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Thursday, May 11, 2017 12:06 am

How to keep growing kids from shrinking your wallet

How to keep growing kids from shrinking your wallet


As children grow, their wardrobes constantly need to be replenished. If you’re on a budget, you’ll likely appreciate some tips for saving money on their clothes.

Shop secondhand
Hitting up garage sales, scrolling through online swap sites and browsing through thrift stores can rack up some big savings. Garage sales are perennial favorites for frugal parents, especially subdivision events where you can do all the browsing you want to do in one spot. Check out springfieldmoms.org/garagesaleguide for a listing of garage sales in your area. If you don’t have much time to devote to deal hunting, try Facebook swap sites. There are dozens to choose from and you can even post want ads so the deals can come right to you. If you are looking for something specific such as formal wear or a costume, however, check out your local Goodwill store. They carry absolutely everything for every size between newborn and adult. Most locations have a boutique section where you can shop for new items at secondhand prices.

Stay in season
It’s tempting to stock up at sale racks that are full of end-of-season mark downs and save them for the following year. In fact, some people employ this tactic as a money-saving tip. But consider this: if you are buying clothing that needs to be tucked away for several months or even a year before it can be used, you have no opportunity to return or exchange it if it doesn’t fit when the season comes around again. Children, especially little ones, have unexpected growth patterns that are almost impossible to predict. Play it safe and only shop for the season you are in.

Collect play clothes
When warm weather comes, kids typically spend more time outdoors getting grass stains on their pants and mud on their shoes. While a mess means fun is being had, parents cringe when they see their kids having outdoor fun in new or special occasion clothes. You can extend the life of “school clothes” by designating a dresser drawer or section of the closet to “play clothes” that kids can change into when they want to be outside. You won’t have to worry about stains or rips ruining nice pieces that you would otherwise need to replace.

Beware of the “It’s so cute!” purchase
We are all guilty of having made purchases that we didn’t need and would never have bought had they not been so gosh darn adorable. This is never more apparent than when there is a baby around. Baby clothes are precious, this is almost certainly a fact of life. It’s difficult to pass by so much cuteness without stopping to pick up that pajama set for no other reason than “this is SO him!!” These purchases may not be totally avoidable but they are worth a little more discernment, mostly because we don’t even consider the price tag before we decide to buy. Be reasonable, stay on budget and remember that he is going to drool, spit up and poop on everything, eventually.

Ericka Hine is a frugal mom living in Springfield with her husband, David, and her two children, Anna and Lucas.


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