I'm going to deviate from the grocery side of thriftiness this week and hit on *clothing*. One of the biggest things to adjust to after having children is that they are constantly growing and changing sizes! After the first year, I was so excited to have my children wear things longer than a three to six month stretch! Here's my thrifty tip and few extra ideas.
*Tip #4: Shop a season ahead for children's clothing.
Right now, if you were to take a peak in my children's closets (it's ok, I just organized them!) you would see that 6 year old Cloe has a tote full of size 7 summer items and a tote full of size 7 winter items. Mid-season to the end-season, stores are constantly marking down items to create room for new lines of clothing or the next season of clothing. Take advantage of these sales and stock up!
Here are a few extra "secrets" I follow:
*Don't be afraid to ask the for a free shipping coupon if they don't have the size you need. Children's Place is awesome at this--especially handy when buying two of the same size of everything. Most of the boys' clothing comes from shopping online. (Use discount codes online, too!)
*Watch for discount coupons in magazines. If you don't have one, ask if they happen to have any coupons/discounts going on right now. Most stores will either give you a coupon or tell you where you can get one.
*Set a price guideline for buying clearance items. My goal is to spend less than $5 for shirts, less than $7 for pants/jeans, and less than $8-$10 for dresses. Obviously I'm going for cheaper than all of these prices, but by setting a limit I avoid many (not all) impulse purchases.
*Don't be scared off by the regular prices of children's clothing! Hit the clearance racks and start looking! I use to think that as a stay at home mom we would just buy our kids' clothing at Target and Walmart. However, after catching on to shopping for bargains, I almost always find clothing at Old Navy, Children's Place, Gap, and Gymboree on clearance cheaper than even the clearance sales of Target and Walmart. Old Navy has awesome 97 cent sales! That even beats garage sale prices!
*My last tip is to make good friends! Seriously, I owe a lot of the good bargains I find to my wonderful, amazing mom friends who all watch out for each other and send out sale alerts when they find something good! I also love the calls with great garage sale tips!
*Lastly, it doesn't hurt to make friends with the gals that work in your favorite children's shops. They are often unappreciated and mistreated by selfish, disgruntled customers. I've got to be the cheapest person to ever set foot in Gymboree, but I've made friends with the gals in there and now they scout out the deals for me! It's also an opportunity to be a light for Christ--be friendly and show some love! That's what it's all about! No matter what my children wear, no matter the brand, no matter the style, no matter the price, if my life doesn't reflect Christ in the way I shop, then those bargains are all in vain.
And whatever you do or say,
do it as a representative of the Lord Jesus,
giving thanks through him to God the Father.
*Want to know the bargains pictured here? We found Cloe's dress in December at Gymboree for $3! The boys complete outfits were ordered from the Children's Place for $17 each...shoes included! Those deals freed up a little money to spend on these pictures from Target...ug, why do they always suck me in?