I have four kids, and they all grow relatively fast (as kids do). So dressing them in seasonal-appropriate clothing each year can get EXPENSIVE. My girls are close to the same size, so it's easy to pass down items to the younger girl as soon as the older girl grows out of them. And most of the time, they still look brand new (or very close to it). My oldest daughter and son, though, depend on me to get them new clothes when they grow out of them, but I can't afford to go to the store and pick up brand new things every time they need a new pair of pants. I have found that gently-used clothing is just as good and a WAY more affordable solution.
Create a "Club"- You've heard of girlfriends getting together and swapping clothes they no longer wear. Do the same with your kids' clothes! Find a few friends and/or family members with kids of slightly different ages and pass the clothes around. Write your initials on the tags (if you want to eventually get them back), and don't include any ripped or stained pieces. Put away the clothes that your kids have grown out of, and at the beginning of each season, when you have a hefty stash built up, or when you've setup a time to get together, pass them on to the appropriate family. This is especially great for those fancy holiday dresses or suits that your kids will probably wear only once (for say, church on Christmas morning).
Check out online auction sites- You can often find "lots" of clothing (for example: 12 pairs of 5T winter pants or 6 sets of size 6 pajamas) for a very affordable price from moms who are trying to make a little money getting rid of all of the clothes their kids have outgrown. And if they're still in good condition when you're done with them, you can turn around and sell them for a few bucks!
Frequent consignment shops- Goodwill and other local resale shops often have hidden treasures at fantastic prices. Find out when they often put the "new" items out on the floor and stop by then. I love to look for unique, vintage-y pieces that have personality.
How do you feel about gently-used clothing for your kids? Do you take advantage, or pass on them?
I almost never buy brand new. My kids don't care. My oldest actually is just as cheap as I am. He has learned that he can get five shirts at the goodwill or a yard sale for less than he would pay for one shirt at the mall or something. As long as they aren't outdated and are in good shape they are happy. I try to get new things for christmas and birthdays, but I have even given them nice secondhand clothes for those occasions before. They really honestly don't care! Lol
November 14, 2012 at 9:21 AM
My dd has received a few hand me downs from my niece, but I don't buy used clothing. I can buy new stuff off the clearance rack for less. No one in my area has yard sales and the Goodwill in my area is expensive.
by Harris06November 14, 2012 at 10:55 AM
I am not opposed to it but unless it is super cute and I love it I pass on it. Sure, that is probably not the most economical thing to do but...I do.
by jeannie39November 15, 2012 at 1:43 AM
I give all of my dd clothes to people who need them. I don't have anyone around who has a dd older than mine so I don't get hand me downs. I did with my older kids, though. I love Goodwill and consignment shop and clearence racks at regular stores. I take good care of mt dd's clothes so i can give them away so nothing goes to waste. I also do that with toys.
by B.LeavesNovember 15, 2012 at 7:12 AM
Gently-used is a great way to go. I am a huge fan of resale clothing stores. It takes a little more time to hunt around, but the prices are well woth it. For me, it's also fun and relaxing. So I feel like I get a bit of a break and save money at the same time. Win-win!
by AleaKatNovember 15, 2012 at 7:15 AMMost of my kids stuff was owned my their big cousin first but obviously they were born in different seasons and its colder here than it is down there so some stuff we buy.
Thrift stores are always hit or miss I'm not gonna buy something just cause its a deal I feel it's more of a waist of money if I don't like it.
by SweetLuciNovember 16, 2012 at 12:01 PM
I love it. Unfortunately, it's always seemed that, even though she's always been a little small for her age, we end up passing her clothing on to younger cousins and friends. No one oldedr or larger for us to receive from.
by Mrs.AndrewsNovember 16, 2012 at 4:06 PM
I have a friend who does foster care and also recently adopted a girl who is in between my 2 girls for size. We pass all our girl clothes back and forth to each other and we both tend to shop second hand.