Thanks for coming over to Nifty Thrifty Life's new home at Blogger!I decided to be a bit thriftier in my blogging and start using a free blog site.If you are new to Nifty Thrifty Life, I hope you take a moment to check out the archives.There is a lot of great info, useful tips, and inspiring ideas to look through! Now on to today's post!
My oldest daughter, Maya, starts kindergarten in a few weeks (!) and we took advantage of the our state's tax free holiday and did some school shopping this weekend. I had a minor freak out to start with, worrying about all of the things we'd need to get and how much that was all going to cost. But after taking a quick inventory of what we already had, I was able to breath a sigh of relief. Stored in an under-the-bed tote was a wardrobe fit for almost an entire year of school! How did this happen? No, there aren't any helpful little elves that stock up on clothes around here (but wouldn't that be so wonderful?). This nice little stash of clothes was the result of ongoing thrifty shopping.
I am always on the look out for nice, low-priced clothes for my kids that are a size or two ahead of what they're wearing right now. I keep the seasons in mind, especially for Wren. An 18 month winter outfit isn't going to do us much good when she's in a 2T during the cold season. I also try not to buy too far ahead, for a couple of reasons. One being storage. Although we have a decent sized attic, I don't want to cram it with a couple dozen totes full of nothing but clothes. A second reason is I'm just not sure what my kids are going to want to wear when they are that much older. Sure, right now Maya would wear anything with Hannah Montana on it, but in 2 years this phase might be over (oh please, let it be sooner).
I shop for these clothes mostly at yard sales, second-hand stores, and on clearance racks. I keep quality in mind when I'm shopping second hand. I can usually repair a rip or tear, but if it is stained, faded, or just not looking so good, I pass. We are also very lucky to have cousins who are a few years older and give us great hand-me-downs.
As I collect clothes, I sort them into totes that are labeled by size and kept in my attic. I keep the next season/size under the girls' beds, for convenience. I also hold on to all Maya's clothes that make it through unscathed, so that Wren has a nice base wardrobe to start with.
As the youngest of 4, I realize that hand me downs and second hand clothes aren't always what a kid wants to wear, especially when they get a little older. So I try to make sure our clothes are in good condition and are something that my kids would actually want to wear. I also buy my girls some brand new clothes as well. Clearance racks are great, especially if you are shopping for the seasons to come (same thing with shoes!). And every once in a while we buy a new outfit for special occasions, like the first day of Kindergarten!
I'm not sure what the total price tag is for my kids' clothes, but what I can say for sure is how nice it is to pull out a tote from the attic and viola', an entire wardrobe appears! I only wish it were that easy for my clothes!