Keep an Inventory of Different Sizes
As you go about the year shopping whether it is summer, Christmas, Black Friday or Easter remember that frugal moms grab clothing on sale that can be used for the future. In addition to shopping sales at stores is shopping at a garage sale. That is the best place to find good play clothes, dress clothes and future clothes. Use a storage bin for future use labeled with different sizes that kids grow into. I think of this as my long term closing storage area. Just like I have a long term storage pantry, I keep a clothing inventory and shoe inventory. My method saves me time and money because I already have what I need on hand.
Shop Sales for the Next Season
Believe it or not, but right now is the best time to buy winter items for next year. The consignment shop that I frequent just had a huge sale of BOGO free on all winter items. They don’t want to store all of the clothing from last winter because they will be collecting it all summer. Stores do the same thing by reducing the winter inventory prices to save space and make some money on the merchandise. This is the best time for frugal moms to shop for a future season and save.
Change Pants to Shorts and Long Shirts to Sleeveless
It is easy to reuse pants for the summer. Cut them off. Do the same thing with long sleeve shirts. If you want the to look nicer, sew a hem around the pant legs and the arms. Jogging pants are also reusable for summer. Most of our clothes are hand me downs, except for my youngest and his clothes if they fit are re-fashioned for summer wear. That was a piece of advice given to me by many frugal moms when my kids were young. Dress clothes I will send to shelters or save for family members.
Buy Clothing Bigger for Fall
Buy clothes to fit all year around. I know that kids take growth spurts, and I take that into account. For gifts I ask the grandparents to buy two sizes bigger on jeans, shirts and pajamas. They last us much longer. The kids do no mind rolling them up for a bit. By spring, they fit well. If they are still too big, then we save them for play clothes the next season.
Mix and Match Clothing
Frugal moms use T- Shirts double as pajama shirts and sweats double as workout clothes. Laundry gets too much if we have an outfit for every occasion. Likewise, when shopping buy two shirts to go with one pair of jeans or pants. Having a pair of pants for every day of the week is a lot. When I shop for pants, I use the two day rule. Most pants unless they have stains can be used more than once. Shirts I buy more of those as a backup if the first one gets dirty or torn.
Keep a List
Every time I shop for my kids I have an app on my phone that holds sizes, amounts, colors they like to wear, and how much I need to buy of everything. Just enough socks results in not as many go missing, underwear and other items we buy more of those, but for pants, and pjs I buy less. Again, we practice the two day rule and then hit the laundry basket. Utilizing a list helps keep purchases to a minimum. Overspending is kept at bay and I don’t hate myself when laundry is taller than I am.
Keep a Seasonal List
I keep seasonal items on my app also because as one boy grows out of a jacket another one inherits said jacket. Then the boy who outgrew the jacket doesn’t have a jacket. But that happens in the spring, so by fall on the first cold day we need a jacket, there is none. So, as I work through spring clothing for summer and place it in our inventory bins I add what we need on my app. This method helps with hats, gloves, scarves, snow pants and anything else in the clothing area.
Find Adjustable Clothing
The best kind of pants to buy are the ones with an elastic waistband for tightening or a loose fit. I have one that needs to have the waistband tight and another on the other end who needs it more loose. These multi-purpose pants are perfect for most kids. Shirts are not adjustable, but I buy bigger for that reason. Also, sweat pants work great for adjustable pants. When I buy sweats I get adaptable colors like gray, black, white. Those mix well with any shirt or sweatshirt.
Stay Away From Trends
Trends cost money and they come and go. Trying to keep up the crowd will cost money. Leave behind that stigma and shop for what you want your kids to wear. Teach them to buy at a thrift store or on clearance and put the rest in the bank. If they do want a trendy item, my suggestion would be to allow them to save a portion of the money. That way they become more invested in taking care of the shoes, shirt or purse that has a name on them.
Keep Old Clothes for Play
New clothes are new for a reason. At our home we do not play in our nice stuff. We play in our old clothes. That way I don’t get upset if something gets ruined or torn.
Shop Clearance First
Before I head to another part of the store, I shop the clearance rack. If for nothing else to find a shirt or two to match some jeans. In the past I have found some great coats and dress pants on the clearance rack. Usually, the items on clearance are from the previous season. This works fine for me.
Most of these tips have been researched and developed over time. In the beginning I had no idea of how to shop for multiple boys, save the clothing, store the clothing for the next child and so on. As the years went on and I found new ways to save or received advice I filed it away. Clothing is not such a daunting expense when it is controlled and well planned.
For more tips on frugal living sign up for my newsletter.