In this post I will share how we do and how you can dress your kids for free.
Almost two years ago, my husband and I went from two incomes and two kids, to one income and three kids. For our family, we decided it would be best if I stayed home with our kids while they were young. So I left my teaching career and became a full time Mom. We were excited about this change, but we knew the money would be tight. We have always been thrifty and purpose to save money any way we can. However, it quickly became more important when we halved our income. We’ve gotten more creative and pay more attention to each dollar.
Kids outgrow their clothes so quickly.
When we had our first child, there were several outfits I noticed he never even wore before he outgrew them and dozens more that didn’t look like he had. Luckily, most of his clothes, unless they were gifted, were purchased used.
I have always been a big advocate for buying clothes used. It saves my family hundreds of dollars. But mostly because textile waste is a huge problem and I can make a small difference by purchasing all my clothes used. Plus, I love hunting for unique pieces that I would never find in a big box department store.
You can dress your kids for free
This past year I began to realize how often people sell their children’s clothes on Craigslist, Facebook pages or at garage sales. So instead of searching through thrift or consignment stores, I am able to buy an entire wardrobe for each child at a fraction of the cost. I look for clothes that are being sold for around a quarter a piece. Then I bring them home and let my kids look through them and pick out what they like. With the remainder of the clothes, I get rid of any items that have stains or rips, clean the rest, and resell them for the same purchase price. Once we have taken out what we need and removed anything damaged, I usually sell them for $.50-$1.00 a piece. This is still much cheaper than you find at a thrift or consignment sale so the clothes resell without much effort. Once my kids have then outgrown the clothes I generally donate them or post them for free on Craigslist.
I have successfully gone through two sizes with each child and I have actually made a little money in the process. My kids have more than enough clothes and you would never be able to tell they are used. The kids enjoy looking through the clothes when we bring them home and get joy out of donating them when they outgrow them.
Some people are going to read this post and shame me for only buying my kids used clothes. To many people, the thought of used clothing is repulsive. However, think about the value we place on clothing and what that is teaching our children. I want my kids to grow up knowing that the clothing a person wears does not give them their value. I also want them to be wise with the money they are given so they can do more with it than buy material things. To me, buying used clothes is a win win. It allows our family more financial freedom while teaching our children to place less value on clothing.
I encourage you to give this a try even if you haven’t been comfortable purchasing used clothing in the past. You will be amazed how much money this can save your family.