Whether you are buying clothes or shoes for your children, there are so many options out there that our parents never really had, and other options that maybe they didn’t take advantage of. With me, I knew I was in trouble when my sister bought her daughter a new pair of kid’s leather shoes and I wished I could find something similar for my son, but was trying to live within a title budget.
Save a Penny – Buy Used
This can be a touchy subject for some couples because they want to give their children the best possible life and stuff. Sometimes they feel like if they are buying second-hand that they are sacrificing something in order to do so, but you should completely push that kind of thought out of your mind because there are many people that have donated items that have never been used or worn. And, even if the clothes or other items are slightly used, they are usually in great condition and cost a fraction of the money that the original purchase totaled.
You aren’t limited to your local Goodwill or thrift stores any more, the internet is a wonderful open store with very few limits and if you are willing to wait a couple days, you can find just about everything you can imagine. Take a look at sites like eBay or RedTri where people sell everything from individual outfits to large batches of clothes, and you can really make out on the deals.
Swap Marketing for the 21st Century
Not to bring up bad memories of being drug to the local swap meet in the hopes of finding one or two great items, you can now do clothes swaps online and from the comfort of your couch (or bed). What makes this concept so amazing is that you can buy the clothes and if you don’t like them, they don’t fit or you expected something completely different, you can send them back and you aren’t obligated to keep them.
Many of the sites that are associated with swapping are dealing with bulk items, so the cost associated with them are much lower than if you were buying them on your own, and you aren’t stuck with items you don’t want or can’t use.
Create Your Own Swap Market
If you are in a good group of moms with children, you will understand that most of them have a bin or two full of clothes that their children have grown out of but they haven’t gotten rid of yet. Sometimes it is a matter of not having the time to donate, thinking there might be another child down the road, or not knowing what to do with them.
Proposing something like a neighborhood swap might be the answer for you and everyone else. Some neighborhood swaps are kind of like garage sales where everything is really cheap; others are completely free and allow families to unburden themselves of items around the house and make friends along the way. Whatever you work out usually ends up being an awesome experience for all, even if it is a small group of people that participate.
Buy Ahead of Time
It doesn’t take a genius to know that babies, toddlers and children will grow and grow quickly. If you are able to plan a little (or quite a bit) ahead of time, you can take advantage of deals and sales that are currently going on. There are great times during the year that clothes are liquidated from stores and online. This sometimes means you are hedging on the ability to guess the size of your child down the road. If you live in Florida or Southern California, you may not have as much risk due to less fluctuation in weather and temperature, but for the rest of us, try to be that amazing fortune teller who can read the future needs of your child, or just have that amazing group of friends that you can trade with later on.
If you are able to sew, this could come in very handy both to let out or bring in outfits that you really like for your child. It does require more effort on your part, and even some creativity, but isn’t that what being parents is all about?
DIY – Yes, I’m Serious!
I know this isn’t the easiest subject to confront, not because it entails time and work on your part, but because your invested time and work may not be worn for long. However, there is a great deal of satisfaction in doing things like this on your own, feeling the material between your fingers and seeing the end product on display.
The incredible thing about our time and internet is that you can find so many patterns, instructions, videos and tutorials that are either free or at a very low cost, and stores that sell material always have clearance sales that make this option very practical.
Going back to my original thought with the kid’s leather shoes, I found a simple shoe pattern and equipped my sewing machine with a sturdy needle. This is not something I ever imagined that I would attempt and wasn’t sure that I could finish. Well, not only did I finish them, I have made two other pairs to keep up with my son’s feet. I have also shared the pattern and advice on to a couple of friends who have greatly benefited from my wondering into unexplored territory.
Hopefully I’ve opened your mind to a few different ideas, some that might open your own box of ideas, which in turn will make keeping your child in the most stylish outfits possible and staying within your budget a greater possibility.