By Christina VanGinkel
Keeping baby dressed stylishly, and in clothing that fits well, as they jump through sizes month after month can be a magic act in itself. Every time you turn around it seems as if your little one has grown another inch and gained a few more pounds. The onsies that fit him or her on a Friday are stretched to their button and snap limits on a Monday! Pants that were long one week could almost pass as a pair of Capri's the following week. Sleeve length is no different, with baby seemingly stretching out everywhere all at once. So what is a parent to do, especially one that lives on a budget as most of us do in toady's world?
Expanding your shopping options is the most efficient way to keep your little one well dressed and your budget intact at the same time.
Shop Outlet Stores
You may have to browse through racks that have more than a few sizes crammed together, but the savings can be phenomenal on a brand new outfit compared to its counterpart on a traditional department store rack.
Rummage and Garage Sales
People love throwing these types of sales, because so many people love shopping them. With clothing being manufactured that lasts long after the few times a child is able to wear them before they outgrow them, passing them on in this way is great for both the buyer and seller. For the seller, it lets them recoup a few of their own dollars spent on the clothes, and just as good for the buyer, allowing them to dress their children in nice clothes for a small portion of the original cost. It is a definite win-win situation.
Almost every store has either a few clearance racks or a back room A place where clothing that is the last of its style, or maybe has a small defect, or even just that the new season's clothing has arrived and the store associates just need to make room for the new stock, is piled for sale. The good thing about clearance racks is that the turnover on them is often as huge as the store's inventory to begin with.
That is right! Ebay, known for its bargains of all types, is also a great place to both buy and sell your children's clothing. I know one mother who has earned nearly her children's entire clothes budget from their outgrown items she sells on Ebay. She in turns buys almost every single item they need, from Ebay, save for socks and underwear. Though she said, she was having a hard time finding toddler underwear for her son locally, and ended up buying several pack of those from a seller on Ebay. (I knew what she was referring too, as my daughter had the same problem with my grandson!)
Barter and Trade
Check with your church, children's playgroup, or other place that you may meet other mothers of children both younger and older than your own. Inquire if any of them would be willing to set up some sort of trade system for clothes.