“Chains of habit are too light to be felt until they are too heavy to be broken.” -Warren Buffett

Thrifting for Kids Clothes

One of my favourite ways to save money while raising 2 growing girls with very different tastes and needs is via thrift shopping for their clothes.

This is an obvious plus from a financial standpoint, as well as the reduced environmental impact.  When something gets ruined, as inevitably happens, I don't feel like I need to worry about how much I spent on it.  We make it into rags or another project and move on.

What 6 year old doesn't need a blue/grey tiger stripped outfit?!
Pants and a jacket!  She wishes it came with a matching
tshirt and socks too:)
My girls (ages 6 and 9) have come to love this as much as I have, as I often give them freedom to choose several items we may not have purchased in a retail store due to cost, need, etc.  One of the girls purchased every party dress that fit for months, and the other buys every pair of yoga pants she finds in her size.  The cost is low, and they typically wear the clothes and then we resell almost everything.  As a result, there isn't a lot of waste, even if we bring something home and the girls end up not liking it we can recoup most of the cost easily.

This happens occasionally especially with my sensory processing disordered child.  Another bonus for her though, is the clothes you buy used are already washed.  As a result, she can touch them and know how they will feel on her body which is a significant factor for her.  I can't tell you how many times when she was smaller I'd buy her something new she needed, we'd wash it and she'd never wear it because it didn't feel right on her skin anymore.  This used to be super frustrating for both of us, as I hate wasting money and things, but she can not handle or control how things make her body feel.

I try to buy from our local kids consignment shop when they are running a sale for at least 40% off, and sell back to the shop at the beginning of seasons when the return is best.  The photos in this post are what we picked up in early December.  Out of pocket cost was $4 for 14 items (several sweaters/jackets, sweater dress, several pairs of leggings, swim suit, bag, book set, etc).  There were a number of expensive brands like Gap, Roots, Gymboree, Children's Place as well as the Hello Kitty bag and Magic Trick set (that included all pieces for the tricks) for my budding magician.

With a few habits like this, I estimate we've significant cut down our spending on kids clothes to less than a few hundred a year, including new undies, socks, winter boots and sneakers for school most years.  I always buy their snow suits here, and keep a few sizes on hand for growing into and out of, and spares.  I've gotten brand new snow suits, gently used Lands End snow suits (grow a-longs still intact)!  And we eliminated clothing battles as a major win as well!

**It may sound as if I let the girls buy everything they see because it's cheap.  This certainly isn't the case, though I'm sure some people would think their wardrobes are excessive, all their clothes within 3 drawers (each have 3 drawers) as we pare back regularly and sell back to consignment when we're done with the item.

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