
Keep a list of needed items throughout the year – not only does this help for a consignment sale, but it means you have a list of items if anyone asks you for gift ideas. Boom.
Buying your clothing all at once instead of here and there can be a quite a blow to your budget. So, I suggest setting a little aside every month and keeping it out in cash. Put it in a safe place…like on top of the cabinets with the chocolate stash. Most sales like you to bring cash to shop.
We know that during Wee-Cycle months, we won’t be setting aside as much for savings that month…and that’s okay two times per year.
So, does buying children’s clothing online make cents? Not for us.