17 April, 2013

Frugal Living And Common Sense: Kids And Clothes

Okay, something has happened to my daughter overnight..... She's gone from solely being a redneck tomboy to reading labels on her clothes - and wanting certain brands.... Wait, WHAT????

So, I don't think there's anything wrong with kids having a particular brand of clothes. I DO think there's a problem with paying department store prices.

When I was a kid, the big names were Bongo, and Guess - and as a teenager, the first low cut Calvin Klein jeans popped on the scene. Today we have Hollister, Abercrombie and Fitch, and American Eagle.... If you're anything like me, I can't afford to, and flat out REFUSE to pay $60.00 for a pair of SHORTS that has a zipper less than an inch long.... But I STILL want my daughter to have brand name clothes.

I have to tell you that my experience with clothing from Walmart and Kmart is that I don't think the quality is as good, and I don't believe they wash up as well. Don't get me wrong, as an infant, we had a LOT of Walmart, Kmart, and Target brands. They were inexpensive, and when they no longer came clean, or wore out, we tossed them and replaced them - or had a garage sale.

That being said, when I was pregnant with my daughter, I discovered children's consignment stores. The sky split, the angel's sang, and I learned that for what ONE outfit would cost me in the mall, I could get SEVERAL at a consignment store - AND, if I shopped carefully, I would find the same stuff in the mall that some first time mom who thought their baby needed a different outfit for each and every day of their life purchased, the kid outgrew it before they could get it worn - and I'd get it brand new with tags for a fraction of the price. So, what did I do??  My kid had a different outfit for each and every day of the first year of her life (probably closer to two) - I just did it for a fraction of the cost, most of which was sold at a garage sale, or put back into the consignment store before she had a chance to wear it..... ::sigh::

Other than my child noticing labels, I also have another problem.... My daughter took after her father in the height/weight category. So, my nine year old wears a size five juniors jeans. She loves Hollister. She loves Abercrombie. Has anyone checked the prices on their jeans? And a basic tshirt? Can you say "NO"? I can....

We are SOOOOO super lucky to have a consignment store LITERALLY right around the corner from our house. I just went there this weekend. Three pairs of jeans - 1 Hollister, 1 Bullhead, 1 Charlotte Russe brand, 1 Hollister Tshirt, 1 Old Navy Shirt, 1 Hollister cover up, plus 4 other shirts - $36.00. We went to dinner for my niece's birthday, wearing like new clothes, and spent less than $20.00!

Us at dinner, yeah, we look good baby!

You might say that you would NEVER shop in a consignment store.... I say YOU'RE NUTS! The simple fact is this: THE VERY INSTANT you buy something and walk out of the store, your item is now used. One wash and you can't tell the difference between YOUR clothes, and MINE - unless you check our receipts.

I am honestly NOT a huge fan of Goodwill and Salvation Army. You REALLY have to shop them to find anything good. It's possible, but I find most of their items are dingy, stained, damaged, or SO FAR out of style/season, that I don't find too much there. I DO find a lot of homegoods there - like my bread machine, and some decorative stuff.

Another resource I use is Poshmark.com. You can sell items here, and purchase items. This is GREAT for higher end clothing items. Most people do not want to sell these at a garage sale. You can trade, or bargain here as well. There are also electronics and other items like PSP's, Kindles, and cell phones. You need to watch for scammers though. Just because they tell you it's authentic Coach or Michael Kors does not mean it is. If you aren't skilled in telling knock off from authentic, probably best not to purchase them online.

Finally, I've discovered that in my area there are lots of Facebook groups for online sales. For instance, there is a group dedicated to certain areas of the county. In the search bar of Facebook, put in cities or areas of your county and see if any online garage sale or trade groups come up. I've sold AND purchased items here for just above garage sale prices.

Here's an example of my most recent purchase:

My daughter has been wanting a pair of Air Jordans. We looked at them in the store, and I could easily drop $500 on the shoe collection my daughter wants to build. My daughter is still in that phase that she is ROUGH on her shoes, they need to be replaced frequently. She also has a distinct walk and can't wear shoes from Walmart or Payless. Plus, higher end shoes wear better in the long run.

I was able to find a pair of Air Jordans in one of the Facebook groups I frequent. I contacted the seller and arranged a time to meet. We purchased the BRAND NEW Air Jordans, box and all, for $35.00. This made for happy baby!!!

I feel I should tell you that not all consignment stores are created equal. Go. Shop. Look through. Some stores are pickier about the quality of items they take in, and some are picky about the brands they take in, and of course, some are more expensive than others. You should plan to shop the same stores a few times before you make a final decision about whether or not to return, and which ones you plan to frequent.

I've shared a few ways that I cut down on clothing costs in my house. What are your tricks? I'm always open to new ideas!

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  1. Girl,

    Let me tell you, if we are ever in the same room together, our husbands BETTER be worried - cause it'll be nothing but big ol' love fest! Not ONLY are we cut from the same damn cloth, but they used the same dye batch and machines to stitch us together. I LOVE consignment stores, and have been shopping them for YEARS with my sisters. My niece was ALWAYS decked out to the nine's (still is actually) and I don't think we EVER bought her anything "new" off the rack. She had so many clothes - many of them she never even got a chance to wear. And my younger sisters quickly learned when they had to use their own money - you can get a LOT more bang for your buck at a consignment store than you can at the mall. Our favorites here are Plato's closet (which is for the teen/early 20's age) and second look - which not ONLY has women clothing, but men's clothing, kids clothing, housewares - you name it they got it - AND they will not take anything that is more than six months out of season, looks used, worn, torn, etc. Best yet, they date all their tags and everything over 30 days is 25% of their price, 45 days is 50% and 60 days is 75% off. I bought the flower girl dress for my wedding for FIVE BUCKS. Take that David's Bridal! I also found it's a great place to pick up beautiful crystal pieces (like waterford or swarovski or mikasa) for pennies on the dollar for fantastic but dirt cheap wedding presents. (especially when it's a co worker or their kid I barely know) Even my husband wears consignment clothing -and he could care less. Besides why would i spend $25 buying him polos for work hes going to tear on some stupid machine - when I can get him Ralph Lauren polos at a store, new with tags, 75% off the consignment price for like $4?? After we got together, even his parents comments on how much better he was dressing since he'd met me - HA! Right on for teaching Gracie at a young age that she doesn't need to spend a million bucks to look like it! :)

    Kristi M.

  2. Eek! Your photo collage looks absolutely smashing, dahling. Simply smashing! And look at you and your frugal shopping skills. I think we'd get along swimmingly in real life, and I'd love to go on a shopping spree with you sometime (to the consignment store, of course). Great job, girl.

    1. Why thank you! I just tried to throw something together to try out the skills you shared in your blog. I hope you do more of them because it was SOOO easy to follow! Thank you so much for the comment! :)