With four kids in the family on a very tight clothing budget, creativity is the key when clothes shopping. Between coupons, clearance, gift card wins and shopping ahead, I have managed to keep all of our four kids nicely dressed on a very low clothing budget. Of course, the clothing budget has seen quite an increase over the past year, since we now have a girl in the family. Still, creativity has brought me a long way, and Bellamy Blue is dressed in beautiful dresses, with pretty head bands and comfortable socks, shoes and tights every time she leaves the house.
How do I do this? Check out the Save On Clothes posts here.
- I buy dresses, skirts, shorts and pants second-hand – especially online
- I win shoes, accessories and pretty things online
- I win gift cards to shop for
- I shop clearance at Gymboree, The Children’s Place, JC Penney and Target (mostly with gift cards won online)
- I shop ahead – when a deal is there I buy it, even if it is 2-3 sizes bigger than what my kid uses now.
Bellamy Blue will be 8 months this week, and she wears size 12 months clothing. All of her clothing from newborn to 9 months have been passed on to a set of triplets thanks to a sweet friend of mine. She is very dedicated to helping out the family of the triplets in her community, and she is helping out our family as well by exchanging some of her gift card wins for Bellamy’s clothes. She is such a generous friend, and I love knowing that all of Bellamy’s old clothing is going to someone, who really needs it.
The other day, I was tempted by a great online sale at one of my favorite clothing retailers, but after browsing through the clearance selection, I realized that I was much better off shopping at my favorite online consignment store – especially since I would have to spend a lot to get free shipping. So, instead of spending money out of our clothing budget I decided to spend $50 off my store credit on beautiful dresses, cardigans and lovely skirts for my little girl at my favorite online second-hand store.
I LOVE this store, and I have shopped there many times over the past year. Only once, have I been unhappy with 2 items that they’ve ever sent me. The one time that this happened, I was shopping for back-to-school clothing for a little girl we know. Since I was giving her the clothing, I sent ThredUp an email describing the problems. They quickly resolved the problem by returning the credit used, and I could buy her a few new pieces for school in great condition.
Now, because I shop ahead, I make sure to find the very best deals on the most beautiful clothing up to size 4 for my little girl. As a mom of four, I know from experience, how quickly the kids grow, and since my kids are tall for their ages, they usually wear at least a size larger than their age. Bellamy Blue is now wearing size 12 months, so I expect her to wear size 18 months to 2 T by next summer.
After spending a long time browsing the clothing selections at ThredUp, I bought $52+ worth of clothing, which gave me free shipping on the entire order. Then I used ThredUp credit that I have been earning, which meant that I did not pay anything out of pocket.
|Blue Beri Boulevard Capri set 3T||$3.49|
|Blueberi Boulevard Summer Dress 3T||$3.49|
|Disney Skirt 2T||$3.49|
|Baby Gap Skirt 4||$3.49|
|Gymboree Light Sweater 4||$3.49|
|Ralph Lauren Skirt 3/3T||$3.49|
|Gymboree Shrug 12-18 Mo||$3.49|
|OshKosh B’gosh Skort||$3.49|
|American Living Dress 18 Mo||$3.99|
|First Impressions Romper 18 Mo||$3.49|
|Gymboree Summer Dress 18-24 Mo||$3.49|
|Mulberribush Summer Dress 4||$3.49|
|La Princess Summer Dress 12 Mo||$3.49|
|Old Navy Summer Dress 18-24 Mo (XL)||$3.49|
|Clean Out Bag Deposit||waived|
|– $52.85 ThredUp credit||$0.00|
The new retail price for all of the above would have been around $450.
By shopping ahead, I can pick up clothing for free, or extremely cheap. This is one of the reasons why I never panic during back-to-school shopping season, because my kids are usually pretty set. I pick up uniform shirts and pants, when they go on 70 percent off clearance in the fall, and the same with shoes. Check out my How To Save On Shoes posts here.
In the spring I also won a few uniform pieces for the boys, and then again this fall I won some uniform pieces for my youngest son for his school kindergarten start next year. If I need to buy any additional bottoms for the boys, I usually buy these at the thrift store in the spring, when there is a good selection. Even at the thrift store, I only get jeans and uniform bottoms, when they are at 50 percent off the regular thrift store price. Because I shop ahead, I can afford to wait for the right deal.
Of course, buying ahead means you have to keep organized. Each of my boys have a big storage tote for the clothes that they will grow into or for hand-me-downs. My little frugal princess has several storage totes, and she even has her own storage tote for shoes. Check out my Kids Clothes Organizing post here.
Shopping ahead helps our family save a lot of money on clothes and shoes, and because we buy ahead we can shop at rock bottom prices.
How To Shop Smart At ThredUp:
- Sign up for your free $10 ThredUp bonus
- Choose the gender and sizes you want – make sure to check out the ThredUp clearance section
- Choose prices low to high in the top right hand-side and start browsing.
- Check out the new-with-tag section (in the sidebar under “condition”)
- Add everything you like to your cart to reserve the item
- You can always remove it from your cart during your final sorting.
- Buy items such as jeans, jean shorts, dresses, skirts and jackets, which are hard to find at low prices even on clearance.
- Either buy a pair of name brand jeans or a coat for around $10, and only pay for shipping. Or buy $50 worth of clothing, get free shipping, and only pay $40 after the ThredUp bonus.
- HOT HOT HOT! Enter the ThredUp free shipping code: SHIPSALE10 on orders of $20+ (Expires Monday 10/28)
- Everything ships in 3 – 7 business days.
- Invite your friends and get $10 to shop for, once they make their first ThredUp purchase.
If you think ThredUp might be for you, you can get $10 to shop for, if you sign up through this ThredUp bonus link. If you sign up, you get $10 to shop for, and if you end up shopping I get $10 to shop for as well. It is a win win!
Do you shop ahead to save in the long run? How do you stay organized?