I was going to save this post, but it dawned on me that consignment sale season is actually coming to a close. So I thought I’d throw this out there for now and will talk more about the topic in the fall.
I love dressing up my girls. I mean, come on, if you have girls, you have to put them in cute little outfits, right? Little girls are our own pint-size, human dress up dolls, at least until they get a mind of their own and have an opinion on what they wear. Ugh, I’m so not looking forward to that day. Lucky for me, mine all for the most part wear what I tell them to. And shopping for their clothes is one of my most favorite things to do.
However dressing three kids can get waaaayyyy expensive. I’ve found that shopping second hand can save so much money. In our area we have several ways to do that. First, you have your stores like Goodwill that carry more than just clothing. Second, there are consignment stores that specifically cater to kid’s clothes, such as Once Upon a Child and Children’s Orchard. Finally, we have bi-annual kid’s consignment sales events. These are by far my favorite way to outfit my kids for the upcoming season.
Around here the sales are usually held in March and September. The key to getting the most out of these sales is to plan, plan, plan. Because remember, you cannot return the clothes you buy at these sales. So while you save money by not buying new, if you buy a bunch of clothes your child never wears, you didn’t really save much at all.
Now one advantage of having three girls is that the younger two can usually wear hand-me-downs. Well, except for the baby who right now just has to be a different size than her sisters. Of course. But as we all know the clothes get stained or worn out, or the style is just too outdated, or you just want to get something new for the poor third kid who never gets anything new of her own. So I start with the oldest and decide what she’ll need for the upcoming season – how many shorts/pants, shirts, dresses, casual outfits, etc., and in what size(s). Then I go through her old clothes to see what will fit the younger two and note anything I may need to get for either of them. I also make a note of any specialty items they may need, like heavy coats, snowsuits, and boots for the winter, Christmas and Easter dresses, or Halloween costumes.
Here are The Girls wearing their Christmas dresses purchased from a consignment sale. Even the baby. Especially the baby — I can’t imagine dropping $20 or more on a dress she’ll wear one time at a newborn. I got this one for $5, and even that was more than I wanted to spend. But it was red, and satin, and matched her sisters’ dresses, so I couldn’t pass it up.
Now when I shop for Carlie I tend to be a bit on the picky side. I figure if the item is going to be passed down to both of her little sisters it needs to be somewhat durable. So I try to stick with good name brands that I have known to hold up well, like Gymboree, The Children’s Place, Gap, and Old Navy, especially for the play clothes. And if I have a child who is or will be between sizes during a season, I’ll buy some of each size but will usually buy more in the larger size – if she can’t wear it this year it can be worn next. And while I try to shop smart, the nice thing about buying for the oldest is that if it doesn’t fit, we still have two more chances to have it worn.
There are many more strategies for shopping consignment sales and how to get the most for your money, but I’ll cover that another time, probably in the fall. In the meantime check out some consignment sale shopping tips here from one of my favorite sales, Here We Grow Again* through the KC Metro Moms* website.
Do you shop consignment sales? If so, what are your tips for getting the best bargains there?
*I did not receive any compensation from HWGA or KC Metro Moms for this endorsement. 🙂
P.S. I’ll be going to the HWGA volunteer pre-sale this afternoon. I’ll post about some of my great finds later this week!