This week I finally felt that crispness in the air and it brought a smile to my face. Fall is here my friends! But that smile quickly started to fade when I thought about the colder weather and how my 2 kids are soon going to need coats, boots, and pretty much everything they’re not currently wearing. But thankfully I’ve learned a few tricks to making sure we don’t get hit with a huge extra expense every time the seasons change.
1. Take an inventory of what you have
You may be surprised that you have more than you think. Do they have items from last year that still fit them? Have them try things on to see what can get you one more season and what needs to be passed on. Of course, if you have younger children that could use it later on, save it! I know it’s a hassle to store but you will be so grateful when you don’t have to start over with a whole new wardrobe.
2. Make a list of what you need
Now that you know what you have, make a list of what you’re going to be needing. I like writing things on paper so I can stick it in my purse. That way when I’m at the store if I see a good deal on something I can double check to make sure we even need it. I can’t tell you how many times I would buy stuff blindly only to realize later we already had something like it. Especially if you’re shopping with the kids it’s easy to feel rushed and just start grabbing stuff, but if you have your list you can quickly see what you need and avoid overspending. Consider getting what they absolutely need now and then getting a few fun clothing pieces or shoes for a Christmas gift. My daughter is coming into her own style and getting a sparkly pair of boots or a cute dress and leggings would make a great gift so I will save those for a gift and get her the things she really needs the next time I find a great deal on them.
3. Make a plan for the clothes that they’ve outgrown.
One of the many things I’m grateful for is generous friends. We have gotten so many hand-me-downs from friends. One friend in particular gives us bags and bags of clothes every time her daughter outgrows stuff. I feel like we hardly ever have to buy clothes for my daughter. Our neighborhood has so many kids and we all just rotate clothes. If you have people to trade with, I think that’s the best option. I pass things on knowing eventually someone else will pass some to us. That’s just how we roll in my group of friends. It has definitely saved us thousands of dollars over the years.
But if you don’t have that available there are several things you can do. If you’re going into colder weather, usually consignment stores won’t take your warm weather clothes and it may be hard to sell them on garage sale sites so you may want to consider donating them to a non profit and getting a write off on your taxes. Or, if you have the space to store them, you can store them and then plan to sell them when the warmer weather rolls around again.
Kid’s clothes is one item I believe you can significantly cut back on when it comes to budgeting. Just making a few tweaks, planning and preparing can make a huge difference. I know it’s tempting to buy them all the things. I have a hard time walking into children’s clothing stores without leaving with something so I just don’t even go in. I try to remember that it’s not just about saving us money, it’s also about me teaching my kids from an early age what is a need and what is a want. So stay strong mamas! You saying no to the beautifully displayed little girl’s dress that costs more than you’d be willing to spend on a dress for yourself means your kids are learning how to prioritize. They will thank you some day. Promise.