Saturday, January 24, 2009
Dressing your Family for Less
I spend less than $200 a year to dress all five of my children, myself, and my husband. I am able to do this by doing a few different things. The first thing I do each year is go through all our clothes to see what is worn out, too small, or too stained to wear again. After that is complete I take inventory of what we do have...for example if my oldest daughter has 20 t-shirts in size 7 I know I don't need to buy anymore of that size. If I find that I have an abundance of certain sizes I will pick out five shirts or jeans and put them up right away for the next sister to wear. Once I make my list of needs for each child I put it in my purse so I can mark items off as I buy them. Now it's time to shop!!
My favorite way to dress my children and myself is by getting hand me downs. I always accept whatever others offer us, then whatever we can't use I pass on to other families.
If I can't get what we need from hand me downs I shop yard sales. I've been to many yard sales, some awesome and some just crazy priced, you need to know what the going rate is for used clothes, toys, books, or whatever you need otherwise you can pay too much! I personally won't buy my girls any clothes that cost more than $.50-$1 but because boys clothes are harder to find in good condition I'm willing to pay more. I buy jeans, shirts, pjs, coats, and even shoes and boots this way.
Another one of my favorite places is thrift stores. In my small town we have five thrift stores, two of which have the best prices but others have more variety. Again it's good to know your prices because some thrift stores can cost you more than a great clearance sale at Kohls or Target.
One of my final choices is to ask for clothes for birthdays. I try not to do that though because my kids like to pick out their own clothes, to them shopping at yard sales is just as normal as shopping at the mall. Plus I tend to think birthday presents need to be fun!
If I can't find what I need at any of these places I start shopping at Kohls for their awesome clearance racks. I have been able to find name brand shoes and clothes for less than $10! I also always check Walmart, Target, and Meijer for their clearance racks as well.
My children dress very nicely in mostly brand name clothes that we could never afford if we had to pay full price. So far they all have been happy with their clothes no matter where we get them, and I always offer to let them pay for their clothes if they aren't happy with what we have! I have raised them to know that the first place we look in a "real" store is at the clearance rack!