Raising children is expensive. I mean really really expensive.
Their clothes are expensive and they need new clothes every 3-6 months. On a one income salary, how do we afford it? Very very carefully. My kids also wear name brand clothes. Seventy-five percent of what they own come from Gymboree, The Children’s Place, or Justice. Fifteen percent come from Target and the last ten percent come from WalMart/Base/Donations/Costco.
So how do we do it?
1. We rarely buy them shirts.
When our children need shirts, we always tell their grandparents. I know some people can’t afford this luxury, but thankfully we can. Shirts are small enough to load up into shipping boxes and cheap enough that family members will buy multiples. If you’re really thrift you could buy 4 shirts for about 20 bucks at Target. We usually only buy them shirts if I find an AWESOME deal. For example, The Children’s Place is currently having 20% off of EVERYTHING sell, so you can go into their clearance tab and purchase their 5 dollar shirt for 4 dollars. Honestly I love love love The Children’s Place. Their shirts are awesome. Sometimes in Target shirt my children get little holes in the bottom of them, but The Children’s Place shirts hold up to a lot of abuse.
They have enough shirts to fill up two closets. When their closets get full with clothes they can fit, I start asking for a size larger. There’s nothing wrong with asking for clothes for your child’s future. My in-laws and parents offer to buy them clothes, and I don’t know how many times we will have for them to help us out. Money is tight for everyone and I like to plan. If I didn’t tell them clothes, they would start buying my children toys, and they REALLY don’t need anymore toys.
2. Buy QUALITY jeans on sale
So buying clothes on sale seem like a no brainer, but I don’t mean a “10% off” sale. I mean 40% or more sale. I just purchased 3 pairs of jeans for my son worth 59.85 for only 31.50, that’s a savings of 48%. I purchased my daughter 2 pairs of jeans with a savings of 57%. The jeans were on clearance, plus I used a 30% coupon from The Children’s Place. I told you. I am obsessed with them.
I recently bought my son a pair of shorts from Gymboree for 6.39! I mean what a steal. You might have to start buying shorts while it’s snowing outside, and you might have two suitcases in a closet filled with clothes for the next season, but you have those clothes when the time comes.
3. Always accept donations
You never know what types of clothes you’ll get from people. Yes, some of it might be really bad, some of it might be really old or ugly, but that bit of clothes that are great, it’s money saved. If there is someone that is willing to give me clothes, I accept them. I may not like everything, but they are generous enough to give me free clothes.
Currently my daughter has 11 pairs of shorts and 13 skirts that have been given to us gently used from family and friends. Actually more has been given to us, but I have the larger skirts sitting in a suitcase in a closet for next year, and the ones that are too short were given to another family in need.
I always pass on my children’s clothes to someone else, as long as I know they pass the clothes along to someone else if they can’t use them. My sister-in-law told me that I could give her my son’s old clothes and whatever she didn’t like she would take and sell them. I was really hurt and I’m still mad at her for that. I do not give clothes to other people to make a profit, I do it so someone somewhere are able to benefit from them.
I have one suitcase of clothes for the winter for my kids and I’m currently growing their wardrobe for the school year which starts in 6 months. My son have 4 jeans for next school year and my daughter has 2 pairs. They both have multiple shirts for the school year. And I’m going to keep asking for more shirts from our family members in sizes Small and Medium. My kids will eventually grow into them, and our wallets won’t be hurting because of it.
So total of clothes my son has:
7 pairs of jeans for current school year
4 pairs of jeans for next school year
6 pairs of “real” shorts
5 pairs of basketball shorts
2 pairs of sweatpants
A LOT of Jackets
TOO MANY SHIRTS to count
PLUS more in storage
Total clothes my daughter has:
4 pairs of jeans for this school year
2 pairs of jeans for next school year
2 pairs of leggings
3 pairs of sweatpants
12 pairs of shorts
A TON OF SHIRTS
A TON OF STORAGE CLOTHES
1 pair of snow boots for my son this year that will go to my daughter next year
1 pair of snow boots for my son next year
2 pairs of rain boots
4 pairs of converse
1 pair of sparkly flats
1 pair of black plain flats
1 pair of cheetah flats
1 pair of Timberland knock off boots
1 pair of Sperry Boots
1 pair of Target boots
2 pairs of stompeez
1 pair of slippers
1 pair of knock off Vans
1 pair of knock off Uggs
And let’s not go into pajamas. Their pajamas are so filled that they line up on TOP of their dresser.
My kids may not get everything they want, but they dress pretty darn good. Well they would dress really snazzy if I got to pick out their outfits, but they don’t let me. Too independent.