Guest Contributor: Andrea Schmutz, USU Extension Assistant Professor
Amid the current COVID craziness, there are a few things that remain certain: summer is winding down, our kids continue to grow up, and they’re probably going to need some new clothes for school. As the start of school rapidly approaches, are you asking yourself, “Do I really have to spend a lot of money on clothes when they are just going to outgrow them before they wear them out?” Guess what? You don’t! Here are five simple ways to clothe your kids without breaking the budget:
Shop at thrift stores - “Thrifting”, as my children call shopping at thrift stores, is nothing short of an adventure. Some of my children’s’ most treasured clothing items come from these shopping adventures. Find out if your local thrift stores run specials and take advantage of those sales to save even more. Our favorite thrift store runs a “brown bag” special where you can stuff as many clothes as will fit into a brown grocery bag for $5. If you’re strategic, you can fit enough items in the bag so the breakdown cost is 50 cents per item or less!
Children’s resale or consignment stores - Turn your kids’ clothes and other outgrown items into cash! Take your children’s’ gently used clothes, shoes, toys, furniture and baby gear to the nearest children’s resale shop and they will pay you cash. Better yet, some of them will give you an additional percentage if you choose store credit, which you can then use to shop for “new” clothes. Children often outgrow their clothes before they can wear them out so you might be surprised at the quality items you can find in a children’s resale shop and at a fraction of the price you’d find in department stores.
Clothing swaps - Organize a clothing swap with a group of friends. A kids’ clothing swap gives people a chance to clean out the kids’ closets and trade clothes that no longer fit for new(ish) outfits. For some great tips on hosting a clothing swap, click here.
Shop in the off season - Stores are often eager to put seasonal clothing on clearance racks to make room for the upcoming season and new arrivals. You may not find anything to fit your child right now, but watch for deals on clothes that will fit in the near future.
Repurpose clothing - If your kids have clothes they have outgrown or that are a bit worn, look for ways to repurpose them. If the knees of the pants are worn out or the pants are too short, cut the legs off and turn them into a pair of shorts. I once turned a pair of my teenage son’s jeans with holey knees into a denim knee length skirt for me. I loved that skirt! (To learn how to turn jeans into a skirt, click here.)
These are just a few ideas for clothing your kids without breaking your budget. Buying children’s clothes doesn’t have to be painfully expensive - give one or two (or even all) of the above ideas a try and see how much money you can save!
Parting thought: “You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.” - Martin Luther King Jr.
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