Frugal Mama: Child’s Wardrobe on a Budget

To say we’re on a tight budget in our family is an understatement.  Often, people talk about how expensive children are, but, at least with a really young one, it is definitely possible to outfit your child on a budget.

My all-time favorite way to do this is to head over to my local library, where there is a children’s resale shop, run by volunteers, and where all proceeds go to benefit the library.  As far as I’m concerned, this is a win-win situation — I get cheap clothes, toys, and books for my child, and the library gets my money.  Also, it’s good for the planet since we’re reusing clothes that otherwise might end up in the landfill, or we would otherwise have to buy newly manufactured clothes to replace.  Best of all, I can go a little wild and do some impulse-shopping without breaking the bank.  Part of the fun, after all, is falling in love with the adorable outfit Jesse doesn’t *need* but would definitely use, and look cute in.   At a regular clothing store, even a discount store, that kind of impulse can add up FAST, but at Little Fox or a consignment or thrift shop, I can just “splurge” and get the third pair of Robeez (hey, they’re only $3-5 instead of close to $30) just because.

Jesse in the hand-knit sweater I found

Last week, we realized that Jesse was finally growing out of the winter clothes he had worn all last year, and needed some in a bigger size.  Oh, and by winter, I really mean winter.  We usually have our heat set pretty low at home, and layering and warm clothes are essential for comfort November through March.  When I realized Jesse had been wearing the same fleece-lined overalls for a couple of days, I knew it was time.  Luckily, the shop in the library is open Fridays now, which is my day off, and I went with Jesse and got four pairs of lined pants and overalls and four turtlenecks, plus a hand-knit sweater, for $25.  New, this stuff would have been close to $100, if not more, and I saved 75% of that, even though mostly this stuff looks like it was worn by one kid for one season (read: barely at all).  The pair of socks I scored still had the tags on.  Can’t beat that!

How do you save money on essentials for your child’s wardrobe?