My kids keep growing. And growing and growing. And besides wanting to eat at least 3 meals a day I also have to clothe them. Since we don’t live in a nudist colony clothing is something that is required and as my last large family hacks post alluded to, with 5 kids there is a lot of clothing to be had. And while I’m thinking it might be easier to just have them wear plastic baggies or seriously consider joining that nudist colony, I don’t think either will fly. And so I’m left with trying to figure out how to clothe them all and not spend a fortune doing it.
And I hate spending money. Luckily we can pass a number of things down between each kiddo….that is until we get to Coppélia. And then it’s not as easy with her. For the boys, as one outgrows something I put it in a bin with similar size things and then bring out the next bin of bigger sizes. Every so often I go through their closets and pull out the size that is too small and switch it for what ever is in the next size up. I use to be really good at keeping things in the right bins….lately I’ve gotten lazy or maybe there are just too many kids to dress every day that I don’t care to keep it straight, and so the bins aren’t as separated by sizes as they use to be. The cool thing is though is that Paxton is now wearing clothes to preschool that I remember getting for Leighton 6 years ago when he started preschool.
And it helps that we homeschool because 4 days of the week they can wear whatever they want…on the day that they have homeschool enrichment I put my foot down and make them wear semi nice clothes. Same with church, I figure they can semi-dress up once a week.
I’m a big fan of second hand sales. In fact I’d say probably 80% of the kids clothes come from second hand sales, probably more of Coppélia’s. I get hand me downs as well. And then keep my eye out for sales, but usually if I can hold out for a second hand sale then I can bypass the sale still save a decent amount of money. I try and keep a list of what I need….somehow I can only find a few of what was Leighton’s size 6/7 shirts and most of the 3T boys shirts have seen their better days. So I knew that was what I needed going into the sale.
Second hand sales can go really well or they can be a little rough. I usually take a laundry basket with me so I can put clothes in as I go down the aisle. We have “Just Between Friends” sales here in Colorado and those are usually the ones I go to. But I’ve learned that going the first morning that they open or paying 5$ the to get in to the pre-sale (or consigning my own things and volunteering so I get into the pre sale for free) is the way to go. There aren’t many people there and there is a good selection. It’s just a matter of going through each thing on the rack. They have pretty high standards as far as what they will take, although I’m amazed sometimes at what things snuck through…..But also equally amazed at the deals I can get. Last year I got a winter coat and snow pants for Coppélia that she can wear this year for 20$. They still had tags on them and retail for over 150$. Can’t really complain about that. I am picky in what I’ll buy, and I watch the price of things too to make sure it’s actually a deal. The sales often have toys and books and games and such as well. While that’s not usually my focus I can usually find a few things just for fun as well. This past sale I bought about 78 items and when you divide it all out, I paid less than 4$ a piece….I can’t even do that in Target.
So despite my pleading that the kids stop growing and since we don’t live in a nudist colony, I will likely have to continue to buy clothes as they continue to grow. In the mean time though I will continue to shop at the second hand sales and enjoy all the hand me downs that I can get.